Thursday, March 31, 2005
...young lords: these war-like principles
Do not throw from you: and you, my lords, farewell:
Share the advice betwixt you; if both gain, all
The gift doth stretch itself as ’tis receiv’d,
And is enough for both."
All's Well That Ends Well, Act I. Scene II.
For reasons to be entered into forthwith, the post count on this blog has dwindled in recent months. In short, I have been searching for a suitable way to bring the blog to a conclusion synchronicitous with the end of my time in Brussels. With a small degree of serendipity, a recent comment posted onto the Black Watch entry from waaaaay back (see below somewhere) gave me the opening I was looking for (I do, however, apologise if this post errs on the mammoth side of things). Allow me to replicate the second half of the comment from "The Fonctionnaire" (I have answered the first part under the original comment):
I assume you are employed as a "permanent" temporary agent by the political group in question. I find it quite dismal that you display the sheer "bite the hand that feeds you" hypocrisy that you do, dressing it up as the epitome of wit and sophistication (not being bound by the Staff Regulation you can pass on any insider information with impunity whilst drawing a salary and attempting to carve out a reputation for yourself). The rest of us, however, take our principles (and contractual obligations) a little more seriously.
This criticism requires a rather vulgar, but apt, American saying: "When you assume, you make an ass out of 'u' and me". Firstly, I'm nothing like "permanent" - I'm leaving Brussels for the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst in ten days, and this European Parliament job was merely something to fill the gap. I wanted to do something worthy with these six months - I don't work for a group; I have been working for a specific MEP, who is a committed Eurosceptic, whose views on the EU mirror my own, and who is one of only maybe three MEPs for whom I would have even considered working. It has been a privilege to be able to act on my principles for the last six months and undertake work and research that attacks the EU's waste and corruption and supports my own country's cause. I have nothing but praise for "The hand that feeds me"; indeed, it is somewhere to the bottom of my nibbling agenda.
I don't think I've been indiscreet in this blog; I certainly haven't revealed anything that isn't in the public domain, I've merely endeavoured to give my own perspective on things. I don't have a contract to breach in any case; however, "carving out a career" is absolutely the last thing I have been aiming to do here. This is it for politics and I; one thing I have learned (or rather, had confirmed) since working out here is that most politicians are unpleasant, unprincipled, self-serving careerists, who are unhesitating in wielding a knife and all too reticent in following their principles if it puts their career in question. Count how many members of the EPP (including UK Conservatives) voted against the Barroso Commission last year. So few MEPs out here are worthy of any respect at all; politics simply isn't a game I'd want to play. That's one of the reasons why working for a genuine, principled politician has been such a pleasure.
The truth is quite the opposite of The Fonctionnaire's assertion: I'm joining the Army as I believe in the UK; it has been very good to me; and I want to serve and protect my country. I believe in my principles enough that I'm about to enter a profession where I might end up dying for them - not to be too melodramatic about it - how much more seriously am I supposed to take them?
Working here has certainly helped me solidify, or firm up, my principles. My anti-EUism has has been hardened to a diamond point. The EU is a corrupt, inefficient and, frankly, unpleasant organisation. I could write far more pages than I have about financial irregularity, wastage, corruption, arrogance and the like; however, others have done so far better than I. Ultimately, my objection is this: the UK being run by largely unelected foreigners who do not have our own national best interest at heart. To quote Daniel Hannan MEP:
No country has contributed as has Britain to the happiness of mankind. We were responsible for the end of slavery, for the introduction of civilisation to much of the New World, for the establishment of global free trade. Twice, we fought for the freedom and nationhood of all Europeans against tyranny. These were our achievements as an independent and self-governing people.
This sums it up, for me: above all, the British people deserve the right to live under their own laws and their own accountable, elected representatives in Parliament. The EU is bad for Britain; it is bad for our economy in terms of red tape and the like - however, one thing is dangerously clear to me having worked out here: the EU is headed towards a superstate. Outside the British media, European politicians are quite open about this; that is why I reject the "we can reform it" argument. The United States of Europe plan has been on the cards since day one and we are not going to stop it now. All we can do is leave before it becomes reality, as it means an end to British parliamentary democracy, and an end to our country as an independent nation state.
So, that's me. I hope anyone reading this has enjoyed the blog; you can vote for it in the Guardian Weblog Awards if you like - many thanks to whoever it was that nominated me. Wish me luck at Sandhurst, and for our country's sake, please vote No in the European Constitution referendum.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Happy St David's Day.
The four Welsh MEPs have circulated daffodils to all MEP lockers in Parliament. My sneaky colleague, however, had already bagged ours! So, I went to Kilroy's locker and stole his. I'm sure the loss will provide a whole chat-show of emotional trauma.
"Researchers stole my daffodil!" - a thirty minute show featuring defeated-by-life, forty-something housewives whose St David's Day daffodils have been cunningly thieved by European Parliament researchers.
Still, in tribute to the orange slurry man, THIS LINK is very funny. Great Bob Dylan impression, too.