Daily View 2×2: 15 July 2009

2 Big Stories

BNP shunned at European Parliament opening
The Times reports on the British National Party MEPs taking their seats yesterday at the opening of the European Parliament:

The new members, Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons, avoided the European anthem and were allocated places 780 and 781, towards the back of the Strasbourg chamber with kindred MEPs from the neo-fascist parties of Belgium, Bulgaria, France and Hungary.

They were immediately shunned by their fellow non-aligned MEP, Diane Dodds, the Democratic Unionist, who refused to take up seat 782 next to Mr Brons. It remained empty throughout the opening session of the ninth directly elected European Parliament.

The BNP has failed to find enough like-minded MEPs to form an official group, which would have brought extra funding and staff, but will work informally with neo-fascist parties including Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National in France, Attack from Bulgaria, Flemish Interest from Belgium and Jobbik, the Hungarian nationalists with their own militia.

Meanwhile Home Secretary Alan Johnson, in a move unlikely to endear himself to Griffin, Brons and the Daily Mail, has said he will not cap the number of immigrants coming to Britain. As the Mail reports:

Speaking at the Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Johnson said he would not bring in a cap because it would harm the economy, claiming the argument that immigration had made a contribution to the economy was ‘irrefutable’.

Speaking of the economy…
Mandelson admits Labour will make a decade of spending cuts
Thanks to record levels of debt built up by the Government’s fiscal stimulus package, the Business Secretary is now talking of “re-balance”, “spending choices” and “greater efficiency.” He does not, however, say where cuts will be made.

From the Independent:

His comments have raised suspicions that the Cabinet is split over whether to be more frank about cuts. Both Lord Mandelson and the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, are said to be keen to persuade the Prime Minister to give a more honest assessment of future spending. Mr Darling has already admitted the country will have to be given some idea of the party’s spending plans ahead of the election.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

The internet – snoop it or scrap it? Two posts which invite your comments:
Web monitoring – value for money?
Willie Rennie MP’s appeal for suggestions:

I’m attempting to ascertain the value of all this internet monitoring that the Government is sponsoring. A constituent and expert has told its ineffective and therefore a waste of money. Here’s the answers to the questions I have posed. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I should approach this issue?

Ban the Internet!!
Charlotte Gore doesn’t want to:

Free speech is a wonderful, wonderful thing…

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One Comment

  • Crikey, the DUP refuse to sit next to the BNP.

    They have a major image problem.

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