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No Passport Required – Wednesday 18th January #ThirdWednesday

Come and meet-up with likeminded freedom lovers, at our No Passport Required #ThirdWednesday drinks at The George, Croydon on Wednesday 18th January, from 7pm. 

We will hold these in association with Dick Delingpole’s #ThirdWednesday Libertarian drinks club. 

Join us at The George. 17–21 George Street, Croydon. CR0 1LA on Wednesday 18th January, from 7pm.

Facebook: https://fb.me/e/279ecvcle

Warmer since when?

“the coldest Christmas day on record since 1659 was in 2010 – so much for global warming”

Only 11 times in London in the last 60 years has snow fallen on Christmas day, this was not always so.  The river Thames held its first frost fair in 1608 and the last was in 1814.  These took place during the Little Ice Age lasting from about 1300 to about 1850.  Clearly, we have warmed since then.  The Little Ice Age started without man made input and ended before any serious global industrialisation.  It’s almost as if temperatures change without a man-made cause.  Incidentally the coldest Christmas day on record since 1659 was in 2010 – so much for global warming.

“tax records show the Britons extensively grew their own wine grapes in the 11th century.  Compared to then we are colder not warmer.”

What if I was to pick other dates, different dates to measure warming.  The English wine market is once again growing, centred in the south.  Of course, the Romans grew grapes and made wine at Hadrian’s Wall, not something we could do today without artificial heaters.  Later tax records show the Britons extensively grew their own wine grapes in the 11th century.  Compared to then we are colder not warmer.

The later growing took place in the Medieval Warm Period lasting from around 950 to 1250 AD.  The warming during this period saw the Vikings break out of Scandinavia, conquer much of Europe and even grow barley in Greenland.  The same warming in the east produced more rain, and grass for the grazing animals that Genghis Khan’s Mongolian horseman rode and fed off.  This abundance allowed his descendants to conquer much of Eurasia.  The Medieval Warm Period was not caused by car journeys, aircraft, coal fuelled power stations or even the Saxons use of trial by fire.  The climate changes and it often has little to do with man.  Compared to then we are colder not warmer.

The climate changes, yes, we know that.  Global temperature is not fixed, we know we had ice ages, we know we have had warming periods.  The premise here is the following (with thanks to Dennis Prager):

  • The globe is warming.
  • The warming is man-made – if this isn’t because of human influenced greenhouse gas emissions, then the currently prescribed actions are meaningless.
  • And finally, that the warming will be catastrophic – there is little point in acting if the impact is only two more weeks of summer and not much else.

Warmer since when?  For someone to say the globe is warming, requires them to state over which period they are measuring, and justify why that period rather than some other timeframe.  To believe the last two premises you must believe in the predictions of people who have told us food would run out in the 1980s, that New York City is currently underwater, that Britain would suffer a “famine” within 10 years from 2002 and that in 2009 we only had “eight years to save the planet”.  I ask anyone who believes these people to get in touch with me about a bridge I have for sale.

“All the abundance you see around you, that has allowed billions of people to move from calorie insecurity to having commodity goods in our lifetimes, is fed by fuel, mostly fossil fuels”

If we do assume global warming is a threat, then what can we do about it?  Let’s not start by throwing away civilizations’ manna from heaven.  All the abundance you see around you, that has allowed billions of people to move from calorie insecurity to having commodity goods in our lifetimes, is fed by fuel, mostly fossil fuels.  It is a manna showing no end.  We have more oil reserves than all the oil we have ever used, with new technology opening even further access to fuel.  If you have a proven, working, source of fuel that reduces pollution, great let’s use it.  If you are saying we need to change the basis of our modern civilisation and put at risk the food supply chains for billions of people, you better be dammed sure of your predictions.

Despite the supposedly dangerous level of CO2 of 1 part per 2400, life has never been better.  We may have a cost of living crisis, but prior to lockdown poverty had never been lower.  An estimated 3.2 billion people, or 42% of the total world population, are now in the global middle class.  Many of them enjoying today in countries we used to consider third world, a better standard of living than some of us grew up with.

Humans are exceptional.  200 years ago Global life expectancy was under 30, today life expectancy in the poorest countries is over 50, the global average is over 70.  When I was at school people starved in many countries, today hunger has almost disappeared except where war or governments stop food supplies.  Since the turn of the century the expanding economies of China and India have meant China has a middle class the size of the population of Europe, with India only a few years behind.

Despite expanding populations and doomsday predictions the number of people dying from extreme weather events continues to collapse.  The climate has changed for millennia before mankind, during our existence and will continue to change for many more years to come without our interference.  For over 30 years ‘experts’ on hefty grants have told us of impending doom from global warming, rising sea levels, agricultural failures, and a scorched planet.  None of this has happened, and the planet is greening every year.

Is global warming a threat? I don’t think so, but maybe. However I have no doubt by making use of the energy buried all around us, human ingenuity will not just rise to any challenge, we will excel and overcome it.

This article was first published in Blacklist Press’ Free Speech

Image by Mojca JJ from Pixabay

Plans for 2023

With a politically tumultuous 2022 coming to an end, we asked you, ‘What do you hope your organisation will be doing in 2023?’

Steve Kelleher, London Organiser for the SDP

“Every candidate will hold “meet the public” street stalls and other high profile “get to know you” local events”

The London SDP will run monthly meetings and quarterly events with guest speakers. We will also be identifying at LEAST 20 candidates to run in the Next Parliamentary elections. Every candidate will hold “meet the public” street stalls and other high profile “get to know you” local events. The SDP profile and cut through in London should, hopefully, rise with media coverage. We will encourage local agreements and support with other groups and parties where our values and ambitions agree.

The two parties in our FPTP system are NOT fit for the job. They need to be run out of office and true patriotic democracy needs to be restored. London is the best City in the world. We are so lucky to live here. Let’s all get together and organise local people to make 2023 the platform for real change in 2024!

Peter Sonnex, Political Activist

“Trust is a massive issue for me, with a burning distaste for the established and establishment parties in their incompetence: precipitating a cost of lockdown crisis; failing to deliver in the national interest on energy and health, and in their hypocrisy”

2023 – Making Your Mind Up!

Having stood for the Brexit Party in 2019 on conviction, I look forward to seeing which candidates or parties I may support in their convictions in the health, security and prosperity interests of the United Kingdom in the run up to the next General Election…

Trust is a massive issue for me, with a burning distaste for the established and establishment parties in their incompetence: precipitating a cost of lockdown crisis; failing to deliver in the national interest on energy and health, and in their hypocrisy; putting measures in place they are not themselves prepared to follow. Their values are no longer representative of those they should be serving. It’s time for most of them to go.

I shall be watching the Reform Party most closely. They are performing well in recent polls, though that would not yet yield seats in parliament. They also have work to do if they want more engagement from former Brexit Party candidates and supporters, and that is down to trust, too.

Beyond the traditional party politics, I am looking to Reclaim for the culture wars rhetoric on free speech, British values, ID politics, intersectionality and sex-based rights, and to the Together Declaration as they seek to take back democracy – again, championing free speech with open debate over dictate and suppression. Together is going to build a shadow cabinet in the new year to challenge the orthodoxy – across health, economy, energy, housing, defence etc – and increasingly similar government and opposition approaches to ruling over us rather than to serve.

Bending the rules of the game
Will let you find the one you’re looking for
And then you can show that you think you know
You’re making your mind up!

Lorena Serantes, Blogger and Political Scientist

” I will try to focus on interviews regarding the situation in Ukraine at this moment of conflicts between Russia, the EU, NATO and others”

In 2023 I will try to focus on interviews regarding the situation in Ukraine at this moment of conflicts between Russia, the EU, NATO and others, and I’ll probably write a review of the Spanish local elections that are going to take place in May. In fact, I have been interested in getting interviews from Spanish political leaders. There’s not a culture of responding e-mails from researchers or journalists in this country, which contrasts with the high level of answers that I’ve got from British politicians.

Turning to the political context of Spain, Spanish representatives are distinguished by their low profile contributions in Parliament, specially the members of parties such as Podemos on the left side and VOX on the right side. Furthermore, judges interfering in strictly political debates and the impossibility of reforming Francoist institutions that changed nothing but their names, makes it absolutely annoying and toxic, at least for me. I’m a calm person, therefore in my duty as Political Scientist and analyst I prefer the moderation of Conservative-Labour dynamics. Ideologically, that’s another thing. In conclusion, I’ll see what I can do to analyse the Ukraine-Russia conflict from different perspectives, as I always try to do.

“Our main aim is to get candidates in place. We are hoping for 100 by the end of 2023 so we can have a party political broadcast next time”

Sid Cordle MBE, Leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance.

Our main aim is to get candidates in place. We are hoping for 100 by the end of 2023 so we can have a party political broadcast next time. We currently have 20 committed to standing in the next General Election. We also have a training course fixed for January 2023 with a professional trainer and we are hoping for at least 20 new people on that course.

We’re getting more exposure on Christian TV.  I do a weekly interview on Air TV. Our Assembly was broadcast live on LCBN TV for the first time. Maureen Martin (President) goes regularly on Revelation TV. This is also opening doors to speak in churches. We are getting better known and accepted among church leaders. We aim to continue this process and speak in as many churches as possible in 2023

Relationships with the DUP are getting stronger. Ian Paisley Jnr MP spoke at our assembly this year and was just amazing. If you’re interested this was his speech as I say broadcast live. Part3 Christian People Alliance Conference on LCBN TV UK I hope to be a guest speaker at the DUP conference next year at the fringe as a first step. We are also preparing our Assembly for 2023 we plan to hold in Birmingham Sept 29th and 30th

We meet every Monday on zoom to pray and then afterwards review our manifesto a process Tom Rogers is in charge of. We are constantly coming up with new ideas and honing it and improving it. I would like to think that no party has a more comprehensive and well thought out manifesto to deal with the issues the country faces. This gives us a strong basis for campaigning and growing as a party. A weak manifesto is a fatal flaw as a party grows and is almost certain to bring growth to a standstill. 

I should also say we are very open to bringing in Christians from other political parties in 2023. David Campanale was recently removed as a candidate for the Lib Dems in Sutton for being a Christians and for having previously stood for us. Lib Dems sack former BBC journalist in target seat ‘because he is a Christian’ | Politics | News | Express.co.uk So was Robert Flello in Stoke Election candidate deselected by Lib Dems over pro-life and pro-marriage views – The Christian Institute

In 2019 Revelation TV couldn’t find a single Christian in the Lib Dems who was willing to come on their programme for fear of expulsion. The Greens sacked a Councillor who spoke against same sex marriage. Brighton councillor expelled over views on same-sex marriage | ICN (indcatholicnews.com) This sacking was upheld by the parties’ disciplinary committee. 

Keir Starmer’s vow never to visit another church that stands by Biblical teaching is a grave insult to all Christians. Starmer’s Jesus House apology is an insult | The Spectator.

We are the only party positioned to bring Christians together in politics and we aim to further than process in 2023.

On to Part 2

Podcast Episode 78 – Zachary Stiling: Tory Sinking Ship, 3rd Time Lucky For Croydon & World Cup Wokery

We are joined by Zachary Stiling, a local Heritage Party activist and previous Council candidate in Croydon, as we discuss the news that various Conservative MPs have announced that they are standing down at the next General Election and we bemoan the fact that Croydon Council has declared bankruptcy for the 3rd time. We also chat about the wokery and hypocrisy engulfing the FIFA World Cup.

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Déjà vu all over again – the sorry tale of Croydon council. 

By Mike Swadling

“Our council has ruined our town centre, lost tens of millions on commercial and residential property speculation, paid hundreds of thousands if not millions, subsidising entertainment for the few, all whilst reducing core services for the many”

Our recent email bulletin started with the following statement: “We have heard once again that Croydon Council is declaring de facto bankruptcy.  This will no doubt lead to more taxes and worse services for the people of Croydon.  Regardless of whether you believe in a small, limited government (as we do) or believe the state should provide extensive support, Croydon Council is surely a salutary tale of why regardless of the overall scale, government should focus on doing less, better.  Our council has ruined our town centre, lost tens of millions on commercial and residential property speculation, paid hundreds of thousands if not millions, subsidising entertainment for the few, all whilst reducing core services for the many.  We needed them, the vulnerable people who rely on the service they provide, needed them, to do fewer things better.”

In a sorry tale of déjà vu on the 22nd November Croydon Council again issued a Section 114 notice, declaring de facto bankruptcy.  This is the 3rd such notice, starting in 2020, after which Croydon was granted a £120 million bailout loan by the government to balance the books.    

“The council is £1.6 billion in debt, with £47 million in annual debt repayment.”

The council is £1.6 billion in debt, with £47 million in annual debt repayment.  In the councils Section 114 report they state “The conclusion is that, in order to balance its budget, Croydon needs to reduce its spending by £130m next financial year alone (before any council tax increase) which is simply untenable out of a net budget of some £300m.”

In their Medium Term Financial Strategy report the council sets out the staggering amount of new Capitalisation Directions that may be required.

On these sums it is almost impossible to see how the council can meet its statutory requirements and save the funds necessary to balance the budget without additional help.  Whatever the path forward for Croydon it must start with realistic budgeting and basic accounting skills.  For some months, any Conservative councillor I have spoken with has been at pains to tell me the budget situation in Croydon is far worse than they expected.  Of course, some of this is politics but when you look at the figures of budget corrections it’s hard to disagree with the basic premise.

“this represents £9.5 million less for social services, libraries, local roads, swimming pools and other services.  This one mistake represents an additional £63 needed from each of the 150,100 homes in Croydon”

The level of over estimation of Parking and traffic income is clearly wrong, but unforgivable is the £9.5m a year that has been taken from the ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account (HRA).  The BBC report notes “The HRA is only supposed to be used for the authority’s social housing stock and it is from this account that maintenance and repair costs come for council homes. “What we’ve established is that there has been an overcharge of the HRA for several years,”.  This may sound like just an accounting issue, but this represents £9.5 million less for social services, libraries, local roads, swimming pools and other services.  This one mistake represents an additional £63 needed from each of the 150,100 homes in Croydon.   If this were the only mistake it might be forgivable but as the above table shows this is one of many.  No wonder in 2020 the council’s external auditors Grant Thornton described a council where “There has been collective corporate blindness to both the seriousness of the financial position and the urgency with which actions needed to be taken”.

I was pleased to be able to recently speak to the TaxPayers’ Alliance about some of the Council’s misspending.

The council is taking steps to improve the situation.  £90 million in savings have been made and £50 million of assets have been disposed of, with a further £100 million expected to be made in sales over the next few years.  The Colonnades retail park is included in this, the council purchased the Colonnades hoping to make money but will no doubt end up with a quick sale whilst still holding the debt from making the original purchase.  If only they had listened to those warning of this at the time.

Taxpayer funding of cultural events and community organisations by the council has finally reduced.  This hasn’t stopped the council being a sponsor of Croydon Pride yet again.  A great day out, but one surely not needing funding from a bankrupt council. 

“At the time of a cost of living crisis, unnecessary spending is already underway”

More worryingly in 2023 Croydon becomes the London Borough of Culture.  Funded by the Mayor of London, the “London Borough of Culture award aims to shine a light on the character and diversity of London’s boroughs and bring culture to everyone”.  At the time of a cost of living crisis, unnecessary spending is already underway as the table below from the councils records shows.

Payment DateVendor NameVendor TypeCost Centre DescriptionAmountInvoice Creation Date
23-May-22Stanley ArtsCommercialBOROUGH OF CULTURE£3,000.0025-Apr-22
23-May-22Stanley ArtsCommercialBOROUGH OF CULTURE£1,500.0025-Apr-22
08-Jun-22Savvy TheatreCommercialBOROUGH OF CULTURE£3,000.0012-May-22
25-Jul-22Stanley ArtsCommercialBOROUGH OF CULTURE£75,000.0027-Jun-22
20-Sep-22Fashion Meets Music Collective C.I.C.CommercialBOROUGH OF CULTURE£50,000.0007-Sep-22
28-Sep-22Savvy TheatreCommercialBOROUGH OF CULTURE£10,000.0007-Sep-22

“There is no more expensive thing than a free gift.”

The French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne noted “There is no more expensive thing than a free gift.”  With Croydon Councils record of misallocating funds, and run away spending, Croydon’s, London’s, and the nations taxpayers who are bailing out the council have plenty of reason to worry. 

Croydon Mayor, Jason Perry has noted “Even with Government support, the coming years will be incredibly financially challenging for Croydon Council. We must balance our books and become a much smaller organisation.”  Maybe a good way to start would be for him to politely decline to waste more taxpayers cash on the London Borough of Culture award.

Being priced out of the job market – What’s wrong with paying the living wage?

By Mike Swadling

Many of us are used to buying and selling goods on eBay and similar sites. You will have bid, suggested, or offered a price, you will have agreed the price and exchanged the goods. As the buyer, would you have wanted the council to come in and tell you that price is wrong, and you have to pay more? As the seller would you want the council to have increased the price and have maybe lost you the sale?

I originally wrote a version of this article in 2018 about my local councils plan to make Croydon “a living wage borough, not just a living wage council”. The council was already paying the living wage for their own staff and expecting it of its contractors. Predictably the council went de facto bankrupt with the issuing of now three Section 114 notices. 

The living wage is a voluntary minimum hourly rate for those 18 and older set by the Living Wage Foundation. In London, the rate is £11.95 per hour and in the rest of the UK it is set at £10.90.  This compares to the legal minimum wage of £9.50 per hour for those over 22. 

“If an employer can only make £10 an hour of value from someone, but must pay above this, they simply won’t employ them.”

Now on the face of it what’s wrong with paying people more, and who doesn’t want more pay?  The problem comes when some outside force, say a branch of government, decides the best rate of pay for an employer to pay. If an employer can only make £10 an hour of value from someone, but must pay above this, they simply won’t employ them. We know if governments increase the price of something it sells less, and we get less of it in the market. Tax on cigarettes has been part of the reason for the collapse in the number of people smoking. We tax energy to reduce its use to theoretically help the environment. It follows on that increasing the price of work will lead to less work.

” If, however, you want to earn some money but don’t have the skills to generate value above the living wage, then the rungs of opportunity have been removed from your ladder.”

What jobs are there going to be less of? It’s quite common for well-educated, middle-class children to use a period of unpaid internship as a means of getting into a profession. This is fine if you can afford periods of unemployment and are suited to the types of roles offering internships. If, however, you want to earn some money but don’t have the skills to generate value above the living wage, then the rungs of opportunity have been removed from your ladder. These aren’t jobs or wages that will sustain families but are jobs that give you opportunity to build and grow your skills.  In a cost-of-living crisis these might simply be jobs that allow you to heat your home or keep that roof above your head.

Rational people will take jobs that earn them the most money consummate to their skills and desire to select specific types of roles. Increasing your skills and taking risks improves your work opportunities. If, for whatever reason, you leave education with relatively few qualifications, you will likely need what the Americans call ‘burger flipping’ jobs, to build up your experience to a point where you can command ten, twenty, or more pounds an hour. With rampant inflation hurting those often-older people on fixed incomes, you might need these jobs to keep your financial head above water.  The government and many well-meaning councils, businesses, and charities are interfering in the rational choice and freedom of someone to earn the most, and cope as best they can.

This article was also published by Blacklist Press.

No Passport Required – Wednesday 21st December #ThirdWednesday

Come and meet-up with likeminded freedom lovers, at our No Passport Required drinks at The George, Croydon on Wednesday 21st December, from 7pm. 

We will hold these in association with Dick Delingpole’s #ThirdWednesday Libertarian drinks club. 

Join us at The George. 17–21 George Street, Croydon. CR0 1LA on Wednesday 21st December, from 7pm.

Facebook: https://fb.me/e/3UYdONeeq