Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Bush seeks to renew German ties
From the BBC.
Does this mean the USA is going to invade Tie Rack?
Monday, February 21, 2005
Dubya Comes To Town
I haven't posted for a while as I've been in Rome, watching Wales whup Wop backside, and back in the UK, for minor surgery, thereby bagging a week off. Upon my return to Brussels, I was surprised that the Belgian police had deemed me worthy of deploying quite so many riot vans - they've blocked off streets, and wagonloads of armoured coppers are zipping up and down the main roads. It turns out, however, that they weren't there for me at all. Some low IQ'd, gung-ho Texan with an ill-thought out foreign policy is visiting Brussels, and they were worried he might go on a rampage through the Schuman area, looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction under every shrub.
Pah! Enough of the monobraincelled warmonger. Far more importantly for the UK, the cowardly, terrorist-surrendering Spanish have ratified the EU Constitution by referendum. No-one is surprised; Spain have done bloody well out of Europe - annually, they receive a fortune from EU Region 1 funding. Despite their record of biting the hand that feeds them (cf. Spain taxing the British for importing gunpowder during the Napoleonic wars), they certainly weren't stupid enough to spurn the billions of euros poured into their economy by the EU every year.
Of far more serious note is the BBC's reporting of the referendum result. They have been consistently and persistently pushing the original New Labour line on the Constitution - that it is a "tidying up" exercise, and nothing more. Even the Government have desisted from this line of argument, but still the BBC push on. They don't even use the word "constitution" in the headline: "Spain voters" have approved a new "EU charter", apparently. Reading on,
"The EU constitution is designed to streamline the EU's decision-making process after the bloc brought in 10 new members - mostly from central and eastern Europe - last May."
Oh really? So all that business about an EU Foreign Minister; transferring more powers from national governments to Brussels; giving up national vetos; increased legislation and bureaucracy; increased EU control over employment policy, social security policy, competition policy, economic policy, trade policy and energy policy, are all secondary and necessary to a "tidying up exercise"?
What rubbish. Typically, the BBC are acting as a propaganda machine and pushing their own pro-EU agenda. This is bad journalism at best, and a blatent lie at worst. The worst aspect is that the BBC are a trusted information source for many people who don't really know about or understand the way the EU works, and this sort of whitewashing misreporting poses a real threat to the "No" campaign in the UK.
It's enough to make me wish I were American. I'd rather have George W Bush as my President than have my country's sovereignty spirited away through the back door and gifted wholesale to the undemocratic, mindlessly bureaucratic and socialistic EU.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Friday, February 04, 2005
Wales v England
Here it is. The drinking high-point of the year. And, given that we might actually have a chance of winning this year, I'm rather excited. I'd still say that the hated Saes are the favourites; their front five is awesome and if we fail to keep the ball we're going to get creamed. No room for mistakes; they're a better side than Wales and they should win. I expect them to. But: if we can get the ball wide and keep it in hand, it's anyone's game.
I'll get drunk either way.
I leave you with words from a glorious product of the Welsh Outside Half Factory, Phil Bennett:
"Look at what these bastards have done to Wales. They've taken our coal, our water, our steel. They buy our houses but only live in them for a fortnight a year. And what have they given us in return? Absolutely nothing. We've been exploited, raped, controlled and punished by the English - and that's who you are playing this afternoon!"
We're shortly approaching one of the regular "Constituency Weeks" for MEPs, which are coloured yellow in the Parliament schedules, and are thus snappily nickednamed "yellow weeks". These are weeks where no plenary sessions or committees are held, giving MEPs the chance to, er, work in their constituencies, obviously. I'm sure they'll be haring around their Euro-designated "regions" like greyhounds on speed, canvassing like demons, propagating the Euro-dream with statesmanlike pearls of wisdom cast forth like seeds upon good soil, and in no way simply taking a week off to do their own thing.
The interesting thing at work next week will be MEP-spotting. MEPs have no reasons to be here next week: no plenary, no committees, no receptions, nothing. Nada. Rien. Those who are here, then, are essentially milking their travel allowances. The great scam MEPs have is that no matter what method of travel they use to sally between their homes and Strasbourg/Brussels, they are paid a supremely generous set fee per mile. So, even if they travel by bicycle at minimal cost, they will be paid the same as if they have flown first-class. This obvious result of this is that the cheaper an MEP travels, the more money they trouser from travel allowance. So, those here next week are unlikely to be here for any other reason other than making a cool thousand euros or so from the travel fund.
Nice work if you can get it.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
The phrase "nail on the head" comes to mind
I've poached this from a forum on which I post occasionally. The author Frederick Forsyth received a surprise letter from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) inviting him to become an 'East of England Ambassador'. Read EEDA's letter below and Mr Forsyth's response in which he turns down such a gilt-edged opportunity. His response is superb, and sums up the EU to perfection.
Dear Mr Forsyth
East of England - space for ideas
A chance to contribute
By 2010 the East of England Region region aims to be one of the top regions in Europe. Made up of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, the East of England is a diverse and fascinating region and one that you are closely associated with.
Key to its future success will be our ability to promote the East of England on the world stage. One way that our goal will be achieved, for the good of all who live, work, visit and invest in the region, is by building a strong brand for the region. This brand is called 'East of England - space for ideas'.
In 2004 we, the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) have some very exciting plans for the brand. And this is where we would like your help. A diverse mix of companies, individuals and organisations has already committed their assistance, and as a recognised member of the regional community I would like to invite you to become an East of England ambassador.
I will call your offices over the next week to explore the possibility of setting up a 15-minute East of England - space for ideas introduction meeting to talk you through both the commercial and non-commercial opportunities available. Please be assured that any commitment you do make will take up a minimum amount of your time. If, in the meantime, you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on 0845 226 0803/07771 964 595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through collective effort and commitment we hope:
'to make the East of England a world-class economy, renowned for its knowledge base, the creativity and enterprise of its people and the quality of life of all who live and work here' East of England strategic review goal 2002
Ambitious as it might be, we are all 100% committed to our goal and would ask you to recognise both the personal and community based rewards of investing in the East of England's future.
I look forward to speaking to you and/or your representative over the coming weeks.
On behalf of East of England - space for ideas
Dear Mr Caruth
For some ten years, since I became fascinated by the sheer duplicity and mendacity of the Europe Project I have studied it with some intensity and no little research. I presume you are in the same position, so we need not fool each other.
We both know that, for the Europe of (say) 2010 (your own choice) there are only two viable visions. One is what we thought, back in 1972, we were being inducted into until we learned we had been comprehensively lied to. This was the Europe De Gaulle had referred to as 'Une Union des Patries.' Brits have always translated this as 'A Europe of Nations'. It is what the Conservative Party has always claimed to support and what New Labour also pretends to seek, though once again it is lying.
Basically, a confederation of self-governing and sovereign nation-states who have chose by free volition to cooperate towards a goal of enhanced mutual prosperity by the creation of a huge Free Market. That vision was effectively terminated by euthanasia in the Maastricht Treaty, though fools and liars continue to employ the phrase.
The other vision can best be described in the title of a recent pamphlet from the Comite des Regions in Brussels: 'A Europe of Cities and Regions in an Integrated Continent.' This is a Europe where so-often pooh-poohed words like 'ever closer union', 'complete political integration' and United States of Europe, have become literal realities. That clearly is the vision to which you and yours aspire with self-denying fanaticism.
But like all Euro-integrationists, you are being less than frank with the public. Behind the Utopian propaganda lie several less happy truths. The creation of the USE and the continuation of the nation-state are quite simply mutually incompatible. The creation of the USE must mean the End-of-Nation, now at last being openly mentioned in print, though a long-held dream of the Post-Modernists.
Now I happen to be one of the (approx) ninety per cent of the citizens of the UK who regard this country with love, affection and loyalty. I find the end-of-nation, with its concomitant partner end-of-democracy anathema. So I look carefully at how this nightmare might be achieved.
Clearly not by free vote, by fair referendum. Therefore, as ever, by deception, mendacity, dissimulation and fraud. But via which vehicles? One is clearly the abrogation and abolition of the national currency. There has never been a single example in history of a nation abolishing its currency to adopt the currency of a larger neighbouring unit which was still a self-governing country ten years later.
Second, there is abolition of the national constitution, or its supercession by another alien constitution. Parliamentary democracy is the only known governmental system which requires as an absolute need the consent of the governed. All other systems are variants of dictatorship. What Giscard d'Estaing has prepared (and Gisela Stuart MP recently confirmed this in her brilliant Fabian Society pamphlet) is a blueprint for oligarchy, warmly supported by all the oligarths of Europe and the UK. That is why Tony Blair dare not permit the people to speak.
The third way of terminating the nation-state is break-up. That is your chosen road. If you can break provincial England into eight parts, an unavoidable development must then be the abolition of District, Shire, and Borough as units of real local government. That is a given, even admitted by Prescott in an unguarded moment.
The second unavoidable consequence must be the reduction to irrelevance of the national government and its Parliament at Westminster. But there must be two levels of government, for the Region cannot be a nation-state on its own. It must defer to something bigger than itself. That 'something' if not Westminster, Crown in Parliament, can only be the Federal Government of the USE in Brussels. QED.
So when you say to me: 'By 2010 the East of England region aims to be one of the top regions in Europe,' you should, if you were to be scrupulously honest, phrase it thus: 'By 2010, following the abolition of this and other outdated nation-states, and in a New Europe of devolved regional territories, the East of England region....' etc.
Your problem is not me but Abraham Lincoln. 'You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. But you can't fool all the people all of the time.' Regionalism, behind its mask of local democracy, enhanced prosperity for all, but in truth standing for millions more unaccountable gravy-slurping jobsworths, has got to fool enough of the people enough of the time; i.e. until the referendum, which will be as rigged as Prescott and Blair can fix it.
But you run into a group of people far more numerous than yourself, just as committed to the retention of England as you are to its disappearance, just as smart and just as moneyed. Before the fight is over you and yours will have learned the hard way that this old country of ours is not yet prepared to be led into the knacker's yard.
So, Mr Caruth, until Philippi, ave atque vale.
Frederick Forsyth - 27 February 2004
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Belgian Red Cross poster seen in Parliament:
"Immense vague de solidarité pour l'Asie".