Shark Bait Blog

Environment.. and Scuba Diving.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The UK and the EU.. Better together.

The EU is not 'undemocratic'.. Shock, horror!

Why do Brexiteers present the EU Commission and EU Council as complicated and obscure, when they are not?

Very simply, the EU Commission, Council and President are either the elected heads of state of the member countries..or elected/proposed by the heads of (a sovereign state) member countries.

The EU Commission operates as a cabinet government, with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state, proposed by their member state (democratically elected) governments.

I don't get to democratically vote for the Chancellor of the Exchequer or any other Cabinet Minister, Civil Servants or Quango commissioners in the 'democratic and sovereign' UK government.. and judging by 'Expenses-gate', UK politicians are no more honest than any other nationality.

The EU has approx. 23,00 (unelected) Civil servants.
The UK has approx 406,000 (unelected) Civil servants

The President of the EU Commission is elected, by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who have been democratically elected, by the individual voters in the member states.

I do not get to vote for the Prime Minster of the 'democratic and sovereign' UK government, either.

The EU Council, are the heads of state of the 28 democratic EU member states, the President of the European Commission and the the European Council President.

The European Council President (a once-renewable term of two and a half years) is elected by the heads of state of the 28 democratic EU member states and the President of the European Commission.

The President must report to the democratically elected European Parliament, after each European Council meeting.


On the subject of democracy, many Brexiteers claim to prefer the UK system for electing British Members of Parliament at Westminster, which are run on a
'First past the post' system.. however as demonstrated below, the current UK system, is actually less democratic, than the Proportional Representation voting system, used in the UK, for electing our European Members of Parliament (MEPs). ..and that is before we get to the archaic, undemocratic House of Lords and a Prime Minister, chosen by his party, instead of a directly elected Senate and President.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrat parties appeared to deliberately undermine the entire issue of electoral reform and re-engaging with the electorate, during the last UK government, by hiding behind the fact it was a Coalition and engineering a so called 'Referendum', which merely gave a choice between the existing 'First past the post' system.. and a PR system, which offered to re-enforce a 'First past the post' process, by adding secondary votes to the primary one.
There was NO offer of the genuinely democratic, proportional representation, British voters have in the EU.

To take a current example:
Under the supposedly 'undemocratic' EU system of PR voting, UKIP would have had 83.. that's right, EIGHTY THREE Westminster MPs, after the 2015 UK general  election.
Odd how Brexiteer champions of 'democracy' are so keen on the 'First past the post' system, as opposed to a genuine PR system.. some might surmise, it is not PR's 'democratic' merits that are really being measured?

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Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Burqa, symbol of ultra-orthodox patriarchial chauvinism.. or a non-greasy UV screen?

What do we want?..Less Political Correctness!.. When do we want it?.. Now!

UK politicians need to stand up for the rights of British Muslim women, and oppose anachronistic, patriarchal, imported social mores, that interfere with the secular rights of citizens.. rather than fudging the issue, by spinelessly pandering to political correctness.

Imho, the burkha should be banned.. because it is not a religious requirement, but it is a costume that is specifically designed to prevent the identification of citizens in public, and thus undermines the rule of law.

Masks are for festivals..not for life.

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Europe sleepwalked into the current 'Refugee Crises'

Refugees.. which countries pull their weight?

People ask why countries bordering Syria are not 'doing more to help refugees'.
Which is odd, because the UK is almost three times the size of Jordan but allegedly we are 'full', therefore the UK has only agreed to take 20,000 refugees over five years.

..yet Jordan is already hosting 635,000 of the 4.3 million Syrian refugees.. and in 2015, the UN only raised 43% of the aid revenue required to support those refugees, in the countries neighboring Syria (Jordan spends approx 25% of its budget on refugee support).. so that probably answers the question..but not in a comfortable way for Europeans.
Particularly European members of NATO, who have been spent more than 15 years, involved in ruinously expensive and extremely naive, 'Regime Change' foreign policy campaigns, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

George 'Pinocchio' Osborne

Reducing our raising our debt... wait!..What?

Chancellor waves manbag, to deflect attention from the fact his front door is a massive 'Pause' button.

Keep track of UK (and other countries) National Debt here:

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Monday, June 22, 2015

The people who don't suffer from migraines, will know what one feels like.

The Euro is a lame duck currency


Barring a last minute softening of the posturing on both sides of the debate, the EU seems determined to enable the next in the chain of interminable, Eurozone crises.

Firstly, the Greek electorate appears to have been gulled into thinking their economic position would suddenly and miraculously improve, if they leave the Euro, whereas the much more likely reality is that the economic hardship would get considerably worse, over a significant period of time, before matters genuinely improve.

Secondly, the rest of the Eurozone is still laboring under the delusion that the Euro is not a fundamentally flawed project, in its current form.
As a result, the EU's constituent national governments continue to resist the economic imperative of Federalisation, which would allow the currency to function properly.
Bureaucrats have been fudging the matter ever since 1995, because of the implications it has for sovereignty, while ignoring the fact that the US dollar works as a currency, precisely because there is State and Federal government, with an annually agreed Federal budget, despite the fact some States are significantly wealthier than others.

As long as petty nationalism is allowed to interfere with pragmatic economics, the Euro will continue to be an exercise in futile, economic fire fighting, indefinitely.

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Friday, October 11, 2013

US Budget Debacle 2013

This cartoon by KAL is even more true now.. than when The Economist published it in July 2011


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Mayan Calendar

The World is not going to end tomorrow.. the Mayan calendar's 13th baktun will be completed, the 14th baktun will start and the calender continues as normal.. just as it has done before.

(image courtesy of Wolfgang Sauber)

Sir Patrick Moore

(image courtesy of

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oceanic Whitetip Shark, Carcharhinus longimanus


 I have been very slack updating this blog for a while now, so I thought footage of an Oceanic Whitetip, I filmed on my last trip to Egypt would make an interesting post.
Hopefully future films will use High Definition and I am going to update my existing footage on YouTube to a better definition at some point.