“Let’s reform Europe together” Barroso tells UK

José_Manuel_Barroso,_EPP_Summit_Helsinki_4_March_2011

President of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso (courtesy of Wikipedia)

The president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, visited London ahead of European elections in May and warned member states, in particular the UK, not to “shoot ourselves in our feet”.

The  head of the EU executive delivered a speech earlier this afternoon at the London School of Economics on the health of the European Union and the reforms needed to push the EU in a more globalized and competitive world.

Barroso’s visit in London was crucial as Prime Minister David Cameron  promised to give an in/out referendum on EU membership if re-elected next year.

“If you don’t like Europe, help us reform it but don’t turn your back on us” Barroso said before LSE’s students, stressing the importance of unity as the basic pillar to overcome economic and political differences.

“We now have the leverage to push reforms,” Barroso said “and of course we could have faced the crisis better but we are democratic states and we cannot impose decisions on member states. We can only advise them.”

Barroso, in his tenth year of presidency, tried ad well to persuade Cameron not to block a fundamental principle of the EU: freedom of movement. The PM has said he’d like to do to stop the citizens of new EU member states from tapping Britain’s welfare benefits.

” We cannot have a single market without the free movement of European citizens,” the president said. “and I don’t want to have first and second class EU citizens because this could lead to class stratification that goes against our ideals.”

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5 guest speakers University of Westminster should consider inviting.

Following our news story on Islam extremist Haithim Al-Haddad, and the benefit  of having him delivering a lecture within the University of Westminster campus, we received a new statement from the university PR office.

“If someone should fail to abide by the University code of practice on tolerance of other religions  after having signed up, we would not permit them to speak at the University again in the future. If upon investigation this had been the case with Dr. Al-Haddad we would have been in contact but this is not our understanding”. 

Basically they’re dismissing the case, avoiding the questions we asked and they do not seem to care about the background of the people allowed inside an educational building.

If this is the case, here you go a list of five people we would suggest to University of Westminster as next guest speakers during Students’ group meetings.

brievik

Anders Breivik, trainer at the Hiking group. Anders is not that much of a talker, he prefers the action: his hobbies include out-door activities, field trips to small islands and military training simulations. Extremely talented in planning field exercises, Anders has a passion for graffiti and hip-hop.

 

berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi, volunteer at the Feminist Group. Silvio is an old-fashioned Italian gentleman with a natural charming attitude. Each week, Silvio organizes charity parties at his mansion to help young ladies in need to get off the street, supporting them both spiritually and financially.

 

pablo escobar

Pablo Escobar, guest speaker at the Business society. One of the wealthiest man on the planet, Pablo became a multimillionaire at a young age. Known for his “nose” for business, Pablito always fought with all his energy and strength to keep his company competitive and vibrant on the market.

 

Kim-Jong-Un2(R)Kim Jong Un, lecturer at the Amnesty International Group. Young political idealist, Kim is a keen supporter of peace in the Korean region. As an ambitious activist, he is determined in ameliorating his fellow citizens’ life condition by improving their standard of living. Great Risk player, Kim adores American basketball.

 

GeneralZodForPresident20084The three Kryptonians, guest speakers at the Graduation ceremony. Noticeable trio of distinguished charisma, they were just a step away from winning a Peace Noble prize. The leader of the group, General Zod, is an affable man with appreciable language skills and knowledge. They can fly and open aluminum cans with their heat vision.

What went wrong: female genital mutilation and terrorism supporter delivers a speech at University of Westminster.

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Haitham al-Haddad, Islamic scholar and guest speaker at University of Westminster
(photo credit: EJPress)

Islamist scholar Haitham Al-Haddad has a history of homophobia, misogyny, religious intolerance and rhetorical support for violent groups. Nevertheless, University of Westminster granted him a stage last Monday to speak to the Islamic Society student group (ISoc).

On November 3rd, ISoc organized a fundraising dinner with a guest speaker who, originally, was supposed to be Imam Wasim Kempson, a moderate scholar that would have delivered a speech on Syria and Palestine.

wasim kempson

Twenty-four hours before the event, on the ISoc Facebook page appeared a new post, highlighting that the guest speaker had change. The replacement was Dr. Al-Haddad.

alHaddad

It needs a basic internet search to find out who Al-Haddad is and what his main ideas are on topics like homosexuality, “a criminal act”, the role of women in society, “a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them” and Jews, “descendants of apes and pigs”.

The person who oversees and approves guest speakers at University of Westminster, in particular those who deal with religious topic, is Mr. Yusuf Kaplan, the Interfaith Advisor of college. We phoned him yesterday afternoon and he said he granted authorization for Mr. Al-Haddad as guest speaker on University premises but he did not want to comment furthermore.

As we learned during the afternoon, an emergency meeting of the Students’ Union was held behind closed doors to discuss this very topic and, since we were around, we popped in the Regent street campus where we met vice president of the SU, Muaz Mahmoud.

He was having an early dinner in the cafeteria with some senior member of the Islamic society and, as we approached him, he politely told us he was “instructed not to talk” to the press. Funny, since he’s paid something around £23.000 each year by the University and he’s expected, at least, to explain this to whom signs his paycheck: his fellow students.

Then again, we turned to the ISoc member and he replied “everyone is entitled to their own opinion”.

And we are pretty sure Al-Haddad has a bunch of opinions that don’t need further clarification.

So the Students’ Union bounced us saying that this is a matter the University has to deal with but, as we were walking back to the newsroom, we received the University’s official statement:

“The Islamic Society is an organization under the administration of the Students’ Union which does not fall directly under the governance of the university and concerned students should approach the Students’ Union in the first instance. Providing a safe environment for our students is a top priority. All speakers on University premises are required to give their agreement to abide by our code of practice on tolerance of other religions and beliefs. Those speakers that do not comply with this policy would not be permitted to speak at the University.  The University will always speak to the Students’ Union if there are concerns.”

In other words, the University is denying any responsibility for the invitation of a guest that defended the anti-Semitic militant group of Hamas, proscribed as a terrorist organization in the UK.

University of Westminster doesn’t seem to be new to controversy involving radical Islamic movements. No later than last September, Muslim students at the University of Westminster have been found to be disseminating literature and propaganda on behalf of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT) group that is banned from campuses by the National Union of Students.

Identified as a fascist organization, Hizb-ut-Tahrir (party of liberation) has been halted from appearing at university campuses across the United Kingdom. Westminster itself has had numerous altercations with Hizb-ut-Tahrir speakers and their sympathizers, some of which took over the student union in 2011.

Even the Telegraph decided to cover the disputed Students’ Union election at Westminster in 2011 when Tarik Mahri, 23 was elected as president of the union despite his links to the group Hizb ut-Tahrir which advocates the establishment of an Islamic state.

So if this is not the University’s responsibility nor the Students’ Union’s, who oversees the process? And on which basis guests are invited to speak on the University premises?

Even though the speaker abides by the University’s code of conduct, isn’t it reasonable to think that students being exposed to someone with such views reflects badly on the University?

 

How to scare your fellow Europeans this Halloween.

If you’re still looking for a costume for tonight, do not despair. Dispenser, your ultimate supplier of unrequired wisdom, has an answer for you: the British nuclear scientist.

mad-scientist

British nuclear scientist at work

Since you most probably live in England, you are aware that the Government has recently reached an agreement with the French company EDF to build a new nuclear power plant in Somerset, called Hinkley Point C.

This seems to be part of a broader Governmental plan to enhance atomic power resources in the country, a sort of New-Deal for nuclear nostalgic post-Fukushima. Meanwhile in Europe, member countries are gradually dismantling  their reactors and switching to other sources of power, like wind, solar and hydroelectric. Germany, which is bigger than UK by population and geographic area, is steadily phasing out its nuclear plants to adopt a more linear path towards renewables.

But I see what you are saying: switching to your hippy-go-green windmill is going to be costly. Let me tell you something.

From November 23rd your electricity bill will be 10.5% more expensive than last month and, while UK utilities are performing much better on the stock market compared to their counterparts in Europe, energy prices in Britain have increased of around 28% over the last 4 years vis-à-vis 8% on the other side of the English channel.

A guy even took pen and paper and started doing some math. Do you know what he found out? That in a year or so the price of power in UK will be something like 85% more expensive than in Germany.

And do you know the reason? The German advanced renewable energy program is keeping the prices down – and it can be easily replicated (with less mistakes) in the UK as well.

So now off you go, to your Halloween party! Go scare the hell out of your friends, threatening their existence on this very earth as a British nuclear scientist – and don’t forget to ask them money: you’re not going to build a nuclear plant with a simple smile.

Conservatives are real men.

Hardworking people don’t buy their bread. They make it. Can you imagine a head of state in line at the baker, at 7:30 in the morning, to get three French baguettes, a couple of bagels and half a ciabatta? I don’t think so.

Rare footage of Cameron eating a hot-dog he just made with his breadmaker.

Rare footage
of Cameron eating
a hot-dog he just
made with
his breadmaker.
(TheTimes.co.uk)

Neither does David Cameron who candidly admitted it earlier this week. Bread? I got my own bread machine in the kitchen. Where do you think I live, in the 18th century? “It takes 30 seconds to put in the ingredients. I’d recommend the Panasonic. There you are, that’s a shameless plug. Very easy – even Nick Ferrari could work a Panasonic breadmaker”.

Too bad at this point for the small businesses and the family-run baker shops the Conservatives are supporting because, let’s face it, a breadmaker in the house gives you what it takes to get up happy in the morning: “You set the timer overnight so when you wake up there is this wonderful smell wafting through your kitchen”.

Cameron is not the only Conservative who thumbs up hard workers but prefers to do the job on his own. Another eloquent example of real masculinity is Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, who doesn’t have a clue on how much is a pint of milk in stores nowadays.

But that’s not because he’s detached from reality. On the contrary, as a distinctive member of the Conservative party he has his own cow to milk each morning in his backyard.

Close-up of Mrs. May Swarowsky-encrusted shoes.

Close-up of Mrs. May
Swarowsky-encrusted shoes. (Olycom)

Cameron and Johnson are the kind of people who prefer to do things their way, a do-it-yourself kind of guys. Real men who won’t stand having somebody else doing the job for them. They’re not like the Home Secretary, Theresa May, who actually has the time to go to Tesco every day in her £2.000 trouser suit and Swarowsky-encrusted shoes to buy broccoli and rice for her kids.

They’re not ashamed of getting their hands dirty when it comes to get food for their families. They are real hard workers. And the Conservatives are all about that – real men with real jobs.

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