Friday, August 29, 2008


Subject: FW: Shoe Bomber Sentenced ..................And Nobody Heard About It ! Sentence of Reid ......Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe andtried to light it?Did you know his trial is over?>>> Did you know he was sentenced?>>>>>> Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV or Radio?>>>>>> Didn't think so.>>>>>>>>> Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.>>>>>> Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.>>>>>>>>> Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he hadanything to >>> say.>>>>>> His response:>>>>>> After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also >>> admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the >>> religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, '>>> I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'Iam >>> at war with your country.'>>>>>>>>> Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:>>>>>>>>> January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young:>>>>>>>>> 'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposesupon >>> you.>>>>>> On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison inthe >>> custody of the United States Attorney General.>>> On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years inprison >>> on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively.(That's >>> 80 years.)>>> On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again,to >>> be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed.>>>>>> The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of >>> $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million.>>> The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to >>> restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre>>> Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.>>>>>> The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment.>>>>>> The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simplybecause >>> the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentencesso >>> I need go no further.>>>>>> This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is afair >>> and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.>>>>>> Now, let me explain this to you, we are not afraid of you or any ofyour >>> terrorist co-conspirat ors, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We havebeen >>> through the fire before.>>>>>> There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the >>> utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as >>> individuals and care for individuals as individuals.>>> As human beings, we reach out for justice.>>> You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist.>>> You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist.>>> To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too>>> much stature.>>> Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it,or if >>> you think you are a soldier. You are not----- you are a terrorist.>>> And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with >>> terrorists.>>> We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one byone >>> and bring them to justice. So war talk is way out of line in thiscourt.>>> You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. >>> I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminalthat is >>> guilty of multiple attempted murders.>>> In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when youfirst >>> were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered wherethe >>> press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'>>>>>> You are no big deal.>>> What your able counsel and what the equally able United Statesattorneys >>> have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how triedto >>> grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was itthat >>> led you here to this courtroom today?>>>>>> I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask youto >>> search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hateled >>> you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing?And, I >>> have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I searchthis >>> entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.>>> It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious.>>> You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individualfreedom >>> to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not>>> believe as we individually choose.>>> Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it>>> everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prizeindividual >>> freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom.>>> So that everyone can see, truly see, that just ice is administered >>> fairly, individually, and discretely.>>> It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving sovigorously on >>> your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representationof >>> you before other judges.>>> We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that theway we >>> treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no >>> mistake>>> though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price,to >>> preserve our freedoms.>>> Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not goingto >>> long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, itwill >>> be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.>>> Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , theAmerican >>> people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice,not >>> war, individual justice is in fact being done.>>> The very President of the United States through his officers willhave >>> to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specificmatters >>> can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judgethat >>> evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of >>> justice.>>>>>> See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of >>> America .>>> That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. Thatflag >>> stands for freedom. And it always will.>>> Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.>>>>>>>>>>>> So, how much of this Judge 's comments did we hear on our TV sets?>>> We need more judges like Judge Young, but that's another subject.>>>>>> Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine >>> judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.>>>>>>>> No virus found in this outgoing message.


Last weeks political attacks on the good nature of our next MP Gordon Henderson was quite despicable, it was obvious that the letter attack was orchestrated by his political opponents to confuse people. So let’s correct some of the inaccurate information:

Liberal Democrat Peter Morgan insinuated that the clean up campaign was just a publicity stunt by Gordon, well as an ex politician Morgan should have checked his facts, because Gordon has been involved in this campaign for some years, for those on his mailing list will know as we have had to put up with his endless photographs depicting clean up events. So a cheap shot Mr Morgan I expect to see your apology next week or will there be another letter twisting the truth.

As for the row about pensioners working after retirement, where did Gordian state that it would be compulsory for pensioners to clean up streets? NO WHERE once again the twisting of the truth by his opponents mind you after 10 years Derek Wyatt’s labour Government we should be used to Labour people being economical with the truth.
Gordon suggested that pensioners should be encouraged to help with voluntary work and get paid if necessary is there anything wrong with that? The problem is that this government sends out different messages one they say we need young blood and dead wood has to make way for young shoots etc. then they tell us we should all work till we are 70. The complaints about pensions should be linked to this as it is under a Labour Government that pensions have disintegrated I have colleagues of mine who wanted to retire at 60 but have to carry on way past 65 because their pensions on which they spent thousands of pounds on have become worthless, several have said they would welcome the chance to earn a little extra money in their retirement plus help the community.

As for Derek Wyatt I did send in letter last week which I noticed was not printed (but can be seen at I have taken out a paragraph which I reproduce here:

Mr. Wyatt spends most of his time trying to ridicule the Conservative and LibDems, while he should be trying to deal with issues like the Pension Crisis, Housing Crisis, Unemployment Crisis, Violent Crime Crisis, Price of Fuel Crisis, and Cost of food Crisis I could go on. Trying to score cheap political points is not worthy of any MP from any party. Mr. Wyatt and the Labour Government remind me of Nero watching the flames as Rome burnt, let hope the election comes soon before the UK becomes a third world country.

My advice to Gordon keep fighting for the people of Sittingbourne & Sheppey they desperately need a voice in Parliament not just a puppet

Martin Clarke Sittingbourme

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Read this and tell me there is Justice

MALIA 2008

This is an email that i have sent to MP Hazel Blear and thought i would send to you all for your kind support. Thanks.

Dear Hazel.

I am Maggie Hughes the mother of Robert Hughes who was attacked in Malia on June 17Th 2008 while on holiday by 5 British thugs who smashed him repeatedly around the head with bottles and kicked him repeatedly in the head until he lay there bleeding from his ears and was left lifeless in the busy streets of Malia outside a nightclub to die.

He has had to undergo so far 3 life saving brain operations to help ease the pressure from squashing his stem in the brain and to save his life. Robert had to have half of his skull removed and was in a coma for nearly 4 weeks. We are now waiting for Robert to have his 4Th operation to place the left side of his skull put back into place to support his brain and we have been told that approximately 3 weeks later we maybe able to arrange for Robert to be airlifted back to a hospital in England to undergo further hospital treatment and care.

As a family we feel very lost and alone as we are still here in Greece nearly 10 weeks later and Robert still has a very long way to go and he has lost a lot of his memory and is very child like which is destroying us as a family to see the damage that has been done by these 5 cowardly British thugs who attacked my son in an unprovoked attack..

I nearly lost my son twice as we were told on 2 occasions that there was no hope for Robert and it was up to him to pull through. After the second operation Robert woke up in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) paralysed down the left side of his body and also was blind in one eye due to them fracturing my sons eye socket by breaking the eye bone and affecting the nerve near his eye.

As a mother and a family we have been through hell and back being in a foreign country not knowing the language and having to take in that my son that is a footballer, a football coach for children and a fitness instructor may never be able to do this ever again. All because 5 thugs wanted to play a game of football with my sons head and destroy him until he had nothing live for.

Recently Hazel it has been brought to our family's attention that these thugs are on face book and there is evidence that we are being told that they have placed pictures of themselves taking the mickey out of my son and bragging about what damage that they have caused to my son and left a caption to say in code Is he not dead yet?.

I have not seen this yet myself but i am awaiting a copy to be sent to me via fax today which makes me feel disgusted that these people are actually human and have no remorse for what they have done.

The reason why i am writing to you as i have met you on many occasions through Usdaw my union and have listened to you on many occasions about the fear of violence and now as a mother and a family i am reaching out to you to help me promote my sons campaign and for you as a great MP to highlight our situation in the struggle that we are having to get through all the red tape that is making a barrier for not only my family but my son Robert.

We tried for weeks to get the British police involved it was due to perseverance and determination and the help of Interpol to make them sit up and notice that we badly need their help. Also Hazel i have contacted my local MP who is Tom Brake and i have spoken to a member of staff in his office who returned my friends call as i did not have any response after my attempt to contact failed due to them not phoning me back.

I am disgusted not only because of this but when i did speak to a colleague from Tom's office all he said to me was in a very firm voice "What is it that you think that Tom could do for you Mrs Hughes?.. I would of thought Hazel that he would of said 'This is what we could do for you Mrs Hughes as your local MP to support you and your family to help you with this terrible situation regarding your son Robert Hughes and this vicious attack on him?.

Hazel, I really need your help and advice on how to move my sons case forward in Greece and to bring these 5 English thugs to Justice over here to face punishment on where they committed the crime.

Hazel i have two very important things on my mind one is to bring my son Robert home with me and the second one is to sit on the other side of a court room opposite these cowards that have destroyed my sons life in Greece awaiting their sentence's.

Thank you for reading my email and i really look forward to receiving your support and other MP support very soon.

Yours Sincerely

Maggie Hughes

(Mobile No: 07961 700 815)

P.S. To read more on the story and to see some pictures of Robert please visit GOOGLE and type in Rob Hughes in Crete in search icon. Also look on London tonight on the 7th August 2008 it will show a video footage of Robert and also on GMTV. Thanks

MALIA 2008

Since sending this letter i have been told yet again by the British police that they cannot help my son nor my family in this matter i now believe that its because the senior officers in the mps department cant be bothered due to financial reasons

What happened to my sons human rights and a duty of care to us as British subjects and the fact the the Greek police would look at my son case in a different way if the saw our English police getting involved.

I now have lost all faith in British justice and believe its about a budget not human rights that counts now days.
Please could you also support us to get the British police to look in to this and to do the job and investigate this crime

Mrs Maggie Hughes .The Mother of Robert Hughes.

Please pass this email on thank you.

Club Not Gang


I, like many people, enjoyed the Olympic Games it was interesting to watch many different Sports. Although some were not as interesting as others and I am sad to say my own Sport of Judo was one of them, as someone who has been involved in Judo for 53 years and as an Olympic Reserve for the 1980 Olympics, I had a job understanding what was happening so I dread to think what the public thought of it? As for Tae Kwon Do a Martial Art which involved all aspects of striking reduced to just Kicking very disappointing. It was also disappointing that the BBC did not give some coverage to other sports which are not so popular in the UK such as Free Style Wrestling and Greco Roman Wrestling the latter being in the ancient Olympics’.

The great thing was seeing so many Olympic medals for Great Britain this was due to millions of pounds being injected into Elite Sports people most which came from the Lottery. John Major the last Conservative Prime Minister has been congratulated by everyone for starting up the Lottery and listening to him on radio he said that Sport has a harmonising effect on the Country, he also said that Lottery money was as important to Grass roots Sports as well as Elite Sport but the most poignant quote was when he said “Sport encourages youngsters to join a Club not a Gang” I hope that will become a slogan for years to come. The Olympics has been a massive success for Team GB but the real success will be when we increase the number of people who participate in Sport for according to the British Olympic Association sports participation in GB has decreased by 20%. Remember Sport is not just for the young and elite but for everyone.

With the Olympics now open to professionals it does have a different dimension in success with medals up to 10 years or so ago to compete in the Olympics you had to be a total amateur, as reserve for Judo in the 1980 Moscow Olympics I can remember receiving money from a small group of club members who had organised a sponsored walk on behalf, I was told by governing body if I accepted the money I would jeopardise my amateur status and would not be considered for Olympic selection. My club held the money and would buy me equipment when needed. Most Olympic hopefuls would have to work, support a family and train about 5 hours a day, so for British Sportsman winning an Olympic medal was a win against all the odds and adversities.
Yet it the USA and Soviet Union would be professional in all but name the USA would have their athletes at College and the USSR athletes would be in the Military so the times had to change if we were to have an equal playing field but I wish it had come earlier as if I could have stopped on for another 4 years I may have come back an Olympic medallist. While on the subject of a fair playing field an article appeared in one of the National newspapers stating that when the Olympics were amateur it was fairer now with £Billions being poured into sport athletes from poor countries will be left out in the cold.

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne



Can some one tell where that English Reserve has disappeared to? Programmes like X Factor and Has Britain Got Talent has encouraged demonstratively over the top theatrerical behaviour, with contestants coming out screaming, crying, jumping up and down after just being selected to go to round 2. Then we have the interview where they try and convince the audience that they only entered because their Dad died or Mum has cancer or they were bullied at school or they sexually abused or they are homosexual or they so on and so on, their stories may be true, the English way used to be keep your composure but the true reason they are doing it is for themselves.
After watching the Olympics I notice this is creeping into Sport, have you noticed the histrionics after they win a match, race etc maybe a punch in the air that can be relief the game is over as well as a victory signal but that should be it. The most ridiculous was the our silver medallist High Jumper who every time he jumped cupped his hand behind his ear and rotated his arm so he could get the audience baying something akin to Hulk Hogan in Pro Wrestling, why? Or the Judo Player who done a backward somersault after winning Gold why? Their performance proved they were top class athletes.
I was always told to be Magnanimous and courteous in Victory, realising the disappointment of those defeated.
My opinion is a lot of this OTT behaviour is to attract the attention of the media so they stand out, the more publicity the better. How else could you explain the entry of Paula Radcliffe in the Olympics? Before the race she told the World she was not up to it and remember her entry stopped another British Girl competing “Shame on her” and who paid for her travel, accommodation etc Yes the British Tax Payer for some one who the press claim is a millionaire from her sport (something that take some believing) After all I have said the Olympians have achieved something and maybe they deserve media attention rather then the tacky celebrities which are featured. Those who really behave with dignity, Honour and stiff upper lip were the Rowers, Canoeist and cycling team, let hope our younger generation try to emulate these hero’s rather then the Druggy, alcoholic, self obsessed celebrities from the entertainment world

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I was recently reading Derek Wyatt’s MP web site in particular an article which accuses Gordon Henderson the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate of being racist, as some one who knows Gordon I checked out what he said. It seems Gordon wants to buy a house in Goa India but laws there restrict him from doing so it seems that Indian law denies foreigners the right to buy property unless they are Indian or of Indian extraction, he went on to comment if this happened in this country there would be uproar. Now according to Mr. Wyatt this is Racism RUBBISH, what is racism is when the under Mr. Wyatt term in office the interest of legal and illegal immigrants have been put before the welfare of the indigenous population i.e. the British people and I include our friends from the commonwealth.

Mr. Wyatt spends most of his time trying to ridicule the Conservative and LibDems, while he should be trying to deal with issues like the Pension Crisis, Housing Crisis, Unemployment Crisis, Violent Crime Crisis, Price of Fuel Crisis, and Cost of food Crisis I could go on. Trying to score cheap political points is not worthy of any MP from any party. Mr. Wyatt and the Labour Government remind me of Nero watching the flames as Rome burnt, let hope the election comes soon before the UK becomes a third world country.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Immigrants, Not Brits, Must adapt

Story in a National Newspaper
Will we still be the Country of choice and still be Gt Britain if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries that came to live in Britain because it is the Country of Choice?????? Think about it . . All I have to say is, when will they do something about MY RIGHTS? I celebrate Christmas, but because it isn't celebrated by everyone, we can no longer say Merry Christmas. Now it has to be Season's Greetings. It's not Christmas holiday, it's Winter Break. Isn't it amazing how this winter break ALWAYS occurs over the Christmas holiday? We've gone so far the other way, bent over backwards to not offend anyone, that I am now being offended. But it seems that no one has a problem with that. This says it all!

This is an editorial written by a British citizen, published in a National newspaper He did quite a job, didn't he? Read on, please!IMMIGRANTS, NOT BRITS, MUST ADAPT.I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on the 07/07 we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Brits. However, the disgust about the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct! ' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Britain, Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants. (The Danes, Romans etc.) However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of the Brits being a multicultural communityhas served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Britain's we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak ENGLISH, not Indian, Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!'Land of Hope & Glory' is our motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.If the 'Union Jack' flag offends you, or you don't like our QUEEN, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This isOUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle. Our Laws give every citizen the right to express his opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so!But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our lifestyle our government, or our way of life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great BRITISH freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.It is Time for Gt. Britain to Speak up If you agree -- pass this along;if you don't agree -- delete it! anon..AMENI think if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or laterget back to the complainers, lets all try,please

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Open Europe


Jean Quatremer: Open Europe poll won't change minds of EU governments - they want the Irish to vote again
Under the headline "24 to 1" Liberation Brussels correspondent Jean Quatremer argues on his blog that "the recent poll showing that 71% of Irish people are opposed to a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty has not had much impact in European capitals, since the wording of the question indicated that the vote would be on the same text. There is no question of that: either the Irish will be asked to adopt the Lisbon Treaty with ad hoc declarations responding to their concerns (like in 2002 for Nice), or they will be asked if they want to continue to be part of a Union that is governed by the Lisbon Treaty... This second possibility would clarify things: either you stay or you go, but you do not block Europe as a whole."

Italy has now ratified the Treaty, welcomed with a standing ovation in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome. Meanwhile, three countries have yet to decide on the treaty: the Czech Republic, which is waiting on a judgement by its constitutional court; Sweden, whose parliament will vote in November; and Poland, whose president has said he intends to wait until the Treaty's fate is certain before giving his assent.

David Quinn argues in the Irish Independent: "Here is why the Lisbon Treaty referendum was lost -- and if the Government does not address this, the next one will likely be lost as well: people are worried about the loss of sovereignty and national identity... the European Court of Justice, an institution of the EU, will gain immeasurably more power over Irish law if the Lisbon treaty and the accompanying Charter of Fundamental Rights is ever passed... We have to wake up to the fact that the more power we cede to judges, lawyers and other experts, whether they are based in Ireland or overseas, the less democratic we become. The heart of democracy in any country has to be the national legislature with its elected representatives, not the courts and the law library."
Coulisses de Bruxelles AFP European Voice BBC NZZ Irish Independent Quinn Irish Times Open Europe blog

UK faces looming electricity supply gap - families face £4,000 bill for renewables
A new report commissioned by the WWF and Greenpeace attacks plans to build new coal plants in response to Britain's looming electricity supply gap, predicted to reach 20GW by 2020. The report argues that if the UK meets its EU targets of sourcing 15% of energy from renewables (translating to 35-40% of electricity), together with a 20% improvement in energy efficiency, new coal plants will not be needed.

However, the FT notes that keeping the lights on without increased use of fossil fuels may not be possible if the UK fails to meet the EU targets - which all sides agree will be a struggle. Paul Golby noted in the Guardian yesterday that the necessary investment in renewables would cost the equivalent of £4,000 for every household in the country.

In the Guardian Simon Lewis, a Royal Society research fellow at the Earth & Biosphere Institute, University of Leeds, argues that E.on's use of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme "won't deliver real cuts, as its own business case shows".
FT BBC Guardian Golby Guardian Lewis

Commentators analyze the failure of the Doha round
Following the failure of the Doha round of world trade talks, fingers have been pointed as to who is to blame for the breakdown. Open Europe's Mats Persson had an op-ed in Swedish daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet, arguing that the global food crisis illustrates the need for freeing up trade in agricultural products and that the EU must bear part of the blame for the break down of the Doha talks.

Philip Stephens argues in the FT that "the French president's language betrays temerity. In spite of all its manifest strengths - economic, technological, cultural, political - France, it seems, cannot stand on its own feet. Europe's leaders must protect the continent from the ravages of globalisation...The collapse of Doha, however, speaks to the failure of both sides to own up to the world as it is. On the side of the rich countries, particularly the US but no less many European nations, there is a refusal to acknowledge that globalisation no longer belongs to the west."
Economist FT Stephens Independent Hari Sydsvenskan

City fears "reactionary legislation" from the EU will exacerbate the downturn
The FT reports on the hostile reaction from the City of London, and the banking sector in general, to the European Commission's proposed increase in regulation. "Proposed changes could greatly increase the cost of capital across Europe with detrimental effects far beyond the financial services industry", said Stuart Fraser, chairman of policy and resources at the City of London, which will today publish its forecasts. These forecasts are expected to predict the sector's contribution to the EU economy by 2009 will have fallen by 8.3 per cent from the 225bn euros ($350bn, £177bn) of last year. Fraser goes on to say: "The message we're trying to get across is that it's a very difficult environment for financial services. What we don't need is regulation that will exacerbate the downturn".

Fraser also has a comment piece in the FT where he compares Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy's approach to the current problems in financial markets as using the "proverbial sledgehammer to crack a walnut".
FT FT Fraser

Russia plans to form a Gazprom-style state trading company for grain exports, raising fears that Moscow will use food as a diplomatic weapon, according to the front page of the FT.

Scottish sheep farmers fear that Commission plans to review existing transport legislation could pose a threat to their livelihood. The changes would cut driving times, restricting access to the Isle of Skye and adversely affect their sheep trade.
The Scotsman

Independent assesses the Conservatives in Europe
As part of the Independent's series, 'Preparing for Power', the paper has assesses the role Europe will play in a future Conservative government. The article notes that Europe is no longer the divisive issue it once was for the party. However, it argues that in opposition the party has not had to make the tough policy choices over Europe that it will have to face in government and implies that it will be difficult to live up to the expectations of the party's eurosceptics while in power.

The article argues that major problems for David Cameron over Europe include the opposition he will face from other EU member states in attempting to renegotiate the Lisbon Treaty and the UK's membership of the EU's Social Chapter.

EUobserver reports that almost 900 immigrants have arrived in Italy just days after the government declared a state of emergency over what it called an "exceptional and persistent influx" of clandestine immigrants.

John Torode: Turkey plans to annex North Cyprus
John Torode writes in The Spectator that new Greco-Turkish tensions in Cyprus are a real possibility. In light of the upcoming peace talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, many now believe that Turkey has lost interest in a bi-zonal settlement, and is "bent on annexing the North". Former President Papadopoulos is said to have added fuel to the fire, by saying that the Turkish Cypriot leader Talet, is "Ankara's man." Furthermore, Torode argues that this outcome is likely to be accepted by the west, which wants to elevate Turkey as much as possible before its accession into the EU.

The Irish Independent reports that the EU mission in Chad may be extended for up to three months.
No link

Ultra nationalist Bulgarian MEP Dimitar Stoyanov was one of the five Ataka sympathisers arrested on Wednesday. The arrests caused clashes between police and other Ataka supporters in Sofia.
Sofia Echo

Rosemary Righter has a comment piece in the Times where she suggests French President Nicolas Sarkozy's return to his reformist election promises is not only supported by the French public but may change the face of France forever.
Times Righter

Tisdall: EU needs common defence
In the Guardian, Simon Tisdall looks at the recent report on EU defence from the European Council on Foreign Relations. He argues, "with a less well-disposed Russia once again prowling around the neighbourhood, the need for a coherent, organised, collective European defence that is neither reliant on nor subordinate to Washington could become painfully obvious."


A new poll by YouGov in the Telegraph shows a 22-point lead for the Conservatives. The poll also shows that Labour would not perform much better under any other leader including potential leadership challenger David Miliband. A Labour Party led by Tony Blair however would only be 9 points behind.
Daily Telegraph