Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Not that anybody really needs to be told about corruption
in the EU these days, but here's the latest. Anybody with half a brain can see these guys just suck up the money, and basically do whatever they want with it, as they live in their own little world, accountable to none. The scary thing is that this goes on, and nobody can do anything about it. The EU these days has a life of it's own - created by nation states, though each individually too spineless to defy it.
As for the "good" we get out of the Union, here
we see France admitting the head of Mugabe's police force - a man banned from Europe according to an EU edict. I find it interesting that the more communautaire nations (like France) are also the ones that routinely flout the EU's directives. Seems to me the French are happy to boss everybody else around via the EU institutions, but I've not yet heard a report of them doing so much as lifting a finger in return. Be it refugees at Sangatte or British beef imports, the EU has proven impotent to do anything of value to us . All it does is gobble both money and sovereignty.
Monday, August 26, 2002
Once upon a time I did nothing but sing the praises of the BBC. No longer. Still, far as I know the BBC's activity wasn't ever likened to a state run broadcaster in a totalitarian nation - until now
. Political correctness gone mad.
Here I add in a true story re. the EU, as I am inspired to do so by my past rant. I'm not quite the last Toryboy as I was helping a friend of mine out in Southampton who was running for election as a Conservative councillor in the last election. (He lost - but tried again, and now is a Tory councillor there, so persistence works. :). Southampton happens to be the home of a cigarette factory of some description, which would suffer - and so jobs would suffer - due to proposed EU legislation banning tobacco advertising. My friends main opponents were the Liberal Democrats, and Southampton was graced with a Liberal MEP. The Liberals having a well known lust of all things EU, my friend was interested in finding out whether Southamptons elected rep had voted for this damaging legislation, so that the voters of Southampton could cast their vote accordingly (they needless to say weren't amused by the possible loss of jobs).
Sadly, my efforts to chase down this MEPs voting record proved fruitless. While contacting the European Parliament was surprisingly easy, getting anything out of them was quite the contrary - in fact, I was surprised to understand that MEP votes are not routinely recorded - unless an MEP specifically wishes a given vote to be "on the record" as it were.
Needless to say this meant that bringing this Liberal MEP to account before his electorate was greatly hindered. The transparency of even the most democratic component of the EU is thus revealed.
Looks like I get a mention (albeit obliquely) here
. I remain unconvinced by the points made, however. The United States had one extremely uniting factor - the nation was birthed by a revolution, and the revolutionaries won. From what I've read of various discussions immediately pre-Civil War, the Confederate statesman never disagreed with the basic principles of the founding fathers, rather, they disagreed on the application of some of them. After all, the Confederate constitution was almost a mirror image of the US one.
Europe is patently -not- like that. For starters, politically Europe has seen every form of government from anarchy to fascism to monarchy to parliamentary democracy in the past century. There is no mirror image there. Now I am being somewhat anachronistic here, but my own father remembers Dunkirk, and he remembers what the sounds of machinegun fire high in the sky of 1940 sounded like. I think most Brits upon hearing a German accent even now immediately think of WW2. As the football chant goes, one world cup and two world wars.
Now, I have to qualify this with an admission that this is all ... dumb. Britain at it's worst. But it is nevertheless the sad fact that it's also true. And it's also true that the French refer to the British as "les fuck offs", and that the average British view of the French farmer (and doubtless vice versa) is about as cold as cold can be.
There is no uniting force here. There is nationalism but it's not a federal, EU wide nationalism, despite the best efforts of the Eurocrats. Nationalism so intense in fact in some areas, that Europe is home of organisations such as the IRA and Eta.
I believe that the EU is tolerated only so far as it doesn't get in peoples way, and in general it's perceived, in the UK at least, as a necessary evil. You need only see the tactics of the politicians to see some truth here - if Joe Public wanted in the EU, Britain would have adopted the euro by now. Rather, the politicians are biding their time, and bringing in this country into a federal system by stealth. Some things, like the euro currency, are kindof hard to sneak past the electorate - which is why they havn't managed it.
In short, I think that the main reason the EU has been doing so "well" as it has is because people aren't truly aware of whats going on. When the EU intrudes people tend to get annoyed. As the EU assumes more power, it will annoy more people as it takes a more important role in their lives - and eventually, there will be trouble.
Have a read of John Derbyshire
at NRO. I can't claim to agree with every word Derb ever put to paper, but I think I do agree most of the time. Derb's dead right about Blair's insurrection problem, it's all over the news as the natives in Old Labour get restless, and not merely political ones in his party, but also the unions who are big contributors to Labours coffers. I think the question is, will Blair schmooze his way out of backing the USA up, or will he schmooze a way to back the USA up without getting toppled in a coup?
My personal thought is - the former. Not everybody in the UK is a peacenik or a hater of America, and I've read some analysis
of the polls in question, which imply to me that the public do take Saddam seriously - they are just unsure how best to deal with him, and have little confidence in Bush (and only a little more in Blair). Well, Bliar if nothing else is an expert at convincing, and given that base to work on, I'm sure he will wriggle his way out of this situation quite competently.
From a purely selfish UK point of view, I take great pleasure in seeing Our Leader between a rock and a hard place. He well knows the damage that would be done to trans-Atlantic relations if he doesn't help Bush out as promised, he also knows that Thatcher got toppled by a party coup rather than a general election in a surprisingly short amount of time over an altogether different crisis that was proving unpopular with the electorate (the poll tax). I can't see Labour looking like roses no matter what course of action Blair takes over this, and as far as I personally am concerned, that can only be a Good Thing. I just hope Labour is damaged (by party splits) more than the UK is (by damaging ties with the US) when the dust settles.
Sunday, August 25, 2002
Yet another report
on Mugabe, this time on canvassing to drum up support, Mugabe style, ie rape camps. The mind just boggles. I wonder if the UK will ever be inclined to do anything except waffle? I guess with the all the defence cuts the UK -can't- do anything, so... we get this from Jack Straw.Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has condemned Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe as a "pariah state". His remarks come amid signs that the Government is to step up pressure on the Harare regime at this week's Earth Summit. ""In the name of land reform policies he is reducing his people to starvation. A fraudulent election earlier this year was characterised by murder and intimidation. His continuing use of state-organised violence since then underlines his determination to hold on to power at all costs."
Harsh language I suspect will not work on Mugabe, sterner stuff will be needed. Stopping Zimbabwe from becoming another famine wracked dustbowl - is there a higher cause that we could could ask for?
Saturday, August 24, 2002
Look at the argument from Guy Walker in these letters
. (Walker is the second one). I'm curious when, if ever, these people will stop talking about our "isolation" and the risk that entails. How many years of Eurozone sluggishness are needed before this dire prediction is shown to be false? I have this feeling that should British growth outstrip Eurozone growth for 20 years they'd still be saying how we're in danger of imminent financial collapse by retaining our economic sovereignty. (Bob Crow, incidentally, is about as Left as Left can be for those who don't know him, which shows it's not merely Right wing "Little Englanders" think the euro is a bad idea. For once I'm with Mr Crow on this one.)
I just begin to find the cries of the Europhiles getting a little... plaintive... these days.
Lets start off by having a look at that guardian of black African liberty and ranter against Evil Colonial Britain, El Presidente Mugabe of Zimbabwe. This article
reveals the latest of El Presidente's moves to ensure that he gets his way - by sacking his own cabinet. It's a great shame that another of Africa's nations seems destined for the cesspit thanks to a petty dictator. I have no doubt that in a couple of years Zimbabwe will be in the grip of a famine and dependent on foreign aid, when ten years ago it was one of the better African nations in which to live.
Well, here we go - I can't guarantee this gets updated very often, but if ever I come across any political wisdom (or rants) of interest I'll be putting them in here. So let the blogging begin!