"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Saturday, 22 January 2011

What Has Europe Done... ...?

It's time for another whedfu because the little cogs at the EU never stop turning:

Under the Lisbon Treaty, the EU can now meddle in sport so expect upcoming proposals about the "societal, economic and organisational dimensions of sport." I wonder how many reams those proposals will run to and how many pen-pushers will be employed collating the information. UEFA, under Michel Platini, seem particularly keen for the EU to be on-side.

Finance:  You've probably heard about this already - reaching consensus on increasing the eurozone bail-out fund and another, "more stringent", stress test for banks.
HERE is an excellent article on what that entails.
Peter Oborne of the Telegraph also has something to say.
Portugal asks for a bail-out but PM says they're not begging.
Germany is reported to want non-AAA countries to contribute to the bail-out fund.
(Hello, Ireland. You had it right the first time when you voted against the Lisbon Treaty.  Tell me how it makes economic sense for you to need a bail-out but then pay a proportion of that bail-out back to the EU so it can be distributed to other countries in need of a bail-out.)

Harmonisation of the Intelligence Agencies is also on the cards. The so-called 'Budapest Club' has been meeting secretly at various European locations since 2007 and has grown in influence. Which EU Commissioner is responsible for security? Step forward no-mark Cathy 'street fighter' Ashton and her External Action  & Security Service. "In terms of threats to climate security, cultural security [the black market in antiques], economic security, water security, food security, health security, like pandemics - if we're not sharing information, we're done for."

Cathy fails to convince the Iranians   “This is not the conclusion I had hoped for,” Ashton said after talks broke off today.

The EU held a "Butterfly Europe" workshop recently which looked at Facebook, Twitter and other 'social media networks'. So, as well as Citzalia, all we lucky people will be able to interact with our MEPs and Commissioners 24/7.

What we've all waited to hear: another speech from ex-maoist Barroso "To those who made those comments, and I am amazed with those comments, against European solidarity, trying to deepen the cleavages between rich and poor, I ask them – where were you when Europe was financing your farmers after the war to feed your own people? Where were you, when Europe was financing your infrastructures for development and competitiveness of you countries? Where were you when Europe provided the internal market for selling your services and your products? Where were you when Europe was the basis for the prosperity and the growth of your countries after the war?"

(I wasn't aware 'Europe' had financed any farmers or fed people after the war. I thought 'Europe' was  bailed out by the $44.3 billion Marshall Plan aka the European Recovery Programme).

Merkel denies plans to return to the  deutchsmark.  Merkel also denied a split in the eurozone between fiscally prudent northern countries, such as her own, and the debt-stricken south, where Portugal is seen as most at risk after debt bailouts for Greece and Ireland last year.  "Not with me. For Germany, this is a definite 'No'. And relations in Europe are not that black and white in any case."

I've found the British Bulldog - he's migrated to Spain.   "This is not a conflict between smokers and non-smokers, but between those who are for the bureaucratic regulation of social life and those who are for tolerance and liberty."

A lost cause "Today's Le Monde features a new survey carried out by French Institute IFOP on behalf of a German and a French think-tank. It gives an answer that Sarko - and a big chunk of the EU elite - probably don't want to hear. According to the poll, only 18% of Germans think that their country should consider France its "privileged partner". On their part, only 31% of French think Germany should be considered the same."

Halal food:    "By bowing to Muslim pressure groups ...  and dropping the halal labelling requirement, the EU is effectively establishing Sharia law as normative for Europe's meat industry. The halal controversy, in which Muslim lobby groups are seeking to impose the requirements of Islam, not just on their own people, but also on the rest of society, illustrates how the rise of Islam is influencing the daily lives of hundreds of millions of non-Muslim Europeans."

Steve Baker, (Conservative MP for Wycombe) explains the European Citizens' Initiative  "By the time you read this, I will have voted (if the House divides) to "take note" of European Union Document No. 8399/10 and Addendum relating to the draft European Citizen's Initiative Regulation.  Still with me? It's thrilling stuff."

Also from Conservative Home: cogent reasoning about the European Arrest Warrant 

I could go on and on but I think that's enough for today -  I've just read THIS article advising Estonia, which joined the euro-zone on Jan 1st this year and has little national debt, to borrow from the ECB.  I daresay it makes financial sense but, to coin a phrase, they'd just be heaping up their own funeral pyre.

In brief:
ECHR asylum rulings  Signing up to the ECHR is a pre-condition to joining the EU.  Belgium is rather peeved.,, as is Greece.
Not what Beveridge had in mind: The EU NHS
Schadenfreude: Sarkozy embarrassed himself in Alsace
Belgium says oyi mins nen mins 'oui' mins ...
Russia says nietski to German dioxins.
EU says f/o to Icelandic mackerel

And, finally, don't fill in your census forms:
"Eurostat has also announced initial proposals for a European Census Hub by which member states could ‘pull’ the 2011 Census data specified in the Implementing Regulation. The difficulty of achieving common specifications and applying comparable statistical disclosure control methodologies across the 27 member states has been recognized as a major obstacle. Italy and Ireland have offered to take part in the pilot phase of the project by offering to make a sample of their latest census data available. Further countries have been invited to participate to this pilot phase, and ONS has agreed to prepare a submission to Eurostat setting out its own current thinking on the possibilities for similar domestic access to 2011 Census outputs."
  • Place of usual residence
  • Size of locality of usual residence (urban/rural)
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Economic activity status
  • Occupation
  • Industry
  • Employment status
  • Workplace
  • Educational attainment
  • Country of birth
  • Country of citizenship
  • Ever resided abroad and year of entry into country
  • Place of usual residence 1 year before census
  • Relationship within household
  • Status within household
  • Status within family
  • Type of housing arrangement
  • Tenure status of household
  • Type of household
  • Size of household
  • Type of family
  • Size of family
  • Type of living quarters
  • Type of ownership
  • Location of living quarters
  • Occupancy status
  • Floor space/Number of rooms
  • Density standard of accommodation
  • Housing amenities (water supply, toilet facilities, bathing facilities, type of heating)
  • Type of dwelling
  • Period of construction
I wonder what happened to the question about Religion?  I should have known better than to ask - it's HERE, together with all the other questions.  Haven't we come a long way since the Domesday Book?

Chin up - this is what the EP will be debating next week:

How I miss Grumpy Old Twat.


  1. GV, incisive, superbly put together and quite brilliant. I hope Richard North takes this onwards and upwards. very, very well done. It will have to be continued as long as we can blog and live. This is the way. Slow, yes. Debilitating and sometimes demoralising. Yet drip, drip eventually works!

  2. Thank you, OR. I don't think I merit your praise - it's down to a choice of blogging or crying about the buggers, and I'd rather blog :-)

  3. Super collation, GV.

    As you say - it's a straight choice. Either to do one's bit and get the info out there, or to sit and fret.

    I could only sit and fret for so long myself ;-)

  4. Yep, thanks for the links GV.

    That'll be my Sunday night reading sorted out.

    Especially the census; the two things I think will wake the brain-dead British up, an EU census and EU taxation.

    Bring it on.

  5. Welcome to the club, TP. It's good to try and stir up a bit of interest plus the msm is on a tight leash and doesn't always give a straight story. Bloggers have a bit more time to look behind the headlines and it can only help.

    You're welcome BJ. I feel like that too - it's time the two fat ladies of the census and taxation sang!


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