Friday, January 1, 2016

INDEX and beginning

The future date above is a device to keep this item on top.
Click on any starred items to connect to the links 
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*THE FOUR CONCERNS OF THIS BLOG* -
Freedom of Movement (includes health matters), Political Representation, Double Taxation, Stabilisation of the £.
*Representation of BRITISH CITIZENS*
**Read why all expatriates should be represented at Westminster
and why it is absolutely vital for those who live in the EU.**
Were the British Public to vote the UK out of the EU an abyss could open under expatriates in the European Union. They would not be consulted - Unless The British citizen gets to VOTE.. 

2. Read and Act - Please.  
LATEST GOVERNMENT PETITION _ PLEASE SIGN
Originated by the Editor of The Connexion, France
*This activity has created a large number of articles and some radio interviews around the world - they are listed here. *

 The latest Posts of importance.  
* Who needs the vote? Government and/or Voter? Feb 2014
* Winter Fuel payment in Europe - The manipulation of statistics  by the Dept.of Work & Pensions
Health costs and democracy in Europe
*  The Referendum in/out Europe 
Anger-amongst-britons-abroad.
*  Brussels 5th September meeting with the EU Commission
* The Winter Fuel Payment and the VOTE August 2013
* Referendum Bill - If Britain leaves the EU what then? July 2013
* The winter Fuel Payment part two  June 2013
* The Winter Fuel payment -Osborne's Statement June 2013
* Health payments in Europe    May 21st 2013

UPDATES  
 * How do British Pensioners live in France (Updated December 2012)







Correspondent list -- An 'update'  email is sent approximately every 2/3 months (or if some development warrants it) to all who email the site.  All email addresses are 'hidden' and anonymity is hoped to be always achieved. If you wish to be on this correspondent list,  please email.  Nothing is asked of you, other than your goodwill. 
 IF ONE DOES NOTHING _ NOTHING GETS DONE!
There have been  .32800 visits [and >64,000 pageviews] 
Numbers count when petitioning politicians. When letters are sent to politicians it is immensely helpful to say that one has the support of xxxx expatriates. So please give support. Encouragement is also a great boost to morale! Nothing will change without your support!
One should not expect fast movement but please keep in touch and never surrender.
Short Biography of the Organiser *Brian Cave*
Your thoughts on everything would be welcome. One relies on feedback to improve this site. No contribution is an unnecessary contribution.

And please make a nuisance of yourself in Whitehall and Westminster.
Constant dripping wears away stone. Do not underestimate the value of the constant drip!

Please disseminate information about this site, inform your friends and media outlets, and keep watching!
If you do not stand up for yourself, others will surely keep you down!

Remember - Please tell others about this blog - and please write to the politicians - you must do this if anything ever is to change. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Voting in a French Village



 Voting for the local Council - Where Citizens are respected.
Posters for the two parties March 23rd 2014

A cold day for the end of March.  Snow fell to the south of us, towards the Pyrenees. It was five degrees at St. Romain.  My wife and I drove down to the polling station at 8.30 in the morning.  We were not the first,
But the welcome was warm.  The 'tellers' knew who we were for as English people we are well known. But we met friends and our neighbours there.  
We really felt warmed by the reception.  We felt as though we were truly part of the community.  We had something in common, the same cause for the benefit and progress of the place where we live.
One could choose one of two lists of candidates.  There was the Socialists - La Gauche.  and then the other which was more interesting.  That list was a coalition of  citizens who had come together to consider the problems of the town.  The was  no party affiliation amongst them.  They were brought together in a common cause. Citizens together.
When I asked if I could take a photo, the welcome was so warm.  

One may discern the numbers of voting envelopes already in the box so early in the morning, perhaps there were about twenty.
The system is different from in England. One votes for a List not for an individual. Each list has about twenty names of hopeful councilors. This is quite a large number but our town of Gourdon is quite large for rural France - perhaps about 5,000 voters in all.   St Romain is just one hamlet of the town. 
The two lists are printed on separate sheets of paper. You take one of the sheets and you place it in a special envelope.  This in then placed in the polling box, the lid of which is controlled by one of the tellers.
My reason for recounting all this is the contrast I feel for the voting and political representation  I have with my own National Government of the United Kingdom.  As an European citizen I can vote in France for the council of the local commune but for no other body.  I have no vote for any National Government.
The French wherever they live from Pole to Pole have representation in the National Assembly in Paris. All French citizens are valued  anywhere in the World. No so the British - no way - no how.  Although I cannot avoid a close association with Britain, culturally, socially and through my family connections, and financially, for all my income comes from Britain and I am still taxed there,  I cannot have any political representation at all with that Government, and this disconnect hurts me deeply.
The British Government has to be classed as one of the most non-democratic in Europe.  Isn't that sad?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who needs the Vote most? - The Government? or The Voter?




On Friday 31st January 2014 in the House of Lords The EU Referendum Bill – died - but it is far from dead!    What does that mean for us?  Quite a lot!
Your help needed – see below.
Lord Lipsey,  the archetypal ‘we rule – you are ruled’ politician, tabled the motion that the House should  ‘resume’! This arcane procedure meant that the Committee stage of the House debating the Referendum Bill came to an abrupt end and so did the Bill itself!  It is all slightly strange to those unfamiliar with the way ‘our’ government proceeds.
The Bill had a gaping great hole in its construction so far as the Citizen Abroad who lives in other States of the EU are concerned.  Unless the British Citizen had left less than fifteen ago he/she could have no vote in the referendum.  So although their lives could be turned upside down following the possibility of an OUT vote created by the resident British population, they could have no democratic say in the laws and treaties which affect their future, and it seems that most other expatriates are blind to the consequences. We were not to be consulted because ‘they’ rule – n’est-ce pas!
It is frankly tragic that so few citizens abroad in the EU realise the dangerous cliff edge which was appearing in front of them.
But Citizens across the world are also affected, for what affects the Government’s attitude towards the British Citizen in the EU also affects them.
THIS BILL will return effectively in an unchanged form UNLESS the British Citizens abroad DEMAND change! Demand Representation! Demand the Vote! But ‘the rulers have ruled’ from time immemorial, but should this be their attitude?  Should there not be a dialogue?
If the Conservatives win at the next election, Mr. Cameron has made it quite clear that a new Referendum Bill would appear and would be forced through Parliament almost exactly in its present form.
It is my view that a Referendum might have one good outcome.  That is - as long as the result is ‘yes’!   It would lance the festering boil of contention over this issue in Britain, and ensure that Britain is where it should be as a leading nation in Europe. But surely ! any new Referendum Bill should not ignore the British Citizens in  the rest of Europe!  But it most certainly will unless we, the citizens abroad, put aside our distrust of all politicians and say in no uncertain voice - WE WANT TO BE REPRESENTED.   We need to be Represented. We count! We are British Citizens!
A number of members of the Lords spoke well in our interest on Friday. Among these were the Lords Shipley, Bowness, Baroness Quinn, Kerr of Kinlochard, Williams of Elvel,  and others.  I was interested to hear Lord Kinnock refer to the oft-repeated phrase ‘no taxation without representation’ . He was referring to the French residents in Britain but the same could be said of  so many Britons Abroad who by law have to pay tax to the UK! These are the politicians who think differently – their mind set is ‘We rule but we listen to the citizen’ .  “We rule by consent”  They may be unelected peers but quite a few listen to the citizens.
I am quite certain, from personal mails to me, that leading proponents of this Bill, are sympathetic to our cause, but the appalling apparent lack of interest by the expatriate citizen in the political scene, is ruining our position and if we do not stand up now and say WE WANT TO HAVE REPRESENTATION IN THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT then we might well not get it in our lifetime.
The reason why the Politicians are indifferent to us, is because most of us are indifferent towards them!  This must change.
Your help is needed.
We need to publicise in ten Bullet Points why the British Citizen Abroad needs to be represented in the British Parliament.
It is necessary that the needs of the citizen are heard.
BUT ALSO
It is necessary for good Government and the ongoing prestige of Britain that the citizen is consulted. It is in the interest of The Government that ‘we have the vote’!
Send me your thoughts - your list. Covering why the Government needs to represent us as well as why we need this representation.
The final list will be publicised through all the media outlets we can muster.
Now is the hour to stand! For the right to be heard, and the need to listen.

Hansard report can be read here.
Begin at column 1532 for the amendment 57 on ‘Entitlement to vote in the Referendum’.
With good internet reception you can view the Parliament TV. Recoding at:--
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14792.
Begin towards 2.15 p.m.
Profiles of the Lords who spoke can be read here.
http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/lords/

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Winter Fuel payment in Europe - Dept of Work & Pensions manipulation of Statistics.

This message has been sent to all members of the Select Committee for Work & Pensions.
From the Campaign for Representation (votes) for Britons Abroad, and
Pensioners Debout! [Stand up!] France.
Look at the end to see what you can do.   This 'tail piece' was not included to the Select Committee members.


The Winter Fuel payment in Europe
The Manipulation of WFP and Temperature statistics by the DWP .
NOTE! ---A resumé of a much larger briefing paper to be viewed here
http://www.lefourquet.net/WFP-RBpaper-V4.pdf   (if the link fails please copy and paste the address to the left in your browser)

July 2011Following a European Union Court of Justice  (CJEU)* judgement which in train confirmed  that ‘old-age benefits’ for eligible British Citizens should be paid across the EU, Iain Duncan-Smith said.
We will fight these ridiculous EU rules. The Winter Fuel Payment is about helping British pensioners with heating costs and it is ludicrous that we could have to pay more pensioners living in hot countries.”
June 2013 – George Osborne said “…. from the autumn of 2015, we will link the winter fuel payment to a temperature test; people in hot countries will no longer get it”

July 2013 the DWP said The WFP-Temperature Link  proposal lists 7 countries (Cyprus, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Spain) that will become out of scope for payment of WFP."

The DWP has consulted the Met Office but not the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia from where the temperature data originated. The DWP has used this data supplied by the Met Office to fit its policy. The  paper (available via the above link) details this history thoroughly.
An FoI request to request a view of the actual correspondence between the DWP and the Met Office, has been partially refused, though a copy of the Met Office report to the DWP has been received and can be read here - http://www.lefourquet.net/Report_to_DWP.pdf  [It is 70 pages in size]. (if the link fails - paste address into a browser)
The Met Office  has independently disclosed that they used the CRU data and “
the report provided two temperatures, one to include the French départements d'outre mer (DOMs), and one without. The average winter temperature for France (including the DOM's) is 7.0°C; without DOMs, it is 4.9°C.
The above report details temperature data for the SW region of England and computes an average winter daily temperature of 5.6 degrees C.  This temperature the DWP used as a standard to compare with temperatures of countries in Europe.
The chart below gives these comparisons
But in order to formulate France as  a ‘hot’ country, the DWP report  incorporates the Nov-March temperatures for the tropical French DOMs (Overseas Departments)  - i.e French Guyana, Martinique, Réunion,  and Guadeloupe [officially listed as Outermost Regions of the EU]  into the figures for mainland France. [Similar measures are used for Spain and Portugal.
This was done solely for political reasons – no other.

There is no professional geographer who would classify the DOMs as geographically part of
France.

The data published by CRU (available to us) is not in agreement with the Met Office/DWP Report -

e.g for Italy the CRU gives 7.54 degrees C- The Met Office/DWP gives 5.7.- BOTH are above the 5.6 in the DWP report for SW England.  Yet the DWP has classified Italy as 'not hot'.  Statistics have been chosen to fit a policy.


To the left is the isotherm distribution for Europe (January) . The whole of  mainland France lies within the same isotherm distribution range as Britain and so does much of Spain and Italy.
The Outer Hebrides and Belfast lie on the same isotherm as Lyon.
Oddly, both
Italy, and Ireland (marginally on the CRU data) have, warmer winter temperatures than SW England yet the DWP do not classify these countries as ‘hot’. Data -for Ireland CRU - 5.64 : Met/DWP  5.5
Why has the DWP  classified
France and Spain as ‘hot’ and Italy (and Ireland?) as ‘not hot’? 
With Ireland, the data (from CRU or the MET?) may be related to the delicate political situation. To exclude Britons in Southern Ireland (eg Donegal) whilst retaining those in Northern Ireland would be politically unacceptable.  But there again -- to somehow define Italy as 'not hot' on these confusing set of statistics is a mystery.
Is not the true reason because the number of WFP payments for 2011/2012  are as follows?
Spain
  33,815   -  France  18,155   - the two highest in Continental Europe.   The data is manipulated to save money, without consideration of the citizen.
Whilst Ireland has 7155 ,  Cyprus 5420, Portugal 2080, Italy 1425. Greece 1,405, Germany 1220, Malta 1110    ----  All other countries are below 400 each.
Aged British Citizens in straightened financial circumstances, who happen to have chosen to legally reside in other countries of the European Economic Area, recently delighted to have this extra help, would once again be deprived, unless this disgraceful affair is exposed.  These ageing Britons have no political voice, and if it were not for the concern of a very few of the more able of us, the matter would remain hidden.
Brian Cave (lefourquet@orange.fr)  (with acknowledgements to R. Boaden)  www.votes-for-expat-brits.com  http://pensionersdebout.blogspot.com
WHAT YOU CAN DO ----[This version is sent to all activists.]
Labour
Labour
Conservative
Labour
Labour
Conservative
Liberal Democrat
Conservative
Conservative
Labour
Conservative
1.  To the left is listed the members of the Select Committee for Work & Pensions.  Clicking in any one will raise a profile and an email address.  You can write as follows, but try to use your own phrases..
"Dear xxxx,  I am not one of your constituents* but I have no other way of stating my views. You will have received information on the manipulation of data by the DWP concerning the suspension of the WFP for people in continental Europe --- Here state your circumstances.  If you are hard up say so.  State the climate where you live. etc etc."

 
2.   *If you still have an MP, write also to him/her.  You can also claim attention from the MP of the constituency where you were last living in the UK.

3.  Get people to sign this petition [ http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55085 ]  Few people realise the importance of this.

4.   Circulate this message.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas message from Harry --- who?

A Christmas Message from Harry Shindler*
The right to vote is an important and a basic element in a democratic society.
Men and Women have died to win for us the right to vote. Wars have been fought to win back the right to vote when voting was cancelled by a dictator. There is of course the right to vote in the U.K. – but sadly not for all British Citizens.
Those who decide to reside outside the U.K. and within the European Union, are denied the vote after 15 years.
The campaign by the British Ex-pats, in France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Cyprus, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and Italy for the right to vote, with the removal of the 15 year limit, has won the recognition and support of the European Commission.
This note is to all British Ex-pats who have not reached the 15 years limit and hence still have the right to vote.

We, who cannot vote, are appealing to you to use your vote, to register to vote via the Town Hall at your last residence in the U.K.
One of the reasons given for refusing us the vote, is the low percentage of voting by those who can still vote.
VOTING IS IMPORTANT  --- IT IS ONLY WHEN WE LOSE THE VOTE
THAT WE REALISE
JUST HOW IMPORTANT!
With every best wish for the New Year !
*Harry Shindler, Italy, December 2013   harryshindler@libero.it  Tel:- 00 39  (0)735658446  -93 years old - Fought to free Italy in the Anzio Beach-head 1944.  Worked tirelessly to commemorate the fallen. Proudly British - Yet... and yet.. and yet agian..  the British Government refuses to recognise his achievements.  All he asks for is to be allowed to vote! We must not let him down.
We would like to join with Harry in this message -
Brian
Cave (lefourquet@orange.fr)
  & Graham Richards(graham.richards@orange.fr)
To register to vote---
or write to ‘The Electoral Registration Officer’  - at your last known Council Offices –
"
“I want to register to vote. Please send me the necessary forms”"
and
 also sign this petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55085
Circulate to Accumulate.