In the first of today’s letters our correspondent Septimus Octavius looks back on what happened in EU member states last year and points to one other important election to come in 2018:

Sir,

following predictions of catastrophe in 2017, the EU has in fact escaped the year by the skin of its teeth.  2018, however, could see the beginning of the end of the EU. Predictions are of course by definition unreliable, and so it is necessary first to consider what has happened in 2017, and indeed in the closing months of the previous year.

In 2016, in Austria, a liberal candidate beat the Freedom Party’s challenger for the country’s presidency, but only by the narrowest of margins. This was a harbinger for what was going to happen in that nation some 12 months later.

In the Netherlands, the election on 15 March 2017 saw Geert Wilder’s one man party increase its seats from 15 to 20, an increase of 33.3%, so as to become the second largest party in the Dutch Parliament. Much more significant is that in order to prevent him actually winning, the Netherlands had to guarantee to hold an inquiry into its future relationship with the euro amid a growing chorus of scepticism about the single currency.

In the French elections in the late spring, Marine Le Pen emerged as the challenger to the eventual winner Macron. About 34% of those voting voted for a policy of ditching the euro and holding a referendum on EU membership. Macron himself is on record as saying that the status quo of the €uro is synonymous, in 10 years time, with its dismantling.

Then, of course, in September we had elections in Germany, the powerhouse of the EU.  Suffice it to say that there is still no government in that country, a state of affairs brought about almost exclusively by the dramatic increase in the vote for the AfD.

Needless to say, the culmination of 2017 was the election back in Austria in October. This saw the majority coalition being formed of right wing, anti-immigration parties hostile to the EU and the euro.  For the first time, these forces are on the winning side.

So, what of 2018?  Most obviously, the Article 50 negotiations will grind on, bringing ever closer the Release of the UK from the Treaties of the EU. More exciting, however, are the elections coming up in Italy on 4 March. All that can be said with any certainty is that they will be messy, confused, chaotic and ugly.  It is anyone’s guess what will emerge from all this. One distinct possibility, however, is a grand coalition of the anti-euro forces: Five Star, the Brothers of Italy, and the Northern League.  Watch this space!

Meanwhile, best wishes for a Happy New Year to all and sundry.

Respectfully, Septimus Octavius

Next, our contributor and correspondent Gordon Triggs draws an interesting connection between the BBC and the promotion of ‘green crap’:

Sir,

George Orwell learned a lot when he worked in Room 101 at the BBC. The example below would have inspired him further in writing ‘1984’!

I recently watched the news on the BBC. Something I normally try to avoid. One of the subjects being presented as news was another item in their unrelenting propaganda on renewable energy. On the 28th December they managed to produce not one, but two ‘Greenies’ on the benefits of renewables.

On the one o’clock news it was Gareth Redmond King, Head of ‘Climate Change and Energy, World Wildlife Fund’, who extolled the virtue of renewable energy and its benefits in combating ‘Global Warming’ –  meaning man made climate change.

On the two o’clock news the propaganda was again endorsed by Jonathan Barclay of the Green Party, on the same subject with exactly the same statistics.

They said how happy they were to see how much energy renewables had produced in 2016 in the UK rather than coal etc, etc. If that was not enough for the day, the speech by Gareth Redmond King was shown again on the five o’clock news. True, our two ‘Greenies’ did not lie, but with the help of the BBC, who are experts in the field, carefully constructed their words to mislead the viewers.

When I checked the figures with the government’s department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, (not an easy task) when all of the facts were considered the situation was quite different.

Amongst many other details on the subject, it shows that onshore wind farms in England during 2016 produced only  5.7 TWh, out of a total generation in England of 241.8 TWh. The magnificent contribution of 2% of the total!

Further in 2016 the UK consumed 345 TWh of electricity out of which Onshore Wind, Offshore Wind, Solar and Biomass produced 86.25 TWh i.e. 25%

In another case of the Greenies distorting the truth a poster, distributed in September by Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, claimed the price of wind power had fallen by 50 per cent over the past two years. A complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority forced Greenpeace and a coalition of other environmental groups and green energy suppliers not to use the posters again.

Respectfully, Gordon W. Triggs

Today’s last letter comes from our contributor Sonya Jay Porter. It’s about a sinister trend in ladies’ fashion:

Sir,

amazing, isn’t it? Just as the Religious Police in Iran say they will no longer arrest women for failing to observe the strict Islamic dress code which has been in place there since the fall of the Shah in 1979, and shortly after women in Syria burned their burkas after being freed from the tyranny of the Islamic State (ISIS)  –  guess what?

‘Modest Ladies Fashions’ are becoming the latest thing in the West.  Both London and Tokyo held their second annual Modest Ladies Fashion Shows this year while boutiques selling designer clothes for Muslimas and the followers of fashion are popping up in Europe, the US and here in the UK.

Even our own, our very own Marks and Spencers are now offering a range of ‘Modest Clothing’. ‘Switch up your style,’ they say to clothes ‘featuring flowing fabrics, higher necklines and lower hems.’

If this were just a change of fashion, from revealing to covered, short to long, then fair enough. The younger generation always does try to be different in all ways from their parents, but is it just ‘fashion’? Or is this just another twist in the corkscrew by the Powers That Be to open the West to the Islamic faith?

Respectfully, Sonya Jay Porter

 

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