The Telegraph reports,
Turkey demands Germany prosecute comedian for Erdogan insult
Angela Merkel is facing a political dilemma after Turkey demanded one of Germany’s most popular comedians face prosecution for insulting its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The row could jeopardise the EU’s controversial migrant deal with Turkey.
The German government confirmed on Monday it had received a “formal request” from Turkey over the weekend indicating it wishes to press charges in the case.
If Mrs Merkel agrees to allow the prosecution, she will face accusations of limiting free speech to placate the authoritarian Mr Erdogan.
But if she refuses it could put the migrant deal with Turkey, which she personally brokered, at risk.
Jan Böhmermann, one of Germany’s most successful young comedians, faces up to five years in prison over a poem in which he referred to Mr Erdogan as a “goat-f*****” and described him as watching child pornography.
Insulting a foreign head of state is illegal under German law, but a prosecution can only take place if a foreign government requests it.
Any prosecution also requires the express authorisation of the German government — leaving Mrs Merkel in a difficult position.
Oh, and today’s Brexit scare story appears to be pro football. Our clubs will be stymied if they can’t employ lots of Belgians. Don’t look at the fact that they do Employ lots of Africans who, AFAIK, aren’t EU citizens.
– Kevin B.
It is manifestly clear that the idea that the EU equals security and Brexit equals isolation (splendid or otherwise) for Britain is complete bunkum. It should be perfectly possible for the major players to cooperate against ISIS as national governments, within or outwith the European Union, and to work together closely, without the need for an ever-expanding and self-serving EU superstructure.
– Iain Martin
Tyrannical EU threatens our liberal laws
“If Britain is at little risk of such tragic convulsions, it’s exposed to the EU’s progressive authoritarianism in more surreptitious ways. The jurist Sir William Blackstone articulated the presumption of innocence, a cornerstone of British justice: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” The Napoleonic code that influenced much of continental Europe, and the EU, lacks that respect for individual liberty.
Take the European arrest warrant (EAW). Innocent British citizens have been subjected to Kafkaesque justice systems by a fast-track process that sidesteps basic safeguards. In 2014, Keith Hainsworth, an Ancient Greek tutor sightseeing in Greece, was wrongly accused of setting a forest ablaze. Arrested without a shred of evidence, a five-week nightmare saw him holed up in a notorious Athens jail. A Greek judge eventually released him, admitting a simple error that could have been cleared up with one phone call. The Hainsworths were left with legal bills approaching £40,000.”
– From a piece by Dominic Raab in the Sunday Times.
Update: There is an oddity in this morning’s edition of the Times. Under the heading “Understanding European Capital Markets”, which seems to be a series title, there is a little article that starts as follows,
What is the European Commission doing to improve the access to financing for start-ups and SMEs?
David Muxworthy is adamant that without the EU’s financial assistance, he would have been forced to give up more of the equity in his company to private investors. He is the chief financial officer of MyPinPad, a state-of-the-art technology company that specialises in authentication solutions for devices like mobiles and tablets.
According to this year’s European Parliament annual report, there are around 22 million SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) like Muxworthy’s operating in the EU, providing two thirds of private sector employment – around 75 million jobs. The International Monetary Fund describes these sorts of businesses – agile, innovative, entrepreneurial, job-creating and growing – as the “backbone” of the European economy. The EU is well aware of SMEs’ importance and has set up a series of financial organisations to help them fulfil their potential. Localisation is a key consideration, and focus is often given to geographical economic “clusters”.
Something in the tone struck me as a little off. The typeface was just very slightly different, too. Then I saw the discreetly placed logo at the top right corner. “In association with Goldman Sachs.” Ah.
“One could hold pan-European elections, of course, with voters picking multi-national slates of candidates; but, then, one could also ask every person on the planet to vote for a world president. Such initiatives would ape democratic procedures, but would be a sham. They would be Orwellian takedowns of genuine democracy, not extensions of it. There would be no relationship or understanding between ruler and citizen, zero genuine popular control, nil real accountability; coalitions of big countries would impose their will on smaller nations, and elites would run riot. We would be back to imperial politics, albeit in a modernised form.”
– Allister Heath
Lord Mandelson sneered at Brexit supporters this week for failing to understand the complexities of modern trade and how leaving the EU would trigger years of renegotiations that would leave us with a far worse deal than we have inside the EU. Alas Lord Mandelson is a victim of the mandarin-centric fallacy that trade only happens after governments have arranged it in the best interests of their citizens.
– Patrick Minford. Sadly the article is behind the Times pay wall but I am sure you get where this is going.
Claims of dire consequences by business executives are particularly unreliable. In 1999, Adair Turner, then director general of the Confederation of Business and Industry supported Britain joining the euro. Now the number crunchers torture the data to show that British productivity could decline precipitously. This is economic nonsense.
– Ashoka Mody
Indeed and it is comical how many end-to-end lurid scare stories Reuters has been running on Britain capsizing if the vote is in favour of Brexit. It is at times like that it becomes clear who is on the payroll of whom
GERMANY’S secret service spied on the EU’s British foreign policy chief and on the US secretary of state, it emerged yesterday.
The Bundesnachrichten- dienst, or BND, Germany’s equivalent of MI6, placed Baroness Ashton of Upholland under electronic surveillance when she was the EU’s high representative on foreign affairs and security.
It also tried to tap the mobile and office phones of John Kerry, the secretary of state, according to Der Spiegel magazine.
However, the attempt to listen in to Kerry’s mobile conversations failed because a bungling spy used an African country code by mistake. His other phones, including one at the American State Department, were successfully tapped.
The revelations are deeply embarrassing for Angela Merkel, who criticised the US over allegations the National Security Agency (NSA) monitored the German chancellor’s phone as part of a mass surveillance programme that included snooping on allies.
Speaking at the time, Merkel told President Barack Obama that “spying on friends is not acceptable”.
Particularly not those friends. To expose your poor spies to hours on end of Baroness Ashton or John Kerry is an unacceptable violation of the Framework Directive 89/391/EEC on Occupational Safety and Health.
Update: Niall Kilmartin adds, “Wow. They lose track of 130,000 immigrants from Isis recruiting areas but they can (almost) bug John Kerry. Is this a dramatic revelation of German government priorities, or does it merely indicate that the standard of electronic security set by Hillary was followed throughout her department and maintained by her successor?”
Brexit could bring an unhappy ending for UK’s Oscar nomination bonanza
At first glance, Carol and Get Blake! do not appear to have much in common. One is an Oscar-nominated period drama about sapphic romance set in the lush interiors of upper-middle-class 1950s Manhattan, the other a French science fiction cartoon about alien squirrels. And yet both might never have been made were it not for EU funding.
But while one can just about imagine surviving without Get Blake, which was the centrepiece of a tabloid row about dreadful Europeans wasting our hard-earned British money on pointless film and TV projects in August, it is doubtful whether many right-minded Brit cineastes would be willing to dispense with Todd Haynes’s treasured drama about a love affair between Cate Blanchett’s opulent housewife and Rooney Mara’s wide-eyed department store ingenue.
If Brit cineastes would not be willing to dispense with EU-funded dramas starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, that must mean that in the event of a Brexit the rest of us would have to dispense with Brit cineastes.
Sounds good. Armageddon outta here.
The black hole at the heart of the Out campaign is this. After all those years of demanding this referendum, they can’t agree on what the UK would look like if it chose to self-eject from the European Union.
– Andrew Rawnsley writing in the Observer.
For a real black hole, the event horizon is the boundary from within which nothing, not even light, can ever escape. As Wikipedia puts it “Once a particle is inside the horizon, moving into the hole is as inevitable as moving forward in time.”
The black hole at the heart of the In campaign, and of the European Union itself, is that it was agreed among the elite what the future would look like years ago.
So the Out campaign – a collective noun that must stretch to encompass George Galloway, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson – cannot agree? Glory in it! They cannot agree what the future UK would look like because it wouldn’t be up to them. Outside the EU event horizon the future would not be predetermined. It would be decided by the electorate. For real, I mean, in elections that mattered. Those mad buggers might do anything.
“If Brits want to leave, let them leave!”
…says Martin Schulz.
And I agree! How very nice of him to want to ‘let’ the Brits leave. He goes on to say how the UK “tests the patience” of EU politicians, presumably by being a net contributor to the EU’s funds.
Keep talking, Herr Schulz. Please, just keep talking. It is almost as if Farage himself had written this plonker’s remarks to push ever more people into voting OUT.
I believe the cry at Senlac Hill was “UT! UT! UT!”, even if on that occasion it was my Norman ancestors who had the best of the day.
I really do not understand this.
EU warns Britain any membership deal will be hard won
The presupposition seems to be that in order to keep the UK in the EU, the UK will have to give a lot of negotiating ground. Why? If the UK leaves the EU, it will be because the UK electorate, not the UK government, gives Brussels an Agincourt salute in the referendum, and thus it does not behove the UK government, a craven collection of moon-faced pro-EU shits for the most part, to make that outcome more likely by caving in yet again to the Bastards in Berlaymont and elsewhere.
So surely the headline should read:
UK warns EU any continued membership deal will be hard won
It is the EU who must be the ones to give ground. The fact of the matter is, the UK does not need the EU more than the EU needs the UK. The UK are net contributors and will do just fine in a reinvigorated EFTA. The EU’s leaders would do well to remember that they need access to the UK’s market and not just the other way around, and that the UK is and always has been a global trading nation, not just a Little Europe focused one.