Archive for the ‘EU’ Category

Global Warming, global roundup.

February 23, 2007

Hi Brit,

Not surprisingly, Global Warming is rearing its ugly head in today’s news.

First, and also not surprisingly, we find that Al Gore lied in his alarmist “documentary” by indicating that hurricanes are wore lately because of, you guessed it, Global Warming.  However, in this article, Expert disputes storms’ link to global warming, we find just what the title says:

Chris Landsea, science and operations director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the notion that global warming is causing an increase in hurricanes gained widespread attention after the stormy seasons of 2004 and 2005.

But that perception is wrong and the statistics don’t bear it out, Landsea told about 200 students and professors in the auditorium at USC’s geography building.

It seems that even the IPCC bought into the Gore propaganda, as on page 5 of the IPCC WGI Fourth Assessment Report, they also blame Global Warming for an increase in intensity of tropical cyclones. 

Moving on we have, State distances itself from climatologist.  Here we find an expert “climate scientist,” who is experiencing political pressure because he does not hold with the consensus opinion on Climate Change.  The article mentions that this has also happened in other States than Delaware.  So much for “science.”

Which leaves us with the Business of Global Warming, China, India Smile as West Overpays for Climate: Andy Mukherjee.  You really should read this one as it’s choked full of information.  However, this bit bares repeating:

Sydney-based Easy Being Green says it will mitigate your cat’s flatulent contribution to global warming for A$8 ($6). The same company could also make your granny “carbon-neutral” at A$10 a year, according to a report in the Australian newspaper last weekend.

Then there’s Carbon Planet Pty, another company cited in the article. If you are hopping on a short-haul flight between Sydney and Canberra, and feeling bad about the damage you are doing to the ecosystem, you can buy credits worth A$23, for which the Adelaide-based company will guarantee to keep 1 ton of carbon dioxide out of the air for 100 years.

Well, I must go now as I have some scheming, ah, thinking to do.

the Grit

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UK Human rights and Freedom extinguished

February 18, 2007

Hi Grit

The government in the UK, if re-elected at the next election, will be taking the final steps to abolish human rights, freedom and privacy for the individual UK citizen, all in the name of protecting us against terrorism.

If the labour government have their way, all adults over the age of 16 will, by 2009, be required to place their fingerprints on a central computer. The suggested law may even extend to “iris” prints. These moves are in addition to the requirement to provide photographs for driving licences; requirement to provide details for the census and annual local government property occupancy register (for council tax purposes); and the multitude of close-circuit television cameras that adorn our towns, streets, villages and roads. An extra measure of identity that is also being considered is to place our medical records in the same “identikit” of us.

Not satisfied with us already being the most watched nation in the EU, these latest moves will actually increase the gap between us and other countries, turning us into one of the most monitored nations in the world. Some may argue that these moves are positive, but are they? Let us consider the evidence.

1) COST:

Naturally, there is the cost of the citizen ID rules. The government suggest that this will amount to just over £5.4 billion ($10.8 billion). However, independent sources put the figure at £19.3 billion ($38.6 billion). This represents over £300 ($600) per annum, per citizen. In addition to this, it is compulsory for people to give this information at one of 69 centres through the UK, at their own cost. In some cases this means travelling up to 100 miles, irrespective of age, financial situation or infirmity. A round trip of this nature, taken in work time will cost the worst affected another £100 at least. Of course, this does not take into account the annual running costs of the scheme.

2) PRIVACY

A basic human right is that of privacy. The ability to live our lives without fear or favour, and to keep parts of our lives free from the prying eyes of others. From 2009, if these plans go ahead, this will no longer be possible. Some will argue that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, but that is not the point. Do I really want my health, age, medical condition, financial status and life history potentially exposed to every form of media and individual nationally and internationally? Our data protection act suggests that such information should be secure but, in view of the fact that the government has incorporated rules to allow certain organisations, commercial as well as government and non-government organisations to access the data, this guarantee no longer holds true.

3) DISCRIMINATION

Such a system will also lead to discrimination, both intentional and by devious means. Employers will be tempted to access medical and financial information about potential employees, therefore leading to unfair bias against certain applicants. This is particularly the case in medical issues. For example, take the case of a person who may in the past have had cancer. Although possibly totally cured, when such a person is set against an applicant who has not past health problems, which is the less than totally honest employer going to chose?

Medical, legal and financial practitioners will be able to access medical records, providing a situation where they can discriminate against those they do not want to assist.   

4) MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE:

No computer or other registration system is infalible and the identity system will be no exception. With personal and biometric information on around fifty million people on file, the incidences of misinterpretation, incorrect identification and transpostion of information will rise. As a result this is bound to lead to an increase in the incidence of miscarriages of Justice. Add to this the fact that none of the biometric identity measures are 100% accurate and it can be seen that this will compound the issue. A small example of this might occur with twins for example. Especially in cases of identical twins wrong identification is even more likely.

5) THE CONCEPT OF INNOCENCE

The United Kingdom laws have always been founded upon the rule of “innocent until proven guilty.” It is bad enough that in recent decades tax and other laws have led to a reverse of this process in such areas. Now, with the introduction of of these measures, such a foundation has been totally eroded. The onus on the citizen will now be to prove their innocence in all cases.

Does this mean that in future one has to keep a daily diary of life events to ensure that one cannot get into a situation where lack of evidence to suggest otherwise leads to automatic guilt? I work from home and, during the day, this means that there is no-one to provide an alibi for my whereabouts, especially if I am not on the computer. If I take two hours off for a bath and rest, will I in future have to log this and provide photographic evidence? 

6) IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes of the past decade. It is also one of the least obvious to the victim, unless it has been committed for financial purposes. How can we be sure that our identity will not be stolen or duplicated for other criminal purposes? What is more important is, if such an event does occur, how will we know until a crime, using our identity has been committed?

7) PROTECTION AGAINST CRIME AND TERRORISM

The assumption that identity laws will offer protection against crime and terrorism is flawed in so many ways as to make it laughable. It only works if one starts from the premise that every hardened criminal and committed terrorist is going to abide by these laws. Naturally, Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists, and underworld criminals are going to assist the law by coming forward voluntarily to offer their biometric identity to the authorities. I think not! Such an assumption is, at best, insane.

There are those who argue that it is easier to catch someone who does not possess an identity card. How does that work? There are 60 million people in the UK and it is certain that there are not enough law enforcement agencies or officers to check each indicvidual. Add to this the fact that there is unencumbered travel in the EU through 25 countries and a determined criminal or terrorist has more than adequate escape routes. These are in addition to the many illegal ways of escaping from the country. Furthermore, why should such persons worry about being apprehended when there is always the route of identity theft to cover their tracks?

Although there may be rules and laws in place to address breaches of the protections in place, these are an “after the event” remedy, by which time the damage is done. Once the security of information has been broken, one cannot recapture the privacy, irrespective of how much money has been recovered in damages.

The hypothesis that these measures are a protection against crime and terrorism, as has been clearly demonstrated, is totally wrong. They will have little to no effect in these areas. 

In conclusion therefore, one has to observe that these new laws will have limited impact upon detering any major crime and terrorism attempts. What they will do is to damage the human rights of the innocent citizen.

the Brit

How long can you hold your breath?

February 9, 2007

Hi Brit,

I just read this, Congress eyes legislation to fight climate change, and immediately asked myself “how long can I hold my breath?”  After all, each of us expel the Evil Greenhouse Gas CO2 with each breath, and, now that Nanny Pelosi has the issue firmly clinched in her dentures, I expect that soon we will be faced with a Breath Tax, to encourage us to slow down our individual contributions to Global Warming.  By my quick, and not necessarily totally accurate, calculations, we in the US can offset her jet set life style if we each take 30 fewer breaths per day.  Of course, this increased interest in decreasing our breath rates will have at least one benefit, that being, getting some of the joggers off the road.

Although, considering that:

The White House said Snow was referring to figures from the International Energy Agency that from 2000 to 2004, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion grew by 1.7 percent, while in the European Union such emissions grew by 5 percent.  From: U.S. cuts emissions better than Europe: White House.

It would seem obvious to any rational person, thus excluding most Democrats I admit, that we are on the correct path to achieve the liberal agenda of reducing CO2 emissions without further Government meddling.  With liberals in control, of course, they will ignore the facts, raise taxes and piddle around in our lives until they manage to, not only, increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions, but, also, screw up our economy.  Typical.

the Grit

A little more EU help?

February 7, 2007

Hi Brit,

I just read this, Criminal code raises fear over EU powers, and, from my outside perspective, it sounds pretty bad.  If I understand it correctly, this gives unelected officials the ability to write criminal laws that trump laws in individual member nations of the European Union.  Scary.

the Grit

The Nanny State gone wild!

February 5, 2007

Hi Brit,

This, I must say, is too much, Obedient residents in apartments with dead space.  OK, everyone over here in the US should have to read this before voting in the next election.  Really people, is this what we want?

the Grit

Look before you leap.

February 5, 2007

Hi Brit,

One of my favorite sayings is, “look before you leap.”  In this instance, the Environmental do-gooders in Europe should have taken this advice, Seeing Red: Palm Oil Biodiesel.  As it turns out, the rush to move to alternative “green” fuels in the EU, has caused massive damage to the ecosystem in Indonesia and Malaysia.  Next time, read the label.

By the way, I’ve added this blog to our reading list.

the Grit

UK down the toilet

February 5, 2007

Hi Grit

I knew things were getting bad over here, but did not realise just how bad until I noticed this little bit of news, which reveals that every Briton flushes away 110 rolls of toilet paper each year (17.6 kilos). This is around 25 times the amount used in one of the baltic states and over 10% more than you in the US.

With consumption expected to rise by around 40% in the next few years, this means that we will increase our usage from just over two rolls a week to nearly 3. One roll every two and a bit days is a staggering amount of loo rolls.

I wonder what is scaring the **** out of us over here?

the Brit

European community

January 31, 2007

Hey Grit

At present the EU has a few little problems with regard to militant regimes, of which Iran and North Korea are but two. I shall probably get my head bitten off by someone for this, but here goes.

The EU now consists of 25 countries. The intention in the minds of the Eurocrats, as I have said before, it to create a single European state. A part of that is also the ambition to be considered a superpower of the magnitude that Russia was and the US is. Don’t ask me why this is the intention, I don’t know, but all the evidence points to this.

The difficulties the the EU is the mixture of countries that it comprises of. Almost all of them, at some time in the past, have been bashing each other. Not many centuries ago the UK and fighting with Spain and, less than a century ago we were all bashing it out with Germany. Even more recently, some the countries that were admitted this year were at each others throats internally. Therefore you have quite a volitile mix.

This brings me to my main point. Firstly, the mix described above means that the EU in any area of conflict a) cannot often decide whose side we want to be on and b) cannot be relied upon to stay on the side that we originally vote for in the first place, especially if any decision made is needed to last for more than six months.  Secondly, in its bid for superpower status the EU in its wisdom (or lack thereof) often believe that the way to assert this is to object automatically with anything that the other powers might agree to. Hence the reason it seldom votes to agree with the US, as is the case here.

In my view the EU is now showing one of the drawbacks of globalisation (amongst many) at nations level. Namely, that mixing cultures and political structurs in this way is a receipe for disaster. I am not saying that every EU member state should agree with everything the US does, far from it but, that is the whole point. Each country should be allowed to make up its own mind on the matter.

Of course, the other effect of this process is that it makes the UN even more impotent than it already is (and viagra will not solve the problem), because whilst individual member countries can vote one way in the UN, only to have the powers that be in the EU to say “we don’t like that.”

The case in point, Iran, of course is a classic example of these problems. Yes we have business and energy interests in Iran, but then visa versa is true as well, so it is not as fearful as the EU make it. My view is that if the EU or any other country disagrees with the US over this issue it should be honest and say so, not hide behind excuses, which is what they are doing.

It seems that no one in the EU administration is capable of listening to reason at the moment as they are too focused on building ivory towers or, even worse, a modern day tower of babel.

the Brit

Europe sucks up to Iran?

January 31, 2007

Hi Brit,

I may need a bit of translation here, Europe Resists U.S. Push to Curb Iran Ties.  OK, did y’all miss the part where Iran is run by insane religious fanatics who want to conquer the Middle East, develop nuclear weapons and long range missiles, slaughter the Jews, crush Western civilization, and all that? A little help?

the Grit

NGO’s empowered

January 30, 2007

Hi Grit

I read with interest your comment about power being delegated to committees and am really thinking that you and your fellow Americans would not feel at home in the UK, despite popular beliefs.

The problem with where power lies and decisions can be made in the UK is even more complex than the US. Like you, we have a system where governments, when they get into power, think “don’t need the electorate now!” so they delegate some of the most difficult laws and regulations to those who do not have to vote on it. For example, when there was all the furore about big business, ancient men (notice I did not use the word wise?) were gathered together to define new regulations to control corporate governance. This produced a regulation that, whilst not law, was orchestrated in such a way that if a corporation did not implement, they would be delisted from the stock market. No voting on that then!

Similarly, the government passes a lot of regulations that it does not want to bother Parliament with, to outside NGO’s, probably because they feel that we as voters, apart from being surplus to requirements, would be too confused by the issues to make a sensible decision. Of course the other way that the politicians can sidestep the due process of democracy is to take a leaf out of John Reid’s (the Home Secretary) book. He changed the way our legal system worked within twenty four hours by simply writing to the Judges and asking (so he says) that they stop imprisoning guilty criminals.

Finally, as if this wasn’t enough, we in the UK have another non-democratic “big brother” showering us with laws and regulations like confetti at a wedding. It is called the EU. In my view the European Union structure is an ideal place for politicians who are tired of allowing themselves to be subjected to the vagaries of democracy. They sit in their ivory towers constructing regulations about matters in which they have no knowledge nor have been asked to interfere with, and churn these out at the rate of knots. Of course no-one outside of the EUSS (European Union Secret Society) is asked for opinion or allowed to cast judgement. Thus suddenly us mere mortals find ourselves waking up in the morning to find that we cannot have milk in our coffee because the EU have deemed that milk should not be cream in colour or something stupid like that.

The moral of this of course is that there is always someone worse off than you 🙂

the Brit

Bat out of hell, bite me world!

January 29, 2007

Hi Brit,

I was in a bit of a nostalgic mood this afternoon, so I put “Bat Out of Hell” on and cranked it up.  Man, what perfect timing!  Global Warming, extremest Muslim terrorists, liberals, Jane Fonda, Britney’s beaver, Big Brother racism, Hillary Clinton, the United Nations, President Bush, AlGore, Iraq, Iran, nuclear bombs, blood in the streets, and the end of the world; screw it all!  So, take a few minutes, put the CD on, crank it up and sing along!

Bat Out Of Hell lyrics

The sirens are screaming and the fires are howling

Way down in the valley tonight
There’s a man in the shadows with a gun in his eye
And a blade shining oh so bright
There’s evil in the air and there’s thunder in the sky
And a killer’s on the bloodshot streets
And down in the tunnel where the deadly are rising
Oh I swear I saw a young boy
Down in the gutter
He was starting to foam in the heat
Oh Baby you’re the only thing in this whole world
that’s pure and good and right
And wherever you are and wherever you go
There’s always gonna be some light
But i gotta get out
I gotta break it out now
Before the final crack of dawn
So we gotta make the most of our one night together
When it’s over you know
We’ll both be so alone
Like a bat out of hell
I’ll be gone when the morning comes
When the night is over
Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone gone gone
Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone when the morning comes
But when the day is done
And the sun goes down
And the moonlight’s shining through

Then like a sinner before the gates of heaven

I’ll come crawling on back to you
I’m gonna hit the highway like a battering ram

On a silver black phantom bike

When the metal is hot and the engine is hungry

And we’re all about to see the light

Nothing ever grows in this rotten old hole

Everything is stunted and lost

And nothing really rocks

And nothing really rolls

And nothing’s ever worth the cost

And I know that I’m damned if I never get out

And maybe I’m damned if I do

But with every other beat I got left in my heart

You know I’d rather be damned with you

If I gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned

Dancing through the night with you

If I gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned

Gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned

If Gotta be damned you know I wanna be damned

Dancing through the night

Dancing through the night

Dancing through the night with you
Oh Baby you’re the only thing in this whole world

     that’s pure and good and right

And wherever you are and wherever you go

There’s always gonna be some light

But I gotta get out

I gotta break it out now

Before the final crack of dawn

So we gotta make the most of our one night together

When it’s over you know

We’ll both be so alone

Like a bat out of hell

I’ll be gone when the morning comes

When the night is over

Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone gone gone

Like a bat out of hell I’ll be gone when the morning comes

But when the day is done

And the sun goes down

And the moonlight’s shining through

Then like a sinner before the gates of heaven

I’ll come crawling on back to you

Then like a sinner before the gates of heaven

I’ll come crawling on back to you

I can see myself tearing up the road

Faster than any other boy has ever gone

And my skin is raw but my soul is ripe

And no one’s gonna stop me now

I gotta make my escape

But I can’t stop thinking of you

And I never see the sudden curve until it’s way too late

I never see the sudden curve till it’s way too late

Then I’m dying on the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun

Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike

And I think somebody somewhere is tolling a bell

And the last thing I see is my heart

Still beating

Breaking out of my body

And flying away

Like a bat out of hell

Then I’m dying at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun

Torn and twisted at the foot of a burning bike

And I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell

And the last thing I see is my heart

Still beating

Still beating

Breaking out of my body and flying away

Like a bat out of hell

Thanks Jim; thanks Meat!  Still love it; still a fan.

the Grit

Blair and Kyoto

January 28, 2007

Hi Grit

I will come back to the issue of Global warming in the next few days, as soon as I have extricated myself from the mountain of paperwork, facts and counterfacts that was forthcoming after the last one. However, the situation regarding Mr Blair’s speech needs to be looked at in a number of ways.

Firstly, one has to remember that he is within six months or so of stepping down from the position as Prime Minister. Thus, technically, nothing that he says at present has any influence upon government policy, nor does it commit his successor to a policy. If I were the cynical type (as if?), I could promote the view that his current round of speeches on important issues is a clever promotional campaign to improve his value on the “statesmen” speech circuit.

Secondly, his praise of Ms Merkel and the German presidency of Europe rings a bit hollow when you consider it in the same context as mentioned in the above paragraph.

Thirdly, the Koyoto agreement we have already mentioned previously and to me, bearing in mind that the developing countries such as India and China will cry foul if their continued development is to be halted, I do not see a prospect of a new more radical formula being agreed in the near future.

Oh why not just a brief mention of Global warming. Our Prince Charles, who cancelled a skiing trip to reduce his “carbon footprint” resulting from emissions, has now been criticised for taking 13 people on an official trip to Canada. I have not seen anyone complaining about the “emission” cost of 30 political parties travelling from their domestic countries to Switzerland, have you?

Hope that explains the Blair position.

the Brit

George Bush and the ladies triangle

January 27, 2007

Hi Grit

Although there has been no Clinton-type impropriety during George Bush’s Presidency, he must be wondering what he has done to become embroiled in a triangle on ladies.

It seems to me that this is the most important issue that George Bush has to face during the last two years of his term, namely how to deal with the ladies. In the past three months suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, he has been placed in the middle of a triangle of female attackers.

First there is the leader of the house Ms Pelosi, who has made plain her disagreement with the way that he is conducting the Iraq war and a number of other issues. In fact, it is difficult to find an issue where there is any vestigage of agreement between the two.

Next comes Ms Merkel of the EU, seeking to promote a single US/EU marketplace. One only has to look at the imperfections of the EU’s own region wide policies to see how successful that will be. This despite the fact that there is no consensus of opinion in favour of it from the individual nations involved.

Lastly, Hilary Clinton has entered the fray. One of course has to wonder about her utterances of returning the core values back to American life, especially in view of the husbands antics whilst he was in office.

Whilst I am in no way a chauvinist, I have to wonder how Bush is going to cope with this new position he finds himself in. Having spent the last six years discussing issues with male politicians, with whom he shares a similar daily word output, how is he going to fare in a position where he has to discuss these with ladies, who researches have proven to have a word output of at least 2.5 times that of a male?

the Brit

EU – Don’t blame us!

January 26, 2007

Hi Grit

I hear your comments about the way that the EU is reacting to Microsoft. In fact it is a coalition of other computer companies that is raising their ugly heads about the matter. It is one of the problems with globalisation that every business wants a slice of it until someone (like Microsoft), find a great way to really make a go of it. Then all of the also-rans like IBM etc., start to rant because they have not made such a good job of achieving market share.

The EU commission, which is hardly a representative body from the electorate of the European nations, thinks to itself “oh dear, we had better not upset these transnational companies.” So they start ranting off as well. Of course no-one asks the millions of civilians what they think about the subject.

So, whilst I accept that this might have upset those in the US like you Grit, I would say that it is not a EU wide decision.

the Brit

The EU can kiss my ass (sorry Brit)

January 26, 2007

Hi Brit,

Once again the forces of socialism are trying to destroy capitalism, and I say they can kiss my ass.  Sorry Brit, but this time it’s the European Union as a whole that is trying to drag the world down into an Average Is All We Can Hope For cesspool.   And here is what set me off, Rivals attack Vista as illegal under EU rules.  First of all, if the twits in socialist Europe think they can write a better operating system, and all the applications that will follow on its coat tails, let them try.  Second, if your crap hole, work six months a year companies can’t keep up, go to hell, which these days is located in Venezuela.  If y’all don’t like Microsoft’s products, then don’t buy them.  It’s not like Bill Gates is threatening to raise a private army and force you to use them under threat of violence.  Of course, considering that the only reason y’all can afford to bask in your socialist Nanny State is that the US has protected you from the world’s bullies for 50 years, I can see why an angry Gates might make you shake in your shoes.  Personally, I think Microsoft and all other US companies should just yank their business out of the festering boil that you call the EU.  Then we can toss back a few and place bets on whether you will collapse back into the Stone Age before either the Russians or the Muslims turn you into slaves.  Once again, with feeling, kiss my ass EU!

the Grit

Kiss my ass, Norway!

January 25, 2007

Hi Brit,

Pardon me for a moment while I get a rant out of my system.

Norway tells Apple change iTunes or face court

Let me state first that I really don’t like Apple.  They’re the elitist snobs of the computer world, and I love the fact that the only reason they’re still in business is that Microsoft writes software for their over priced products, which are designed to be used by morons.  That last part is, obviously, why they are so popular in Norway.  However, I would like to know where crap hole Norway gets off telling any US business how its products must be made?  If your citizens don’t like what Apple sells, tell them not to buy it!  If they’re to stupid to get that hint, perhaps y’all should spend your time worrying about your education system instead of trying to force your cradle to grave nanny state politics on rational people.  As a matter of fact, to hell with that.  I think Norway should be cut off from the rest of the world.  Let the UN earn its keep for once and embargo these twits back into the Stone Age from which they have, obviously, just emerged.  Just be glad I’m not President, because I’d nuke your sorry excuse for a country off the face of the Earth, just to set an example for the rest of the sorry excuses for countries that litter the face of Europe!

OK, I’m better now.  Sorry.

the Grit

European Union

January 18, 2007

Hi Grit

I will try and shed some light on the events happening in the European Union. First of all I should point out that England as an individual country does not have independent membership. It is the United Kingdom that is a member state. The United Kingdom comprises of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It should be said here that there have been rumblings in Scotland about having independent membership for some time. At the moment we are in the globally unique position of being a union within a union.

EURO CURRENCY

Prior to the new states joining the EU at the beginning of 2007, of whom most are planning to Join the Euro currency within the next three years, UK and Sweden were the only countries that have not yet joined, basically because the public don’t want it. At present the UK pound is worth about €1.48. Although the government are saying publically that they are in favour, most people in the UK see the currency change as giving away our another part of our sovereignty.

UK Veto

The UK has the ability to Veto the affect of a number of actions that could be taken by the EU. This includes such areas as tax, defence, foreign policy. It has been used several times during the course of our membership, sometimes quite effectively. However, at the same time, particularly in cases of tax, the government has given up certain elements of our veto where they consider it to be “in the nations interest.” At no time have these relinquishing of veto elements been put to the public vote. It is like everything that you give up of course, it is then impossible to get it back. These actions have been harshly criticised in Parliament, as you can see from the response to the European Tax Harmonisation (Veto) Bill [H.L.] back in 1999.

The UK veto, which is more extensive than any other member state, does not of course add to our popularity with the French and Germans. 

EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION DRAFT

Back in 2003, the EU drew up a draft constitution. If you have the patience to read a 265 page document, it can be found here. This is the proposal that has caused so much controversy, and which France, although it was their idea in the first place, the Dutch, UK and others have rejected so far. The basic intention of the constitution was, in effect, to create a single country, similar to the USA. The result would be that the EU would become a legal entity in its own right. Had it been achieved, international representation would have been at EU level, therefore countries such as the UK, France, Germany etc would cease to have an individual voice in organisations such as the UN. In addition, items such as trade agreement, defence and security would also be controlled by the EU centrally.

I guess the intention of all of this was to create a second “super-power” on the scale of the US. However, there are several significant problems to this in my view.

1) The cultural differences between the member states. There is no common thread in this respect.

2) Language barriers. How can you have a regional union of this nature when there are in excess of twenty different languages being spoken. I know that some would argue that this is what the UN is, but look at the arguments and problems that is caused in this organisation.

3) Sovereignty. Historically, countries like the UK and Germany are very jealous of their own sovereignty. The difficulty with a United Europe is that these, and other countries, would be constantly fighting for supremacy, which would influence its effectiveness globally. Can you see the UK wanting to be ruled by a German dominated EU or visa versa?

4) Baltic States. The recent admission to membership of the baltic states creates similar problems to 3) above. Over the last two or three decades, these countries have fought to free themselves from the dominance of one state in a union, namely the USSR. Does the EU think that they are going to allow themselves to be dragged back into a similar position?

5) Rotation. At present, the EU is governed on a rotational basis by one of its member states. I am not sure whether the proposed constitution provides for this to continue, but it might. The difficulty with this is that you could end up with a situation where every six or twelve months, the emphasis on issues would see a change of position. For example, first you would get the French influence, next would come the Polish influence, then the UK and so on. This does not provide for stability.

In my view, whilst there is some merit to the EU, in terms of creating favourable trading and, in limited cases, legal conditions, to transform it into one Political, Legal, Global entity would a) be impossible to maintain and b) be inherently dangerous for the region and internationally.

In addition, the UK is having enough problems keeping its own union together, and that is only four countries, how the heck is Europe hoping to maintain control of twenty-five?

the Brit

A little more EU help, if you please.

January 17, 2007

Hi Brit,

Sorry to keep pestering you, but European Union facts are few and far between here in the US.  This one has me going, Merkel warns of “historic mistake” on EU charter.  I was under the impression that France and some other country hadn’t ratified the EU charter yet, but this seems more targeted at England.  Your insight would be appreciated.

the Grit

European denial

January 15, 2007

Hi Grit

In addition to the problems with UK law, as explained in previous posts, over here we also are subjected to the laws of the European. Historically, it has been found that the country that abides by EU regulations the most is – yes, you’ve guessed it – the UK. Other countries such as France, Germany and Spain, only enforce them if it suits their purpose.

Following the news that you uncovered, it now appears that the last freedom is being attacked, the freedom of speach.

In answer to your question, yes if is EU law, we have to abide by it.

the Brit

A little EU help please

January 15, 2007

Hi Brit,

I thought an understanding of the EU was in my grasp, until I saw this, Push for EU Holocaust denial ban.  Without going into how stupid denying the Holocaust is, I am confused as to how much power the European Union has over it’s member states.  As I understand it, Britain has a reasonable level of free speech, which would permit Nazi stuff and anti-Jewish propaganda.  So, if the EU passes this ban, do y’all have to change your laws, ignore it, or what?

the Grit