Archive for the ‘European Union’ Category

EU bureaucrats, but not the elected politicians, are in denial

June 24, 2016

Listening to the European bureaucrats reacting to Brexit today, it was very quickly obvious as to why euroscepticism has never been as high and as widespread in Europe as today. Every bureaucrat, who by definition is part of the EU gravy train, was angry and wanted the UK out as soon as possible. Not one, not Jean-Claude Juncker, not Martin Schulz, not Donald Tusk did not but want to punish the UK for the poll result. Juncker would not even address the question of euroscepticism within member countries. What he does not want to see, it seems, does not exist. He does not see that it is the form and manner of the EU itself which fuels the desire of many to leave.

3 monkeys

They are the non-elected, spoiled and pampered bureaucrats of Europe who have gotten used to the idea of issuing European Directives, for all EU members to follow and overruling any objections from national parliaments. The elected politicians from Germany and France were a little more circumspect in their statements. The arrogance and self-righteousness on display today was as clear a symptom of the European malaise as could be imagined. They had no conception of the contempt in which they are held by so many in Europe.

I have no doubt that the UK can manage without being a member of the inner circle of the EU. Of course the UK will need to negotiate a good trade agreement with the EU but there is no reason why this should not be possible – in spite of the EU bureaucrats. Angela Merkel indicated today that some form of EU association with the UK would not be unthinkable. The bureaucrats, of course, dislike this because it may give heretical ideas to the eurosceptics in other countries. It is a myth to think that trade with the US or China or Latin America is enhanced greatly by being a member of the EU. I have no doubt, for example and from my own experience, that the UK can do more business in Africa or in India from outside the EU. There are trading opportunities in a Brexit – but it will need some skill to seize them.

But the one thing that struck me today was that for the survival of the EU in some sustainable form, the EU bureaucrats need to be reigned in by their own politicians from the member countries. Here I mean by the politicians in their own governments and parliaments and not the utterly useless MEPs in the even more pointless European Parliament. The EU bureaucracy has become parasitical. The self-serving and blinkered behaviour of the bureaucrats keeps them completely out of touch with how deep euroscepticism actually runs. Their denial of reality is the single factor which is most likely to lead to the break-up of the EU.


 

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BREXIT

June 24, 2016

Brexit

A leave could take around 3 years.

A new dawn? for the EU?

Clear win for BREXIT (but a win for remain in Scotland).

Cameron thought he knew how to use referenda as a tool of government. But he got virtually no concessions from the EU and his strategy has backfired. Now we will see whether David Cameron is a leader or just another follower. I think his position is untenable — except if he can get real concessions and call yet another referendum.

It is time to dismantle the Brussels machine and the first step shoud be to abolish the European parliament.


 

UK likely to vote to remain but fundamental flaws in the EU concept are now exposed

June 20, 2016

I see the BREXIT vote as an opportunity to correct the glaring flaws in the EU concept of a Holy European Empire. Whether BREXIT wins or not in this vote, the EU will no longer be able to just ignore the disconnect between the concept and the bulk of the voters/tax payers in the EU. Of course if BREXIT does not win, it will slow down the inevitable reforms that the EU must introduce.

I suspect that finally the fear of leaving will govern and that BREXIT will lose by a small margin. The EU politicians and bureaucrats will probably tout this as a win for the EU concept but, in fact, they will have to prepare for drawing back the various EU encroachments into the territory of national sovereignty.

NYT: 

There is no argument that the European Union is a flawed institution. Its dysfunction has been on display in its fitful handling of the Greek debt and refugee crises, its bureaucracy is pathetically slow to recognize or correct its failings and it often acts like an out-of-touch and undemocratic elite. Part of that is the inherent inefficiency of an institution of 28 member states with big differences in size, wealth and democratic traditions, and which participate to different degrees in the single currency and border-free zone.

Yet the E.U. is an extraordinary achievement, a voluntary union of nations whose histories include some of the bloodiest wars ever waged. However flawed the bloc, it has replaced blood feuds with a single market, shared values, free travel and labor mobility. Britain has always been something of an outlier in the E.U., joining what began as the European Coal and Steel Community two decades after it was formed and declining to participate in either the euro currency or the borderless Schengen zone. Yet there is no question that Britain has benefited from membership, both economically and as a strong voice in shaping E.U. policy.

The euroskepticism that has led to the British referendum, and that forms a strong component of the right-wing nationalist parties on the rise in many European countries, is not about efficiency or history. It is about ill-defined frustration with the complexities of a changing world and a changing Europe, a loss of faith in mainstream politicians and experts, a nostalgia for a past when nations decided their own fates and kept foreigners out. To those who hold these views, the European Union is the epitome of all that has gone wrong, an alien bureaucracy deaf to the traditions and values of its members. Not surprisingly, Mr. Trump and the French politician Marine Le Pen both favor Brexit.

I see parallels in the “anti-establishment” views embodied in euroscepticism and in the “anti-establishment” views of the Trump supporters in the US. In both cases the revolt is a reaction to what is perceived as the over-weening arrogance of a political, liberal, elite who insist on defining political correctness and on telling the electorate that they know best what is good for them.

In 2016, both in the EU and in the US, it is immigration and the flawed concept of multiculturalism which is dominating. It is occupying this ground which may well determine many of the elections. In fact the rise of the right-wing nationalists in Europe is the pendulum swinging back from 3 decades of self-righteous, social democratic dogma. Europe has moved further left in the 3 decades after communism fell than while communism was still an acceptable philosophy. But I note that some of the right-wing parties (Sweden, Denmark, France …. ) are losing some support as more of the centrist parties adopt more restrictive measures on immigration and take away this ground from the right. Take Trump’s immigration ground away from him and he will not stand a chance.


Sweden pays most per capita into the EU

June 14, 2016

A very revealing map by Gravel King on Reddit. He writes

Some people asked for a per capita map of this post.

I took the figures from that post and divided it by the population of every single EU country.

I apologise in advance if I made some mistakes when colouring the countries (I wasn’t sure if the Faroe islands had to be part of Denmark, for instance.) or some other mistakes.

Per capita contribution to or from the EU between 2010 – andf 2014. Eleven countries are “givers” and 17 are “takers”. Sweden pays most into the EU (more’s the pity).

EU contribitions per capita 2010-2014 (map by Gravel King)

EU contribitions per capita 2010-2014 (map by Gravel King)

 


 

The EU cannot change geography , but they can change their rules

June 11, 2016

The geographical reality of the UK being part of the continent of Europe will not change with Brexit. Europe will not disappear even if the EU does.

The European Union is a somewhat artificial, and now also very sick, association. The EU as it is today “is a misassembled, headless monster, owing less to Charlemagne than to Frankenstein.” Economically the EU has become the sick man of the global economy. It is a club which needs to revise its reason for being. It has to move away from grandiose dreams of creating a new Holy European Empire and its rules need urgently to change. The European Parliament is a useless appendage and needs to be abolished. It is the most wasteful and non-democratic parliament ever. The European Court of Human Rights has done more than most institutions to demonstrate that the EU (not human rights) is an ass. The European Commission is a self-righteous, self-serving, profligate bureaucracy which dwarfs Roman bureaucracy. It may have been intended to be a disseminator of best practices, but has become instead the propogator of scams designed to milk EU subsidies. The Euro is a failed experiment.

With less than two weeks to go for the UK referendum, it is worth remembering that the vote itself is just the start of a long 2-3 year process. It can be stopped by the UK parliament at any time (though at the cost of a government and a few politicians). A NO vote would galvanise similar sentiments in Holland and Denmark and even some of the newer members. I am convinced that it is the shock necessary for the EU to confront its existential problem and tone down its political aims and focus on its trdaing and economic aims. The free movement of genuine labour has to be tempered to exclude the free movement of the scavengers. The European Commission has to be decimated and drawn back from its intrusion into what are local, national matters.

My desired scenario is that a NO vote in the referendum will give the EU the biggest shock it has had since its inception. Minds will then be sufficiently concentrated to really think about reforms and to be more than the cosmetic sops so far offered to David Cameron. The rush to reform (led by Germany, France and Italy) will be real and announced well before any ratification vote (probably in about 6 -12 months) in the UK parliament. And then the UK parliament can overrule the BREXIT referendum and have that ratified by a General Election.

Just wishful thinking on my part. But I see a glorious future possible for Europe. But not for the Europe of the European Union.

Frank Jacobs wrote in his piece “Where is Europe” in the NYT:

…… This “Europe” is a misassembled, headless monster, owing less to Charlemagne than to Frankenstein. It stalks the bureaucratic labyrinth of Brussels, beying for tribute from the peoples of Europe. But this modern minotaur is also a petty, powerless bureaucrat, issuing directives on the correct curvature of cucumbers, but unable to save the euro from collapsing. …

…… most of Europe’s borders are self-evident. They are the waters that border it on three sides: the Arctic Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean and Black Seas to the south. Ah, but then the ultimate problem becomes painfully clear: Where to draw Europe’s eastern border? And does it even have one?

Let’s return to our earlier definition: A continent is a large, contiguous land mass. And not half of one. Many geographers see what we call the European continent as a mere peninsula of a gigantic continent of Eurasia, spanning halfway across the world, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Bering Strait. There is no good reason to divide that continent in two. No good geographic reason. …..

Europe as she should be

Europe as she should be

Europe is not a continental mass in itself. It is just the western end of the Eurasian continental plate. The Eurovision song (?) contest may – in its inanity – include Israel and Turkey and Azerbaijan and Australia but whatever definition of Europe finally evolves it should not include Turkey and cannot include Ukraine or Belarus. That the definition must encompass Switzerland and Iceland – and the UK – is self-evident.


 

Arrogant EU warning to Poland provides BREXIT with a proof

June 1, 2016

That the European Union does take away national sovereignty is obvious even if David Cameron may argue (now) that it doesn’t. Even though I think that we must eventually evolve away from nation states, the EU is not a development in that direction. It involves surrendering autonomy – away from the “nation” to the faceless, supercilious, self-righteous, European Commission and the European parliament. Poland may be pursuing policies that its EU members disapprove of, but surely that is Poland’s prerogative.

BREXIT supporters have a clear example of how the EU fancies itself a super-state and one which thinks it has the right – if not necessarily the power – to dictate to its members how to think. Like it or not, the Justice Party was elected “democratically” in Poland. The European Commission is far from being any kind of democratic institution. It is an executive body. There is something deeply disturbing about EU bureaucrats telling an elected government what it may or may not do. The self-righteous arrogance of the European Commission is often offensive.

The Guardian: 

The EU executive has given Poland an official warning that changes to its constitutional court endanger the rule of law in the country.

Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European commission, said he had written to the Polish government warning that recent alterations to the workings of Poland’s highest court posed “a systemic risk to the rule of law”.

The publication of a formal opinion ratchets up pressure on Poland and marks the first time that the EU executive has criticised a member state under its rule-of-law procedure.

After Poland’s Law and Justice (Pis) party came to power, the Polish parliament passed a law allowing the government to appoint the judges of its choosing to the highest court and not recognise those chosen by its predecessor, the liberal Civic Platform party.

Legal experts advising the Council of Europe have concluded that the changes breach the rule of law, democracy and human rights.

If Poland refuses to back down, it could face the ultimate sanction of being stripped of EU voting rights, although Brussels is keen to avoid that scenario.

I am not sure if BREXIT is good or bad for the UK, but there should be little doubt that staying within the EU does mean giving up a large measure of sovereignty. It is surely better for the EU that the UK remain a member. But the best for both the UK and the EU, I think, is for reform of the EU. I remain convinced that a vote in favour of BREXIT vote will only cause the EU to finally make real concessions rather than the cosmetic changes offered to Cameron. A BREXIT vote is – after all – only the start of a long negotiation. But the negotiation could be real and not just a PR exercise. Of course the UK would need a real negotiator – and that isn’t either Cameron or Corbyn.


 

Brexit has lost – but so has Cameron

May 25, 2016

The UK will most likely vote to remain in the EU, much to the EU’s relief. The fear of being an outsider in Europe will likely be stronger than the fear of surrendering sovereignty and law-making powers to Brussels. This referendum will not be the catalyst for change that the flawed EU concept desperately needs. Instead of using the referendum as a weapon, Cameron has not had the courage to confront the ideologues and has missed his opportunity to be the Great Reformer. He has used the referendum weapon more for domestic purposes than for pressuring the EU.

But the cracks in the flawed Franco-German vision of the Holy European Empire will remain. In fact, the cracks will only get wider. While the centre (Brussels) tries to expand by bringing in new countries, the countries at the eastern border will take their own line. The strains on the Euro will grow greater as Brussels expansionism brings in countries with weaker economies. The Euro zone, far from being a homogeneous region of uniform economic strength, will be in constant crises and bailouts. The conflict between the free movement of wealth creators (labour) and the free movement of wealth consumers (welfare tourists) will remain as long as the huge variation in economic conditions across Europe remain.

There will be a tug-of war between the expansionists and the likes of Poland and Hungary and Austria when it comes to accepting Muslim countries (Bosnia and Turkey primarily). Kosovo is also such a country but is not yet fully recognised as a country.

Cameron has missed his chance to roll back some of the excesses in Europe. The European Parliament has become the most useless and least democratic parliament in the world. And the European Commission, rather than being a disseminator of best practices, has become a body where the lowest common standard applies.

Of course, the UK needs to stay in the EU – for both the good of the UK and of the EU. But the EU needs to be drastically thinned down and vigorously cleaned up. Common sense has to return and replace the orthodoxy of the Holy European Empire.

EU colonial expansion

EU colonial expansion


 

European Parliament was a CIA brainchild

May 7, 2016

The European Parliament is the most useless organisation in the world – by a very long way. It provides a gravy train for failed or second rate politicians. Those who fail to make it in their own countries, but are in the good books of their parties, are the ones who get sent to the European Parliament. An undemocratic, wasteful, ineffective organisation and without any useful purpose  – to be kind.

But I didn’t know that a single EU Parliament was all a CIA inspired idea from the 1950s. The basic thinking behind the CIA idea was that it would be easier for Washington to control one government, the EU, than to control many separate European governments.

Hardly surprising why Obama and Washington were against Grexit and are now against Brexit.

The Unz Review:

On September 19, 2000, going on 16 years ago, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the London Telegraph reported:

“Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement.

“The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J. Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.”

The documents show that the European Union was a creature of the CIA.

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

As I have previously written, Washington believes that it is easier to control one government, the EU, than to control many separate European governments. …. That is why President Obama recently went to London to tell his lapdog, the British Prime Minister, that there could be no British exit.

European parliament at work


 

Slap in the face for the EU over colonial expansion in Ukraine

April 7, 2016

My own perception is that it was the EU’s adventurism (and a colonial style expansionism) which was a major factor in the Ukraine crisis. It was the EU (supported by the US and NATO) which quite irresponsibly built up the opposition groups in Ukraine (with money and arms and promises of the good life). It is this colonial expansionism which is the ugliest part of the EU’s dreams of a new Holy European Empire, and which is fuelled mainly by sections of the French, the Germans and the Brussels bureaucracy. The EU has degenerated into  a theocracy.

EU colonial expansion (wikimedia)

EU colonial expansion (wikimedia)

But the overwhelming Dutch rejection (61:38) of the EU’s “deal” for the Ukraine is more than just a rejection of just that particular deal. It is yet another manifestation of the unpopularity of the whole Brussels experiment. It is not wrong to paint Brussels with the “Holy” epithet. For all the parasitical politicians of the European parliament and the self-serving bureaucrats of the European Commission, the expansion of the EU and an imposed political union is nothing less than a religion. Their complete shambles in handling the “refugee” invasion has also demonstrated the shallowness and self-serving nature of “European values” as touted by the high priests of the EU.

BBC: 

With 99.8% of the votes counted, 61.1% had said “No”, with 38% supporting a deal, media reports said. Turnout is projected at 32%, above the 30% threshold of voters needed to be valid but within a 3% margin of error.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his government may have to reconsider the treaty if the vote is valid. The Dutch parliament has already ratified the EU agreement and the result of the vote is not binding. “We will have to wait and see but it is clear that the ‘No’ voters won convincingly. The question is whether or not the required turnout will be met.” Mr Rutte said in a televised reaction.

It is almost shameful that 27 EU countries merely rubber stamped the Ukrainian deal and that it is only the Dutch who put it to the question. The “deal” is not just a free trade agreement but a shameless, blatant step in a colonial expansion. It is a stepping stone for bringing Ukraine into the EU. The Dutch vote shows how out of step the EU is with the bulk of the population. One of the key tactics used by the proponents of the Holy European Empire is to govern by fiat, by decrees and diktats from Brussels and by avoiding any votes.

The Brexit vote is another rare example of of the EU theocracy being challenged. The Dutch vote will give support to the BREXIT campaign.

It is time, not to get rid of the EU, but to put a stop to the fantasy of the Holy European Empire and to return the EU to the trade and economic and labour cooperation it was meant to – and should certainly – be. The whole idea of political union is actually destructive of the rich diversity that has built Europe. Cloning nations by imposition of a false uniformity borders on stupidity. It is time to remove the unnecessary, unproductive and undemocratic layers of parasites that have built up in Brussels and made a religion of themselves.


 

How is Europe going to stop ISIS in Libya?

March 28, 2016

ISIS is shifting to Libya (which is in chaos thanks to the European-led fiasco there), and another 800,000+ refugees can be expected to swamp Italy. And “Europe”, in the shape of the EU, is both unprepared and has no strategy to face that challenge when (not if) it comes.

The Russian intervention has succeeded not only in stopping ISIS advances but turning it into a clear retreat. The Russians have apparently a more determined – and more competent and effective – Syrian army on the ground than the US has with the Iraqi army.

Iraq Syria map

The next target for the Syrian army and Russia after retaking Palmyra could be Raqqa or possibly Deir al-Zour. The Iraqis and the US are making, comparatively, slow progress in retaking Mosul. But at least ISIS is not expanding territory in Iraq.

Once ISIS loses control of Raqqa and Mosul, its remaining territory in Syria and Iraq will be less than the critical mass it needs to sustain operations. Its oil earnings would also dwindle without the physical control of territory.

Just as the US support of opposition groups crippled Assad and allowed a vacuum for ISIS to fill, the European-led fiasco in Libya has only produced chaos with no clear group in authority. This has been exploited by ISIS. For some time now, ISIS has been preparing for shifting from its HQ in Raqqa and has been establishing a new HQ in Sirte (Surt) in Libya. ISIS has already established its version of Sharia rule in the area by carrying out executions and floggings in the town and in the surrounding areas all the way to Ajdabiya. Controlling the Gulf of Sirte would allow the development of new source of oil revenues to make up for the loss of revenues in Iraq and Syria.

Libya map

The US, Europe  and NATO are not doing much at this point in Libya to prevent ISIS from coming in. (There are reports of some special forces and snipers from the US and the UK operating in Libya but there is certainly no concerted effort to stop ISIS). The Russians do not have the same interest to intervene and so Libya is left wide open to ISIS by a bungling Europe. With the current chaos in Libya and the pressure it is facing in Iraq and Syria, I would not be surprised to see ISIS suddenly abandon Syria and expand in Libya. I suspect that the trigger could be the loss of Raqqa.

There are also reports that Boko Haram (which has allied itself with ISIS) is facing pressure from the Nigerian army and is also planning a shift northwards to Libya.

As ISIS expands territory in Libya (and perhaps also Boko Haram), a new wave of refugees into Europe can be expected. The French Defence Minister has estimated that this number could be another 800,000 people. There could be more if Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians and Somalis also start using the route through Libya to Italy. Italy could be swamped this autumn just as Greece has been in the last 6 months.

The Russians have no great objections to additional pressure on Europe. In any case, they would be disinclined to intervene in Libya. The US will not intervene (even though they backed the ill-conceived European adventure to remove Gaddafi). There is no European planning – let alone any strategy – for this scenario. I see no European initiative which can be as decisive in Libya as the Russians have been in Syria.

How is Europe going to stop ISIS in Libya?


 


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