Posts Tagged ‘EU’

#brexit I filched this from the fuller-money newsletter. Shows what the money men think of the EU

May 3, 2017
On a baking hot day in July 2015 Greece’s radical-Left Syriza government won a spectacular mandate to defy the austerity regime of the EU-IMF Troika.

Against all expectations, 61pc of the Greek people voted in a referendum to reject the Carthaginian terms of their latest bail-out deal, a scorched-earth ‘Memorandum’ described by a young French economy minister named Emmanuel Macron as a “modern day version of the Versailles Treaty”.

It seemed as if the long-running showdown between Athens and the EU authorities had reached an explosive juncture. Markets were braced for the ejection of Greece from the euro in short order. Monetary union was on the verge of break-up.

Yet the rebel victory instantly and inexplicably metamorphosed into surrender, and with it died the final hopes of the European Left. Premier Alexis Tsipras stunned his own people and the world by announcing that there would be no rupture with the Troika after all, and furthermore that he would join hands with the conservative cadres of Greece’s ancien regime.

The extraordinary developments are recounted by Yanis Varoufakis in his deeply unsettling account, ‘Adults In The Room, My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment’, published in extracts in the Telegraph. What the former finance minister reveals is that leaders of the Syriza government were seriously worried about dark forces in the shadows. They were frightened.

Vested interests with huge sums at stake – within Greece, and implicitly across the eurozone – were prepared to defend the existing financial order by any means necessary. The prime minister feared a military coup.

His warnings to Mr Varoufakis in soul-searching talks that night certainly raise eyebrows, all vividly narrated in a subchapter entitled ‘the overthrowing of a people’.

The final days of the referendum were surreal. Unbeknownst to the Greek people, Alexis Tsipras had called the snap-vote expecting to lose. Most of the Syriza leaders did not campaign. What they wanted was an “emergency exit”, calculating that a respectable defeat would give them a way out after boxing themselves into a corner.

But humiliated and long-suffering Greeks instead seized on the chance to express their defiance, rising to a “gigantic celebration of freedom from fear” in the final intoxicating rally at Syntagma Square.


As the scale of the victory became clear on election day Mr Varoufakis penned a triumphant piece. “In 1967, foreign powers, in cahoots with local stooges, used tanks to overthrow Greek democracy. In 2015 foreign powers tried to do the same by using the banks. But they came up against an insanely brave people who refused to submit to fear.”

He then went to join the victory party at the prime minister’s Maximos Mansion, only to discover that the betrayal of the vote was already under way. “As I walked in, Maximos felt as cold as a morgue, as joyful as a cemetery. The ministers and functionaries I encountered looked numb, uncomfortable in my presence, as if they had just suffered a major electoral defeat,” he said.

Only he and his wife Danae were wearing jeans, once de rigueur in Syriza circles. “Sitting there, I began noticing things about the people around me that had previously escaped me. The men resembled accountants. The women were dressed as if for a state gala,” he said. They were like the pigs on two legs, drinking with men, glimpsed through the window in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Mr Varoufakis told the prime minister that it was his duty to honour the referendum, that he should seize on the thundering expression of popular will to escalate Greece’s war of resistance, and to present the ECB and Berlin with a stark choice. It was wasted breath. The decision to accept what he calls “unconditional surrender” had already been taken, and a new finance minister willing to go along with this volte face had already been picked.

David Fuller’s view

The EU has been a costly mistake since the launch of the single currency in 1999, without a Federal State to deal with the inevitable inequities between individual states (formerly independent countries) which would arise.  EU bureaucrats knew that they did not have the votes for a Federal Union.  Nevertheless, they undermined democracies in the region and also their economic prosperity by launching the Euro in an environment which several centuries of previous history showed was bound to fail.

Subsequently, unofficially centralised governance within the EU resembles a left-wing mafia rather than a healthy democracy.  That is what Prime Minister Theresa May faces, despite her best efforts to sincerely promote an agreement in the mutual interests of both a departing UK and also the EU. Fortunately, she now realises this, as do a sufficient proportion of the UK electorate to give her a significant majority.  That may not influence the EU but it will help the UK to first deal with turbulence following a hasty exit from the EU before fulfilling its potential in the global economy.

political problems might be easier to handle if thought of in terms of family issues

May 16, 2016

So much of our lives is controlled by decisions based on the philosophies of academics. These philosophies are based on a kernel of truth, which has then been expanded on, all too often to a point at which they become distorted and no longer relevant to the real World.
Karl Marx had a view on a World and a time, where Capitalism had become so distorted that it was destroying people’s lives and the World we lived in.
Communism developed from trying to implement solutions based on his philosophies and then distorted into Stalinism and Maoism, which became as evil as the Victorian Capitalism they were intended to cure.
The resurging Capitalism embraced the idea’s of Milton Friedman and developed into a notion of privatisation of all State run functions. When it came to our shore’s in Thatcher/Reagan era, it was well received because of the abuse of power that the Trade Union Baron’s were yielding. Privatisation of State run utilities was seen as a means of undermining that power and it did so; so successfully that its proponents ran rampant perverting the whole function of Government.
Instead of protecting the realm, they have been selling it; oblivious to the fact that once it has been asset-stripped, they, like locusts, will have nothing left to protect or sell.
The philosophy, now labelled as Neo-Liberalism, is creating a situation that will become as bad as Victorian Capitalism, or Stalinism.
Government needs to rein in this trend and create a new mind set, based on a new philosophy.
I don’t know what it should be but I offer this suggestion for those who may be able to contrive one.

When faced with a National, or International, problem, consider an analogy with a family level.
An intelligent householder doesn’t sell the house and furniture, then rent them back.
He doesn’t, then, take in lodger’s in the hope that they’ll provide sufficient income to keep themselves and him, which is what Neo-liberals would do.

Take the idea to other problems, with which Government is meant to cope.
Example 1:
A country faces a Civil War, what should we do? Stand by, or force our way in and separate the factions?
If it was a husband and wife fight, what would we do?
If it spilled out into the street, there’s no doubt that most people would step in and separate them.
If it was just raised voices reaching the street, most would ignore it, or treat it as a soap opera.
The problem comes when screaming is heard, which is the point at which Police might be summoned.

Example 2:
Should we stay in the EU, or leave it.
An analogy might be that you run a family shop and you joined a group of similar family businesses to buy goods in bulk and share services. Suppose then, that other member’s of the group, having been given executive powers, become more ambitious and want to amalgamate into a chain of shops with a brand name. At the same time they declare that their aim is to centralise all management functions in a new suite of offices, which they’ve bought. They’ll control all financial, human resources, tax returns etc. You will become an employee of the new Company but with the right to attend shareholder meetings and vote on the Board’s decisions.
What should you do?
Should you stick with the group, unable to grow your own business, implement your own idea’s, employ people you choose. If you leave, you might fail but there are other’s, like you, who are prepared to agree to bulk buying and sharing resources, without making demands on how much you sell, or at what price.
Possible security (not guaranteed), with lots admin., or possible risk of failure but freedom to make your own decisions.

Example 3:
Should we keep Trident?
You live in a rough neighbourhood. On your side of the street are the Yanks, a large bossy family, with lots of money, muscle and a willingness to use both.
On the other side are the Nasties another large bossy family, with lots of money, muscle and a willingness to use both.
You’ve a gun that needs bullets. Question is should you give up eating this week, so you can buy six bullets for it. (an extra thought is that your other neighbours want you to let them keep the gun and bullets in their house).

Trident would only deter those who wouldn’t launch a nuclear attack, so it deters no-one.

February 5, 2016

whom would we need to use Trident against?
Answer: we are told: Probably no-one.
We are told it is only a deterrent.

OK; but a deterrent against whom?
Not ISIS. If they had the ability and urge, then nothing would stop them except a pre-emptive strike.
Not our EU neighbours.
Not because they love us but because they’d harm their own territories and people.

Not the USA, because they make the warheads and wouldn’t give us the launch codes: Or They’d have some sort of back door software in them.

N. Korea, or Russia?
Well! both are led by men, who appear to be a bit flaky, who like to rattle their sabres but what would be their motive’s?
N. Korea has closer enemies. We’d have to have really gone out of our way to upset them.

If Putin decided to nuke us, it could only be to intimidate the EU, the USA and other’s.
He’d not gain territory, or trade.
He wouldn’t teach us to respect him (we’d be past caring).
Plus he’d run the risk of an itchy finger, in the Pentagon, getting active.
Would the threat of MAD deter him?
He’d have to be very unbalanced to attack us, even without Trident, and, if he was that flaky, he’d presumably consider the risk minimal.
He knows the effects of nuclear fallout from Chernobyl (1986), within Russia.
He knows that the same radio-active fallout prevented Welsh hill farms from being allowed to send sheep to market for 26 years. (

Summary: anyone mad enough to use nuclear weapons is mad enough to ignore retaliation. Trident isn’t a deterrent.

@StrongerIn what do you mean when you speak of trade? @afneil #Marr @BBCNews

January 25, 2016

This a letter I sent to the DailyExpress (25/1/16), prompted by an item in the Daily Mirror. I would have sent it to them, except their Political Editor and Sub are obviously New Labour. Plus their letter column likes to pick a theme and print related letters only.

It looks as if the EU referendum campaigns will be waged with half-truths.
Voters will not be properly informed on the pro’s and con’s but will be subjected to scare stories, rumours, emotional slogans and what are, in effect, lies.
E.g. the “Stronger in” campaign has announced that “Britain’s trade with Europe is 55% higher than it would be thanks to our EU membership”.
Ignoring the attempt to confuse Europe with the EU, what does it mean by trade?
Most voters will assume that trade refers to exports, which implies concern for a loss of British jobs.
But Trade can also mean imports, which implies a lack of concern for loss of British jobs.
For instance a new wind farm near Port Talbot is being built under contract to Siemens, a German firm, which will import the steel from China.
Siemens will be taking a commission and putting it in its bank in Germany.
This would count as an “invisible” import.
Since joining the EU, there has been a huge increase in these “invisible” imports.
German and French firms have contracts for bus services, ambulances, train services, water supply, gas and electricity supply.
Even the refitting of one of the Queen’s was contracted to a German firm.
Then there are the tangible imports such as railway carriages being built in Germany, whilst British firms close down.
How much of that 55% increase in trade is to our benefit?
If it’s mainly imports then this “increased trade” is an argument for “stronger out” and it’s the duty of The Media to prevent politicians trying to deceive us with such ambiguous terms.

which petitions are from plebs and which from Government?

July 25, 2015

Letter to Daily Epress 23/7/15

I’ve just received an e-mail from, saying:
“In a matter of days or even hours, our Environment Minister may allow banned toxic chemicals to be used on UK fields. It’s the profit hungry pesticide industry vs. our beautiful countryside.

Liz Truss, the Environment Minister, is about to decide whether to rubber stamp a request to ignore the European ban on bee-killing pesticides, and allow them on our fields this autumn. Even her own experts rejected the application, but they’ve now been gagged by the government. It’s all pretty dodgy. But it’s not too late.”

Of course it is important that bees are protected (for commercial reasons, if for nothing else) but what concerns me is that Government is alleged to be going against the EU on such an issue, which can not really be a cause that they’d wish to defend, when they roll over to have their bellies tickled on every other edict emanating from Brussels.

It’s also an issue, on which I’d expect 38degrees to achieve success.

So how has this story come out?
This disconnect makes me wonder if this is the beginning of a black propaganda campaign to persuade the “concerned” section of the electorate that they need to be protected by the EU.
I’m also wondering if we will see other straw-man issues, where the EU can ride to the rescue, distributing largesse.

MEP’s seem to have little real power, except as squabbling rubber stamps

July 25, 2015

I’m very much against the EU and even more against it’s willingness to sign us up to TTIP, so willingly sign any petition against the TTIP.

I signed two such, little realising that one was Labour and one was Tory inspired.

I was angered to find that Labour MEP’s had voted against an amendment and wrote to query the reason.

I have since received a response, which makes it clear that I was being played in a game of Party Politics.

I have put my re-response first:


Thank you for your response, it helped clarify the politics of what’s happening.
I was under the misapprehension that MEP’s were like MP’s, whereas your description makes them appear more as the House of Lords. The only query left is whether, or not, you can be guillotined, i.e. forced to pass legislation, with which you disagree.


Labour MEP Response

Subject: Response to your email on TTIP
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:46:29 +0000

Good afternoon,

On behalf of the Labour MEPs for the North West of England, thank you for your email and please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.

The European Parliament has been working on a resolution on the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for the past number of months.

The European Parliament has no formal power while trade negotiations are ongoing, but it has the power to veto any trade deal once negotiations are concluded. In order to influence the TTIP negotiations at this stage, Labour MEPs have been pushing the European Parliament to adopt a text setting out clearly what we want to see in the final agreement and what we reject. This is one of the most significant means at our disposal to ensure that TTIP negotiators take the public’s concerns into account. The vote on this resolution took place on Wednesday 8 July.

The specific amendment you mentioned in your email regarding section 1 point b point vii was tabled by conservative MEPs to weaken a Labour amendment. We had managed to introduce a strong paragraph calling for a full exclusion of all public services from TTIP, however conservative MEPs were trying to remove a crucial element of this paragraph.

I was not prepared to accept this. Labour MEPs will not accept TTIP if it endangers in any way our public services, and we have made it clear that we will vote against the final deal if this is case. We therefore decided that we would vote against the European Parliament resolution if this conservative amendment was adopted.

Please remember that this vote is only to set the opinion of the European Parliament and it may be many more years before a TTIP agreement emerges. When this happens, MEPs will have to decide whether to ratify or to veto the deal. We will review the deal on its merits, and oppose any TTIP that endangers our public services, our standards or our democratic rights.

As Labour MEPs we are clear that our redlines are the protection of public services and a rejection of ISDS. We also need to ensure that TTIP increases workers’ rights and environmental standards.

Thank you again for your interest in this important issue.

Best wishes,

Theresa Griffin


Theresa Griffin
MEP for the North West of England
ASP 13 G 310
European Parliament
Rue Wiertz 60
B-1047 Brussels

Phone +32 228 45 271
Fax +32 228 49 271

LOW 7 T 67
European Parliament
1 av. du Président Robert Schuman
F-67000 Strasbourg

Phone +33 3881 75 271
Fax +33 3881 79 271

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@afneil @andyburnhammp @UKIP It’s time we saw a list of EU pro’s and con’s

May 31, 2015

After listening to Kenneth Clarke, on the Daily Sunday Politics, it was obvious that the ” debate” on a Brexit, will be mainly sneer and counter sneer.

One of my pet peeve’s about EU membership is that it destroyed our fishing fleet.

Before we joined the Common Market, as it then was, we had huge busy fishing ports, providing most of the working man’s protein from the vast shoals of fish in our waters.

Within a decade of joining the Common Market, we had to push for fishing quota’s, to stop the French and Spanish fleet’s destroying our fish stocks. We only achieved them after great resistance and even now they aren’t enforced by those countries, where they are openly selling undersized fish.

If we left the EU and gave our Navy fishery vessels the right to board these EU raiders, our fishing stocks would eventually return to sustainable levels.

What was Clarkes inane slant on this? “the fish don’t Know that they are British” (really?)….. “we’d still need to have quota’s” (yes, pro tem, but we’d be able to enforce them)……. The British fishing fleet wants to fish other waters (yes! but not EU waters, which are almost fished out, which is why they’re ravaging ours)

Do we really need to be in The EU?

Let’s have the Pro’s and con’s of membership, not just the vague threats to jobs and specious arguments about lost trade.

There’s no doubt that immigration is not of itself a problem. The problem lies in the lack of housing and associated infrastructure such as fresh water, sewage, roads etc., which has failed to be put in place.

This needs management, something, which is outside of our control, whilst in the EU.

There is little mention, these days, of the EU’s protectionist policies, which have seen butter mountains, milk lakes etc. We’ve had subsidy scams involving olive trees claimed by multiple farms, fake sheep in Irish fields, fields of rape, thinly sown at their centre.

We’ve had VAT scams were criminals have shuttled butter consignments between countries claiming spurious VAT rebates.

There is no reason to suppose that these activities have ceased.

We’ve had a double insulation scam whereby the French were able to sell their cheap plastic hairdryers etc, under-cutting the safer metal cased ones that were made domestically.

What trade would be lost?

Would the French really stop buying our lamb? would they really cut off our access to their plonk?

What new trade would be opened up, or re-newed?

When we joined The Common Market, we were buying sugar from Our Commonwealth countries, in The Caribbean. Because it was too cheap for EU beet sugar growers to compete, a tax was imposed on it. Jamaica’s economy nearly collapsed, but if we leave the EU such taxes (trade tariff’s) would no longer restrict our trade with the Rest of the World.

Marshal the arguments and publish them before the flim-flam men, such as Clarke chivvy the young and naive into voting our country into being a European backwater on its fringe Economically and Politically, as well as Geographically.

why I won’t be voting @UKLabour / @Ed_Miliband

March 30, 2015

All along Ed Miliband has stated that he will be keeping the UK in the EU.
Even though UKIP has been making inroads on traditional Labour voting.

Instead of listening to Labour supporter’s, he has merely tried to deride this support as racism. Plugging the idea that UKIP only wants out of EU to prevent uncontrolled immigration.
Yet, strangely, it’s the anti-immigration part of UKIP policy that Labour has embraced, even though it conflicts with the EU demand for open borders.

So, why this un-democratic stance of denying us a referendum on whether we want to stay in the EU, or leave it?

Why this demand for unquestioning obedience to The Party and The Party Leader?

Since Labour gained a 4 point lead in the polls, he has re-announced this demand and claimed that it is necessary to support the interests of Business.

Which Business?
The small business’s, who struggle with an ever-increasing burden of red-tape and slow paying Large Business customer’s (particularly Large retailer’s)?    The small businesses and shops, which pay their taxes and provide most of the Employment?
I suspect he actually means the Big Businesses and Multi-nationals.
The Big Businesses, like Amazon, Starbucks, Goldmann-Sachs etc. who don’t pay their proper share of taxes.
The Big Businesses buying up privatised State funded assets, such as the NHS.
The Big Businesses, which will fully exploit TTIP to overturn any “unhelpful” consumer protection legislation, especially those which hurts their profits.
The Big Businesses, which like to own politicians, through party donations.

I can’t vote for “none of the above”. It’s not allowed.
As someone who believes in the NHS and in the principles of Christianity, I can’t vote Tory.
I want to vote UKIP (out of EU) but don’t trust them.
That leaves the NHA Party, The Greens and a few parties campaigning to have the “none of the above” option. Parties, unlikely to get enough publicity to gain a decent share of the vote.
I’ll probably still be undecided on polling day.

Membership of EU makes splitting of UK irrelevant

March 8, 2015
Sent to Express (7/3/15 not published) respponse to Stephen Pollard warning against a coalition of the Left.:
If, as John Major and Stephen Pollard fear, Labour and SNP form a coalition Government, leading to a break-up of the Union, does it matter?
David Cameron will have missed his chance to lead us out of the EU and We will remain in bondage inside The European Union, because both members of that coalition are committed to rule from Brussels.
In that event we won’t be separate nations but simply neighbouring states of the E.U. and both those political parties will cease to be of relevance.

97% of TTIP respondents objected to main clause : 1/3 were Brits.

January 16, 2015

This was the newsletter from 38 degrees

Good news: yesterday, MPs voted to say they want power over what’s in TTIP. [1] Tens of thousands of us got in touch with our MPs this week asking them to do just that – and we won!

It was a symbolic vote, and only a handful of MPs turned up. But now that MPs have said they think they should have a say on what’s in TTIP, ordinary people could have more power over the final deal.

Why? Because if a real vote happens, we can put pressure on our MPs to do the right thing. It’s an election year, so they’re worrying about what their voters think.

So – a step in the right direction!

And that isn’t the only good news on TTIP this week. On Tuesday, the EU Commission was forced to admit that 97% of people who responded to a TTIP consultation were against the bit of the deal that could let private companies sue our government. [2]

38 Degrees members flooded that consultation in our tens of thousands – a third (!) of all responses across Europe came from Britain. [3]

The EU has decided to ‘suspend’ negotiations on this controversial part of the deal. [4] Maybe they’re hoping this will make the fuss die down. They might try and put it back on the table when they think we’re not looking.

But we know that we won’t stop until the interests of ordinary people are put above the interests of big business. We’re turning the tide. Let’s keep going.

Thanks for being involved,

Megan, Susannah, Bex, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

PS: TTIP – and 38 Degrees members! – made it on to the radio this week. If you’d like to listen, it starts at 35:00. Click here:

[1] House of Commons Hansard: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership:
The Guardian: MPs debate TTIP: Politics Live blog:
[2] European Commission: Consultation on investment protection in EU-US trade talks:
[3] The Independent: TTIP: Activists triumph as contentious US free trade deal clause suspended:
[4] The Independent: TTIP: Activists triumph as contentious US free trade deal clause suspended: