"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."

Monday, 7 February 2011

WHEDFU Part 2

Here's the second section of today's WHEDFU - it really serves me right for being so lazy last week.

The government has signed up to the Cyber-Crime directive  and, as usual, it was without parliamentary scrutiny or debate.  It all makes a nonsense of Cameron's promises of renegotiation and taking back powers.

Another politician makes another 'clarification'.  This time it's the Turkish EU Affairs Minister who raised eyebrows in Brussels when he said the EU was in danger of adopting "the fascist methods of the 1930's" - but apparently he didn't mean the EU, he meant the people of the EU - us.  So that's alright then.

The Brussels Job   Where's Michael Caine when you need him?  Armed robbers have stolen  8,000 euros from the EU's post office and 'sources' say it's an inside job.  One MEP said, "This time is was a hold-up but how long before someone walks in with a bomb?"  We can only cross our fingers and toes.

The practice of fish-discarding is to be reviewed by the EU's Commissioner for fisheries but she says fishermen will lose out.  Apparently, they've been working on this for three years. Think of all those committees and all those reviews; I should imagine they got through an awful lot of meetings to raise their, hic, spirits and be in good cheer.

Iceland shows the way. It can be done if governments aren't hog-tied and shackled by EU interference. Iceland let the big banks go bust and devalued the Krona.

Jean Claude-Trichet, head of the ECB has slapped down suggestions from Ireland's Opposition parties and told them that there will be no re-negotiation  of the terms of the EU/IMF bail-out.

We're all in this together - France & Germany put forward their plan for fiscal and monetary untion within the EU. As well as plans to create an EU-wide pension/retirement age and ruling out inflation-linked wage rises they propose to harmonise corporate taxation and labour policies.

By all accounts the German-Franco proposals for deeper fiscal & monetary union went down like a lead balloon at the EU summit on Friday.  The main gripe seems to be that no-one else was consulted.  The Belgian PM said, "It was truly a surreal summit."  We empathise; the machinations of the EU become more like a Dali painting with every new announcement.

Big plans need big money. Jerzy Buzek calls for more public money to be invested in the EU's energy infrastructure which needs "multi-billions of euros".

MEPs are calling for higher fines & tougher sanctions on countries which run into financial problems. Sounds like a winner! Where's the sense in kicking a man when he's down?

MP Dominic Raab (Con, Esher & Walton) says what we say: "Just say NO."  He's writing about the ECHR ruling on prisoner voting rights and it's as interesting for the comments as it is for his article.  Which British newspaper should I read in order to see blanket pro-EU comments, I wonder.  Dammit, I've lost the link.

Greece is looking to borrow again, despite its junk status.  PM Papandreou  is 'cheered' by the news that the terms of the EU/IMF loan have been extended, to thirty years, and the interest rate reduced.   The people aren't cheered though - "resistance to reform is stiffening and a daily list of strikes and protests appears on local websites."

EU/IMF auditing Greek finances today.  "Officials from the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will decide if Athens will be granted the fourth instalment, worth 15 billion euros. "  Who doubts that they'll find everything is in order -  they love throwing good money after bad.

Are my eyes deceiving me?  Town Halls across England seem to be mobilising against the EU budget.  The campaign is supported by a cross-party group of MPs.

The left hand and the right hand of the EU can't do joined-up writing; they've just given 77 miillion euros to subsidise a coal-fired power station  in Slovenia.

I think I might be getting a bit EU-happy - I can't remember if I've posted this one before.   Five energy companies (including Scottish & Southern Energy) have launched a feasibility study on connecting Scotland and Norway with a high-voltage electricity link  to be known as 'NorthConnect' .

It's just a number - a trillion euro energy "revamp"""But the EU agreed that pooled public money could underpin completion of this so-called 'supergrid' -- although ballpark sums will not be produced until the summer.  Initial European Commission estimates suggested that some 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion) could be diverted from unspent EU budgets."  Apparently, it's okay with Cameron who said he's happy with "some limited public finance to leverage private funding."

Brussels is impressed by Barroso's performance last week.  Here's the latest on the Southern Corridor gas pipelines.

All aboard!  The EU-Ukraine Associatiion Treaty  is expected to be signed later this year.  It's purpose?  You may well ask.  Preparations for the 2012 European Football Championships, energy links and boosting ties generally have been mentioned.

Expect a tax bill, not a postcard, from Uruguay - £1.2m spent on another jolly for MEPs.  It's bananas I tell you!

I need another cuppa after all that, or, since the sun's over the yard-arm, possibly something a little stronger.  I'm definitely in need of some humour or music.

By the way, did you know that Harvard University has its own Jean Monnet Center for International & Regional  Economic Law & Justice. I haven't had time to look through the site but there might be some interesting little snippets there.

UPDATE:  Fri 11th Feb

I told you it was bananas:

2 comments:

  1. GV, you want humour? Try this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWTtjH3iHGI

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely. Thank you Mr W. I think I'll share that :-)

    ReplyDelete

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