Movement in Europe?

Slight sense that things are on the move in Europe. H/T Harley for this:


FRANCOIS Hollande was left picking up the pieces after France was sent into a state of shock as his labour minister described the nation as “totally bankrutpt.

Michel Sapin was left red-faced after revealing the potential state of the French economy and leaving the French public to question Mr Hollande’s policy.

Speaking during a radio interview, he said: “There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state. That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.”

Hollande doesn’t seem to be a great success. He hates rich people, and they’re leaving France in droves.  He’s even driven Gerard Depardieu to Russia,

And it seems that David Cameron’s speech has had a far bigger impact in Europe than it had in Britain. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph:

France’s Vox Agora praised David Cameron for breaking the taboo and igniting a pan-European debate, running a red-blooded headline: “towards the end of European dictatorship?”

“The British prime minister has scored a bulls-eye,” said the Frankurter Allgemeine, Germany’s most venerable newspaper. “Cameron is right: the EU must be more flexible and competitive. The return of competences to the national authorities must be made possible. The EU must be made more democratic at long last.”

Germany is in ferment as citizens awaken to danger that EMU bail-out funds will shoe-horn their country into an EU fiscal union with shared debts. To the extect that this is buttressed by the actions of the European Central Bank — bond purchases, bank liquidity, or Target2 imbalances — it is more insidious since it amounts to fiscal union by stealth.

The Free Voter party won 10pc of votes in Bavaria with calls to block the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), and this in turn has forced the Bavarian Social Chrisitians to harden their message, including demands for a referendum on transfers of power to Brussels. Chancellor Angela Merkel has her own “UKip problem”.

So too does the French establishment. Marine Le Pen’s Front National — at 18pc in the polls — is threatening the right-flank of the Gaullistes with calls for an in/out referendum. President Francois Hollande’s Socialists face a parallel attack on the other side from the Left Front.

So too do Italy’s mandarins. The triple alliance of Beppe Grillo, Silvio Berlusconi, and the Northern League commands 37pc of the vote on EU-bashing of one kind or another.

Holland, Finland, and Austria all have eurosceptic parties large enough to upset politics. Austria’s Freedom Party now wants an Alpine alliance with Switzerland and a vote on EU-exit.

It is hard to know exactly what has caused the dam to break. The failure of EMU has played its part. Half Europe is trapped in depression, with 1930s levels of unemployment, deprived of the policy levers needed to extricate themselves. The gap in growth between the US and Eurozone is running at 20-year highs of almost 3pc, and looks likely to continue with powerful compound effects through much of the decade.

 AEP also sees a political shift in which French influence diminishes:

The hot debate in Germany is perhaps why Mrs Merkel has refused to join the chorus of attacks on David Cameron, instead holding out an olive branch with talk of a “fair compromise”. In Davos she went so far as to embrace his message of deep reform.

The new political fact in EU affairs is the Anglo-German Entente, a twist that has caught many by surprise. You could say this is raw trade politics. Britain has become Germany’s biggest trade partner, over-taking France for the first time in the modern era.

Germany is looking beyond the EMU stagnation sphere, where its trade has fallen from 46pc to 37pc in just over a decade…

Also in the Telegraph on the subject of big government, James Delingpole:

Pick any issue – the environment, education, healthcare, the economy… – and time and again you’ll find the agenda has been successfully hijacked by a handful of zealots who are not remotely representative of the broader public interest. Why? Because politicians will do almost anything for a quiet life and find it much easier to buy off noisy troublemakers by capitulating to their demands, however unreasonable, than to take a principled stand.

Also, of course, it’s much, much easier for a lobby group to make a powerful, emotive case for more government spending on its favourite deserving cause than it is for the government to explain why it can’t afford it.

For those of us who believe in liberty, free markets and small government this represents the greatest challenge of our time

jeff-buckleyYou could say that again. And it hadn’t occurred to me that politicians might have capitulated to the unreasonable demands of lobby groups like ASH simply so as to have a quiet life. If so, it was a false economy, and it has only stored up bigger problems for them further down the line.

Apart from that I came across this beautiful Jeff Buckley track today. He was a good looking guy. Pity that he drowned in Wolf River Harbor in 1997.

About Frank Davis

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17 Responses to Movement in Europe?

  1. Junican says:

    Hello Frank.
    Re missing email.
    I notice that you make no secret of your google email address. My second attempt was addressed there. My first attempt was to lj……livejournal.
    I noticed under your ‘About’ heading that someone had said that your google address was not working.
    NB. Neither of my emails have been returned undelivered.

    Email me direct at my Hotmail address. I should be able to simply make a reply and thus establish contact.

  2. Junican says:

    There are some simple principles which the EU is violating. For example, the more that the EU tries to create ‘a level playing field’, the more that it diminishes competition. Even more iniquitous is the EU’s attempt to create a ‘level playing field’ in matters of Health. All its attempts do is drive up health costs.
    But I must to bed.

  3. Rose says:

    Well I really don’t know where to start with this.

    New Study Investigates eCigs for Smoking Schizophrenic Patients

    “A new study was just released investigating the use of electronic cigarettes among smokers diagnosed with schizophrenia. There is apparently a higher than normal percentage of individuals with this disease who smoke. Apparently, smoking has antipsychotic effects for some people. The study was a joint effort by researchers including Dr. Ricardo Polosa who published the study last year showing even unmotivated smokers were able to quit or cut down with electronic cigarettes.

    The study found some minor reactions to the e-cigarette, which as I pointed out in this article, tend to actually be signs of smoking withdrawal more than anything.

    Now the fact that Schizophrenics chainsmoke and their doctors thought they were self treating is one of the few things I did know before I started this research, thanks to a radio 4 programme some years ago. So naturally I was interested, the question is, is it nicotine or the niacin produced in the smoke or possibly even the gases.

    I did a lot of research on this a couple of years ago which you will find in Rose’s Garden.
    Abram Hoffer thought it was niacin and I can quite see why, but the niacin produced by a burning cigarette is miniscule so I personally think it must be a combination of things in the smoke.

    It seems that thanks to the internet, people are trying Hoffer’s method for themselves.
    http: //

    Now withdrawal symptoms are something of a mystery to me, so I was interested to read the list.

    1. Coughing / Cold-like Symptoms

    “e-cigarette withdrawal symptoms man coughing This is probably the number one complaint of people recently switching to e-cigarettes. Within a few days of giving up cigarettes, you may find yourself coughing more than you ever did smoking the coffin nails.”

    Carbon monoxide is an anti-inflamatory The problems quitters experience may be due at least in part due to the reported systemic inflammation after quitting.

    Surprise benefit from carbon monoxide’

    “Researchers at the University Medical Centre in Groningen, the Netherlands, found that the gas appeared to ease the inflammation of lung tissues when given in low doses over a four-day period.”
    http: //

    2. Headaches

    “Carbon monoxide lowers the oxygen level in your blood. e-Cigarettes do not contain carbon monoxide (or several thousand other things). As a result, your brain and circulatory system are now getting more oxygen than it is used to which can result in headaches among other things such as tingling in the extremities.”

    But you are no longer getting the inhaled Nitric Oxide that widens the blood vessels and increases the oxygen level in the blood.

    “The researchers said they believe the high levels of nitric oxide cause an increased blood flow that provides body tissues with sufficient amounts of oxygen despite low levels of oxygen in both the air and the bloodstream.”
    http: //

    Premature Babies Benefit From Inhaling Nitric Oxide At Shands At The University Of Florida

    “A gas commonly found in smog and cigarette smoke actually helps premature babies by opening blood vessels in their underdeveloped lungs, causing blood oxygen levels to rise, University of Florida researchers report.”
    http: //

    “GeNO’s plans for both in-hospital and ambulatory inhaled nitric oxide systems would help address the cost, complexity and lack of portability of current treatment regimens, and would potentially reach a much larger group of patients”
    http: //

    5. Stomach Upset and Gas

    “smoking withdrawal stomach upset Here we have an unexpected symptom of smoking withdrawal. Some people as they move over to vaping might report all manners of stomach upset. I’ll try to not be crude about it.

    This particular set of woes tend to set in after a couple of weeks. The explanation is pretty much the same as all the others. Your mouth and lungs aren’t the only things that host all the toxins from smoking. Some of that shows up in your stomach too.”

    Carbon monoxide plays role in orchestrating digestive tract function

    “Farrugia and an associate, Dr. Joseph Szurszewski, headed the study, which focused on carbon monoxide’s role in orchestrating movements of muscles in the digestive system. The results were published in the prestigious journal of the National Academy of Sciences, which is based in Washington and advises the federal government on science and technology.

    They showed that cells in the digestive system manufacture tiny amounts of carbon monoxide, which then regulates muscle contractions. The contractions occur with great precision to properly move food ahead through the stomach and intestines”
    http: //

    But in the comments worryingly, it appears that mouth ulcers and bad acne that lasts for months are another result of quitting, which presumably means that raw nicotine when vapourised in an e-cigarette does not oxidize to niacin as it does in a cigarette, which is a huge disappointment because I had very much hoped that it would.

    • margo says:

      I would say that’s largely a load of rubbish, Rose. I think schizophrenics (and others) smoke because they find it a great comfort and pleasure in a world that offers little of either, especially if you’re stuck in a psychiatric ward. I’ve tried e-cigs, and they definitely make you cough (and how would we know whether there’s any nicotine in them? I’ve tried several sorts, and I seriously wonder.) I also gave up smoking (years ago) for 6 months – my smoker’s cough disappeared in 2 days and no other cough arose, and my main withdrawal symptoms were irritation, inability to relax and a massive craving for a fag that never really went away. None of these other symptoms at all.

  4. roobeedoo2 says:

    It is reported inThe Times today that:

    “The son of a Wisconsin tobacco farmer, who became the doctor of successive
    American Presidents and helped Barack Obama to kick his 30-year smoking
    addiction, has joined the board of British American Tobacco. Brigadier General Richard Tubb is the first healthcare professional to become a director of BAT.”

    Sorry but the article is paywalled.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Rather alarming, that.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        I’ve emailed you a copy of the whole article.

        Personally, I think we’re entering the war between ‘big tobacco’ and ‘big pharma’ over e-cigs v patches for marketshare. The smoker will, inevitably, be trampled underfoot.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          If the nazis get in and destroy BAT from the inside,all it means is another Tobacco company will take the lead!

      • smokervoter says:

        First off – tobacco in Wisconsin? Who knew? Then again I’ve never been east of Wyoming, so what would I know. I’ve set foot in 7 US states, and 8 Mexican states.

        The MBA mentality of the tobacco companies kind of worries me. Then again, I’m no longer one of their customers and haven’t been so for going on 6 years now. I make my own and I’m in charge of the labor input now. The tobacco and the papers and the machinery (tube machine) all come from relatively smallish companies.

        On the other hand, I’m glad big tobacco companies still exist for their legal departments, litigation is expensive. I’m also glad that RJ Reynolds et al. had the resources on hand to counteract Lance Armstrong and Glantz Inc. during the Prop 29 fight. Left to our own devices, we 4 million California smokers would have been hard pressed to raise the cash to fight the media battle that transpired. In truth, if 4 million voters had kicked in just $10 (roughly two packets worth) a head in their own defense, that would have equaled what RJR spent. It would have been a well coppered bet at that. A one time $10 investment to save $365 annually is an excellent return.

        The problem is this: who do we trust to efficiently use this money? Ourselves? A board of directors consisting of 4 million seats?

        I would trust MJM or Harley explicitly, but who is to say either of them want the job?

        I was just reading some stuff over at last night about Phillip Morris’ National Smokers Alliance (1994?) and how worthless they were at representing smokers. Kind of like this Brigadier General on BAT’s board.

        It’s not easy, and I think our self-organizing efforts are the way to go, but there’s a lot of details to fill in.

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    ~~~▄▄██▌█….☆★…BAT TRUCKING………☆★▐

  6. cherie79 says:

    The only time I tried to stop smoking I gained 30lbs! never having been overweight I was horrified and went back to smoking as the lesser of two evils, Not that I ever thought smoking was evil but my then Dr. did and I never really wanted to stop anyway.

  7. jaxthefirst says:

    Isn’t it funny that we never hear about all these other parties in Europe who are wholly or partly critical of the EU? The way the puppet media here present it is as if we’re the only thorn in the side of the EU and that everyone else is absolutely delighted with it. So this is a very encouraging article, and yet another indication as to how bloggers can pull together lots of relevant information and make it accessible in one article in a way that none of the big papers could ever do, even if they dared.

    And the UK now a more important trading partner with Germany than France??? I bet the French are furious! Mind you, I’ve often thought that the German/French “special relationship” is not terribly dissimilar to the US/UK one – i.e. the Little Guy on the block playing lackey to the Big Guy (the “my big, best friend” scenario); and the Big Guy allowing the Little Guy to pretend that the whole thing is on an equal footing, when in fact it’s very one-sided and reliant only on the Little Guy compliantly doing just what the Big Guy wants him to …

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