Friday, 25 June 2010

No that was not quite the question

On Wednesday, June 23 there was a Starred Question in the House of Lords about this country's international competitiveness, asked by Baroness Valentine. It was very general, deliberately so, one assumes:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to protect and strengthen the United Kingdom's international competitiveness.
The reply by Baroness Wilcox was also very general:
My Lords, we are committed to maintaining and improving our international competitiveness by restoring macroeconomic stability, helping provide infrastructure, science and research and better linking higher and further education into the economy. We will ensure that regulation is proportionate and will work towards having the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G20.
Then there were other general questions and answers. Towards the end of the allotted 7 minutes Lord Pearson asked:
My Lords, does the noble Baroness recall the estimates made by the EU enterprise and industry commissioner, Mr Gunter Verheugen, that EU overregulation was costing us some 6.4 per cent of GDP per annum-around £84 billion today? Why do Her Majesty's Government insist on staying on the "Titanic" when the iceberg of international competition is staring us in the face?
To this Baroness Wilcox gave a very curious reply:
The noble Lord will be very pleased to know that we have already said that we will look seriously at the gold plating that we have been doing to European Union regulations. I am sure that he will support us in that.
Very nice, too, except that this was a reply to a completely different question, one that had not been asked.


  1. Thank you for taking the government to task. Sadly there are too many who either don't care about our country or even dislike the idea of our sovereign state.

  2. Actuall the answer is very telling. She said they are looking at the "gold plating" that British Governments have put on top of EU regulations to make things harder for UK businesses! They are looking at that as that is all they can look at! Whilst we are in the Evil corrupt EU. we can not change any of the EU regulations!