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Britain's new policy on Europe

Gavin Hewitt | 17:06 UK time, Thursday, 3 June 2010

hague_226.jpgIf you want to know where the new British government really stands in its approach to Europe, today offered the best insight so far. Addressing parliament the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, promised to be more "robust" in defending Britain's national interest. In dealing with the EU there would be a mixture of "yes we can" and "no we can't".

Firstly, the bottom line. There would be no further transfer of sovereignty or powers from Britain to the EU over the course of the parliament. The foreign secretary said he was responding to the mood in Britain.

He cited an opinion poll in which just 31% of the British people believed that membership of the EU was a good thing. "The new government," said William Hague, "is agreed that there is a profound disconnection between the British people and what has been done in their name by British governments in the European union."

Addressing the former foreign secretary David Miliband, he said the last government's legacy on Europe was "public disenchantment after years of arrogance from ministers who don't listen to the people".

This is an instinct deeply held by the foreign secretary, and over the next five years it is likely to lead to a clash at some stage with Britain's European partners.

William Hague said the 1972 European Communities Act would be amended to deal with the lack of "proper democratic control" over the way the EU had developed. There was the renewed promise of a referendum before any further powers were transferred to Brussels or before Britain joined the euro.

But the coalition with the Liberal Democrats is obviously constraining both his and his party's instincts. He was asked by the fiercely eurosceptic Bill Cash to introduce a sovereignty bill to allow the UK to override European regulation "in the national interest".

William Hague said ministers were examining the case for such a change, but he conceded it was not the view of his coalition partners.

Over the crisis in the eurozone, the foreign secretary promised to help Europe tackle its financial crisis. "A strong and healthy eurozone is in the country's interests" - but there would be limits.

Sanctions against those nations who broke the rules may be the way forward for those countries in the eurozone, but "they should never apply to those countries which retain their own currencies".

The government would also resist the plans for scrutiny of the budget first by other EU countries: "We are absolutely firm that our national budget must always be presented first to our national parliament."

In a nutshell, greater "economic governance" is fine for those countries in the eurozone, but not for Britain.

Mr Hague put down a strong marker. If the answer to the crisis in the eurozone was for further powers to be transferred to Brussels it would be resisted in Britain.

However, the government will be pushing for an extension of the single market into the service sector. They will also be seeking to lighten regulation, particularly on business. They would co-operate with the European Commission in seeking a 30% cut in carbon emissions.

Like others, the foreign secretary said the main issue facing the EU was the lack of growth, which he described as "anaemic."

The basic message was that Britain would be co-operative, but it would not agree to
further integration.

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  • 1. At 6:15pm on 03 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    This shows the ambivalence clearly: Britain still wants to resist to further integration (= transfer of power to Brussels), even in case the Eurozone countries want to integrate further to coordinate their economic governance around the Euro. I suggest the UK organizes a referendum to stay in or leave the EU. That will clarify things.

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  • 2. At 7:00pm on 03 Jun 2010, Thumper3181 wrote:

    Smroet

    Why the referendum? Why does the UK either have to integrate further or get out? It seems to me the UK is continuing to resist what countless wars and millions of lives fought to prevent. Just because they do not want to be dominated by continental Europe does not mean that they do not want economic cooperation. It seems to me the British have done what many other countries in the EU should have done. If Greece had its own currency they would not be in the mess they are in now.

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  • 3. At 7:16pm on 03 Jun 2010, scoty wrote:

    The UK would be far better to aline with other other countries world wide,

    to connect with a dream called eurozone, they have spent forty years trying to get together,,,,

    Why do they do it, ?
    THey should go for trade then we will all stay seperate, big is not beautiful, plus when one falls they all fall, twenty seven different nations thinking differently it·s a dream they can become one in harmony

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  • 4. At 7:21pm on 03 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    Mr Hague put down a strong marker. If the answer to the crisis in the eurozone was for further powers to be transferred to Brussels it would be resisted in Britain.

    This is going to be interesting, then. Because I can practically assure you that those who do not like democracy very much (ie the EU political elites) are already busy conspiring once more how to transfer more powers to the EU and avoid referendums (and possibly even avoiding having to draw up a new treaty) at the same time. You see, they already got ideas and papers on all sorts of plans ready in Brussels, such as tax harmonization, formally abolishing national sovereignty, EU income tax etc... It's just the way they work. They cannot fathom the idea of 'less integration'.

    A few days after our 2005 referendum I told people I knew that the EU's 'period of reflection' was not a period of reflection at all. I said that the real idea was to use the time to rewrite the constitution (ie change the words, not the meaning) and reintroduce it (whilst in the meantime bullying national governments to cancel referendums). In other words, I said the EU was going full steam ahead. I was right. And it should not have been a surprise to anyone, since all they know in Brussels is 'more integration'.

    1. smroet wrote: This shows the ambivalence clearly: Britain still wants to resist to further integration (= transfer of power to Brussels), even in case the Eurozone countries want to integrate further to coordinate their economic governance around the Euro. I suggest the UK organizes a referendum to stay in or leave the EU. That will clarify things.

    I hope there's another treaty in a few years time and we Netherlands get a referendum on it, I can all but guarantee it would be rejected as people here do not support 'more integration' anymore.

    In fact, I dare say, in every net contributing country there's a majority against 'more integration'. Which of course is why politicians will desperately seek to (continue to) avoid referendums here.

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  • 5. At 7:30pm on 03 Jun 2010, EuroSider wrote:

    Gavin,

    Most of my life I have been an advocate for the European Union. However, I have to say that at the present time it is in the best interests of the U.K. to distance themselves from Europe, and particularly the Eurozone.

    Economically the Eurozone is in a state of melt-down. It is unlikely that it can survive for much longer.

    Even the usually loyal European Press are now attacking the management of the Euro and the Eurozone economies.

    So my advice to the U.K. government is - stay clear of the Eurozone. Participate, but only from a distance. Do not advance any further powers to the European Union. Watch, listen and 'wait upon events'.

    Unless something dramatic happens soon, the Eurozone will become the great project which failed!

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  • 6. At 7:45pm on 03 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    I believe Mr Hague's main markers on EU Policy were the following:

    1) If Brussels or the stagnating EUro-zone 15/16 imagine the UK is going to play any part in 'ever closer FISCAL union' across the 27 they can forget it.

    2) If Brussels or the cobbled together EUro-Zone 15/16 imagine the UK is going to play any part in 'ever closer ECONOMIC union' across the 27 they can forget it.

    3) If Brussels or the EUro-zone 15/16 imagine there will be any new Treaty or adjustments to present Treaties (e.g. Lisbon) obligatory to all 27 without the British Citizens consent via a Referendum they can forget it.

    Basically: The Brussels duck is plucked and flightless unless or until the UK Government & Citizens can be persuaded with hard evidence that any aspect of 'ever closer union' needs glue for additional feathers because they will specifically enable G.B. to continue to fly faster, further & more profitably than the present moribund centralised EU!

    Personally, I cannot conceive of any situation in which the EU could convince the UK that Nos 1 to 3 should not apply for at least the next 3 to 5 years.

    We live in interesting times! This will be the decade of make or break for the centralising, one-size-fits-all, all-powerful supra-National EU.

    It only remains for the EU Court of Justice in the next 2 to 3 years to start interfering (as I have all along predicted): A) Brussels will seek to have the ECJ deny the UK Government has the democratic right to carry the announced policy toward the EU's ever closer union, and/or (B) ask the ECJ to strike down UK Referendum results.

    At that point the whole entity will be exposed for the unrepresentative, unaccountable, anti-Democratic charade that it is in every aspect. How Citizens from Dublin to Warsaw & Helsinki to Valletta will react to the realisation they are living in political construct where their Vote on any matter maybe voided by Brussels' institutions will be the decisive factor in the future of the EU as it is presently formulated?

    There is still time for the EU to recognise the perilous situation it is in: It could still take another path and adopt Democratic methods with much wider Citizen consultation & involvement in policy-making.
    Somehow I just cannot see that happening: There are far too many 'big-Business/big-Government' avaricious and corrupt fingers-in-the-pie for any genuine change of course to be applied after so many years.

    Interesting next 5 years: Very interesting decade!

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  • 7. At 7:54pm on 03 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    "However, the government will be pushing for an extension of the single market into the service sector."

    Excellent idea. Is he also going to push for an extension of the single market into Britain, or in other words, for Britain to abide by the rules of the single market?

    "The internal market shall comprise an area *without internal frontiers* in which the free movement of goods, *persons*, services and capital is ensured " (Art. 3.2, Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union)

    "They will also be seeking to lighten regulation"

    Fantastic idea again. Perhaps he could start by removing anachronistic border control regulations between the UK and the rest of the EU or did no one tell him that the UK is the only EU (and EEA) country (in turn forcing Ireland to follow suit) that stubbornly clings to this piece of outdated, retrograde regulations?

    'Hoping for a British defeat at the borders of insanity'

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/hoping-for-a-british-defeat-at-the-borders-of-insanity-1601508.html

    Britain's new policy on Europe? More like British old double standards on Europe.

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  • 8. At 7:56pm on 03 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    "He was asked by the fiercely eurosceptic Bill Cash to introduce a sovereignty bill to allow the UK to override European regulation "in the national interest".

    The fiercely eurosceptic Bill Cash is even more fiercely incoherent than he is eurosceptic. I must be really dull but does he not realise that he is in the wrong party? He should join the jingoistic flagwavers at UKIP and he might even sit side by side with Farage as an MEP in the Euro parliament. I think they would look very cool together.

    Or perhaps he prefers to be in the wrong party as a price for being paid in Sterling rather than Euros?

    A further note to Bill Cash: If you are member of a club (or association, political party, etc) you cannot pick and choose which rules of the club you want to comply with. If you dislike so many of the club's rules you leave the club and then you do what you like. (Source: Politics for Beginners Manual).

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  • 9. At 8:31pm on 03 Jun 2010, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    When the EU develops protections for investors and depositors and adopts EU banking regulations, along with punishments for unethical pratices by bankers,jail time and forfeiture of personal wealth and assets, then maybe people will see that their interests are being addressed and not just those of big business and banking. All the governments are still licking the boots of the bankers as they extort money to cover the financial crisis they created. Battle between politicians and bankers for the title of greatest betrayer of public trust. No one wants to address the cause as they scramble to tax the citizens and cut services while the bankers spend their bonus monies. A recovery without addressing the cause leaves little confidence in the people that the bankers won't simply steal their money again. Not a single country in the EU ever said a word about the unethical dealings of the bankers. Not a single finance minister ever raised a red flag. They are either all unqualified or corrupt.

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  • 10. At 8:33pm on 03 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    Sounds reasonable.

    However, this just makes unwritten and sometimes unclear policy of the previous administration into clearly written one. Definitively positive token in the new policy is that the UK government doesn't seek to restrict European integration as long as Britain can opt-out. To me this sounds like a fair deal.

    In case of treaties, the only treaty that will follow up the Lisbon Treaty is a treaty that will make the European Union or a subset of it a sovereign. Everything else is already embedded into Lisbon Treaty and are there waiting for the right time to open up new.

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  • 11. At 8:48pm on 03 Jun 2010, laughingjkings wrote:

    If you are constantly subjected to negative or at best ambivalent press coverage of something then eventually you will believe it. There is no free press in Britain in this debate, in the sense that no media reports on the EU in a positive way, merely in an impartial or more regularly in a negative way. Therefore, we rarely get any positive input about the EU.

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  • 12. At 9:08pm on 03 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    Jukka @10,

    You are correct about the desire for a 'follow up' treaty, which is why EUrosceptics insist that any further treaties or amendments granting further powers to Brussels must be subject to a referendum.


    JorgeG1 @ 7&8,

    I don't know what you are crowing about. The Eurozone is facing a terminal crisis, the PIIGS are squealing, and all the EU bureaucrats can do is call for even more 'integration' (i.e. control from the centre).

    I assume by your name (perhaps incorrectly) that you are from Spain. Are you really so happy with the condition of your economy with its spiraling sovereign debt, plunging credit rating, astronomical levels of unemployment and crippled manufacturing and building sectors that you have nothing better to do than to criticise Britons for wanting to maintain their sovereignty - sovereignty that ensured that they are not in the appalling mess that Spain and the other members of the Eurozone are.

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  • 13. At 9:45pm on 03 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Cameron and Hague cannot be trusted on Europe. The policy announced by Cameron last November was a complete acceptance of Lisbon, Nice and Amsterdam treaties and limited their ambitions to restoring part of the 1992 opt-out from the Masstricht social chapter. The so-called UK sovereinty bill is completely vacuous. No country can use an internal law to avoid complying with the terms of an inrernational treaty it hs ratified. The LibDems have simply pointed out the obvious vacuity of Conservative mnifesto promises and Cameroh has used the coallition agreement to drop proposed policies that were only intended to deceive gullible voters as to the true nature of cast-iron Dave's climbdown. Cameron is just another dishonest politician who prefers to stich up deals with other politicians behind the scenes that are in his personal interest and then lie to voters. He is no different from Gordon Brown in that respect who pretended to be EU-sceptic until he got into Number 10 and put Brussels' interests first afterwards. Like Brown, cast-iron Dave must be made to pay for his dishonest at the next election.

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  • 14. At 10:02pm on 03 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    William Plague is nothing short of contemptable. His government is as hypocritical as it can get.

    "If you want to know where the new British government really stands in its approach to Europe, today offered the best insight so far. Addressing parliament the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, promised to be more "robust" in defending Britain's national interest. In dealing with the EU there would be a mixture of "yes we can" and "no we can't"."

    Sounds like a lot of double talk to me.

    "Firstly, the bottom line. There would be no further transfer of sovereignty or powers from Britain to the EU over the course of the parliament. The foreign secretary said he was responding to the mood in Britain.'

    There doesn't have to be. Except for adopting the now dying Euro it has already given away everything including the kitchen sink. (at least the Polish plumbers fixed the leak in the drain.)

    "He cited an opinion poll in which just 31% of the British people believed that membership of the EU was a good thing. "The new government," said William Hague, "is agreed that there is a profound disconnection between the British people and what has been done in their name by British governments in the European union." "

    Then why doesn't he commit to a referendum to decide on withdrawl? The answer is simple, the government doesn't trust the people and refuses to bow to their will. It knows just as Labor knew that in all likelihood the voters of the UK would vote to get out and that is the last thing it wants.

    "Addressing the former foreign secretary David Miliband, he said the last government's legacy on Europe was "public disenchantment after years of arrogance from ministers who don't listen to the people"."

    Looks like he and his government is simply a change of faces and names. The Tony Blair gambit was played for years. Now the new lot are taking over exactly where the old ones left off.

    "This is an instinct deeply held by the foreign secretary, and over the next five years it is likely to lead to a clash at some stage with Britain's European partners."

    Not if Nick Clegg can help it. If it does, he could bring the whole UK government crashing down. That's the system. Clegg is looking to his own personal brighter future as an MEP. Last thing he will allow is for the Tories to wreck it.

    "William Hague said the 1972 European Communities Act would be amended to deal with the lack of "proper democratic control" over the way the EU had developed. There was the renewed promise of a referendum before any further powers were transferred to Brussels or before Britain joined the euro."

    We'll see about that. Brussels is not about to allow Britain to change anything. Brussels now controls much of what happens in the UK and will not relinquish any power. If anything they will grab for more.

    "But the coalition with the Liberal Democrats is obviously constraining both his and his party's instincts. He was asked by the fiercely eurosceptic Bill Cash to introduce a sovereignty bill to allow the UK to override European regulation "in the national interest"."

    Can't happen, won't happen.

    "William Hague said ministers were examining the case for such a change, but he conceded it was not the view of his coalition partners."

    He's as much as admitted he and his party are helpless. One false move and there will be another election.

    "Over the crisis in the eurozone, the foreign secretary promised to help Europe tackle its financial crisis. "A strong and healthy eurozone is in the country's interests" - but there would be limits. "

    Looks like he's already agreed to send pound sterling to bail out the failed Euro. Drowning men hanging on to each other for dear life. Check the bank account balance before you write any checks Mr. Hague. You are already overdrawn.

    "Sanctions against those nations who broke the rules may be the way forward for those countries in the eurozone, but "they should never apply to those countries which retain their own currencies"."

    He just announced in the same speech he's ready to have Britain break the rules itself. What is he saying, you can break the rules if they are the ones you don't like but nobody can break the ones you do?

    "The government would also resist the plans for scrutiny of the budget first by other EU countries: "We are absolutely firm that our national budget must always be presented first to our national parliament."

    Fine, Brussels can veto the UK's budget after it is passed. They still get the final say.

    "In a nutshell, greater "economic governance" is fine for those countries in the eurozone, but not for Britain."

    Britain will do as Brussels tells it to. That's what has been contracted for. There are no "opt outs" even the pretense of any. Not in Lisbon.

    "Mr Hague put down a strong marker. If the answer to the crisis in the eurozone was for further powers to be transferred to Brussels it would be resisted in Britain."

    He already alienated the United States with an earlier speech in which he said his government would put extreme pressure on the US government to force Israel to end its blockade of Gaza. This crowd looks to be an even sorrier bunch than the last one. They'll do the seemingly impossible, they'll make Gordon Brown look good...by comparison.

    However, the government will be pushing for an extension of the single market into the service sector. They will also be seeking to lighten regulation, particularly on business. They would co-operate with the European Commission in seeking a 30% cut in carbon emissions.

    Like others, the foreign secretary said the main issue facing the EU was the lack of growth, which he described as "anaemic."

    Anemic growth? That seems very optomistic. They will be lucky if there isn't a long sustained period of contraction.

    "The basic message was that Britain would be co-operative, but it would not agree to
    further integration."

    Except for the Euro, what further integration is possible? What had been denied to Brussels so far?

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  • 15. At 10:05pm on 03 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    Really funny to see how some people (a lot of them in the UK) still haven't got the faintest clue on how things work at EU level.

    Let's consider the following;

    Re "There was the renewed promise of a referendum before any further powers were transferred to Brussels or before Britain joined the euro. "

    Re "The basic message was that Britain would be co-operative, but it would not agree to further integration."


    "Earth to UK":

    1.every single piece of EU legislation amounts to a (small) transferral of powers to Brussels and every piece of legislation is a new step towards deeper integration.
    2.in most issues unanimity is not required, which means that the UK can simply be outvoted and other countries may decide for the UK that she should transfer part of her powers to the EU.

    This is EVER CLOSER UNION.

    This is what the UK citizens agreed to in the 1975 referendum.

    Thanks for giving us a good laugh with the ignorance of some MP's in Westminster :D

    Re "He was asked by the fiercely eurosceptic Bill Cash to introduce a sovereignty bill to allow the UK to override European regulation "in the national interest"."

    And this is totally hilarious. Please, somebody send an "EU law for dummies" to Mr Cash!

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  • 16. At 10:11pm on 03 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ MaxSceptic

    "I assume by your name (perhaps incorrectly) that you are from Spain. Are you really so happy with the condition of your economy with its spiraling sovereign debt, plunging credit rating, astronomical levels of unemployment and crippled manufacturing and building sectors that you have nothing better to do than to criticise Britons for wanting to maintain their sovereignty - sovereignty that ensured that they are not in the appalling mess that Spain and the other members of the Eurozone are."

    I assume by your name, probably correctly that you are an English Eurosceptic, more correctly described as Europhobic (sceptic is a word that implies considered reasoning).

    I would also suggest that before you putting forward seemingly clever arguments you get to know what you are talking about.

    * Spain's sovereign debt is lower than Britain’s.

    * Plunging credit rating – It has been downgraded by one or two notches recently, but if you want to describe it as plunging I suggest you go and write/blog in the Sun, I am sure Rupert would love your contributions. Do you remember that one: “The incredibly shrinking euro” (dated early 2000s). Must have been when you got 1.6 euros to the pound.

    * Astronomical levels of unemployment. They are, admittedly so. But, firstly they were the same in the 80s and 90s, so nothing to do with the euro. Secondly, they represent true figures, not cooked up ones. With regards to the UK ones, add most of the 5 million or so on long term incapacity benefits and you will get the true unemployment figure.

    * I am criticising Britain for wanting to have its cake and eat it, i.e. endlessly pontificating from its high altar about the single market and free markets and yet refusing to comply with the most basic rule of the single market, i.e. unpoliced freedom of movement of people inside the single market. Or didn’t W. Hague talk about reducing regulation?

    "Container-loads of widgets from West Bromwich are shot over to their destinations in the Ruhr and consignments of Dutch cheese bowl merrily along to Britain's supermarkets. But the passage of mere mortals continues to be fraught with complication and *regulation*."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/hoping-for-a-british-defeat-at-the-borders-of-insanity-1601508.html

    I am supporting him on his quest to reduce regulation for the passage of mere mortals. I repeat: I am fully *behind him* on this one, did you misread my previous post?

    * "The Eurozone is facing a terminal crisis". When is the fatal outcome expected? Could I suggest that we catch up here in a year from now and take stock of the aftermath of the "terminal illness". If the Eurozone is dead (I wouldn't give a *terminally* ill patient more than a year to live) then I would be the first to eat humble pie and admit that Europhobes were right all along. If it is still going on with all current 16 members keeping it as their currency I expect you do likewise.

    Just like I say to the eminent luminary Bill Cash who doesn't like the EU's rules, I suggest your best option is to leave the EU. I am only asking for coherence I am not asking for forgiveness.

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  • 17. At 10:17pm on 03 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    The most homogeneous Eurozone will be the 'small' Eurozone, i.e. Germany, France and the Benelux (82 + 61 + 26 = 169 million people). One could possibly add northern Italy (30 million people), but that would mean splitting up Italy (which is one of the desires of the 'Northern League'). This constitutes what was once the empire of Charlemagne. Opposite the Channel would be the UK with 60 million people (i.e. ratio 3.3:1). There is nothing wrong with the ambition of continental Europeans to want to assert themselves w.r.t. Britain (i.e. there is nothing really attractive about Britain which should prohibit the harmonious development of continental Western Europe the way they want it).

    I think this 'Europe' in depth should have been pursued, but wasn't because the successive UK governments did not want this. Instead, they promoted enlargement, so as to water down the EU to a 'free trade' zone. Now we have a schizophrenic situation in which the orginal desire of the founders of the EU (i.e. the original six countries who founded the EEC) is continuously thwarted by the UK for one reason or another (basically to preserve British 'influence'). However, the British electorate is predominantly anti-EU. Hence the referendum : the British people should express themselves whether they want to be in or out. And if they vote to be out, there will be a huge sigh of relief across the Channel.

    Once they are out, the EU can organize itself in multiple layers, with a structure of a core (narrow Eurozone), a first periphery (ancient EU-15 - UK), a second periphery (EU-27 - UK), a third periphery (UK + Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino + Norway + Iceland + part of former Yougoslavia), and a fourth periphery of interesting partners (Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Marocco, Tunisia, etc.) . The requirement about having to join the Euro can then be relaxed, and the Schengen concept rediscussed.

    Obviously, the people have to be consulted about all this (e.g. by referenda), but such a layered structure is better than a one-size-should-fit-all structure as we have it now.

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  • 18. At 10:20pm on 03 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ COOLBRUSHWORK

    Re "It only remains for the EU Court of Justice in the next 2 to 3 years to start interfering (as I have all along predicted): A) Brussels will seek to have the ECJ deny the UK Government has the democratic right to carry the announced policy toward the EU's ever closer union, and/or (B) ask the ECJ to strike down UK Referendum results. "

    Now now. Get this in your head:

    Concerning point A: "ever closer union" is an integral part of the Treaty. Therefore the UK will have to choose:
    1 use its democratic right to oppose to 'ever closer union', which would come down to using its democratic right to denounce the Treaty
    2 accept the Treaty and therefore accept the 'ever closer union'
    3 does not exist

    Therefore the ECJ won't prevent the UK from opposing 'ever closer union' so long as the UK does this by leaving the EU.

    Now you can have a rant about how undemocratic it is that the UK HAS to chose between 'ever closer union' and leaving the EU.

    (another hypothetical possibility is for the UK to negociate a new treaty change which would omit the 'ever closer union' part. What are the odds? :)

    Concerning point B:

    The ECJ would have no trouble solving this case: such a case would be held to be inadmissable, since the ECJ is not competent to invalidate national law.

    I have explained this to you before, and you keep ignoring this 'judicial impossibility', just to keep spreading your nonsense.

    So how about you pay us a drink in three years when it has become obvious your little predictions won't have come true.

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  • 19. At 10:22pm on 03 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    Gavin

    ". . . and over the next five years it is likely to lead to a clash at some stage with Britain's European partners"

    And among the coalition partners in as many weeks?

    #8 - JorgeG1

    Bill Cash was one of John Major's original 'bastards'. You may remember them. They cheerfully stood for parliament in 1992 on a manifesto to ratify Maastricht then spent the next few years trying to wreck it. This time he will, with justification, claim that he did not stand as a coalition candidate. He may have acquired some legitimacy in his later years but not lost his instinct for wrecking. If he is anti EU in principle, the only honest think to do is take a hike into the UKIP.

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  • 20. At 10:24pm on 03 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 13 FBJ, interesting post

    I suggest the problem is not the EU but rather that British democracy is not working.

    Perhaps the UKIP flagwavers at the euro parliament could claim their seats in the British parliament instead and bring some 'order to the house' and restore British sovereignty (ooops sorry, forgot about the first past the post, not that they would achieve a working majority under any system anyway...)

    Cameron is only realising that the only possible way to make sense of it all is to make a decision, you either stay in the EU or leave. It seems to me that he, as leader of the conservative party, made a policy decision that was (seemingly accepted): to remain in the EU. Perhaps, now that he is in power he realises that talking rubbish about restoring powers is fine when in opposition but when you are actually in government, it is different. You cannot keep cherry picking the rules of your membership of a supra national institution. The time for adolescent games are over.

    "Like Brown, cast-iron Dave must be made to pay for his dishonest at the next election."

    I suggest you elect Farage as your leader, with Bill Cash as his deputy.

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  • 21. At 10:25pm on 03 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    From Yahoo Finance;

    EUR/USD 1.2159 -0.0091

    The Euro is again testing its four year low against the US dollar. Who will say something to prop it up again now that China's little speil has spent itself? Someone? Anyone? I can't hear you!

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  • 22. At 10:46pm on 03 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    @MA-II #14

    He [Cameron] already alienated the United States with an earlier speech in which he said his government would put extreme pressure on the US government to force Israel to end its blockade of Gaza. This crowd looks to be an even sorrier bunch than the last one. They'll do the seemingly impossible, they'll make Gordon Brown look good...by comparison.

    Remember the discussion on the Irish (on May 22/23, the "Europe: A pause in the crisis" thread)? You said you were sympathizing with the Irish attitude w.r.t. the British, on account of the occupation. Now, one of your favourite countries, Israel, is occupying some Palestinian land and blockading another bit, and is even given to piracy on the high seas. How do you explain your inconsistent attitude? What differs the Irish from the Palestinians, and the Israelis from the British? Please enlighten us (but, as Mr. Oldenbarneveldt said to his executioner in 1619: "Make it short, make it short."

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  • 23. At 11:05pm on 03 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    JorgeG1,

    I accept your wager: ("I suggest that we catch up here in a year from now and take stock of the aftermath of the "terminal illness". If the Eurozone is dead (I wouldn't give a *terminally* ill patient more than a year to live) then I would be the first to eat humble pie and admit that Europhobes were right all along. If it is still going on with all current 16 members keeping it as their currency I expect you do likewise.).

    If I am right, then you buy me a nice traditional Spanish meal.
    If I am wrong, then I will buy you a nice traditional Spanish meal. (Why not a "nice traditional British meal"? - because there ain't one! I may be a patriotic Brit, but I'm not subjecting anyone to the horrors of traditional British 'cuisine'... ;-). Of course, there is 'Modern British Cooking', but that's a completely different kettle of - er - fish.

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  • 24. At 11:09pm on 03 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 11:32pm on 03 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    21 Homer Simpson says:

    "The Euro is again testing its four year low against the US dollar."

    You mean that four years ago it was just as low or even lower against the dollar than today? What was the emergency then to drive it so low? Seeing that it recovered does that not prove that this is just a nomal cyclical event? After all between 2002-2008 the dollar fell 40% as US debt grew by 60%. Has is recovered yet?
    Hope to hear from you very loudly.

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  • 26. At 11:42pm on 03 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "21. At 10:25pm on 03 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    From Yahoo Finance;

    EUR/USD 1.2159 -0.0091

    The Euro is again testing its four year low against the US dollar. Who will say something to prop it up again now that China's little speil has spent itself? Someone? Anyone? I can't hear you! "

    what r u trying to say by continuously quoting exchange rates?

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  • 27. At 11:44pm on 03 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    smroet - I quite agree with you. I should add that we should make Latin an official language and elect an emperor.

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  • 28. At 00:18am on 04 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    It sounds to me like William Hague is being as pragmatic about membership of the EU as he can be - endorsing the EU because it is a fact of life and the UK is a part of the EU for the time being but at the same time identifying to the his immediate audience (and in loud voice to be heard by those who care to listen) that the UK is not going to accept or seek to change the status quo for at least the next 5 years (or the planned duration of this current administration).

    The fact is that the Liberal wing of the current UK coalition government would not countenance a referendum on membership of the EU so the idea that the UK is going to withdraw from the EU any time soon is not going to be promoted by this UK government. However, to assuage the likes of Bill Cash, there is not going to be any closer union during this same period.

    The status quo will remain and the UK's membership continues whether the EU or the EUsceptics like it or not. No one will be any more offended than they already are and nothing will change.

    More interestingly, once the unfair Westminster Parliamentary constituencies are redrawn and rebalanced and a more representative AV+ (or even a PR) election system is introduced in the UK, I suspect that a future Westminster Parliament will have to adjust to the fact that so few Britons support continued membership of the EU and a Referendum to seek authority to continue membership or withdraw WILL become more likely in the next 10 to 15 years … a UK Referendum that has become long overdue.

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  • 29. At 01:57am on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G and O

    Your response is saying it for me...you're worried. If I were in your shoes I would be too.

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  • 30. At 02:09am on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    sm********t;

    I have gone through my opinions about Ireland and Israel on this and other BBC boards countless times. Look up my old postings, I'm not going through it again here and now. My opinions of the position many if not most Europeans have taken on Israel and why is also all there. I just don't feel like doing it again now just for you.

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  • 31. At 03:11am on 04 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Margaret, please,

    You do know that the Euro is a new currency which then fell from 1/1 to less than that.

    Then it rose high while our dollar fell against it--for all purposes, it became a rival to our currency.

    Now its called the big shakedown, Then,

    it will rise again and who would want it to rise again....exports just become more expensive--this is natural, not an evil conspiracy and

    Marcus is obsessed with the meaningless falling currency--meaning much sound little substance....

    Do you get the picture?

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  • 32. At 03:36am on 04 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    27. At 11:44pm on 03 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:


    " ...I should add that we should make Latin an official language and elect an emperor."

    EUpris: Please tell me if you are or are not joking.

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  • 33. At 03:42am on 04 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:



    We are going to leave the "EU" one day.

    We might as well leave as soon as possible.

    We are just wasting money on this worse-than-useless rubbish.

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  • 34. At 03:45am on 04 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    #31 David:

    Does e.e. cummings have any significance for you?

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  • 35. At 03:59am on 04 Jun 2010, evieconrad wrote:

    There are a number of basic problems with the EU, from the British point of view.

    The UK joined in an era of economic decline. Therefore, the EEC and its successor organisations are associated with (or blamed for) failure. The six founders, on the other hand, joined while the post-war boom was still going strong. On the Continent, Brussels means prosperity (particularly among the Baby-Boomer generation, which is probably more pro-Brussels than those, who went before or came after).

    During the negotiations on the UK's entry to the EEC in the early 1970s, the debacle of 1963 had not been forgotten. President deGaulle had kept Britain out, primarily to protect small farms in France and thus to prevent increasing urbanisation and a swing to the Left in French politics (in the event of an agricultural collapse caused by cheap British produce flooding on to the French market).

    Edward Heath was so desparate to get Britain into "the Common Market" [Note the term and what it meant to British voters.] that he gave the French anything they wanted. That included paying more into the EEC (for the highly questionable reason that Britain had a large manufacturing base, which was comparable to Germany's) and abandoning British fish stocks to their fate. Heath's biographer claimed that he had ambitions to become "Prime Minister of Europe". Certainly, there was a faction within the British establishment, which believed it could re-create the glory days of the British Empire, with French and German help. Today, this group is (sadly) alive and well within Whitehall, the Conservative Party, New Labour and English public schools. It is high time they grew up. Then, we might get round to solving a few of the country's problems. We won't, of course. They'll go ahead with Trident, so that they can pretend Britain is a World power (and so that the American defence contractors, who will build and maintain the system, will be kept happy).

    [I note that, in 1955-56, both France and Germany applied to join the British Commonwealth but were rejected. It was after this that attempts to set up the EEC gained real momentum. Britain was asked to join the EEC but refused. It had stayed out of the Coal and Steel Community, years earlier, fearing how the Trade Unions would react.]

    In the 1980s, Thatcher obtained a rebate, successfully arguing that Britain was paying too much, when its per capita GDP was taken as the chief measure of wealth.

    It seemed worth paying the price of entry, at the time, but the UK's accession to the EEC was immediately before the onset of a recession and a period of industrial unrest, which was followed by two years of political instability [the miner's strike, the Three-Day Week, two elections in 1974, a collapse in property prices, the coup against Heath masterminded by the ultra-right faction within the Tories, the EEC Referendum, Wilson's descent into decrepitude, the IMF Crisis]. Two years of relative stability were brought to an end by further industrial unrest (encouraged by the KGB), culminating in the Winter of Discontent. No sooner had Thatcher taken office than the country was plunged into the worst recession it had seen since the 1930s. By 1981, it looked as if the Tories would get a drubbing in the following General Election. Geoffrey Howe's management of the economy, the Falklands and the electorate's fear of Michael Foot saved Thatcher. Thus, the first ten years of EEC membership were something of a disaster, in the eyes of the average Briton.

    Although there was popular support for a referendum on EEC membership among members of the British public in 1975, the real reason for holding it was that Wilson was privately against membership but didn't have enough backing within the cabinet to make his position known. Both the Labour Party and the Tories were split (although the Tories were much, much more Europhile, then, than they have been, in the thirty-five years since the vote). At the start of the campaign, a sizeable majority of the electorate was in favour of withdrawal. That changed, towards the end of the campaign (which was much more slick and better funded, on the pro-EEC side).

    It is worth noting that, in 1975, the pro-Brussels camp (which included Thatcher) told voters that the EEC would only be a "Common Market"- a free-trade area and nothing more. Even on the opposing side, very few believed that joining the EEC was the beginning of a process, which would lead to a European super-state.

    It's true that Britain's right-wing tabloids are vehemently anti-Brussels but much of the criticism of the EU's institutions is valid, nonetheless. When European officials themselves expose the corrupt and anti-democratic tendencies of the Commission and even resign on matters of principle, they can hardly be accused of acting as Mr Murdoch's or Mr Desmond's stooges.

    It is also fair to say that attitudes in Whitehall [i.e. the Civil Service] are partly responsible for the way, in which Britons view the EU. European legislation is often implemented, without very much thought about how it will operate in practice.

    The British Government has denied British Citizens some of the rights, which other Europeans have been granted by European Institutions. I am thinking mainly of the European Social Charter, which has nothing to do with the EU in reality. People often lump all European institutions together. The European Social Charter was created by the Council of Europe, a completely separate body. However, we mustn't forget the Social Chapter. It was an EU document and was drafted during M Delors' tenure.

    Why are these things important? Well, it would be interesting to see a "counter-factual" Britain, in which its public services [eg the appalling NHS, which must be one of the worst healthcare systems in the Developed World] had maintained or improved standards throughout the 1980s and 1990s, under threat of court action on the Continent. Let's not get too carried away, though. The services might have been slightly better or more widely available but I doubt they would have been any more efficient or cost-effective. The NHS is a bottomless pit, which could consume infinite amounts of money, without significantly improving the nation's health. Increasing commercialisation [or privatisation by the back door] has made a bad situation worse. The NHS takes the social concern of Halliburton and marries it to the oppression and corruption of Stalinism. The EU is much the same.

    Another factor behind the EU's image problem is, ironically, the rightward drift in European politics. People in Britain may say that they oppose socialism but they are still fond of the benefits, which socialist systems and socialist politics can bring. They don't like anyone, who puts those benefits [jobs, wage levels, homes etc] at risk. The EU seems to have no interest in protecting jobs or welfare and labour standards in Britain (or anywhere else in Western Europe).

    Whereas the Commission was broadly social-democratic in outlook, during the 1970s [as were the US Government and even the CIA, for that matter], the EU has come to be seen, rightly or wrongly, as another tool of global capitalism and Big Business. [The Sun may still rant on about socialists in the EU but it is a comic for larger louts, not a proper newspaper.] Regulation of trade is actually far tighter in the United States than it is in most European countries. In many areas, action in the American courts embarrasses the EU into taking action itself, usually about two or three years later.

    For all these reasons, people in Britain ask "What has the European Union ever done for us?" Sadly, unlike the Pythons in "Life of Brian", Europhiles reading this cannot reel off an impressive list of the EU's achievements within the UK. It is increasingly difficult to see the purpose of the European Union, except in the former Eastern-Bloc countries, where it may improve the standard of living.

    Like any large bureaucracy (and the NHS, once "the second-largest employer in Europe, after the Red Army", is a prime example), the EU is run, first and foremost, for the benefit of those, who work for it, and those, who do business with it. The people, for whom the EU is nominally run [i.e. you and me] are now only trotted out as an excuse for directives, which are really introduced at the behest of huge commericial interests. Therefore, the EU is no different from many national governments. It can't justify its existence. [Perhaps the NHS can't either. We only hold on to it because no one has bothered to think of an alternative.]

    Perhaps it is time to revive an idea, which was put forward by the Finance Committee of the United States Senate, ten years ago. Britain could become the third English-speaking member of NAFTA. We deserve compensation for having stuck by the Americans, through thick and thin!

    I don't see that happening, though. Firstly, it would only work if the USA abandoned Free Trade and returned to limited protectionism. Secondly, the Foreign Office is too close to reaching its objective of, as Sir Humphrey himself put it, "making a pig's breakfast of [the EU] from the inside". Once this has happened, who knows where we will end up?

    It may all be a moot debate. Within twenty years, the Chinese economy will probably be larger than the economies of all European countries combined. Buddy Holly's posthumous number-one hit, "You won't matter any more.", will be seventy-one years old, by then, but it could be a very popular song in Beijing. If it is, Chinese Government officials will be singing it to European diplomats.

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  • 36. At 05:15am on 04 Jun 2010, Charentais wrote:

    #15 Jean Luc:
    "This is EVER CLOSER UNION.

    This is what the UK citizens agreed to in the 1975 referendum."

    Wrong,mon ami! The 1975 referendum was on the issue of joining the European ECONOMIC Community - or Common Market. There was nothing presented in it to the voters that referred to a European Community (ie political as well as economic), let alone a European Union or (heaven forfend) a United States of Europe.

    Now, I will accept that the unwritten and unspoken intention of our political masters at that time (and, by the way, I voted 'No' on that occasion!) may have been exactly to produce a super-state. Had that issue been put then, I strongly suspect that the outcome of the referendum would have been very different indeed. Let's face it, even here in France there is still considerable opposition from ordinary citizens (ie not 'les Enarques') to the content of the Lisbon Treaty. But of course, in true democratic fashion, the original French rejection of the proposed constitution was neatly overturnd by sleight of hand.

    To continue to assert that 'Brussels knowns best' will achieve little more than to enhance the already considerable general scepticism about your 'ever closer union' - not just in the UK, but throughout Europe - and will serve only to hasten the demise of the whole top-heavy institution and its chosen tool for total and dictatorial control - namely the Euro;

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  • 37. At 05:32am on 04 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    @MA-II #30

    Let me quote from you, then: The mechanism by which the fighting came to an end in NI [Northern Ireland] may have been a political expedient but it does not change the fact that the Protestants in NI were an enclave minority who colonized and eventually siezed part of an island that was inhabited by someone else. There really is no way to rationalize it.

    Well, substitute "Israelis" for "Protestants", "Palestine" for "Ireland", and adapt to the local geography (west instead of north; 'the original UN-mandate' instead of 'island'). You're done. Thank you for staying consistent.

    @Gheryando #27

    Yes, let us vote for Marcus Aurelius III.

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  • 38. At 05:43am on 04 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    The US housing market is continuing to recover US stocks have risen strongly after a big increase in pending home sales and demand for cars lifted investor confidence in the US economy.

    Pending home sales - deals agreed but not yet completed - rose 6% in April.[...]
    Meanwhile, overall new car sales in the US were 19% higher in May than the same month last year. [BBC]



    P.S. That toast in "3 years time" will almost certainly not be with a French wine.

    But rather American, Australian, Chilean or South African.


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  • 39. At 06:15am on 04 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    #17. At 10:17pm on 03 Jun 2010, smroet,

    What make you think anyone is interested in such a plan? All that you are suggesting there is to split up the EU. Time for reality check

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  • 40. At 06:26am on 04 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    #36

    There is a reference to the UK Government's leaflet here, and you can find a NO leaflet here. I fail to see why people maintain that they were not well informed in 1975 about 'faceless bureaucrats in Brussels' telling them what to do.

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  • 41. At 06:28am on 04 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    The comments here are in most cases clinical cleansed for analytical remarks or reasoning.
    That is also the case with the blog article, instead a few have observed the prediction that there will be a clash between the UK and the EU. The light in the dark is Threnodio’s observation that there will be a clash between the coalition partners in Westminister.
    Nothing new from the west.

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  • 42. At 06:44am on 04 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    @ChrisArta #39

    I don't think anyone at a Government level is interested. Moreover, there will not be a referendum in the UK, either. Such is reality. However, variations of such a plan were aired in the early 1990s, but did not go through, for various reasons. That does not mean that such ideas should not be aired again, if only to stimulate debate. Otherwise, we might as well accept what is cooked up for us.

    The idea is NOT to split up the EU, but to allow for those countries who want to go for further integration to go ahead (obviously, nobody wants to stay behind then, which led e.g. to Greece joining the Eurozone). Before the Lisbon Treaty, such partial further integration could be blocked by a veto of a single country. Now it takes a bit more doing, but a minority blockage still exists.

    OK, I did my reality check. Time for a proposition your side.

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  • 43. At 07:34am on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "29. At 01:57am on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G and O

    Your response is saying it for me...you're worried. If I were in your shoes I would be too."

    My response was a question...you still haven't answered it.

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  • 44. At 07:53am on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    smroet - Fortunately, he is not eligible since he is not European. However, you could vote for me.

    Eupris: Will you vote for me as well? I could make you Consul.

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  • 45. At 08:15am on 04 Jun 2010, Keith wrote:

    28 Menedemus - "The fact is that the Liberal wing of the current UK coalition government would not countenance a referendum on membership of the EU"

    On what do you base that "fact"?

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  • 46. At 08:39am on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @CHARENTAIS

    Re "Wrong,mon ami! The 1975 referendum was on the issue of joining the European ECONOMIC Community - or Common Market. There was nothing presented in it to the voters that referred to a European Community (ie political as well as economic), let alone a European Union or (heaven forfend) a United States of Europe."

    Ouch!

    Let's have a look at some facts:

    1. As you mention yourself, the UK citizens expressed their desire to join the European Economic Community.
    2. Joining the EEC meant ratifying the EEC Treaty (membership of international organization = ratifying it's establishing statute/treaty/...
    3. The EEC Treaty already in 1957, therefore also in 1972/1975 mentioned the wonderful phrase 'ever closer union'.

    It really gets boring to keep having to explain this to eurosceptics who think 'ever closer union' was something that got inserted behind their backs 'on the way'.

    You agreed to it, get over it and accept the consequences OR get out of our union. No one is stopping you, except your own leaders of course, which would make you wonder where the dictatorial conniving corrupt avaricious (bla bla bla *you know all the silly things coolbrushwork says about the eu*) political leaders really can be found!

    Re "Now, I will accept that the unwritten and unspoken intention of our political masters at that time (and, by the way, I voted 'No' on that occasion!) may have been exactly to produce a super-state. Had that issue been put then, I strongly suspect that the outcome of the referendum would have been very different indeed. Let's face it, even here in France there is still considerable opposition from ordinary citizens (ie not 'les Enarques') to the content of the Lisbon Treaty. But of course, in true democratic fashion, the original French rejection of the proposed constitution was neatly overturnd by sleight of hand."

    Obviously, 40% don't really understand what the Treaty would do or even what the EU does, another 40% thinks they know, but actually voted about polish plumbers or used the referendum to express discontent over their national governement and then there is 20% who probably knew what it was about and voted for or against. Organizing referendums for such serious matters is a bad idea because people don't act responsible enough to actually properly inform themselves and vote according to their personal conviction resulting from this information (regardless whether this conviction is positive or negative). Aside from this, for a lot of people it is impossible for them to properly inform themselves because the information is too complex.

    "To continue to assert that 'Brussels knowns best' will achieve little more than to enhance the already considerable general scepticism about your 'ever closer union' - not just in the UK, but throughout Europe - and will serve only to hasten the demise of the whole top-heavy institution and its chosen tool for total and dictatorial control - namely the Euro;"

    I like it when you guys make predictions.

    But you know, each crisis in the EU plants the seed for stronger 'ever closer union': Everyone in 1992 knew the EURO would not succeed without political and fiscal union, but the matter got pushed in front of us. Now the economic and euro crisis obliges us to look at the problem and start solving it. Obviously the solution is 'ever closer union' because retracing our steps is impossible: too much uncertainty and huge costs.


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  • 47. At 08:44am on 04 Jun 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    What does William Hague mean by Transfer of Powers?

    As Jean Luc pointed out in #15 every single piece of EU legislation amounts to a (small) transferral of powers to Brussels. So when we (UK) joined in 1973 we were immediately obliged to accept, as an example, the Directive 73/361 on the marking of wire-ropes, chains and hooks, which meant that we lost our ability to make our own legislation on the marking of wire-ropes, chains and hooks. About 90% of EU legislation covers mundane areas such as this, where we agree to standardisation and a certain loss of 'power'. So does William Hague intend to have a referendum if 'Brussels' wants to extend the scope of Directive 73/361 on the marking of wire-ropes, chains and hooks to cover nylon cord as well?

    If he is saying that he would hold a referendum before Britain were to join the Euro, then I would be in complete agreement with him. But there is a big grey area of uncertainty between the two above extremes, and I can envisage many juicy arguments both between the coalition partners, and within the coalition partners, over what constitutes a 'transfer of powers'.

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  • 48. At 08:54am on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #7, #8 & #20

    Quote, "..for Britain to abide by the rules of Single Market.."

    Would those be the 'rules' by which a number of EU Member Nations inc. UK have used the 'Derogation'/'Opt-out' regulations placed in the rule-book for any Member to quite legitimately apply in specific cases?

    Or, would that be Your bitter frustration that Spain went full-tilt into every EU Directive & Treaty and is now suffering from an Economy that has '40%' unemployment amongst its under-25!?

    Quote, "..if You are a member of a club you cannot pick and choose which rules of the club you want to comply with.."

    Would those be the 'rules' flouted by 11 of the 15 EUro-zone entrant Nations? You know, 'rules' twisted, broken, lied about by stalwart EU nations like France, Italy, Greece etc. when it suits them. However, the UK is expected to accept everything & when it doesn't You point the accusing 'UK isn't playing by the rules' finger - - strange? Can't see anyone telling Paris that!

    Quote, "..UKIP flag-wavers at Brussels.. claim their seats at a British Parliament.."

    Are those the perfectly legally, Democratically elected MEPs whom because they do not support Your 'pro-EU' view of everything should therefore not be heard: The true level of EU 'Democracy' - - Citizens of the EU who vote for a Party should not be represented or have a voice - - unless, it is a 'pro-EU' voice!?

    Oh dear, several millions of Britons, predominantly the English Citizens of the UK have elected a EUro-sceptic Government and You do not approve: Well, though I could never bring myself to Vote for a Conservative Party judging from Your's and other 'pro-EU' up-in-arms reaction to Foreign Secretary Hague the Conservatives just went up several notches in my personal approval-rating.
    Doubtless, it is the same for much of England - - a 'Democratic' voice, don't you just love it?

    Well, You'd have to believe in 'Democracy' to get that perspective: As much of Your comment here clearly illustrates most 'pro-EU' wouldn't recognise 'Democracy' even when they hear an elected Government policy reflecting it.

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  • 49. At 09:03am on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #18

    Still pontificating from on high.

    Despite all the evidence, e.g. the EUro-zone Member qualification rules & regulations completely ignored by Members, still no recognition that whatever is written down by the EU doesn't mean a thing in reality when it suits the axis-of-ill-intent at Paris-Brussels-Berlin.

    Still unable to grasp reality and still fixated on documentation: Such as the Lisbon Treaty - - the Treaty hailed by Pres Barroso's ".. ratification.. major step forward for the EU..' & '.. a great moment..", and just 6 months later, '..Lisbon is not working..'!

    Thanks for chipping in Your 2 Euro's worth again - - it's even more out-of-touch & funny now than a year ago!

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  • 50. At 09:07am on 04 Jun 2010, Clive Hill wrote:

    #16 JorgeG1
    I read the article you linked in the Independent. It was written in 1995. The Schengen Agreement became EU law in 1997 and Britain and Ireland had an opt out anyway. The original wording of the Treaty of Rome does not preclude passport controls. I believe Hugh O'Shaughnessy was disingenuous to suggest that. That seems obvious since if it were so, the Schengen Agreement would have been unnecessary.

    #35 evieconrad
    Excellent post although you do seem to have a bit of a downer on the NHS. Personally - from my own limited knowledge and that of people I know - I don't have a problem with the NHS so I'd like to see a development of that argument but I guess this is not the forum for it.

    I can attest that the pro-EEC referendum campaign in 1975 was much better funded than the Get Britain Out (GBO) campaign. I remember seeing a documentary which said that the pro-EEC campaign had spent just about 5 times as much as the GBO. I can easily believe that. I worked as a volunteer for the GBO along with a few other members of the Liberal party (sic) in Brent. It was run by the Labour Party Young Socialists and the Communist Party. I agree that the image of those opposing the EU as right wing nutters is a recent one. The EUphile characterisation of those opposing the EU as some kind of nutters is wearyingly old.

    A much quoted statistic is that 60% of our trade is with the EU. That was not so before we joined it. The majority of our trade was with the commonwealth. We screwed them over when we joined the EU. We did make some special provision for commonwealth goods which later sparked the banana row between Costa Rican bananas preferred by Germans and West Indian bananas which had (I believe) preferential ex-commonwealth treatment.

    We have to deal with the EU from the inside position now. The 'ever closer union' school and the lack of democracy are forces constantly trying to pull the EU apart.

    It is clear that there is no democratic mandate in the whole EU population - although there undoubtedly is in some small EU countries - for a United States of Europe or anything like it. This is not some British myth, it is what the referendum results tell us.

    The foundation of the 'ever closer union' school is the EU commission aided and abetted by the Franco-German axis. This despite the French population's rejection of the Constitution and the German population's hostility to the financial consequences of the euro.

    In a properly democratic world, the direction of the Franco-German policy on the EU would change. For reasons I frankly cannot understand, it does not.

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  • 51. At 09:09am on 04 Jun 2010, Dempster wrote:


    I wonder if Mr Hague is signalling ‘no’ to the UK contributing to a future ECB / Euro bailout fund.

    Because if most of these journalists have got to right, the Euro currency is going to be a kill or cure for some countries.

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  • 52. At 09:13am on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Charentais

    Re #36

    Thank You for an excellent contribution: Too often the doubts on the continent are drowned out by the 'pro-EU' lobbyists.

    It always puzzles me how it is the British who are labelled as the only 'anti-EU' when in my travels through 'west' EUrope I consistently find Citizens from Finland & Sweden via Denmark & Germany to Netherlands, France and Spain who oppose the 'political' tightening of the knot on the 'union' and would much prefer the looser ties of the EEC (i.e pre-Maastricht). And that holds true even as they recognise the ease of open borders, but think too much National independence is being subsumed just so they don't have to queue & show a passport!

    I voted 'yes' in 1975 and was 1 of those IMO millions of Britons who would have voted 'no' had I grasped the 'ever closer political union' intent behind the EEC Referendum on renegotiated entry terms for the UK.

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  • 53. At 09:42am on 04 Jun 2010, Clive Hill wrote:

    #40 smroet
    The 1975 referendum was presented as either remining in a EEC free trade area or moving out of it into an arctic wilderness of poverty and social disaster. Pretty much no other issue was emphasised by the 'yes' camp.

    I remember the 'yes' pamphlet you posted a link to. It was portrayed as government advice and posted to every household by the government. I think if you read it again you will find no mention of 'ever closer union' nor any mention of political union.

    It's rather like saying that a party's manifesto was the reason they won or lost an election rather than, say, with which party do you feel the NHS is safest ?

    Remember all but the Morning Star of the press was pro-EEC and broadcast news - unlike today - offered no opinion. The Morning Star was the paper of the British Communist Party, circulation 2 blokes and a dog and the dog didn't use it to read.

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  • 54. At 09:42am on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    smroet

    Re #40

    Thanks for providing the reference for a look at the UK Government 1975 Vote 'Yes' pamphlet.
    It certainly rekindled my memory-banks (I was stationed in West Germany).

    Having re-read I'm bound to say I cannot fathom how You could possibly claim that it is in any way a document that refers to 'ever closer political union'!

    I take the opposite view to Yourself: IMO it demonstrably shows the British Citizen was wholly uninformed about the likelihood of the 'political' development/encroachment by the EU that has come at such pace post-Maastricht.
    Nothing in the pamphlet in any way indicates that 'political' authority and power will be placed in Brussels - - on the contrary - - the document specifies 'National' sovereignty and the primacy of the UK Parliament.

    So far as I recall I voted 'Yes' in April 1975 because of what it said and not because of what it left out: I.e. 'ever closer union' (not in the pamphlet), an unapproachable EUropean Supreme Court circumventing policy voted for by the UK Electorate at National level, a Brussels' civil service/Commission usurping UK rights & responsibilities at every stage of every area of Government policy.

    Of course it was written in a different era and refers to the EEC/Common Market: Which as 'anti' & 'pro' all recognise and agree is nothing like the modern day EUropean Union. Therefore, I fail to see how this pamphlet could do anything other in today's climate/experience than encourage the 'anti-EU' stance among Britons/English.

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  • 55. At 09:44am on 04 Jun 2010, Clive Hill wrote:

    #19 threnodio_II
    Bill Cash was not one of John Major's 'bastards'. They were Michael Portillo, Peter Lilley and Michael Howard.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 56. At 09:47am on 04 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #52. At 09:13am on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work
    One of the answers is pretty evident: Nationalism. It was activated back in the 19th century, but very quickly the sharpest analysts realised that the market economy one day would comprise most of the world.

    The day that happened nationalism became a regressive notion. However, it still has its own audience and theater, and the latter will open again within a few days, only with the actors dressed as football players. When that happens the boulevard papers in the UK will again perform "The second world war".
    I shall be releived if we this time avoid England versus Germany.

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  • 57. At 10:06am on 04 Jun 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    The Tories are hopeless over Europe. They want their ball back and are quite happy to destroy the game. Their right wing wants to do the greatest possible harm to the UK over the European question, just so they can crow about protecting little England against the perfidious Johnny Foreigner - and they do this from their tax exile retreats in Central America and elsewhere. These are the same segments of society that thought the National Socialists in Germany were doing a jolly good job. (I will refrain from mentioning the Newspapers that proposed and supported this view in the thirties.)

    In truth this rabid wing don't give a toss about the British people and our country. The one good aspect of the LibDem Coalition is that this wing is marginalised. David Cameron MUST rejoin a sensible centre group in European Parliament and leave the rabid right, otherwise it simply demonstrates how little he cares for his country.

    Any rational person who cares about the well-being of this Nation must be able to see that our economic fate is tied up with the rest of the continent of Europe. We are NOT some expendable offshore aircraft carrier fro the USA! The gibbering idiots who deny this connection and hate all of our customers will destroy our country - but luckily as every Tory part (and indeed parts of the Labour party) have found is that common sense prevails as I am sure it will eventually - but David Cameron did not make a good start by saying last week the under his leadership the UK will veto everything good or bad proposed for the better management of the EU - in this he is showing himself to be very foolish.

    There are a number of simple minded buffoons on this blog who rant on about leaving the EU and to them I say go back to the corner of the bar and cry in your beer as it ain't gonna happen! Common sense always prevails and your silly ideas are economically unsound and just palin (that is an apt typo!) daft.

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  • 58. At 10:11am on 04 Jun 2010, Chris wrote:

    #42. At 06:44am on 04 Jun 2010, smroet

    a) Increase the power of the regions to run own their affairs i.e. taxes, schools, police, hospitals.
    b) Increase the EU budget to about 3% - 4%, but make it responsible for defence and trade for the whole of the union.
    c) scrap GAP & other internal money trasfers
    d) reduce the imprtance of national governments

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  • 59. At 10:14am on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ COOLBRUSHWORK

    Re "Despite all the evidence, e.g. the EUro-zone Member qualification rules & regulations completely ignored by Members, still no recognition that whatever is written down by the EU doesn't mean a thing in reality when it suits the axis-of-ill-intent at Paris-Brussels-Berlin."

    Seriously, read what you wrote again.

    "no recognition of whatever is written down by the EU"

    read it again

    ponder on it

    read it again

    ...

    Now, if you think this through you will see: "the EU" does not exist the way you write about it.

    The Maastricht rules were not written down or imposed by some 'Eurocrate'

    The Maastricht rules were written down by the same Member States who violated them, Germany in the first place!

    What has this taught us?

    Why is there a problem now? The Member States who wrote down the Maastricht rules choose not to write down proper 'enforcement' measures because this would 'violate' their sovereignty. This means they had an easy opportunity (and took it) to violate the rules without consequences.

    What is the solution? Give more powers to the Commission/ECB to oblige the Member States to follow their own rules, because obviously Member States can not be trusted to follow these rules by themselves.

    Re "Still unable to grasp reality and still fixated on documentation: Such as the Lisbon Treaty - - the Treaty hailed by Pres Barroso's ".. ratification.. major step forward for the EU..' & '.. a great moment..", and just 6 months later, '..Lisbon is not working..'!"

    Sorry to wake you up from your black/white world. But the Lisbon Treaty was one step forward, therefore a great moment. What we need to tackle the current crisis is two steps forward, meaning Lisbon isn't enough.

    You understand this nuance?

    The real world is more complex than good vs bad, we have good, very good, ok, neutral, bad, very bad, etc.

    You should come and visit us in the real world, it's nice here.

    Re "I voted 'yes' in 1975 and was 1 of those IMO millions of Britons who would have voted 'no' had I grasped the 'ever closer political union' intent behind the EEC Referendum on renegotiated entry terms for the UK."

    Re "So far as I recall I voted 'Yes' in April 1975 because of what it said and not because of what it left out: I.e. 'ever closer union' (not in the pamphlet), an unapproachable EUropean Supreme Court circumventing policy voted for by the UK Electorate at National level, a Brussels' civil service/Commission usurping UK rights & responsibilities at every stage of every area of Government policy."

    THat's the burden of democracy isn't it?

    If the government asks your opinion on membership of an international organization, the only thing to do to make a 'proper vote' (be it yes or no) is read the statutes of that organization and look into its history to see what the objectives and the functioning of the organization are.

    If you would have done this, you would have read the 'ever closer union', you would have seen the revolutionary case law of the ECJ (already in 1972), you would have known that the objectives of the founding states were not merely economic.

    But you were intellectualy lazy and choose to just read some pamphlet.

    Obviously I don't blame you, these things are too complicated to get dealt with in a referendum especially in a no or yes vote.

    But it shows that the burden of democracy is too heavy for a lot of people. Democracy only makes sense if people properly inform themselves, which you in 1975 have not. Now you have to live with the results!

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  • 60. At 10:18am on 04 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    Keith @#45

    Not so much a Fact as Reality.

    Feel free to read page 57 of the Liberal Democrat 2010 Manifesto which details that party's approach to membership of the EU.

    I offer no fact but I can read and understand political positions and stances and understand the impact upon policy direction.

    The Liberal Democrats are clearly FOR continued closer integration of the UK within EU and would not countenance a Referendum or Legislation that would lead to the UK not being at the 'heart of Europe'. Hence, William Hague's Foreign Policy towards Europe, the EU and the Euro has to be circumspect and the Conservative Party manifesto pledge to promise UK legislation (which would require a Referendum) should there be any EU move to further transfer of UK sovereign powers to the EU has been (clearly because of the Coalition consensus reached) watered down to his speech yesterday where William Hague now states "There would be no further transfer of sovereignty or powers from Britain to the EU over the course of the parliament" ... no mention whatsoever of a Referendum on any future attempt by the EU to gain more powers from the sovereign nations.

    Hence, I suggest that the pragmatic William Hague is tiptoeing around his coalition partner’s reluctance to see the UK withdraw or become isolated from the EU and he knows that, with the coalition, he cannot promote the idea of the UK citizen's getting a vote on continued membership or loss of more sovereign UK powers to the EU because he knows that such choice would have to be opposed by the Liberal Democrats (who clearly know their stance IS for continued membership and integration of the UK with the EU) and which would probably lead to the friction and division between the Coalition partners that opponents and pundits seek to identify and exploit.

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  • 61. At 10:20am on 04 Jun 2010, Charentais wrote:

    #Jean-Luc:

    "Ouch!" - yes, the truth does hurt sometimes, doesn't it!

    " ... get out of our union." - That would make a lot of people happy, including you, I suspect!

    Your original post at #15 was referring to the 1975 Referendum; I merely had the temerity to point out that what was actually 'sold' to the electorate was NOT what we now have. You appear to have missed this point, though in effect you reinforce it by your references to Polish plumbers (Poland was still a Warsaw Pact country in 1975, remember), and the advent of the Euro - also a much later event.

    Your contention that nothing can be changed apart from making everything bigger is a fallacy. I will certainly grant you that there would be costs involved in breaking up the EU, but to assert, as you appear to do, that there is only one way forward is nonsense. Even your solution would involve greater costs (and probably even more chaos). Put simply, bigger is NOT always better.

    #52 CBW: Thanks for the compliment! It is a relief to know there are still two of us that think the same way - particularly since it seems to annoy some people so much!

    (Oh, and before anyone accuses me of being a 'Little Englander', I would just point out that I have been living, very happily, in France for the last ten years)!

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  • 62. At 10:26am on 04 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    In the absence of any realistic change that UK politicians will allow us to vote on whether or not to remain in the EU, I hoped that the UK would be able to 'reform' the EU - i.e. make it into the free trade area that most UK citizens thought they were voting for in 1975. (Please: let's not get into the argument on whether or not we were duped or just didn't read the small print...).

    Obviously, EUro-federalists view the UK as not willing to be good member of the club, and acting in an insidious (perfidious?) manner to derail the inevitable progress of the EU juggernaut towards "ever closer union".

    I sort of agreed with this point of view: I always hoped that while we were stuck in this unholy union, the UK would destroy the concept - and practicality - of a federal EU from within.

    However, I see that this is unnecessary as the EU is quite capable of destroying itself - as the imminent collapse of the EUrozone, brought about by the lunacy of sharing a single currency between productive nations like Germany on the one hand and 'sub-prime states' on the other, is demonstrating.

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  • 63. At 10:58am on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @Charentais

    Re "That would make a lot of people happy, including you, I suspect!"

    Sorry mate, you will not have me pictured as a UK hater ;)

    I don't really care if you are in or out. But if you are in you will have to play by the rules, which includes "ever closer union".

    If you don't want this, than yes I would prefere you to leave (this goes for any other country as well)

    Re "Your original post at #15 was referring to the 1975 Referendum; I merely had the temerity to point out that what was actually 'sold' to the electorate was NOT what we now have. You appear to have missed this point, though in effect you reinforce it by your references to Polish plumbers (Poland was still a Warsaw Pact country in 1975, remember), and the advent of the Euro - also a much later event."

    How the EEC was sold to you by YOUR own national leaders is of no interest to me. If you were cheated by your own national leaders, that is something which you will have to solve nationally.

    However, as things stand, you agreed to 'ever closer union', therefore you are under an obligation to constructively work towards 'ever closer union'. Either this or you denounce the Treaty.

    Re "Your contention that nothing can be changed apart from making everything bigger"

    I never said or implied bigger. That's something you automatically link to it because you are probably thinking about an EU superstate, which does not exist.


    Re "particularly since it seems to annoy some people so much!"

    Everyone is entitled to their own political opinion. But if one choses to spread it online it's always nice that this opinion is based on facts. Apart from that I am not annoyed but more amused by the (wilful) ignorance of some people here. Blaming the EU for whatever, arguing for powers to be returned to their national capitals, while not seeing that if they truly are being cheated, it is not by the EU but precisely by those national leaders they would give more power to.

    Cameron will never give you a referendum on membership (imo): he talks enti EU to get votes, but knows his country needs EU integration.

    I truly feel sorry for UK citizens who (after informing themselves properly) want out of the EU. Because the traditional parties will not give them this possibility.

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  • 64. At 11:09am on 04 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #59. At 10:14am on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc,

    As yet another who voted yes in 1975 but who now regrets it especially having seen at first hand in Brussels how it works (or rather doesn't), I have only one really small comment to make. Yes, we did not read the small print in the original treaty which is what most conzeners rely on and BTW cozener means :- to deceive, win over, or induce to do something by artful coaxing and wheedling or shrewd trickery. The HM governments document in 1975 was most certainly a good example of cozening.

    What the pro-EU and pro-EURO group cannot now accept is that many have now sussed out the cozening of them by the EU elite and are now reading the fine print, analysing it and seeing how treaties like Lisbon have been written to deceive, and the trick is not so much as to read the written words but look between the lines to see how the words can be twisted to allow what the pro-EU mob want to undemocratically achieve.

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  • 65. At 11:23am on 04 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    Sounds like fairly decent policy to be honest.

    There isn't much appetite in Britain for further integration at the moment, but the Eurozone has to be allowed to sort out its problems via introducing common monetary and fiscal control.

    A healthy Eurozone is good for everyone.

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  • 66. At 11:38am on 04 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    As I suspected we are in for a period of fence sitting. The Conservatives cannot allow further integration and the Lib Dems cannot allow less. Neither can get their way currently. The Conservatives would never get the Labour/Lib Dem support for moving away and only the politically suicidal would propose throwing us further into the shaky situation across the channel. More of the same for the next few years at least.

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  • 67. At 11:43am on 04 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    "the British people should express themselves whether they want to be in or out. And if they vote to be out, there will be a huge sigh of relief across the Channel.

    Once they are out, the EU can organize itself in multiple layers, with a structure of a core (narrow Eurozone), a first periphery (ancient EU-15 - UK), a second periphery (EU-27 - UK), a third periphery (UK + Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino + Norway + Iceland + part of former Yougoslavia), and a fourth periphery of interesting partners (Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Marocco, Tunisia, etc.) . The requirement about having to join the Euro can then be relaxed, and the Schengen concept rediscussed.

    Obviously, the people have to be consulted about all this (e.g. by referenda), but such a layered structure is better than a one-size-should-fit-all structure as we have it now"

    Interesting Smroet. Thank you for that. You should join the EU structure. With enough people like you, you may actually make something the people would want to be part of. :)

    Sadly you would likely be drowned out by the sanctimonious, self-righteous, know-at-all voices of the bulk of the Pro-EU on here. How many comments above say in essence...the people are too stupid to decide. These are the people who turned me from fairly Pro-EU to steadfastly Anti.

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  • 68. At 11:46am on 04 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #63. At 10:58am on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc,

    Re "However, as things stand, you agreed to 'ever closer union', therefore you are under an obligation to constructively work towards 'ever closer union'. Either this or you denounce the Treaty."

    As I'm sure you are aware, there is a lot of consumer protection legislation around these days to protect people from miss-selling, incorrect or even lying descriptions etc. So bearing this in mind and the fact that we were not sold "ever closer union" but rather a "common market" do you still consider that your statement that we agreed to "ever closer union" to have any legitimacy whatsoever. Were this a product in the shops the manufacturer and the shop would be prosecuted under trades description and consumer rights laws, so should it be with the EU and the EU elite whose various treaty documents are veritable art works in their attempt to baffle and deceive.

    #61. At 10:20am on 04 Jun 2010, Charentais,

    There's more than two of you out there, living in Belgium for 20 years has opened my eyes about the truth of the EU and Brussels, and turned me from pro-common market to very much against a federalist integrationist EU.

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  • 69. At 11:49am on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    Jean Luc - at various posts.

    As someone who shares your integrationist instincts, I do not find some of your posts about 'Earth to UK' and especially those which fall back on the legal status post Lisbon to predict the UK is trapped into ever closer union helpful.

    If you step back and look at this realistically, there are all sorts of ways in which the UK could be hugely disruptive it it chose to do so. It could, for example hold the whole budget to ransom by withholding payments and demanding renegotiation at every turn, they could scupper any attempt at a cohesive foreign policy simply by ruthless using their permanent seat at the Security Council, they could simply refuse to submit the UK domestic budget to EU scrutiny before introducing it at Westminster, they could do what the French have been doing for years - lamely acquiescing to everything the EU throws at them and simply not enforcing the things that don't suit them. If all else fails, they could trigger the Lisbon mechanism for withdrawal. They would not actually have to withdraw. The threat would be enough to drag everyone kinking and screaming back to the negotiating table and trigger an enormous crisis. It is a dangerous folly to underestimate the determination of an unwilling partner when cornered.

    These are the views of a European with enthusiastic tendencies. But I am also a Brit, albeit living elsewhere, and I continue to harbour real doubts about the way integrationists tend to think they can steamroller everyone into compliance. I have said before that being EU enthusiastic is not the same thing as being comfortable with the way in which the EU is heading. Euro scepticism is not confined to Britain and symptoms of widespread discontent are beginning to manifest themselves all over Europe. In Germany, there is concern that they will end up bank rolling the Euro zone, in Greece, Portugal and Spain, the population that is being asked to pay a considerable price at grass roots level for compliance could yet decide it is not worth the candle.

    Throw into this a tendency of Chancellor Merkel to sell quite draconian regulation of the markets as a solution to future crisises, Sarkozy's tendency to change policies as often as his underwear and a whole host of lesser European leaders who will begin to realise that their future electoral potential depends directly on their ability to 'get tough' with Brussels and you will find the situation is very fluid indeed.

    The idea that the project has taken on a life of its own and is now an unstopable juggernaut is, in my view, naive in the extreme. Eventually, the powers that be will have to accept that the future of their project depends on public support and without proper democratic consent and consultation, this is going to prove ever more difficult. It would be far wiser to confront these issues head on sooner rather than later than simply going on assuming that where they lead, others will follow.

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  • 70. At 11:53am on 04 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    44. At 07:53am on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    " ...

    Eupris: Will you vote for me as well? I could make you Consul. "

    EUpris: Do you have any intellectual proximity to Otto on Hapsburg? If so, then please give me some details.

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  • 71. At 11:54am on 04 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    44. At 07:53am on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    " ...

    Eupris: Will you vote for me as well? ..."
    EUpris: NO!

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  • 72. At 12:09pm on 04 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 19. threnodio

    "Bill Cash was one of John Major's original 'bastards'."

    Thank you threnodio for the info.

    My previous post seems to have been referred for further consideration (?)

    My point was this: Not too familiar with that 'bastards' saga, neither I am going to enter into whether the bastard attribute is merited or not. What I can say is that IMO Mr Cash is being dishonest. Basically he is advocating that his country, which elected him as an MP, should break international law. He is saying that the UK should be free to break international law that applies to this country under international treaties that this country is signatory to, all this while representing a party that supports membership (admittedly, mainly to adopt the role of perennial obstructionist) of the institution created and developed by those international treaties.

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  • 73. At 12:16pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #64 - Buzet23

    I am not sure the cozener label is entirely fair. My view is that the 1975 question was fairly and honestly put. It was about membership of the EEC. I will grant that Edward Heath saw this as a stage in the process but neither he nor Wilson were unwilling to ask the question of the British people. How were they to know that a future generation of politicians would fall back on electoral mandates rather than consulting directly?

    It is sometimes forgotten that referenda are not a natural part of the Westminster system. Wilson will almost certainly have believed that he had created an important precedent by implementing direct consultation. I think you have - for all the right reasons - identified the wrong bogeymen. Maastricht to some extent 'did for' the Tories. Lisbon may have 'done for' New Labour. In a way, Hague may be right in suggesting that direct consultation is the only legitimate authority. If so, he has taken one hell of a long time to figure it out. My worry is that this is precisely the kind of populism that Barroso was talking about.

    I think Barroso is wrong about this and Hague has probably sensed the public mood. If it leads to a more open and honest debate, amen to that, but if it leads to polarisation and a constant stand off, then we are back to square one. Then the only honest thing to do would be for Brussels to say 'this is the way we are going and, if you don't like it, get the hell out' to which the only British response would be to toe the line or call their bluff. Either way, we would be back to the substantive question - do we go or do we stay? Everything else is simply tinkering at the margins.

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  • 74. At 12:28pm on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 75. At 12:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 60. At 10:18am on 04 Jun 2010, Menedemus

    "The Liberal Democrats are clearly FOR continued closer integration of the UK within EU and would not countenance a Referendum or Legislation that would lead to the UK not being at the 'heart of Europe'"

    Steady, steady...

    Not so. The LibDems may be the most pro-EU of all the three major parties but they also like to indulge in that established British political tradition of EU double standards.

    For example, they join the other two parties in the keep our borders fundamentalism group-think by opposing the EU's border union, rejecting in the process the most prominent and successful pillar of European integration bar none, one that comprises all EU countries (except you-know-who) plus three non-EU countries.

    "The party's position remains that we do not believe Britain should join the Schengen area in the foreseeable future and would maintain and strengthen Britain's borders with a new dedicated UK Border Force to ensure rigorous entry and exit checks. Liberal Democrats believe that UK asylum and immigration policy should ultimately remain the decision of the UK government."

    Source: Liberal Democrat Political Information and Communications Section

    They obviously forgot to make their leader at the Euro Parliament, Graham Watson, aware of their policy AGAINST a common European asylum and immigration policy, as the hapless Watson, thinking that his party was a supporter of European integration, wrote the following in a pamphlet entitled "Making migration work for Europe":

    "Nothing could better illustrate the need for a *common European migration policy* than the case of the seven Tunisian fishermen imprisoned in August 2007 for rescuing migrants from a sinking ship in the Mediterranean."

    http://www.alde.eu/en/details/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=9417&cHash=78a9aa7462

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  • 76. At 12:36pm on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Worry wart;

    I bring it up to remind you that this is strong evidence that Europe's entire civilization based on a tapestry of lies, absurd assumptions, and impossible contradictions is finally collapsing like a house of cards in a mild breeze. I've said for the longest time that European civilization could not survive in anything remotely resembling its current and recent form and now the proof of that assertion is manifesting itself. The fall in the Euro is merely one aspect of that evidence. I also said that Europeans would not accept the truth and the inevitable consequences of living these lies and I expect to see a very strong reaction as their governments are forced to take the politically distasteful actions in the face of unchangable and now undeniable realities. You and other Europeans may wish to minimize their impact or signifigance in your own minds or to ignore them completely but if you read my postings, you will find that I won't. The exact opposite is what I will post, a discussion of what I happening as I see and hear about it and my perspective about why. If it bothers you, don't read my postings anymore. BTW, ignoring what is happening will not change it or make it disappear.

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  • 77. At 12:40pm on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BTW worry wart, the latest data I've got at 7:37 AM EDT is;

    EUR/USD 1.2114 -0.0048

    This is the lowest I've seen it. It may have fallen through its recent low. What happens today could be telling if it continues to fall. My chart analysis suggestst there may be support around 1.17. And then again maybe not.

    2Q growth in the Eurozone is confirmed at 0.2%, anemic to say the least.

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  • 78. At 12:44pm on 04 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @67 Freeman
    "Sadly you would likely be drowned out by the sanctimonious, self-righteous, know-at-all voices of the bulk of the Pro-EU on here. How many comments above say in essence...the people are too stupid to decide. These are the people who turned me from fairly Pro-EU to steadfastly Anti."

    That is a really nice remark. I concur ;)

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  • 79. At 12:48pm on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @Buzet

    Re "As I'm sure you are aware, there is a lot of consumer protection legislation around these days to protect people from miss-selling, incorrect or even lying descriptions etc. So bearing this in mind and the fact that we were not sold "ever closer union" but rather a "common market" do you still consider that your statement that we agreed to "ever closer union" to have any legitimacy whatsoever. Were this a product in the shops the manufacturer and the shop would be prosecuted under trades description and consumer rights laws, so should it be with the EU and the EU elite whose various treaty documents are veritable art works in their attempt to baffle and deceive."

    I sympathise with you and understand your point. However, from a legal point of view you have no case; all cards were on the table in 1975.

    As I said, IF you have been deceived, it is by your own government.

    And take a look at it from the Continental point of view: you declined to participate in 1952/1957, afterwards you had to ask three times to join, because De Gaulle (foreseeing the UK would be an obstacle) refused your demand twice. In the end you became a member, but once a member you refuse to play by the rules (i.a. 'ever closer union').

    And again you are blaming the 'EU Elite', perhaps you should just come to terms with the fact that (IF) your are cheated (it was) by your own government and not by 'EU Elite'.

    I know it is near to impossible for you, because if the EU hasn't cheated you, but your own government has, why on earth would you want to take power away from the 'EU Elite' and give it to your 'national elite'?

    A last thing concerning your analogy with consumer protection: you make it look like the EU (then EEC) was desperate to 'sell' you the Common Market and therefore misrepresented things. This does not match historical facts, as it was the UK itself who wanted to join (the EEC ofcourse being open to this, but not an asking party). You see, in your analogy the EEC (Eu) can not possibly have been the vendor misrepresenting his products in order for you (UK citizens) to buy the product.

    @Threnodio;

    You are right of course. I was only looking at it from a legal persective: the Uk is bound to 'ever closer union' through 'pacta sunt servanda'.

    Obviously the Uk government can decide to obstruct 'ever closer union' and still remain member of the EU. This is what has happened under John Mayor.

    The scenario you have written out won't much help the UK (neither the EU, true), the UK is already marginalized in the EU. The Tories marginalized the UK further by forming an alliance with a bunch of nutters in the EP (homophobes, racists, etc). So yes, the Uk can decide to let the EU rot from inside by obstructing everything, but then the question remains: Why not just leave? Unless the Uk sees it as in its interest to annoy 26 other member states who do want to get on (although not all as enthousiastically, but still more than the UK).

    Obviously you are right on the democratic base as well. The thing is it is hard for people to imagine things if the EU had not existed. Doubtlesly we are better of with the EU, as the financial crisis shows: Belgian leaders all to well know that our country would be at the brink if we would still have had the Belgian Franc.

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  • 80. At 12:50pm on 04 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 50 Clive Hill

    "I read the article you linked in the Independent. It was written in 1995. The Schengen Agreement became EU law in 1997 and Britain and Ireland had an opt out anyway. The original wording of the Treaty of Rome does not preclude passport controls. I believe Hugh O'Shaughnessy was disingenuous to suggest that. That seems obvious since if it were so, the Schengen Agreement would have been unnecessary."

    Very misleading.

    The Schengen agreement was only necessary because the UK refused to go along with the legislative development of one key element of European integration that had already been expressed AS A PRINCIPLE without legal force in the Treaty of Rome: True freedom of movement inside the EU. There is a lot of rubbish talk in this country about freedom of movement. Well, it doesn't exist between the UK and the rest of the EU. It doesn't exist because freedom of movement as established in successive European treaties was stated to be a) non-policed (i.e. no picket fences for passport controls) and b) universal (i.e. applying to human beings, not just EU nationals).

    The reason Schengen had to be agreed outside the EU framework was because of the British keep-our-borders fundamentalism.

    "Britain and Ireland had an opt out anyway" - If you bother to read the Annexes to the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 you will see that Ireland explicitly stated that the only reason why it was opting out of the Schengen framework was because it had no other option in view of the UK’s position, short of breaking the Common Travel Area with the UK.

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  • 81. At 12:52pm on 04 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @ John Luc

    You are writing so much arrogant, conceited nonsense, I won`t even bother quoting.

    So the only alternative for the British people is to accept your "even further integration" or get out of the EU?
    That`s what you call democracy? Because the people of GB had a referendum in 1975?
    And what about those people who had no right to vote back then?
    Maybe there are Brits who like the general idea of a union but they think it has gone to far or taken the wrong direction?
    I mean, I cannot look inside their heads, can you?

    But I guess the real democratic nature of the EU does not allow for any change aside from "ever increasing integration". Now that`s what I call an exemplary democracy.



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  • 82. At 12:53pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re my #52 and Your #56

    "..Nationalism.." I certainly recognise the dangers (having served in N.Ireland during the so-called 'troubles' I assure You 'nationalism' in the form of extremist agendas, i.e. Irish Republican-Irish Loyalist-UK Unionist, is unwelcome everywhere).

    However, I have to say, I for one 'will be relieved' if just for once the 'pro-EU' such as yourself could refrain from alluding to jingoistic 'music festivals'/'football tournaments' etc. as if they were all the fault of and the passions aroused only found in the 'anti-EU' camp!

    Those sorts of arguments are just too fatuously unrealistic to be effective in the modern World: As I have regularly pointed out on here with the UK 2nd only to the USA in multi-cultural mix (and by the way StaroftheSouth, Germany's Turks/Poles/Russians bear no comparison to UK's West Indies to Hong Kong via Africa for diversity of societal mix), it is wholly inappropriate to try to reduce the 'anti' argument to the 'little englander' label.

    Mathiasen, You should know better by now, but You are 1 who regularly slants content to reflect this stereotypical image: E.g. only by reading 'Germany' newspapers can one know what is going on in EUrope! Poppycock - - and that's being polite.

    Mind You, I note that leader of the German Liberal block of MEPs, Wolf Klinz, has described Brussels use of the the EU Budget for "..collateral.." to raise 60 Billion on the 'Capital Markets' as "..highly unDemocratic..": So, there's hope for the German press!

    So, in fairness, I still hold out vague hope for You to see the light of a decentralised-Brussels, too!

    Cheers.

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  • 83. At 12:59pm on 04 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    @CliveHill #50 and #53

    I agree that the 'Yes' campaign in 1975 was probably better funded than the 'No' campaign. A similar situation occurred in France and The Netherlands in 2005 for the referenda on the EU Constitution, yet these were voted down. What made the difference? Several factors, I think: 1) in 1975, there were no active citizen campaigns on a Worldwide Web, 2) the EEC was still relatively new, and the longer term negative effects were not obvious, 3) the public mood was still optimistic. I admit that a number of people can consider themselves as having been "fooled" by their Government, but one third of the voters voted No despite the advice of the Government of the day.

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  • 84. At 1:05pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 85. At 1:07pm on 04 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 50 Clive Hill

    "The original wording of the Treaty of Rome does not preclude passport controls."

    The Treaty of Rome was not intended to cover every small detail. Freedom of movement was mentioned as a principle to be developed by further legislation.

    With me being a foreigner, there is perhaps a cultural barrier between us. I will therefore let one of your compatriots explain it to you, as obviously you are unable to understand it:

    "Schengen itself was originally the result of five member states saying, "We want to make freedom of movement something that is meaningful to citizens, so that you don't just have the *theoretical right* but you can actually go from one member state to another without having to prove who you are or show identification". That was agreed in 1985, and it took until 1995 to deliver it with the Schengen states. (...) This is an exciting part of our freedom as European citizens. Regrettably, as UK citizens, we are completely excluded from it. We have to show our passports and are denied what many of our fellow European citizens are allowed."

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldhansrd/text/71012-0005.htm#0710128000167

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  • 86. At 1:13pm on 04 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @ Jean Luc

    I changed my opinion about quoting you

    "Everyone is entitled to their own political opinion. But if one choses to spread it online it's always nice that this opinion is based on facts. Apart from that I am not annoyed but more amused by the (wilful) ignorance of some people here. Blaming the EU for whatever, arguing for powers to be returned to their national capitals, while not seeing that if they truly are being cheated, it is not by the EU but precisely by those national leaders they would give more power to."

    Well, you are certainly wrong about this and a simple look at the EU-structures proves this:

    The European Commission holds no democratic legitimation, yet it is the institution with a quasi monopoly in initializing changes in law.

    Furthermore, not every member nation is called "France" and can basically run the EU in its own interest without paying much.


    The only thing you got about right - even though you only mentioned it indirectly - is the democratic crisis of Europe we will be facing in the future.
    When the political class begings to exclude the people, their sovereign, it will sooner or later lose its legitimation.


    Go and make a poll for every nation in the Eurozone on whether the people want more integration.
    There is a reason for this not to happen.


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  • 87. At 1:24pm on 04 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @ Jean Luc

    "How the EEC was sold to you by YOUR own national leaders is of no interest to me. If you were cheated by your own national leaders, that is something which you will have to solve nationally.

    However, as things stand, you agreed to 'ever closer union', therefore you are under an obligation to constructively work towards 'ever closer union'. Either this or you denounce the Treaty."

    So what do you say about the fact that Mitterand forced Germany to introduce the Euro as yet another price for reunification.

    Who sold out who in this case of "European integration" and is that kind of union the way you want things to be run within the EU?

    How is it a national thing if the EU has no problems with lets say the way British people were deceived in their referendum?

    Fortunately, the number of unconditional integration numbskulls is dwindling. More and more people realize that "integration" neither is the panacea, nor can it work if you don`t incorporate everyone involved.

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  • 88. At 1:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ChrisArta

    Re #58

    Make EUrope responsible for 'Defence'!

    Are You seriously suggesting there is even 1 Platoon/Company/Battalion within HM Armed forces that could be found willing to serve under & accept orders from a France Officer?

    There isn't a France Officer with any full-time, direct, frontline Combat experience post 1992-Kuwait: That is when & where You must look to find a Senior France Commander with combat experience of commanding large forces in action! 18 years ago!

    The last 2 occasions the French Army was in a serious campaign was 1956 Suez alongside the UK & Israel & its Algerian colonial war of the 1950s-to mid-'60s.

    You can discount France's 18,000 contingent in the Kuweit campaign when typically it would not accept complete Command from either General Swcharzkopf or CENTCOM until almost the last moment: It did protect the Allied Forces' left-flank, & suffered some casualties. However, even the briefest reading of accounts of the Kuwait Campaign inc. that of General Schwarzkopf reveals that as with De Gaulle's Free French in WW2 they were as much a 'pain in the butt' as a useful ally.

    Given the Afghanistan & Iraq Campaigns of more recent years plus France's clear anti-USA foreign policy stance (irrespective of Pres Sarkozy's public declaration, the creation of a EDF to replace NATO, is still France's primary military objective) there is no way short of hell freezing over any significant UK Forces (other than other than on a parade ground and even then it is questionable if they would give the salute!) would be placed under the Command of a French Officer.

    I must stress, I am in no way maligning the volunteer French Armed Forces' personnel who doubtless would and could stand their ground in combat with the best of the US-UK forces: It is the Paris 'Political' Leadership that has reduced France's military reputation in this manner and most definitiely not the regular soldier, sailor, airman/woman.

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  • 89. At 1:40pm on 04 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #79. At 12:48pm on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc,

    You're right that we were deceived by our government in one way but not in another, all UK party's were given a free vote in 1975 which meant the publicity was not truly from the government but rather from the 'yes' camp to which Harold Wilson belonged. There was therefore cross party support for both camps and I remember very well campaigning for a 'yes' vote myself, but do now feel deceived by the originators of the publicity as whilst the fine print may have said various things the UK 'Yes' politicians did not repeat those federalist integrationist objectives.

    Re "Obviously you are right on the democratic base as well. The thing is it is hard for people to imagine things if the EU had not existed. Doubtlessly we are better off with the EU, as the financial crisis shows: Belgian leaders all to well know that our country would be at the brink if we would still have had the Belgian Franc."
    I'm not so sure Belgium's entry into the Euro was anything but an error as due to the Euro and Didier Reynders we have lost most of the reserves the country had built up over the years. Check the statistics for Belgium over the last decades and you'll see how the 'wealth' has been decimated in the last ten years or so. I suspect that if good financial governance had been continued as in some of the pre-Reynders periods Belgium would be far stronger than now, whether Franc Belge or Euro.

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  • 90. At 1:56pm on 04 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    I disagree with Britain’s policy towards Europe.
    The cross-party "agreement" of The Coalition Government seems frozen in time, and therefore just as irrelevent.
    The Agreement:
    The Lib Dems will not push Britain towards Europe and
    the Tories will refrain from pulling the country away from the EU.
    This seems to leave Britain rather isolated in a pig pen of STUPID PIIGS.
    Lib Dems and Tories think they can rework this deal with each and every situation that arises. Personally, I doubt that. Politics is a game of nimble-footedness.
    The very appointment of Foreign Secretary, William Hague and Defense Secretary Liam Fox speaks the real situation. It can be assumed that the Tories, rather than the Lib Dems, will set the tone for Britain’s foreign policy.
    In the end, the task of addressing Britain’s economic situation will be to ensure that domestic, rather than foreign issues take precedence.
    Really? Do foreign issues affect domestic issues more than domestic issues affect foreign issues, or vice versa? Britain will soon find out, just as soon as she gets her first kick in the rump while retaining her ostrich-head in the domestic sand.
    The UK, not having signed up to the £378B pound EU support fund, has been told to expect no help. But there are brilliant financial minds in Brussels, Sweden and France who believe that it is only a matter of time before pound sterling comes under the same sort of attack as the Euro. If Britain believes that it can deal with this financial whirlwind on her lonesome she may be showing more ego than wisdom.
    The Chairman of the French equivalent of the UK FSA, Jean-Pierre Jouyet has given is this famous quote: “You have Europe of the euro, Europe of the countries that understand the euro … and then you have the English …”
    The English are most certainly going to get targeted - given their political difficulties and their chosen isolation.
    Has Britain forgotten, is she pretending that she has forgotten that she is a STUPID PIIG and ultimately in the same boat as Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, except little Britain is electing to ride in a different raft.
    A look ahead:
    George Osborne will strip FSA of City regulation powers later this month. The chancellor will give the Bank of England the pivotal role in preventing a rerun of the financial crisis of the last three years. Wow, there goes the very important FSA. Is this a correct decision? It’s certainly an American-type decision. Let’s allow the Federal Bank to regulate all other banks, which is no regulation at all!
    There will be an early sale of the Government’s holdings in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland in order to retain Britain retain its triple-A credit rating. Who says this: JP Morgan. Wow, let’s take advice from the likes of JP Morgan; then, we won't have to deal with all those convoluted derivatives choking off lending liquidity.
    I am fearful that Britain has made the following choise (whether she speaks it aloud or not):
    - against the EU and
    - for continued American lock-step.
    Good luck.

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  • 91. At 1:59pm on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @DURSTIGER MANN

    Re "So the only alternative for the British people is to accept your "even further integration" or get out of the EU?"

    You missed one important element: I was reacting to people who say that they knew nothing about 'ever closer union'.

    Therefore I pointed out that 'ever closer union' was in the Treaty before the Uk joined and not in fine print as some would claim.

    To address the point you raise:

    Ratifying a treaty is like signing a contract; both parties agree to follow the content of the contract.

    The Treaty said from the beginning 'ever closer union', which means the parties are obliged to strive for 'ever closer union'.

    Obviously politics is something different from legal rules. And it is not possible and not even desirable to 'test' each and every act of politics against a standard of 'ever closer union'.

    However, taking the stance the UK is taking now (and has taken in the past) of simply opposing any further integration is in clear violation of the Treaties.

    Re "That`s what you call democracy? Because the people of GB had a referendum in 1975?
    And what about those people who had no right to vote back then?"

    That's a problem of international law (previous generations binding future generations through the state ratifying agreements) and national law.

    In the same way previous generations have bound me (as a citizen of Belgium) to the Nato, WTO, UN, ILo, etc. Your and my country even became members of these organisation without any referendum.

    If a majority today opposes membership to these organisations, they have to solve this nationally and have their governments denounce the membership.

    But as long as this has not happened, international law dictates that these countries should abide by the rules of those international organizations: Pacta sunt servanda.

    You could of course argue that this is undemocratic, but then we would be back to the 15th century before the dawn of international law.

    Re "Maybe there are Brits who like the general idea of a union but they think it has gone to far or taken the wrong direction?
    I mean, I cannot look inside their heads, can you?"

    If a majority of Brits want this than they should have their government renegociate the EU treaties to put it back in the right direction.

    I guess the other member states will refuse however to open negociations. Which means the Uk will have to work with the Treaties as they are to change the EU.

    However, the UK has marginalized itself in the EU, meaning it will be very hard for the UK to achieve anything substantial. Let alone a return of powers to London.

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  • 92. At 2:14pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    threnodioOO

    Re #73

    "..Should 'I' go or should 'I' stay?"

    Surely that was the Clash or Stranglers!?

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  • 93. At 2:17pm on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I think when all is said and done and the constraints that have already been signed and agreed to by the UK's government and the restrictions the Lib-Dems will imposed are taken into account, after all of the speeches and hype, little if anything at all will change. It will be business as usual.

    You have to wonder if the Tories have read and understand the treaties the UK has already agreed to and if their lawyers have explained to them what their degree of freedom to maneuver will be. I think they are assumig that there is far more latitude in UK policy than actually exists. When I read the so called red line opt-outs in the proposed EU Constitution, it became obvious that they were not permanent opt outs or exclusions at all but merely five year deferrals of some provisions after which time the UK would have had to fully comply with every provision of hte constitution or face limitless penalties by a board on which they would not even be represented. Short of leaving the EU which I don't think any UK government would consider or allow to come to a vote in a public referendum, I think the UK is locked in and its hands are tied. It will comply, it is now a slave colony of the EUSSR. Those in the UK who are aware of this and resent it can now understand how subjects of colonial empires including their own once felt although those old empires were far more cruel and exploitive than the EUSSR is today. That BTW includes the American colonists as well. They held their own referendum...with muskets and cannons.

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  • 94. At 2:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #82. At 12:53pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work
    We have many bad readers here.
    Find the headline: "For you, Fritz, the war is over".
    Make your own thoughts about it, and then guess how this is interpreted in neighbour countries.

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  • 95. At 2:34pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #85

    "..exciting.." it (Schengen) certainly is!

    With over 9,000 international entry points to the EU plus the hundreds of thousands of un-policed/checked external entry points for each of the EU States there is no end to excitement:
    Noticeably laughing all the way to the Banks are the Crooks smuggling drugs, weapons, counterfeit goods, millions of exploited/vulnerable men, women & children, countless illegal immigrants, and that's without the lip-smackingly Economic-savings for 'big-Business' of transferring groups of cheap-Labour Force from 1 Nation to another to replace indigenous workers, supplying low-cost products made in 1 Nation that bankrupt manufacturers in another, hiring EUropean lorry drivers at cut-price & longer hours/journeys in less mechanically sound vehicles, as well as the fantastically duplicitous 'big-Government' propaganda of "look how You can travel anywhere You like now" because Your Government isn't using Your taxes to paying Police/Customs to protect Your borders anymore, oh no, its "concentrating on international cross-border crime.." which of course every National Police statistic records as having gone up 50& to 100% since....

    You guessed it: SCHENGEN!!!

    I wrote yesterday we live in interesting times: I would amend that to, 'We live in post-Maastricht & post-Schengen remarkably unimagined glibly self-centred, interesting & exciting times!'

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  • 96. At 2:55pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    DurstTigerMann

    Re #87

    Well done: Another fine contribution.

    It really is amazing that JL can write of EUropean "Union" and then write of "..no interest.." to him about memebers of that 'Union'.

    I've tried explaining the farce of his perspective, but he is so clever about everything the paucity of his understanding simply eludes him.

    JL has never got it:
    He writes copiously about 'union' whilst constantly remarking how little he cares for anyone in it. Extraordinary bald statements of 'disunity' and a brand of duplicitous anti-Democratic sentiment that smacks of the arch-EU fanatic.
    He still just doesn't get it at all!

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  • 97. At 2:59pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #79 - Jean Luc

    Again we agree. I do not suggest that it helps the UK one little bit. What I do suggest though is that there have been occasions when UK belligerence, so often characterised as being obstructive, has actually focused collective thinking quite well on the possibility that conventional Brussels wisdom may be wrong. Being downright difficult is entirely different from being constructively critical.

    I fear the threat on the horizon is that people will fall into the trap of polarisation. If you want people to agree on a principle, the first priority is to ensure flexibility on implementation. This appears to be lacking both in the steam rolling mentality that is coming from Barroso and the selective engagement policy promoted by Hague. Indeed, the determination that both have shown to sound reasonable suggests a more sinister sub-plot. They are protecting their respective positions in readiness for future confrontation.

    I am reluctant to use the phrase 'third way'. It was hijacked by Tony Blair in the late nineties in the context of UK domestic policies to justify the New Labour agenda while seeking to draw the teeth of the Liberal Democrats and it lost any meaning. I believe and hope that there is a third way within the EU and that it consists of an honest attempt to formulate policy on the basis that it requires demonstrable popular support and then to seek public consent. Anything less is undemocratic.

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  • 98. At 3:04pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #88 - cool_brush_work

    In contrast to Iraq, the French have been engaged in Afghanistan and taken casualties so plainly there is a front line engagement. They have also been active in Chad. I take your point about major campaigns but do you not stretch it a little bit?

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  • 99. At 3:29pm on 04 Jun 2010, Jean Luc wrote:

    @ DURSTIGER MAN

    Re "The European Commission holds no democratic legitimation, yet it is the institution with a quasi monopoly in initializing changes in law."

    I have explained this before. The democratic legitimacy of the Commission is not much different from that of your national government.

    The Commission is made up of people that are being proposed by national governments. These national governments are being scrutinized by the national parliament = 1st level of democratic legitimation
    The Commission can only start working after a vote of confidence in the European Parliament and at any time the Parliament can sack the Commission through a vote of no confidence = second level

    Furthermore and unlike in many national states, the EP holds a hearing for each individual Commissioner before he/she takes office. Tell me in which country are the proposed ministers obliged to sit in a hearing before their parliament?

    Of course, you can still say this is undemocratic. But then your own national government is undemocratic as well. Unless you can show me where the fundamental difference lies between the democratic accountability of the Commission and a national governement. I have asked this question countless times (including to coolbrushwork) but I never get an answer (especially not by coolbrushwork)

    Re "Furthermore, not every member nation is called "France" and can basically run the EU in its own interest without paying much."

    Actually France is a net payer. So I fail to see your point.

    Re "So what do you say about the fact that Mitterand forced Germany to introduce the Euro as yet another price for reunification.

    Who sold out who in this case of "European integration" and is that kind of union the way you want things to be run within the EU?"

    You do know Mitterand would have said that Kohl forced France to accept a united Germany? :D

    This is politics my friend: Kohl wanted 1 germany, Mitterand wanted Germany to give up the Mark and they made a deal.

    Do you mean to say that in you country (I presume Germany?) politicians never make deals?

    Re "How is it a national thing if the EU has no problems with lets say the way British people were deceived in their referendum?"

    You do know that if the COmmission were to criticize Member States for these things then it would get accused of interfering with national affairs?

    @COOLBRUSHWORK

    Re "which of course every National Police statistic records as having gone up 50& to 100% since...."

    Let's have a source on that?

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  • 100. At 3:33pm on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The Euro has broken through its support level. Here's my latest data at 10:32 EDT which has a 20 minute delay;

    EUR/USD 1.2075 -0.0087

    Where to from here??? 1.17 or lower?

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  • 101. At 3:38pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    For heaven's sake, it is simple enough.

    The new government claims to be committed to radical constitutional reform. OK, so let's have a written constitution, write into it a requirement - similar to that in the Irish Republic - that the government may go about its normal business up to the point where it requires a change to the constitution but then a legal requirement to hold a referendum kicks in.

    That way, no one in Brussels can argue that the rules have been broken if they don't get the answer they want and no one in London can claim a mandate for reform that was not previously agreed by the people.

    Just one problem with that - the people in Westminster might have to stop playing at democracy and embrace it - pretty much what I was hoping for in Brussels.

    Well we can forget that one then.

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  • 102. At 3:41pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #92 - cool_brush_work

    Clash of ideas or democracy strangled in the cradle? Oh the irony!

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  • 103. At 3:45pm on 04 Jun 2010, Charentais wrote:

    Roughly in order!

    #63 Jean-Luc - I'm enjoying this interchange of ideas! But can you be a little bit more specific about where you stand/come from? OK - I can see where you are now (I think) - but some background would be helpful.

    You seem to admit that it was all the fault of our national leaders, with whom we must take up the point. I could not agree with you more. We were deceived, if not lied to. Unfortunately, most of those particular leaders are dead (or gaga). You seem to assume that their decisions are binding upon us for ever. I suggest that any Treaty can be revoked (or ignored) - after all, it has happened in the past (cf Treaty of Versailles)

    Wherever the blame lies, the British people were deceived in 1975, have been lied to since, and at last real public opinion is beginning to make itself felt. You cannot dismiss that as 'eurosceptic' just because that attribution has connotations in your opinion of being 'ill-informed'. The sentiment is there. Moreover, the same sentiment extends throughout Europe.

    You, refer to an "EU superstate, which does not exist". My only comment is "Yet!"

    #64, #89 Buzet23 - spot on - and everyone please note I have no aspirations to be a Euro-Sagamix

    #73 Threnodio - good points, but suspect J-L will not agree.

    #81, 86 & 87 Durstiger Mann - thanks, I don't often feel like agreeing with you but on this occasion I will very happily make an exception!!

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  • 104. At 3:55pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #95 - cool_brush_work

    Oh for heaven's sake! Schengen works - really it does! I live in a country with open land borders to three countries and controlled borders with four more. You live in a country with a huge border to Russia and open borders, albeit mostly by sea, with the rest of the members. How can you claim it does not work?

    If the UK were to stop wasting resources trying to police people who are perfectly entitled to go there and focus them of the massive problem of immigration from outside the EU - plus gaining unfettered access to the Schengen database - that would be constructive. I try to argue with those who protest that the Brits are willfully obstructive but, in this case, I have no sympathy whatever. It works for everyone else - why not the UK?

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  • 105. At 4:03pm on 04 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ 93 MAII

    The American Colonists had it easy under Britain, you never paid your taxes, smuggled everything and anything, and came running for the help of the British Army/Navy whenever you (inevitably) annoyed the French or Natives.

    Morally it may not have been right, but practically, you where on one easy ride. We had it better once you where Independent, we could actually get some money out of you lot.

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  • 106. At 4:03pm on 04 Jun 2010, Isenhorn wrote:

    Re: 88
    Cool_brush_work,

    Your animosity towards anything and everything French would have been amusing if it was not so tragic.
    According to you, the Most Glorious British Armed Forces will never accept serving under a French commander?
    Well, judging by the results of the US-UK Afghanistan/Iraq ‘blitzkrieg’ performance I am sure the feeling is mutual across the Channel.

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  • 107. At 4:05pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #94

    No, I shan't bother: 'For You Fritz the War is over' is one in a long line of attempts at humour which occasionally hit-the-humour-mark & occasionally fall away into extremists twaddle.
    G.B. humour is full of such stuff: E.g. 'Ello, 'Ello & Dad's Army are superlative examples of getting right - - the British/English public laughed with/at characters whose stereotypical mannerisms everyone identified from the first word uttered. Nobody thought any the less of France as the French Cafe proprietor Renee hid the 'Madonna with the Big Boobies'!, and for sure, no Briton thought too much of themselves everytime Corporal Jones declared, 'they (Germans) don't like it up 'em!'

    You are advising me to look up something we are all familiar with: From that You make a ridiculous accusation crossing the few miles of Channel makes many in the British Isles xenophobic.

    It's a preposterous and grossly unfair allegation: So what if the English football fans chant, '10,000 bombers' - - had You ever stood among them as I have - - You would sense the shared glee & absurdity of trying to recall what the next number is when we all get to 9,93..... Come on!
    That's got nothing at all with a Political Union and I've stood at the old Wembley with a group of Englishmen (and 2 women!) most of whom are all in favour of the EU & 1 actually works in Brussels - - they all sang with gusto and why not!?
    Get a sense of perspective: The forthcoming World Cup will raise the 'nationalistic' temperature guage across the World - - will Nation stop trading with Nation, will Global Warming policy be halted, will immigration halt, will anything of actual substance apart from the name on the Cup change at all (cos Italy aren't going to win it again!)?

    No, 10,000 x No!

    This debate over the efficacy of the EU is nothing about National patriotism and everything about Democracy and Free-will.
    If You cannot see that then Your supra-National EU is even more doomed to ultimate failure.

    Mathiasen, You are going to have to come up with something better than tired stories of how the English/Brits stereotypically wrote/spoke/sang some inane drivel that no one takes at all seriously.

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  • 108. At 4:51pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ThrenodioII

    Re #98

    No, overstretching by me: France has indeed taken casualties in Afghanistan, but its forces are not involved in any frontline combat.

    In point of fact, France will not even allow its helicopters to go to the assistance of wounded US-UK-ANZAC-Danish-Dutch Armed forces involved in frontline combat missions. France's casualties have come in the main from sneak attacks by Taliban-Al Quada cadres on the civil projects & route protection roles it has undertaken. For those involved such deaths & injuries are in no way less harrowing & tragic than others among NATO, but it should be understood, France is yet again not complying in full with its NATO obligations.

    PS: #102 - - cleverly done!

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  • 109. At 5:06pm on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    O.S.

    The Euro fell through 1.20

    EUR/USD 1.1998 -0.0164

    When do the central banks step in and try to slow or reverse the trend which at the moment seems straight down? Marty Zweig always said "Don't fight the ticker."

    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=EURUSD=X+Interactive#chart2:symbol=eurusd=x;range=my;indicator=volume;charttype=line;crosshair=on;ohlcvalues=0;logscale=on;source=undefined

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  • 110. At 5:07pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ThrenodioII

    Re #104

    Schengen 'works' to suit those who most want it: 'big-Business/big-Government'!

    I'm sorry but IMO Schengen is a disaster for so many and irrespective of the 'open-borders' merits for the ordinary traveller I believe it should be done away with as it is an increasing liability to the stability of all EU Nations involved.
    Last year when I was debating this with another blogger we found the EU estimate was 12,000,000 trafficked people! So, if that is their official estimate 'heaven only knows' what the real number is!?

    You believe it 'works' for others and I take a different view as to what purports to be something working properly: How anyone can claim to know the true figures for immigration, smuggling etc. when there is absolutely no border controls internally and hundreds of thousands of external entry-points that are unregulated is beyond me?

    Yes, Schengen 'works' for me when I drive from Finland to Calais - - it 'works' so well I look at the millions of other vehicles and wonder if it is that easy for me with nothing to hide then what a blessing it must be for those who have!

    Sorry, but a queue to show my Passport on UK entry/exit is hardly an inconvenience - - it never was prior to Schengen - - when I also drove across EUrope (as a student, I first did it in 1969) and never minded Passport Control. It seemed such an eminently sensible precaution for every State to take and I just cannot fathom why or how anyone could be fooled into thinking 'open borders' is more likely to stop crime/illegal immigration etc.!?

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  • 111. At 5:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    95. At 2:34pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "Noticeably laughing all the way to the Banks are the Crooks smuggling drugs, weapons, counterfeit goods, millions of exploited/vulnerable men, women & children, countless illegal immigrants"

    You sound like this chap who was feeling very smug predicting the 'imminent collapse' of Schengen around 12 years ago. I don't know who is laughing all the way to the banks but collapse there ain't any.

    "But the real question is whether Schengen can survive; whether the concept of a Europe where, once inside, anyone can go where he likes without check or hindrance is feasible."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/a-good-time-not-to-say-i-told-you-so-1137440.html

    Actually, I know who are laughing all the way to the banks: The banks themselves, as they continue to bleed the millions and millions of Britons who travel to the Eurozone each year dry with their exorbitant exchange rate commissions.

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  • 112. At 5:42pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Isenhorn

    Re #106

    "..tragic.." for whom?

    If You could point to anything of substance in which I have referred in any way to the "most glorious British.." I would be grateful?

    If You cannot then I suggest You seek to find a debating point that has validity.

    Had You bothered to read anything of my #88 Comment You would have noted the following:

    Quote, 'I must stress I am in no way maligning the volunteer French Armed Forces' personnel who doubtless would and could stand their ground in combat with the best of the US-UK froces: It is the Paris 'Political' Leadership that has reduced France's military reputation in this manner and most definitely not the regular soldier, sailor, airman/woman.'

    In my opinion France's Armed Forces are amongst the best trained & equipped and the individual effectiveness of its combat units is of the highest calibre in the western World: All the more "..tragic.." then that they are so pitifully led by France's conniving, duplicitous Politicians and are prevented from standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their NATO Comrades-in-arms in a legitimate forward combat role.

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  • 113. At 5:54pm on 04 Jun 2010, Charentais wrote:

    #97 threnodioII - I concur!

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  • 114. At 6:15pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #111

    Yes, but aside from something about some chap '12 years ago' have You anything to say in defence of Schengen?

    I'm unsure as to whether You were just dismissing all that criminality, smuggling and defenceless trafficked Humanity as unimportant, or You didn't get the meaning of it!?

    I live in Finland and have lived in Belgium; over the last 40 or so years I have travelled to those 2 annually and to a good number of places on the Continent and around the World: If You are seriously trying to claim the Exchanger-rate is where & how Banks in the past or now make their exorbitantly huge profits then I have to question if You understand anything about modern day Banking!?

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  • 115. At 6:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Strangely, I find myself agreeing with this Tory man. He may be conservative, but he has the UK's interests in mind, and times have changed for social issues.

    I would be doubtful he'll spend too much on social issues and will be frugal yet loyal in the Af Pak war. (yuk, poor guy)

    Yes look to France...they can lead. Germany can pay, and lead thru France with the UK doing its usual lipservice to the USA.

    But, the UK needs Europe far more than it needs the USA. The EURO ...mmmm not so much.

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  • 116. At 6:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #100


    "The euro has hit a new four-year low against the dollar after comments from French Prime Minister Francois Fillon suggested its weakness was "good news".

    The euro fell 1.4% to $1.19920, marking the first time the currency had fallen below $1.20 since March 2006." [BBC]


    If Mr. Fillon is counting on selling more French wine in the U.S. he's deluding himself.

    California, Australia, Chile and S. Africa have already cornered this huge market.

    Perhaps Armagnac would have a chance?

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  • 117. At 6:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #110 - cool_brush_work

    We want the same thing. We are simply coming at it from different directions. I want EU borders secured and regard any attempt to over-regulate internal borders as a waste of resources.

    The UK is a relatively hard border because of the geography. It should be a simple matter to distinguish between travelers within the EU and external arrivals. In the meantime, the Mediterranean nations (you remember those, the ones we want to reduce public expenditure) to police large and sometimes remote stretches of coastline from people a few kilometers away.

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  • 118. At 6:20pm on 04 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #108

    "France is yet again not complying in full with its NATO obligations."



    Please, remind me whenever she has. Specifically.

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  • 119. At 6:21pm on 04 Jun 2010, scoty wrote:

    I have been reading about the people that are supporting the EU,
    living in spain I find few people are interested in what goes on in europe, everyone knows that to work and live independantly brings it·s own success, but these people supporting a TOP HEAVY money spending beaurocratic nightmare are mostly people who can-not "make it" in the real world, this attitude of Brussels of"GET THEM IN OUR CLUB" gave us the Greek tragedy, plus others to follow,,,every one new the greeks do not pay taxs, how can they with their many years of "Greek Culture"

    I can-not see any country that abides by the rule book,,,mostly the rules are changed without consultation, unless it·s about how straight a carrot should be, or where do you buy your bananas,

    A forty year old joke is far too long a time and money , then give us todays mess to clear up with fictious constitutsion papers.

    vote no to europe, vote yes to freedom to trade in the real world,

    Full marks to making CHINA the first country to visit, maybe AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, INDIA ,BRAZIL will be next in line for Primeminister Cameron

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  • 120. At 6:23pm on 04 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #112 "In my opinion France's Armed Forces are amongst the best trained & equipped and the individual effectiveness of its combat units is of the highest calibre in the western World:"



    If you are referring to France's FOREIGN Legion, I would have to agree.:)

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  • 121. At 6:38pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Charentais & ThrenodioII

    I also would agree to a third way.

    Just such a pity then nobody in the gravy-train, anti-democractic Brussels has any intention of even allowing a discussion of it never mind adopting some of it!

    Re my censored #84

    JL the content was in reply to You.

    Apparently pinting out to You that "Demcracy is never a 'burden'" and that only a fanatical 'pro-EU' could write in that manner about Democracy is frowned on by the Mods.

    I also wrote the EU-Brussels entity is "without Democratic electoral legitimacy" and therefore "nothing that it does will have the Citizens' acceptance/endorsement".
    The Mods must have hated all that reference to People voicing opinions!

    I described the EU as a "rising tyranny" and here I think (though one never knows for sure) is weher the Mods took great exception, because I suggested You were part & parcel of that tyranny because You wanted us to be "taught" that EU is correct and I suggested it was You needed to be "taught" about Citizens' Rights & Responsibilities.

    Unsure if this will now get through, but I assure You that was the gist of my reply to Your #59.

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  • 122. At 7:01pm on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "58. At 10:11am on 04 Jun 2010, ChrisArta wrote:

    #42. At 06:44am on 04 Jun 2010, smroet

    a) Increase the power of the regions to run own their affairs i.e. taxes, schools, police, hospitals.
    b) Increase the EU budget to about 3% - 4%, but make it responsible for defence and trade for the whole of the union.
    c) scrap GAP & other internal money trasfers
    d) reduce the imprtance of national governments"

    I'm afraid its not that easy.


    MAII - Again you come with exchange rates. If you'd have studied economics, you would understand that higher is not always better. In the eurozone's case right now lower is better. But you obviously choose to ignore it. Keep going. At least there is satisfaction knowing that you waste your time away trying to prove silly points while you only get older.

    EUpris - Yes, definite proximity to Habsburg (Its with a "b" not a "p")

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  • 123. At 7:05pm on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "120. At 6:23pm on 04 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #112 "In my opinion France's Armed Forces are amongst the best trained & equipped and the individual effectiveness of its combat units is of the highest calibre in the western World:"



    If you are referring to France's FOREIGN Legion, I would have to agree.:)"

    All you French (contintental) bashers show once again your superiority complex. CBW talking about someone of "her majesty's" army will NEVER obey a French command...etc is just pathetic and lacks any common sense.

    Cooperation is most of the time better. Be it on a trade or on military matter. And I have to agree, Nationalism still runs very strongly in your veins.

    I'd quote Einstein but you all probably know that quote anyway..

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  • 124. At 7:23pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Powermeerkat

    Re #118 & #120

    I can't think of any instance of France's Political Leadership fully cooperating in anything associated to NATO.
    No especial knowledge of the Foreign Legion distinguishing itself: It seems to me France's Armed Forces are generally on page 1 of the 'western' capability.

    Whereas, uniquely, France's politicians wouldn't figure until the fill-in chapter that most sensible readers passover with hardly a thought!

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  • 125. At 7:28pm on 04 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G and O;

    "MAII - Again you come with exchange rates. If you'd have studied economics, you would understand that higher is not always better. In the eurozone's case right now lower is better. "

    Good, then you will be ecstatic...when it reaches zero.

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  • 126. At 7:35pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #123

    Erm, no I don't!

    At least not in the sense that You try to imply! I served and HM Forces is what G.B. Armed Forces are titled. It has nothing to do with the Monarch other than as titular Commander-in-Chief in order that no second-rate (& that's the better ones) Prime Minister/Minister as would-be dictator can claim the role.
    Even less to do with some vague notions of superiority or nationalism.

    I cannot help it if You do not like the opinion I express from contacts I still have with HM Forces: Frankly, the France Armed Forces are recognised as very good quality; but, also as deadweight when anything critical of a combat nature comes along.
    I repeat: That is not the France soldier, sailor, airman/woman fault - - it is a result of the incredibly non-"COOPERATION" exhibited by France's Leadership over many years - - they are anything but 'cooperative' and for You to pretend otherwise as though its "continental bashers" is ludicrous.

    Don't (in this context) shoot the messenger - - France's 'political' attitude to NATO is a disgrace as a supposed partner in a Military Alliance - - this has unfortunate knock-on effects for all France's Armed forces personnel of any rank or none.

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  • 127. At 7:35pm on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    CBW - I suggest you read up on the Battle of Camaron.

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  • 128. At 7:56pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #127

    I suggest You all stop reading things into my Comments that aren't there and get back to what I said - - look, I was just replying to CHrisArta suggestion about an EU Defence Force - - I was pointing out the lack of 'unity' in NATO hardly boded well for an EDF, but apparently everyone missed that salient key-point!

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  • 129. At 10:15pm on 04 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #128. At 7:56pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work,

    Quite so CBW, there is no way any EU defence force could ever trust French high command to do anything other than protect their countries own interests, which in many cases would mean protecting their arms sales. We've just seen an example of their duplicity whereby the ECB's French chief Trichet has pushed through the ECB buying Greek bonds primarily to save the highly exposed French banks who rushed to sell their holdings. How anybody could have a belief that an EDF with the French involved would act any different is unbelievable as the history of the Common Market, EEC, and EU is riddled with plenty of examples.

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  • 130. At 11:17pm on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    cbw - point taken about the difference between soldier and leadership.

    However, and Buzet23 is confirming this above in 129, you say that somehow because someone is not British, a British/English/Scot will never take an order from a French/German/Swedish, even in defence of a greater idea, simply because of his nationality?

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  • 131. At 01:17am on 05 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @99 Jean Luc

    "I have explained this before. The democratic legitimacy of the Commission is not much different from that of your national government.
    ...
    Of course, you can still say this is undemocratic. But then your own national government is undemocratic as well. Unless you can show me where the fundamental difference lies between the democratic accountability of the Commission and a national governement. I have asked this question countless times (including to coolbrushwork) but I never get an answer (especially not by coolbrushwork)"

    With the second paragraph, you hit the nail on the head. I consider the political structure in Germany to be quite undemocratic.

    But it still has a major advantage over the Commission:
    I can vote for at least a political party and their candidate.

    The sad thing is that my government, along with yours and a dozen others, thinks, that our votes on a national level give them the power to install a commission above our heads.

    And because we have no elements of direct democracy in Germany, the party oligarchy gives us no option to vote against this. Because all 5 big parties are for "ever increasing integration".
    Yay.


    "Actually France is a net payer. So I fail to see your point."

    My point is that France is playing a role it is not paying enough for.


    And now not only the German Central Bank, but other central banks of those nations with huge per-capita contributions are bailing out French banks.
    That`s how they are throwing sound monetary policy over the railing as well which was the reason for nations like the Netherlands, Austria or Germany to join the EMU.

    And all that after the "bailout", for which Sarkozy blackmailed our government, was passed already.

    Who can blame the Brits for not joining the EMU?
    I strongly suggest them not to. From THIS monetary union, they cannot gain anything.


    "You do know Mitterand would have said that Kohl forced France to accept a united Germany? :D

    This is politics my friend: Kohl wanted 1 germany, Mitterand wanted Germany to give up the Mark and they made a deal.

    Do you mean to say that in you country (I presume Germany?) politicians never make deals?"


    Let me ask you this:
    Who was Mitterand and who gave him the power to blackmail Germany?

    How Thatcher and Mitterand treated Germany at that time showcased blantant disrespect.
    Where was the human right for unconditional self-determination which our western democracies hold oh so high?

    Is that what you call a good foundation for a common currency?

    The second condition that made Germany join, a stable and strict central bank, was broken this year by the way.
    Just where are the good foundations for the currency one might wonder.

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  • 132. At 01:40am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    Maybe I am just paranoid but in a world of high competition I can understand that it is not in USA, China, India, Brazil etc interest to have a strong, dominant Europe.
    To their efforts Britain joined as the inside Trojan horse just because they think that the "English speaking world" should be the one to keep dominating.
    It is funny how much Britain looks like an USA satellite. I do not think they have realized that yet.
    Time will tell.
    I hope I am wrong.

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  • 133. At 01:43am on 05 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @130 Gheryando

    I think that he just wrote something along the lines of "French (military) leadership is uncooperative".

    I can`t find a single line where cbw states that British Forces would disobey anyone but a British High Command.


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  • 134. At 02:01am on 05 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Just to check in/check out , indicate I am (somewhere:o)
    has been working (strangely) a bit

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  • 135. At 02:03am on 05 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    115. At 6:18pm on 04 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    " ...

    But, the UK needs Europe far more than it needs the USA."

    EUpris: I don't agree.

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  • 136. At 02:24am on 05 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    104. At 3:55pm on 04 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    " ...

    Oh for heaven's sake! Schengen works -
    ...

    It works for everyone else - why not the UK?"

    EUpris: It doesn't work. Austria has had massive problems with outside criminals. The have had Romanian false policemen and the have had ram-raiders from a Baltic state.

    Schengen stinks.

    The "EU" stinks.


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  • 137. At 06:38am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    #136
    "EUpris: It doesn't work. Austria has had massive problems with outside criminals. The have had Romanian false policemen and the have had ram-raiders from a Baltic state."
    They should be happy for that. It brought some light into their boring lives.

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  • 138. At 07:53am on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    d_m,

    i, myself, have a (new) policy of not being hateful or rude, so as far as e e cummings "significance" please keep me guessing.

    don't inform me or insult me, unless it's behind my back. and i will do the same for you and others.

    i don't want to hear it.

    do unto others as you would have them do unto you...ok?

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  • 139. At 08:08am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #130. At 11:17pm on 04 Jun 2010, Gheryando,

    I have an example of command structures that has occasionally been mentioned to me here in Belgium, it seems there have long been issues regarding the French speakers and the Dutch speakers within the Belgium military where orders given in one language were not understood (apparently) by the recipient. Bearing in mind the number of maternal languages inside the EU and the unwillingness of the EU to decide on a common language because of language rivalries, how on earth could an EDF ever work. Such a body would have to work with only one language and I've no doubt the French will demand it be French even though English is the most universally spoken language, especially within the EU. I therefore think that the UK's military are far too professional to care about who is giving the orders, but maybe would be concerned if they can't understand the orders due to language barriers.

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  • 140. At 08:42am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #110 - cool_brush_work
    #136 - EUprisoner209456731

    I don't claim that Schengen contributes in any way to law enforcement or prevents criminal activity. It was never expected to achieve that anyway. That is a matter for law enforcement agencies.

    What Schengen does - or at least should do - is allow people from within the area to go about their lawful activities unhindered and divert the resources saved to securing external borders.

    Getting rid of Schengen would not stop the activities in Austria that you describe. Presumably the Baltic ram raiders and Romanian criminals had a legitimate excuses to travel there, even if their real intentions were criminal. Their right to go there would not be lost if you got rid of Schengen.

    What you want is a system that stops floods of economic migrants landing on the Mediterranean coast, Albanian pimps setting up their illegal sex businesses, Russian mafiosi popping over for the odd hit job and Ukrainians flogging pirated goods in the street markets and that is achieved by effective policing of external borders, not restricting travel within the area.

    As regards the EDF, everyone is getting excited about very little. The EDF is nothing more or less than NATO minus the USA and Canada. There is no reason to suppose that such a force would function any worse or better than the existing NATO arrangement. What might be an issue is the foreign policy driving its possible use but that is a whole different question.

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  • 141. At 08:51am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    When I was in Mostar just after the Bosnian conflict, the army on the ground were Germans, the officers were Spanish and the civil police were Italian. It all seemed to be working surprisingly well. Why would it make any difference whether they were NATO or EDF?

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  • 142. At 08:56am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #130

    Look & read for Yourself, NOWHERE on here have I written that the British Armed Forces are 'superior' - - You wrote that.
    NOWHERE, on here have I written that the British Armed Forces would not take orders from German/Swedish etc. officers - - You wrote that.

    Germany's Forces are precluded from active frontline combat service overseas (e.g. mine-clearance is allowed & I understand is 1 of their key tasks - - brave men & women - - I've no doubt France's personnel behave in exactly the same manner when 'orders' permit, which is rare!)whatever their special forces have & are doing in Iraq it is in contravention of international agreements (reverse of the France role!).

    Hopefully, SOMETIME on here You (plus Isenhorn) will take the time & trouble to see & read my points:

    1) France's Armed Forces are not fully engaged in support of NATO.
    2) France's Armed Forces are not held in high esteem by their NATO comrades - - especially true in Afghanistan.
    3) France's Armed Forces' 'Officers' would struggle & probably find it impossible to take command of any US-UK Combat unit as none of them have any experience of 'combat' operations in Afghanistan or elsewhere.
    4) France's Armed Forces are generally regarded as very capable, but the 'Political Leadership' of France has made decisions US-UK Armed forces, from what I have been told plus my reading, bitterly resent and regard as letting down frontline, combat operations personnel - - France's Armed Forces aren't popular because by 'order' of their Government they do not face/share an equal risk with many other NATO nations.

    Hence my overall suggestion: An EDF with French Commanding Officers is utterly unlikely to find any British units willing to serve!

    Now, was that so hard to work out!?

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  • 143. At 09:04am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Opinion

    Re #137 & 'Schengen', "..doesn't work.." + "..foreign gangs.."

    Ditto in Finland, Sweden, Poland: A non-stop influx of criminal gangs from the small Baltic States and also Rumania (why, in particular, I don't know). In Finland & Sweden's case it is my understanding that Russian gangs are also regular invaders.

    There was a joke did the rounds of Scandinavian nations although it seems less prevalent now which anecdotally summed up people's feelings7ideas on the matter:

    An Estonian Tourist Advert reads, "Come to beautiful Estonia!" Your car is here already!"

    I know, no proof of Schengen failures, but I understand versions of that joke extend across most of north & west EUrope - - a joke that only came into being post-Schengen - - and in my experience there is 'no smoke, without fire'.

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  • 144. At 09:14am on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 145. At 09:20am on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    And I like Jewish people and want all of them to thrive, but I do know and can tell friend from foe. :O)))))

    I especially like Jewish people in America who have contributed to our culture, but

    I don't like Israel much these days, sorry :)

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  • 146. At 09:26am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #143 - cool_brush_work

    My point exactly. Getting rid of Schengen would not affect the right of Estonians to travel. Effective external border policing might prevent Russian gang activity.

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  • 147. At 09:32am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    Regarding Schengen, I have long thought that this is just the pro-EU supporters red herring, their claims and the EU's claims are that because of Schengen there are open borders and free movement of labour and produce. YET, for anyone who has worked in multiple countries you discover the myriad of little tricks that those nations put into their laws in order to restrict free movement. In terms of Labour the simplest is the homogenisation of qualifications, and yes I know the EU commission has sort of tried to work this out, but to little effect of course. E.G. In Belgium you still need to have access to a particular profession including being independent, so anyone coming from another country will find obstacles such as their paper qualifications are unknown or need to be translated, and they don't understand Belgian laws or accounting procedures, even to be a cook you have to be agreed for the Belgian profession. The same applies in many other countries I'm led to believe.

    Which is why for me Schengen is such a red herring, long used to attack the UK on the basis that outside the Schengen area the UK is contravening the treaty's, but in reality hiding the underhand tricks that EU countries use to limit within-EU migration. For that the UK is one of the few that give EU migrants an equal chance of finding a job and accept their qualifications and experience. The only people the Schengen zone has helped are tourists and criminals.

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  • 148. At 09:43am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    """"" 143. At 09:04am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Opinion

    Re #137 & 'Schengen', "..doesn't work.." + "..foreign gangs.."

    Ditto in Finland, Sweden, Poland: A non-stop influx of criminal gangs from the small Baltic States and also Rumania (why, in particular, I don't know). In Finland & Sweden's case it is my understanding that Russian gangs are also regular invaders.

    There was a joke did the rounds of Scandinavian nations although it seems less prevalent now which anecdotally summed up people's feelings7ideas on the matter:

    An Estonian Tourist Advert reads, "Come to beautiful Estonia!" Your car is here already!"

    I know, no proof of Schengen failures, but I understand versions of that joke extend across most of north & west EUrope - - a joke that only came into being post-Schengen - - and in my experience there is 'no smoke, without fire'."""""

    Should I understand that your "world' was a crime free world?
    If so'
    No wonder that it was invaded by these barbaric emigrants.



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  • 149. At 09:43am on 05 Jun 2010, pkparish wrote:

    The Anglo-Saxon world spends a lot of time talking down the euro, almost willing it to "fail". The Conservative Party - William Hague in particular - has been doing this ever since the euro was introduced - and the British press (with a few exceptions) is certainly no better. Dealers in financial markets are no doubt speculating against it as well. The prophets of doom are much in evidence in this forum. What evidence is there to suggest that the euro zone is in a state of "melt down"?

    From a euro zone perspective it is unthinkable that the euro would cease to exist. The euro is a stable and established currency in 15 of the largest EU countries, and in only 10 years has become the world's third largest currency - an amazing achievement. Other EU countries are seeking to join. The idea that the euro land countries might revert to their old individual currencies is simply not on any agenda. Yes, there are problems of excessive indebtedness in various countries, and this will be a challenge for European politicians in the next few years. Taking a positive view however, "necessity is the mother of invention" - a solution will surely be found because the will to do so is there. Anyway, isn't excess national debt a problem of the western world in general - Britain and the USA no less?

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  • 150. At 09:48am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    147. At 09:32am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:
    "The only people the Schengen zone has helped are tourists and criminals."

    And that's why UK is a crime free country.

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  • 151. At 10:03am on 05 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "88. At 1:37pm on 04 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ChrisArta

    Re #58

    Make EUrope responsible for 'Defence'!

    Are You seriously suggesting there is even 1 Platoon/Company/Battalion within HM Armed forces that could be found willing to serve under & accept orders from a France Officer?"


    What is the difference? French, German, Danish? All "foreign" Continentals, whose funny ways can not be trusted. no?

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  • 152. At 10:13am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #149 - pkparish

    "Other EU countries are seeking to join".

    No - other EU countries are obliged to join by their treaties of accession. The only exceptions by virtue of negotiated opt outs are the UK and Denmark. Even Sweden, which has so far succeeded in circumventing the requirement by deliberately not meeting the criteria is technically required to do so sooner or later.

    Doubtless the recent seismic shift in the economies of member states will give many of them the excuse - if minded to do so - to not satisfy the criteria for as long as they wish. To suggest that non-members are queuing up to join is not born out by the evidence.

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  • 153. At 10:14am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ThrenodioII

    Re #140

    "What Schengen should do.. allow people to go about their lawful activities.."

    And, what it does in practise,

    Allow criminals from the whole length & breadth of EUrope to go about their nefarioius activities almost totally unhindered by 'law enforcement' that now relies on 'intelligence' gathering & Hi-Tec resources.

    ThrenodioII - - let me ask You - - in Your opinion are England's streets safer with Police Officers zooming about in high speed response vehicles and reliant on CCTV to show them who the criminals may be, or, were they safer when the local PC did his/her regular beat?

    I would be amazed if You supported the former and guarantee You would be in a minority opinion.

    Similarly, which in Your opinion is actually more likely to lead to the apprehension/prevention of crime & much of it very serious, professional stuff of the worst sort for society (i.e. drugs & weapons smuggling, people trafficking): Myriad 'open-borders' that don't see any check-points at all across 25 Nations whilst busy-busy Police Forces dash from 1 serious crime to another in their body-armour & high-speed cars, or, at each border cross-over Officers obliging all innocent Citizens to halt and offenders to run the very real risk of being stopped/found out?

    Let us be clear: IMO, the main motive for Schengen was not to free up travel for Citizens; the primary motive for Schengen was a Cost-Cutting exercise for 'big-Business/big-Government'. True enough the knock-on benefit for Citizens is goods delivered faster, cheaper & more widely. Sadly this is also true for criminal enterprises: The exploitation by those 2 'big' vested interests (as I outlined in more detail in previous Comments #95 & #110) and a grossly disproportionate knock-on effect of unparralleled supra-National criminality courtesy of Brussels.

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  • 154. At 10:18am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #150. At 09:48am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    "147. At 09:32am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:
    "The only people the Schengen zone has helped are tourists and criminals."

    And that's why UK is a crime free country."

    Wrong, border controls into (or out of) the UK of EU migrants do not check their right to enter the UK and there is just a basic check of whether they are flagged by their home countries (I believe). However the border controls do stop many undesirables from non-EU countries getting in, and they do help stop the flood of illegal immigrants that have entered the EU elsewhere with the aim of going to the UK. The main purpose of the UK border controls from my own experience is to try and stop smuggling, whether of people or guns or drugs or anything else that is dangerous, which why I've been 'controlled' a number of times but never found it annoying as I agree with the reasoning.

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  • 155. At 10:31am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    ##154
    That was not an afirmation.
    That was sarcasm.

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  • 156. At 10:42am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #151

    What the heck are You on about!?

    Are You suddenly incapable of reading 'english'!?

    What You wrote as a quote from me directly SUPPORTS my view.

    There's nothing about 'funny ways that cannot be trusted'! Again, You WROTE THAT!

    The Danish, Dutch, Canadian, American Officers already have and do 'Command' UK Forces - - no problem - - all are involved upto their necks in 'frontline combat roles'.

    France's Forces last took part in frontline combat (of a very limited sort) in the 1992 Kuwait campaign.

    For the umpteenth & last time: France's Armed Forces' senior officers would not in all likelihood be able to Command UK Forces as NONE OF THEM HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE OF COMBAT & UK Forces do feel great resentment of that situation!

    Gheryando, if You try to write another twisted version of the above I will never reply to You again on any matter. Frankly, this is just too ridiculous for the time spent on it and makes me question Your entire understanding of any topic discussed on these Blogs.

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  • 157. At 10:53am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #153 - cool_brush_work

    I absolutely agree about policing methods in the UK and am delighted that, here in Hungary, we do still see beat officers, many known in their communities doing good old fashioned police work. It is also a member of Schengen. I don't make the connection.

    The combined land and sea borders of the Schengen countries is just over 51,500 km. This is one hell of a big border to police. If you add in the non-Schengen EU members (UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria), it rises to about 61,200 km. I have searched in vain for a figure of the total border lengths within Schengen but it must be enormous. Poland alone has 10,000 odd border guards even though their only non-Schengen border is with Belarus.

    How can you possibly justify the huge cost of physically policing all these internal borders when we all know that the real answer to cross border serious crime is coordinated and effective intelligence? Do you seriously suggest that the UK can efficiently police 31,368 km. of its own borders effectively? The very fact that this is almost all coastline, much of it remote, makes the task harder, not easier. Simply stopping people moving around does not help anywhere nearly as much as knowing who they are and where they are at any one time.

    Much of the serious crime is coordinated through the internet which knows no borders. There is no substitute for good police work and sophisticated intelligence gathering. This is facilitated by Schengen. Dressing up a vast army of civil servants in silly uniforms and getting them to sit all day and night by barriers on country lanes is not going to help anyone.

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  • 158. At 10:56am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #155. At 10:31am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion,

    But surely, is not sarcasm the lowest form of wit, and is it not used mainly when the debate has been lost, lol.

    #153. At 10:14am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote,

    "ThrenodioII - - let me ask You - - in Your opinion are England's streets safer with Police Officers zooming about in high speed response vehicles and reliant on CCTV to show them who the criminals may be, or, were they safer when the local PC did his/her regular beat?"

    I see you know the UK cities well, the high speed cars seem to work on the premise that the faster they go the safer they are, but then concerning gun crime they stop at a distance and spend 30 minutes filling in a risk assessment and elf & safety form. As for the CCTV, many are actually inoperative as was explained to me by a detective in London during a shooting enquiry, who wanted to view my brothers CCTV since the nearby street ones were dummies. Personally I think the PC on the beat was far better than the high speed cars and the plastic police (community support officers).

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  • 159. At 10:59am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    To which I would add that I am bewildered by the laid back attitude of some contributors to being controlled at UK borders. I find that the fact that I can travel all the way from eastern Europe to the UK unfettered only to find that the only country that does not trust me to go about my lawful business is the country of which I have been a citizen for over 60 years deeply offensive.

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  • 160. At 11:01am on 05 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #8 JorgeG1

    You are quite right regarding rules of a club . Bill Cash is a veteran Eurosceptic Conservative MP . He did his best to prevent Britain joining the club , but to no avalail .

    Bill Cash and other Conservative MPs have strongly opposed joining the European Union . The British public were lied to and mislead prior to 1975 Referendum , on whether to remain in or leave the EEC . By the time John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty , I believe the majority of the British public were against an obvious further integration , not previously seen .

    Bill Cash , myself , other contributors here and I believe the majority of the British public , would be more than happy to leave the club .

    As things stand at the moment , there is also the possibilty that the club might disolve itself , or better take another form , respecting national sovereignty and becoming democratically representative of the people ; as opposed to the Commission , faceless bureaucrats and national heads of governments acting against the wishes of their people .

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  • 161. At 11:10am on 05 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    146. At 09:26am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:



    " ... Getting rid of Schengen would not affect the right of Estonians to travel. Effective external border policing might prevent Russian gang activity."

    EUpris: Getting rid of Schengen is not enough. We need to abolish the "EU" and then work on sensible cooperation.


    I have nothing against Estonians. I cannot remember from which Baltic country the ram-raiders in Austria came. If the came from Estonia then that does not imply that the Estonians are more criminal than anybody else. There are plenty of criminal Brits. I don't want them going to Austria either.

    Free Britain from the "EU"!!!!

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  • 162. At 11:17am on 05 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    141. At 08:51am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    "When I was in Mostar just after the Bosnian conflict, the army on the ground were Germans, the officers were Spanish and the civil police were Italian. It all seemed to be working surprisingly well. Why would it make any difference whether they were NATO or EDF?"

    EUpris: One reason is that the "EDF" is part of the attempt to create a Greater European Reich.

    I have been told by German and British "EU"-lovers that the UK has no right to leave the "EU" under any circumstances. Practically we can leave if we have our own well-equipped armed forces.

    The "EDF" would be commanded by the "EU"-rubbish. The "EU" is a sick, arrogant, megalomaniac, morally illegitimate monstrosity. The people in charge of it are a disgrace.

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  • 163. At 11:23am on 05 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    137. At 06:38am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    ' ...

    "...Austria has had massive problems with outside criminals. The have had Romanian false policemen and the have had ram-raiders from a Baltic state."
    They should be happy for that. It brought some light into their boring lives. ...'

    EUpris: There are loads of interesting things going on in Austria. The loveliest dancing I have ever done in Austrian folk dancing. Austrians can live a wonderful life. They could do so more easily without the constant fear of attack from foreign criminals.

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  • 164. At 11:32am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #159. At 10:59am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II,
    I have been 'controlled' on many occasions but with only one exception did I find it frustrating. That was last year when I used the coach service to go from Brussels to London, unfortunately the starting point of the coach was Amsterdam. Therefore during a period of at least an hour the coach was stripped, all luggage scanned and people checked for drugs by sniffer dogs. In almost all my other checks the control was pretty superficial and not particularly delaying. I don't know which route you use but the last coach I used was going to Budapest via Belgium, so maybe you've used it, but it does seem the controls on coaches are much more severe than on cars, rail etc as I spoke to the driver about it after the major control.

    What I do find offensive is the so called 'money laundering' legislation in the EU where you are asked why you are transferring your own legally earnt money from one country to another. Freedom of movement does not apply to your money it seems.

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  • 165. At 11:37am on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #162 - EUprisoner209456731

    "I have been told by German and British "EU"-lovers that the UK has no right to leave the "EU" under any circumstances."

    Then you were misinformed. Lisbon - for the first time - specifically provides a mechanism for leaving. I would have thought that anybody qualified to describe the EU as "a sick, arrogant, megalomaniac, morally illegitimate monstrosity" would have been well enough informed to know that.

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  • 166. At 11:50am on 05 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #15 Jean Luc

    You have gone on and on about the Referendum in 1975 ; that the British people knew they were letting themselves in for Ever Closer Union .

    YOU ARE WRONG !!!

    As a student today ; your were niether born nor thought of in 1975 .
    You are equating , news and communications of 1975 with 2010 .
    In 1975 hardly anyone would own a computer , to look it all up for themselves . I am pleased to note that even you have done further research into this obsessive subject of yours .

    In 1975 most people , naively , believed there politicians and never for a moment believed that they were being lied to and mislead .

    Had you been around and of sufficient age to understand , you might be qualified to argue this point .
    I tell you , you know nothing of 1975 , that you haven't read somewhere and you are not in a position to judge and argue this point .

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  • 167. At 11:53am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ThrenodioII

    Re #157

    "..how You (me) can possibly justify the huge costs..".

    National Police & Customs protecting/defending National borders: Erm, wasn't that what every Nation did as a matter of National self-defence/security, pre-Schengen?
    Isn't the collective-pooling of 'intelligence' & 'detection resources' just a way for National Governments to avoid their historic obligation to protect their Citizens from harm insofar as that is ever possible?

    Bsically, You are repeating the the fallacy of reasoning behind Schengen: Yes, of course Schengen is cheaper, much, much cheaper - - it doesn't come any cheaper than no National Border Security!

    You don't "..make the connection.." between Bobbies on the beat (which You prefer) and Bobbies on the Border (which You dislike)!

    So, within Schengen exactly how is a load of class A drugs that have been successfully smuggled ashore on the Finnish archipelago and then tucked inside boxes in an ordinary, licensed van that drives down to the Netherlands ever detected? Because that is what might well be happening, and it could be the Swedish, Estonian, Polish, German, Danish, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Greek etc. coastline.

    If I am not mistaken, unless the boat initially delivering the drugs ashore isn't intercepted, then 25 countries are wide open for delivery by the man-with-a-van, as there is no reason and nowadays no practical security in-place to examine the van's contents!

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  • 168. At 11:56am on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    Foreign criminals.
    Yes there are foreign criminals.
    But do not forget.
    Your domestic criminals are foreign criminals as well.
    Do not put a finger on an entire nation because of few having trouble finding the right way.
    That does not make you any better.

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  • 169. At 12:02pm on 05 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    Threnodio (59): said “I am bewildered by the laid back attitude of some contributors to being controlled at UK borders. I find that the fact that I can travel all the way from eastern Europe to the UK unfettered only to find that the only country that does not trust me to go about my lawful business is the country of which I have been a citizen for over 60 years deeply offensive.”

    I find your perpetual dishonesty offensive, but I guess when you haven't got any good arguments for the EU you have to resort to repeating what you know to be lies.

    As has been pointed out to you and Jorge1 repeatedly before, if you travel from Hungary to Britain you are legally obliged to carry some form of ID (your passport in your case) with you at all times as you pass through Hungary, Germany, Belgium, France, etc. and produce it on demand for the police wherever you are (not just at ports) 24x7. It is only once you pass immigration control at Dover/Heathrow that you can put your ID away and begin to ‘go about your lawful business’ without the police having this power.

    One of the few good things about the new government is that it has canceled the UK ID card scheme so you can be sure that this freedom, lost on most of the Continent, is now secure in the UK.

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  • 170. At 12:06pm on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #167. At 11:53am on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work,

    Re "If I am not mistaken, unless the boat initially delivering the drugs ashore isn't intercepted, then 25 countries are wide open for delivery by the man-with-a-van, as there is no reason and nowadays no practical security in-place to examine the van's contents!"

    You are largely correct but there are certainly in some countries the continued use of customs and excise officers who can and do stop traffic going over borders. I have heard of a number of such events in Belgium concerning people going into Luxembourg to buy cheaper cigarettes. But yes, the chance of getting stopped for a real criminal is fairly minimal.

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  • 171. At 12:26pm on 05 Jun 2010, Jon Frimann wrote:

    I come from a country that is currently not in the EU. I can tell you that it is no good to be outside EU. The economic isolation of not being in the EU is costing Iceland billion of euro each year, along with the issue of not having a toll free access to the market in Europe. That in it self limits growth and economic prosperity in Iceland. Currently Iceland remains in recessions, while growth has started in most EU member states.

    Last time UK voted on EU, the applied to stay inside it. But if the people of UK are willing to test live outside of EU, they are welcomed to do so in my opinion. I am just going to remind them that applying for a new membership might be a lot different game then current membership to the EU.

    I also want to remind people on Switzerland, that currently remains outside EU and has had a frozen EU membership application since the year 1992. They are currently having to deal with EU on mutual agreement. But that also requires them to take up EU laws where applying and in accordance to there agreements with EU. But they, like all the EEA countries don't have any saying on what goes into the EU laws, and no way to protect there interests when it comes to there dealings with EU. Since not being a member means no voice at all. Norway is a special case, but based on what I have heard they are among the most custom happy nation in Europe. They appear to even top Iceland in that field of poor economic policies.

    If the UK wants to know how it feels to be without any saying, they can and should leave the EU tomorrow. But I am not sure that the public in the UK is going to be happy when the prices in the stores start to rise due to customs starting to be applied again to imported products. It is quite easy to forget what you have when you are used to it.

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  • 172. At 12:31pm on 05 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @149 pkparish

    "From a euro zone perspective it is unthinkable that the euro would cease to exist. The euro is a stable and established currency in 15 of the largest EU countries, and in only 10 years has become the world's third largest currency - an amazing achievement."

    I thought in a similar fashion until a few weeks ago.
    Surely, the Euro always had its fair share of structural problems. To make it simple, I would say that the common currency was the lowest common denominator. To this point it is a shallow monetary union which reflects the inequality between the members of that union.


    Sadly, the ECB sold out and a stable Euro has left the building.
    I can`t forecast at what point in time the Euro will be reformed dramatically - in this case it wold be even likely that nations get thrown out of the union - or will be abolished by the significant contributing nations (even the EMU is, to some degree, a transfer of wealth).
    But those two scenarios are the most likely in my opinion.

    But with what has been happening within the last months is proof enough to me that some members of that union need to rethink their own role within it (*cough* France *cough*).
    Or the other big players will.

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  • 173. At 12:34pm on 05 Jun 2010, d_m wrote:

    #138 David:

    Oops, sorry. No ill-intent meant. Just that the physical style or your posts reminded me of the physical style of his poetry. Only that.

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  • 174. At 12:36pm on 05 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    +++++171
    Well said.

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  • 175. At 12:46pm on 05 Jun 2010, pkparish wrote:

    162. At 11:17am on 05 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 made a number of wild accustions against the EU, without backing them up with any evidence.

    "Sick". How can the EU be "sick" when it already has 27 members, and more are seeking to join. It has existed for a good 60 years already, and has brought freedom, peace and prosperity to millions of European citizens.

    "Arrogant". Not understood - the EU seeks to provide a regulatory framework on issues where there is more to be gained by co-operation between the member states than if each country were to act individually. It acts within the powers given to it by the member states.

    "Megalomaniac." There is just zero evidence for this - it does not warrant further comment.

    "Morally illegitimate". Again, this is not understood, would EUpris please explain what is meant.

    "Monstrosity". This is an emotive word which should be avoided in a serious discussion.

    "People a disgrace". Which people are referred to? Please be specific. The EU Commissioners are legitimately appointed by the governments of the respective member states. The MEPs are directly elected by the citizens of the EU.

    EUpris needs to be careful in his use of language when making such accusations, and always to back his assertions with factual evidence.


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  • 176. At 1:28pm on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #175. At 12:46pm on 05 Jun 2010, pkparish,

    Re ""Sick". How can the EU be "sick" when it already has 27 members, and more are seeking to join. It has existed for a good 60 years already, and has brought freedom, peace and prosperity to millions of European citizens."

    and

    "EUpris needs to be careful in his use of language when making such accusations, and always to back his assertions with factual evidence."

    Maybe you would like to prove just how the existence of the EU has brought freedom, peace and prosperity to millions of European citizens, rather than if some citizens have had their life improved it was as a result of their Nation's actions and performance and not the EU's. It seems you are a true believer in the EU of the Jukka mold and ignore the plentiful evidence that not only is the EU as a federal integrationist concept struggling, but their darling baby, the Euro, is in danger of suffering an early demise since unfortunately for the grand EU design protagonists, one size does not fit all. Even for you it must be evident that the Euro's current woes were not only predictable from the outset, but that certain member states were allowed to join when their economies were an accident waiting to happen. Even the major powers who joined the Euro had a job justifying their membership as many fell outside the so called criteria needed for entry.

    Consequentially I find your claim that the EU has brought prosperity to millions of European citizens to be wayward at the least, it has certainly wasted a huge amount of our money that is certain, and now with the Euro and Greek bailout what was left is being wasted.

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  • 177. At 1:28pm on 05 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    When the primitives who live in a village of grass huts see and admire a multistory mansion and want to construct one for themselves, it is best to learn the principles and skills of how to build such a structure before starting actual construction. Their common European home. Alas, the Europeans knew better than the architects of the genuine article or so they imperiously thought and with characteristic hubris, the European Union is risen as a would be mansion built from piling grass huts on top of one another. Ladders instead of staircases. Bamboo poles instead of steel columns, girders, and solid joists, grass thatch instead of siding and shingles all bundled together with sinew lashing, spit, scotch tape and chewing gum. And now it is caving in on itself. Just one more exsample of Europe's endless history of folly. But in the aftermath will they revert true to form and take up sword and spear after each other in yet one more display of endless rage and recriminations? Personally I don't care.

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  • 178. At 2:08pm on 05 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    John Friman (171) said "The economic isolation of not being in the EU is costing Iceland billion of euro each year, along with the issue of not having a toll free access to the market in Europe."


    Iceland does have toll free access to the EU/EEA market because of its membership of EFTA.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Free_Trade_Association

    Iceland is one on richest countries in the world (14th highest gdp/person in 2009) and would be one of the highest net contributors to the EU budget if it were a member, which certainly would cost it billions. The common fisheries policy policy would also decimate one its main industries, costing it more billions.

    ---
    opinion (174) wrote: "+++++171 Well said."

    What is good about comments that are entirely inaccurate?

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  • 179. At 2:10pm on 05 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @169 Freeborn John

    "As has been pointed out to you and Jorge1 repeatedly before, if you travel from Hungary to Britain you are legally obliged to carry some form of ID (your passport in your case) with you at all times as you pass through Hungary, Germany, Belgium, France, etc. and produce it on demand for the police wherever you are (not just at ports) 24x7. It is only once you pass immigration control at Dover/Heathrow that you can put your ID away and begin to ‘go about your lawful business’ without the police having this power. "

    My ID-card was enough to travel to any EU-nation I visited so far.
    My ID was checked no more than twice within the last 5 years, even though I do not live in Germany right now and travel frequently.


    The system is not perfect, but it is a huge progress from an isonalistic era which lasted almost a hundred years.
    And I don`t know any person who has been to the USA or Asia and doesn`t appreciate what the Schengen-agreement achieved.


    All these foreign gangs or whatever are not our real problem imo.
    One problem is the unconditional welfare state that even supports immigrants.
    In Austria for example, there are quite a few welfare-abusers from the Balkans who asked for asylum in Austria, receive welfare and live in the Balkans most of the time.
    Or Malmö anyone?

    The problem is not Schengen per se. The real problem lies within the political culture of the last 2-3 decades which preached nothing but tolerance, tolerance, tolerance.
    Well, too much tolerance only gets you beat up by less tolerant people.
    Simple lesson most people should have learned in school.

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  • 180. At 2:32pm on 05 Jun 2010, tridiv wrote:

    @CBW 143 "Ditto in Finland, Sweden, Poland: A non-stop influx of criminal gangs from the small Baltic States and also Rumania (why, in particular, I don't know). In Finland & Sweden's case it is my understanding that Russian gangs are also regular invaders."

    One must be pretty blinkered not to see the merits of Schengen and free movement of the people within the EU. But then you are from the island. While the rest of the world moves ahead including "the small Baltic republics", the isolationist islanders like you can take solace in outdated jokes. What are you actually suggesting- build another iron curtain? I bet the small 'Baltic republics' that you contemptuously refer to will shortly have a living standard comparable to the UK. Jean Luc is right all the way- look at your own country first before blaming the EU for everything. Why are the Britons not able to bring in a referendum over EU if there is so much of antipathy as your posts consistently suggest? May be a failure or lack of democracy in the island! just a suggestion

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  • 181. At 2:40pm on 05 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I don't know what you Europeans are complaining about when it comes to passports. Don't you already have to carry national identity cards that must be presented to the police upon demand? Don't the police have a right to stop, question, and even search you if they have reasonable cause for suspicion that you have committed a crime? In the United States we don't carry passports to go from one state to another because we are in the same country. Is the European Union a single country, a collection of countries, or just wing it with no rhyme or reason to it?

    From what I can tell, in Britain they don't even need to have a judge issue a search warrant to break into people's homes and property to go on a wild fishing expedition for evidence. They don't even have to demonstrate probable cause and have some idea of what they are looking for to a judge whose role is to protect Constitutional rights of citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and be secure in their property. If there is a constitution in Britain, few know what it says or what rights they have or don't have under it because if it really exists at all, it is so arcane and convoluted only experts can understand it. And there aren't citizens, just subjects of the crown. That's one more thing that has never changed.

    "Badges? Badges? I ain't got no stinkin' badges." Hard for you Europeans who may not know it to believe but in America we don't have national identity cards. There is no law requiring anyone to carry any proof or evidence of identity at all although there are those in Congress who would like to enact such a law and "Europeanize" America even worse than it already is.

    http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100321132826AAoTUcA

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  • 182. At 2:49pm on 05 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @177 MAII

    Europe has nothing to learn from the USA in building a huge nation or union. It has completely different premises.
    Well, probably you could, to some extent, compare the process of how the former members of the Holy Roman Empire, even though never before really united, joined a German Reich. This was the result of a common idea and a strong feeling of belonging together.
    This is also the reason why West Germany decided to foot the bill for the former GDR and become one nation again despite the enormous costs.
    Something similar happened in the USA when the people fought for independence. They fought for a common idea and a feeling of belingong together and not to their former colonial masters.

    But Europe, throughout the last 2000 years, was much more diverse.
    Europeans, to this point, do not share a common idea or identity.
    The flag waving Europeans, even though shown often on TV, are a small minority.
    People want to be friends with their neighbours, but they don`t have a feeling of belonging together as much as to cast off their respective national identity or sovereignty.
    That`s my real life experience.


    Even within Germany there are quite a few people who reject the idea of financial transfers from richer to poorer federal states within the same nation, which is still necessary 20 years after reunification.
    So who would be delusional enough to think that financial transfers to completely different nations could find a broad acceptance within the paying nation`s population.


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  • 183. At 2:50pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 169 FBJ

    "It is only once you pass immigration control at Dover/Heathrow that you can put your ID away and begin to 'go about your lawful business' without the police having this power. "

    Do you really live in the UK or in cuckoo land?

    I cannot really believe that you live in the UK and say that once you pass the police state control at the Wall of Dover/Heathrow (the new Iron Curtain in Europe) you can put your ID away. Away from who?

    Have you heard of stop and search?

    Have you recently started a new job or applied for one?

    Have you recently changed bank accounts?

    Probably none of this happens in cuckoo land.

    But I have lost count of the amount of times that I have been asked for my ID (not ID card of course) / proof or address in the past few years. And of course, the Home Office travel database must have a good collection of my travel movements over the years. Conversely their counterparts at my home country have nothing of the sort, as they don't even scan my passport on arrival and the last time when the police asked me for my ID was in the 1970s. So not quite 24/7.

    In continental Europe, there is something called the EU and the single market. The countries of continental Europe, 28 of them in total, have decided that having 28 different sets of picket fences would make the single market unworkable and it would make the principle of freedom of movement in Europe a joke.

    In your beloved US, your role model, there are 50 states. They all have their own laws and they cover an extension that is as large, if not larger (my geography is failing me here) than continental Europe and no border controls between them, which means that any illegal immigrant can cross the extremely 'porous' Mexican/US border - to use a word beloved by anti-immigration / border control fundamentalists – and then choose which one of the 50 states they want to go to travel and work illegally.

    By the same token, most of the illegal immigrants in this country arrive in the UK via the channel and London airports, e.g. visa overstayers, bogus students, etc. Once in, they are free to go to Scotland, Wales, Ireland, etc. By the same token they should be border controls between all these nations, so Scotland, for example doesn't have to 'import' illegal immigrants from England.

    Now back in cuckoo land...

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  • 184. At 2:54pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 160

    "Bill Cash , myself , other contributors here and I believe the majority of the British public , would be more than happy to leave the club . "

    Bill Cash is therefore in the wrong party. As he is so much a single issue politician, from my experience of listening (or rather suffering to listen) to him, and the EU issue is so important to him, he shouldn't be in a party that has a crystal clear policy of remaining in the EU.

    As he is a politician without principle I have no respect for him. Zero.

    The day he defects to UKIP I will change my mind.

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  • 185. At 2:55pm on 05 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Britons never, never, never shall be slaves"?


    Well, it seems you've been already enslaved by Brussels for quite some time.

    Pray, tell us, what are you going to do about it?

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  • 186. At 3:01pm on 05 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ 181 MAII

    I just checked my passport Marcus, clearly says Citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and European Union.

    Not subject... although semantics hardly matters does it.

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  • 187. At 3:03pm on 05 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #123:
    "Cooperation is most of the time better. Be it on a trade or on military matter"




    "I'D RATHER HAVE A GERMAN DIVISION IN FRONT OF ME, THAN A FRENCH DIVISION BEHIND ME"

    [gen. Patton]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The first soldier to liberate Paris: US war correspondent: Ernest Hemingway. [The second: his camera man]

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  • 188. At 3:04pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Jon Frimann

    Re #171 & Iceland 'outside' the EU & warning to UK

    I appreciate Your description of Your perspective of the experiences of Iceland 'outside' the EU.

    However, I would like to suggest a few grounds for optimism that the UK/England were it to revert to being 'outside' the EU may not experience/develop its relations with the EU or the rest of the World in quite the manner You claim Iceland has done.

    All figures are approximations:

    Iceland, 103,000 sq km ; UK, 244,000 sq km ; England, 130,410 sq km

    Iceland, 308,000 population ; UK, 60,000,000 ; England, 51,500,000

    Iceland Economy - Fishing & Fish products 40%; GDP per Capita 39,800 Dollars (2009); other industries inc. BioTechnology/Software/Tourism

    Iceland, Energy supplies - abundant Geothermal & Hydropower

    UK/England Economy - Trillion Dollar; World's 2nd largest Financial Investment centre; GDP per Capita 35,400 dollars (2009); Labour Force 32,000,000: 60% of foodstuffs home-produced with 2% of Labour Force; Industry inc. Hi-Spec&Tec Machine tools/Electronics/Heavy&Light Engineering plus hybrid specialist Aircraft, Ship, Motor, Rail equipment/Chemicals&hybrid synthetics/Paper&products/Textiles/Medical Equipment&Medicines.

    UK/England, Energy supplies - Oil & Gas dwindling (large Coal reserves) - net importer since 2005.

    Barring the recent huge Worldwide Financial Crisis as a small and most northerly island the independent State of Iceland has done well.

    Barring the recent huge Worldwide Financial Crisis as a substantially larger British Isles adjacent to continental Europe the UK/England has done very well.

    With all due respect personally I believe it would be folly for Iceland to join the stagnating, one-size-fits-all, supra-National policies of Brussels; far better for Icelanders to keep their independence and find their own Economic way forward as they have done for centuries. Surely it would be a good thing for Iceland to increase its ties with the EU, but that should never include giving way to Law from Brussels - - continental EUrope simply does not have the capacity to understand or provide the type of 'political-judicial-economic' leadership the unique island of Iceland requires.

    Similarly, I believe it is Economic-Fiscal-Judicial-Social-Military folly for the UK/England (and England is really my only concern) to remain 'inside' the stagnating, one-size-fits-all, anti-Democratic EU.

    I cannot imagine any circumstance 'outside' the EU in which the EU would stop or seek to amend Trading terms etc. with a combined UK 'market' of 60 million People or an England 'market' of 51 million - - it would be Economic madness for EU Nations to break-off or cut-back dealings with the 2nd largest Contributor to the EU - - & 1 of the 3 largest EU Economies on which so many other EU Member States depend for much of their Economic-Fiscal stability. Equally, it is only right that UK/England maintain those close trading ties with the EU, whilst actively 6 robustly as it has throughout centuries keeping the Continent at arms-length in terms of 'political-judicial-economic' Governance.

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  • 189. At 3:10pm on 05 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    " Europe has nothing to learn from the USA in building a huge nation or union"



    Of course. Since it's been already proven Brussels' unelected comrades are unable to build either a huge nation, or a union.

    Unless your'e talking about EUSSR.

    [Which, of course, is going to go the way of USSR. And dinosaurs :)]


    P.S. Ask Basques, Bavarians, Catalans, Greeks, Scotts, Welsh, etc., whether they feel 'European'. :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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  • 190. At 3:22pm on 05 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Drugstore Man;

    "Europe has nothing to learn from the USA in building a huge nation or union. It has completely different premises."

    That's the European hubris and arrogance I've come to know and depend on. It of course explains why Europe got to be in the mess it's in. And the one before this one. And the one before that. And the one before that. And....

    America on the other hand had much to learn from Europe. Europe served as a perfect example...of what America wanted to avoid becomding at all possible costs. Isn't the reason why obvious? Clearly we have nothing in common. I for one prefer it stay that way.

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  • 191. At 3:36pm on 05 Jun 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #186 Benefactor

    They had to change the wording on British Passports, but SUBJECTS remain in fact !

    The EU has freed you from a subservient position to one of Equality !

    British SUBJECT and CITIZEN of the European Union would have been more honest but internationally laughable !

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  • 192. At 3:47pm on 05 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    #190 MA-II

    That's the European hubris and arrogance I've come to know and depend on.

    You mean you are addicted to this?

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  • 193. At 4:10pm on 05 Jun 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #183 Jorge1

    --- And don´t the forget the Big Brother video cameras which put North Korea to shame !

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  • 194. At 4:12pm on 05 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    The two Americans continue their effort to prove their bad style.

    It is just a couple of days since we saw the very musical president of the USA swing to the music of Paul McCartney, who received the Gershwin prize, and anybody with insight in American music knows that the country has imported classical music en bloc not to speak of the European influence on jazz, one of the very few original American contributions to art genres.

    These ignorants of course think we don't know, and instead of getting hip they will continue with the clownish act.

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  • 195. At 4:12pm on 05 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #59 Jean Luc

    One accepts that you have read it all in books or on the internet , or have been lectured to by university professors , so you know it all .

    What exactly should the EU have done when France and Germany broke the rules , refused to take sensure or pay a fine ? In such circumstances the EU is completely impotent .

    British governments and people are stupid and obey all the rules .
    Britain should do as others ; ignore any rules we don't like .
    What would the EU do if Britain refused to pay her contribution to the EU ? They might not be very happy , the ECJ might order Britain to pay; but if she didn't , what then ?

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  • 196. At 4:19pm on 05 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    sm********t;

    I always find it a souce of endless amusement that when I think up what the worst Europeans could do to themselves and to each other in any circumstance, they almost invariably do just that. And when they don't, it's only because they have come up with something even worse I hadn't thought of myself.
    :-)

    How thoughtful of the Greeks to throw up Nazism to the Germans even though of nearly all Germans who are alive today, few were even born yet let alone adults during WWII and Greece will depend on the Germans if their economy isn't to collapse. This of course only makes the Germans even more resentful of the Greeks for having added insult to injury. Clearly the only reason Germany would consider bailing out Greece is to save itself, they could by now hardly care less what becomes of the Greeks. And how hard the minorities in so many countries fight each other for independence or for the suppression of minorities within their borders when all say they want to to be united under one big superstate. The Slovaks discriminate against the Hungarians while the Hungarians discriminate against the Roma yet they all say they want to be just one big happy family. Which lies are the biggest, the ones they tell to the world, the ones they tell to each other, or the ones they tell to themselves?

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  • 197. At 4:27pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    tridiv

    Re #180

    To be cystal clear and very frank: I read your piece and had not the feintest idea what You were referring to in most of it!

    ".. rest of the world moves ahead..", "..solace in out-dated jokes..", another iron curtain..", "..isolanist islanders.." "..Baltic state.. contemptuously refer.."!

    Erm, did You actually read anything I wrote or did You just decide to write a load of tosh and accuse me of it!?

    So far as I am aware I wrote about and made specific reference to the Schengen 'open-borders' agreement.

    Nowhere do I write 'contemptuously' of any EU Nation: I pointed to a joke which I added could apply to any Nation in Schengen. Living in Finland I am very familiar with Estonia, somewhat less Latvia and hardly anything on Lithuania - - however, my impression is all 3 smaller Baltic States have worked exceedingly hard to overcome the malaise left post-Soviet occupation.
    I cannot help IMO if the Schengen agreement is not a good way for those Nations to organise their borders (in or out of EU) and nor do I think it is a good idea for Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Portugal, Greece etc. ALL of which I also wrote about!

    "out-dated jokes..": Try reading my Comment again - - that is what I implied when I wrote my #143, i.e. "joke.. seems less prevalent now..".

    You need to pause for thought before attempting to re-write my words to suit Your own agenda!

    I note that for all Your bluster and contempt for my views, e.g. "..one must be pretty blinkered.. but then you are from the island..", You monumentally failed to address a single point of my criticism of the Schengen agreement!
    IMO the 'Open borders' enables trafficked people, drug & weapon smuggling, counterfeit goods, illegal immigration etc. - - do You have any answer for those issues I raised about the effects of Schengen?

    "..iron curtain.."! Where did You ever get that nonsensical idea from?

    No, I cannot find a mention of any solutions/alternatives in Your diatribe: You, like that waste of space JL have a great deal to tell Britons about their faults, but strangely no answers to a critique of a key EU policy that, like so many ideas from Brussels, is not functioning properly!

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  • 198. At 4:38pm on 05 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    There are other things in life than money:
    14 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, and Slovenia have as a majority in the EU used the rules about enhanced cooperation.

    On a meeting yesterday between the ministers of justice it was agreed to make new rules in the case of a divorce between two citizens from two different EU countries. It concerns 16 million of EU's 122 million married couples, and there are circa 140.000 divorcees affected by the new legislation concerning all EU members. It is circa 15 per cent of all divorces.

    According to press reports it is the first time that legislation has been put through by a group of member countries. Something of a milestone in the cooperation.

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  • 199. At 4:46pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #183

    My! Don't envy You...

    Quote, "..have lost count of the amount of times I have been asked for my ID.." (in UK).

    I'm truly, deeply, madly fascinated by that experience of living in the UK/England!
    Bearing in mind we only retired to live in Finland just under 3yrs ago:

    You see, my Finnish wife, always retaining her Finnish Passport (out & in the EU), was resident in England from 1975 until 2007. She can count on the fingers of one hand, other than entering/leaving England the number of times she was asked for any form of Identification!

    Now, admittedly, she was asked her ID circa 1968-71 (i.e. Passport) when she & I were courting & hopped over to each other other's homeland. Then, after marriage when she set-up a Bank Account in 1975 & about 10 years later when we took out our first Mortgage. Our first child was born in Finland & the rigmarole of paperwork we (especially me as a Brit) had to complete was astonishing whereas, in contrast, our 2nd child born in England just got the local Registry Office check of our Passport & Birth Certificates (my wife had an English translation, cost 1-05p) and the nipper got her's.

    So far as we can recall we think that was last time my wife had to prove anything about herself until she Signed the Official Secrets Act paperwork to get a job as an Immigration Officer circa late-80s.

    My, my! That must be some shifty face You're lumbered with - - now, now, only joking!

    Cheers.

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  • 200. At 4:54pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 48 CBW

    "...judging from Your's and other 'pro-EU' up-in-arms reaction to Foreign Secretary Hague ... a 'Democratic' voice, don't you just love it?

    You maybe a democracy lover but other than that I think you've lost the plot big time.

    My reaction to this love affair between Foreign Secretary Hague and democracy was none other than to fully support FS Hague in his push 'for an extension of the single market' [into Britain by fully complying with the rules of the single market] and in his other push to lighten regulation [by reducing the regulation affecting 'mere mortals' to the same level as the regulations affecting Dutch cheese as far as free movement inside the single market is concerned].

    For your convenience (and with permission from the moderators) I repeat here what this deregulation is about:

    "Container-loads of widgets from West Bromwich are shot over to their destinations in the Ruhr and consignments of Dutch cheese bowl merrily along to Britain's supermarkets. But the passage of mere mortals continues to be fraught with complication and *regulation*."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/hoping-for-a-british-defeat-at-the-borders-of-insanity-1601508.html

    Mine an up-in-arms reaction? I would say rather that you have lost the plot, when all that I am doing is *supporting* Foreign Secretary Hague in his quest to extend the single market and lighten regulation.

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  • 201. At 4:57pm on 05 Jun 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #195 Hauimek

    ´What would the EU do if Britain refused to pay her contribution to the EU ? ´

    You never learn do you ?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/who-owns-britain-biggest-landowners-agree-to-reveal-scale-of-holdings-443956.html

    The holdings are PARTIALLY declared to claim the EU agricultural subsidies. Even the Royal Family participates in the legal Tax Avoidance !

    If Britain ever did not pay, the money paid to the Landowners would be taken from the SUBJECTS.

    The propaganda of ´British Sovereignty´ is based ONLY on such principles !




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  • 202. At 4:57pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #198

    "milestone in cooperation", or, 'millstone by separation'!

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  • 203. At 5:00pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    The UK passport exhorts the visited country to ". . . allow the BEARER to pass freely without let or hindrance. . ." - no mention of citizen or subject.

    Only when you get to the personal information do you find a heading which reads 'Nationality'. Curiously, here the reverse is true. There are six available categories which include both British Citizens and British Subjects. British Subjects (as defined in the 1981 Act) are those who were not Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies or citizens of any other Commonwealth country. Most of these derived their status as British subjects from British India or the Republic of Ireland as they existed before 1949. It follows that you will not be a British subject unless you are at least 61 years of age. Everyone else (except British Protected Persons and British Nationals (Overseas)) are citizens.

    So I am sorry, QOT, but yet again, you are clutching at straws in pursuit of your Anglophobic cause.

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  • 204. At 5:02pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re 3196

    Careful now!

    Making sense is going to ruin Your rep!

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  • 205. At 5:05pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #197 - cool_brush_work

    Speaking personally, I thought the joke was quite funny:-)

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  • 206. At 5:08pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #193

    "..don't forget...cameras put North korea to shame.."

    Oh no!

    Now I've read it all!

    Not only bearer of indisputable gibberish and undisputed legend of risible non-facts, but now... the North Korean expert!

    Chortle, guffaw, cackle, giggle, chuckle, hoot, snigger...

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  • 207. At 5:20pm on 05 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    198 "Ditto in Finland, Sweden, Poland"


    Travelled through Poland (via Norway, Denmark and former E. Germany)
    last summer to Austria, via Slovakia.

    In Poland is not so much an influx of Russian criminals (althouth there are some) as refugees from Russia-occupied Caucasus: Chechens, Degestanis, etc., whom government in Warsaw (being a signatory of the Schengen Treaty) has to prevent from moving farther west.

    From what I've seen I have to give Poles a credit: although they don't have much dough they help those refugees, and they do not send them back to Russia.

    I guess they know first hand what would await them there. :(

    [with Russian authorities describing them as "Muslim terrorists"]

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  • 208. At 5:22pm on 05 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    1 euro = 1.198 US$.

    Sapienti sat.

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  • 209. At 5:25pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #200

    "..up in arms reaction.."

    Sorry mate, You've lost me: Always enjoy a tussle with You over EU, but have I missed a Comment - - don't know what the 'up in arms' refers to?

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  • 210. At 5:29pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #200 & my #209

    Damn! Pressed button too soon.

    Was going to add: I just don't understand how You could send the reference and write about the 'widgets' etc. and completely fail to address my point that Foreign Secretary Hague was reflecting a Foreign Policy stance that a majority of UK/England Citizens had voted for only a matter of days ago?

    That is 'Democracy' in action: A long way from anything that the connivingly ambitious EU Commission & pitifully out-of-touch EU Parliament have ever done on behalf of their 500,000,000 Constituency!

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  • 211. At 5:32pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 147. At 09:32am on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    "Regarding Schengen, I have long thought that this is just the pro-EU supporters red herring, their claims and the EU's claims are that because of Schengen there are open borders and free movement of labour and produce."

    Interesting theories but what it shows is your total lack of understanding of the matter.

    With or without Schengen there would be and has been free movement of 'labour and produce'. The proof in the pudding is the UK. It is not in Schengen but it accepts the principle of free movement of labour and 'produce'.

    Schengen FYI, only means one thing: freedom of movement of *people*. Not labour, not produce, not services, not capital. Just people.

    Foreign Secretary Hague (just like his NuLab predecessors were) is hell-bent on pursuing two opposites:

    1. To further extend DEregulation in the freedom of movement of labour, produce, services and capital, particularly services (of which the UK is a actually a net exporter), as per Gavin's article.

    2. To further extend THE regulations restricting the freedom of movement of human beings between the UK and the rest of the EU and vice-versa, a prime example of this being e-borders, declared illegal by … guess who (!), by the very own British parliament:

    http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/home_affairs_committee/091218.cfm

    "But the major stumbling block, and a very disappointing oversight, is that we are sure that what the programme requires will be illegal under the EU Treaty."

    And guess what, this new government are committed to continue with e-borders. I am sure CBW and FBJ call this democracy. I call it breathtaking hypocrisy. It is not democratic to join a club and then spend over three decades trying very hard to break away from it, but never trying hard enough (on purpose) to actually break away. It is idiotic.

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  • 212. At 5:37pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #206 - cool_brush_work

    "... the North Korean expert!"

    Ah, that's where he is from then. Explains the Anglophobia.

    (Chortle, guffaw, cackle, giggle, chuckle, hoot, snigger...)

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  • 213. At 5:38pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    ...and of course, it is breathtaking hypocrisy to endlessly pontificate about the further deregulation of the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour while at the same time working endlessly with ever more impetus to regulate and restrict the free movement of mere mortals.

    Not even the UK parliament liked this.

    This is democracy, is it not CBW and FBJ?

    Isn't the UK parliament *directly* elected by the people while the UK government is only indirectly elected?

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  • 214. At 5:41pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 210 CBW

    And I am telling you that I am supporting Foreign Secretary Hague in its quest to extend the single market and deregulate it... with the only caveat: without exceptions.

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  • 215. At 5:42pm on 05 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    cbw;

    "MAII

    Re [#]196

    Careful now!

    Making sense is going to ruin Your rep!"

    Careful now!

    Agreeing with something that makes sense is going to ruin Europe's rep!

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  • 216. At 6:00pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 214 CBW

    ...of course if Foreign Secretary wishes to continue to break international law, the UK parliament (the directly elected representatives of the British people) will be disappointed and he will receive a big telling off and be asked to stand with his face against the wall for an hour for a 'very disappointing oversight'.

    http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/home_affairs_committee/091218.cfm

    How very British. Being hell-bent on breaking international law described as a 'very disappointing oversight'.

    It doesn't matter, as long as it is in the name of democracy...

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  • 217. At 6:04pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #210 - cool_brush_work

    Of course, what Hague was promoting prior to the election was Tory party policy - or at least his take on it. In the new political reality of consensus politics, he has to shift slightly to accommodate the Lib Dems. It is interesting though how little he has had to shift. On the face of it, it does seem as though the government is listening to grass roots opinion (although the degree to which they shaped it in the first place is not so clear) whereas Barroso continues to be stone deaf.

    I still maintain that no one is prepared to bite the bullet and ask the question. Sensing public opinion and accommodating it is all well and good as far as it goes but that is nowhere near far enough. Nobody - not the UK political parties, not the Eurocrats, not Barroso and his Commission and none of the EU governments except Ireland have had the guts to consult the people they are supposed to serve. When it comes to democratic credentials, there is nothing to chose between them.

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  • 218. At 6:11pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #211

    Guess what, FYI, nobody has yet attempted a reply to my fairly straightforward enquiry:

    What is there in the Schengen 'open borders' arrangements to prevent the cache of drugs off-loaded from a boat in the Finnish archipelago being transported in a van to anyone of 25 EU Nations without once being checked at any international border?

    Same applies to weapons, people, counterfeit goods etc.

    Yes, of course all those things existed before Schengen: However, the ease with which criminals now operate cross-border within the EU will come to be seen in time as undermining the whole 'social' fabric and 'democratic' systems (such as they are) of continental EUrope.

    Failure to recognise this expedentially increasing international crime menace may even allow it to overtake my own belief the Citizens' lack of representation will bring about the EU's downfall.

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  • 219. At 6:12pm on 05 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    @MA-II #196 + 215

    The after effects of WWII occupation linger on much longer than you think (it spans several generations). Anyway, I heard a comment of a 94-yr old Greek who volonteered in WWII, and it was not very kind for the Bild journalist who wrote "you'll get cash, we'll get Corfu". So there is more than one side to that story. I think it is just unfortunate that people feel the need to cast everything concerning this Euro story into nationalistic/jingoistic terms. To me, there are good people all over the place, and I do not condemn e.g. all Americans because some of them are as greedy as some of the bailed out Wall Street bankers. Likewise, there are Europeans and Europeans, and one should be able to differentiate. But then, this may not suit you.

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  • 220. At 6:24pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #216 - JorgeG1

    Careful now. Being in breach of a treaty obligation is not the same thing as being "hell-bent on breaking international law".

    Putting the British government in the same category as North Korean warships or Somali pirates is distinctly unhelpful.

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  • 221. At 6:27pm on 05 Jun 2010, quietoaktree wrote:

    #203 Thenodio

    You are grasping at straws.

    `HER BRITANNIC MAJESTY REQUESTS ETC. ´ was not so long ago. Do you believe the mentality has changed for the EU, or only the wording ?

    The EU has made you citizens, nothing else !

    ( unless you remain in Britain )

    #206 Cool_brush_ work

    You may have read it all, but have understood little of the discussion by other distributors.

    This blog is about Britain and not only your militaristic views of Britain´s superiority. If you were not so Nationalistic and prolific perhaps your mis-representation of Britain would not be so damaging to an honest discussion wherever you contribute !

    Do you really believe North Korea has more video camera observation of its citizens than Britain ????

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  • 222. At 6:31pm on 05 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @198 Mathiasen

    "There are other things in life than money:"

    Best argument for more integration! :D

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  • 223. At 6:54pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #218 - cool_brush_work

    "Guess what, FYI, nobody has yet attempted a reply to my fairly straightforward enquiry"

    I did try some time back. It is my argument that effectively targeted and highly sophisticated intelligence gathering coupled with active cross border cooperation between law enforcement agencies is infinitely more efficient than random border checks. Unless you are going to stop and check every single suitcase, car boot or holdall - clearly impractical - you are still going to need good intelligence to know who to stop and when.

    So long as the authorities have powers to intercept on the grounds of reasonable suspicion, why do you need to create bottlenecks at international borders when you can do it more or less anywhere?

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  • 224. At 7:05pm on 05 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #202. At 4:57pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    "milestone in cooperation", or, 'millstone by separation'!

    :-) I don't think so. The people involved will be relieved, I think.

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  • 225. At 7:07pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #221 - quietoaktree

    "Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State requests and requires in the Name of Her Majesty . . . "

    Get it right, QOT.

    Sounds like a perfectly reasonable request to me.

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  • 226. At 7:30pm on 05 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    I see that the ladies who used to contribute to this blog have given up and left the field to the men. This constant fruitless bickering between a couple of superannuated Americans and a few (mostly ex-pat) Englishmen going over the same things again and again - you are a misguided idiot, no you are a stupid fool - is getting boring and tiresome. It seems women have more interesting things to do and grown tired of this charade. Pity because I enjoyed Web Alice's eccentric contribtutions and those of the knowledgeable and intelligent evieconrad and others who sometimes visited.

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  • 227. At 7:42pm on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #211. At 5:32pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG1,

    Thank you JorgeG1, you have just confirmed what many of us anti the current EU direction always thought

    E.G. "With or without Schengen there would be and has been free movement of 'labour and produce'. The proof in the pudding is the UK. It is not in Schengen but it accepts the principle of free movement of labour and 'produce'.
    Schengen FYI, only means one thing: freedom of movement of *people*. Not labour, not produce, not services, not capital. Just people."

    Your first paragraph says both Labour and Produce whilst the second only mentions People. It seems that even you know that only tourists and criminals benefited from Schengen and that the UK as always adopted the principle in it's entirety even though not in the Schengen zone. I'm sure many of us will now congratulate you on your new found honesty that Schengen has benefited very few and that the Labour market is as always heavily controlled by those in Schengen to ensure that free movement of Labour does not happen in their patch, oops does that not mean ignoring EU directives?

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  • 228. At 7:46pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 218. CBW

    "Guess what, FYI, nobody has yet attempted a reply to my fairly straightforward enquiry"

    My best attempt below:

    What is there in the US 'open borders' arrangements to prevent the cache of drugs off-loaded from a lorry somewhere in the several thousand mile long US/Mexican border being transported in a van to anyone of 50 US States without once being checked at any international border?

    Same applies to weapons, people, counterfeit goods etc.

    Yes, of course all those things existed before 1776 (or before the 1840s US-Mexican War when half of Mexico was annexated by force by the US): However, the ease with which criminals now operate cross-border within the US 50 states will come to be seen in time as undermining the whole 'social' fabric and 'democratic' systems (such as they are) of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Failure to recognise this expedentially increasing international crime menace may even allow it to overtake my own belief that the US massive external debt will bring about the US's downfall.

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  • 229. At 8:02pm on 05 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Re #221

    I haven't the foggiest how many cameras are in North Korea.

    I'm damn sure a lot of us would willing contibute for You to go on a personal fact-finding mission asap.

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  • 230. At 8:04pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ Buzzet

    "It seems that even you know that only tourists and criminals benefited from Schengen and that the UK as always adopted the principle in it's entirety even though not in the Schengen zone."

    You are spouting incoherences I'm afraid.

    What principle has the UK adopted in its entirety?

    The freedom of movement of people that was established in the Treaty of Rome and implemented by Schengen?

    But you can relax, CBW says that Schengen will be the downfall of your hated EU... if not that it will be the euro. If not that something surely will turn up... just relax.

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  • 231. At 8:11pm on 05 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #228 - JorgeG1

    You are over icing the cake again. You neglect to mention that the US has a system of federal law and cross border law enforcement via the FBI, FDA and other agencies. If the EU had similar institutions, your comparison might stand up to examination. The word 'United' in the name of that country means exactly what it says.

    Like it or not, we do do not live in a United States of Europe, there is little prospect that we will do so anytime soon and not, judging from these columns, much of an appetite for it. The problems we are discussing cannot be adjourned while we endlessly debate the virtues or otherwise of 'ever closer union'. This is a practical question. As it happens, I am with you in thinking that Schengen is a positive development. Others clearly do not agree. But the comparison with the US does not stand up to scrutiny.

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  • 232. At 8:34pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ Buzzet

    On second thought I think you are getting away with 'murder' (quotation marks for the mods) by dismissing 'tourists' as a group only worthy of being put in the same bag as criminals.

    According to the ONS 46 million UK residents visited Europe in 2009, 55 million in 2007, before the recession. Add to that over 20 million EU residents that visited the UK in 2009 (24 million in 2007). That was almost 80 million people in 2007.

    Are you saying that something that would benefit (in your own words) between 65 and 80 million people a year (the majority of them British) is not something worthy of consideration and generally a very good and worthwhile thing?

    Or are you proposing, together with CBW, FBJ and all the rest of EU prisoners, the Orwellian solution that between 65 and 80 people (again, the majority of them British) should continue to renounce the benefits (to use your own words) of Schengen because of an unquantified amount of criminals (hopefully nowhere near 80 million) might find it convenient to just cross a border unhindered rather than take all the trouble of doing a MOSAD (forging UK passports)?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/16/mossad-operations-false-passports

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  • 233. At 8:47pm on 05 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    sm********t;

    "The after effects of WWII occupation linger on much longer than you think (it spans several generations)."

    When I started reading your posting I thought you were going to attribute it to the after effects of WWI, which was caused by the after effects of the Franco-Prussian war, which was caused by the after effects of.................which was caused by the after effects of two cavenmen Ug and Og living in adjoining caves in what is now France 9000 years ago when they clubbed each other over the head over which of them had the right to claim ownership of a killed wild boar carcass. See it never changes in Europe. Same ole, same ole.

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  • 234. At 8:54pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ threnodio

    "The comparison with the US does not stand up to scrutiny."

    I beg to disagree. Of course the EU is not the United States of Europe. Personally I am neither in favour nor against that, although I would have to give more consideration to the matter. And of course, the EU does not have the huge police and law enforcement apparatus (for example the amount of prisons!) and (strictly speaking) federal bodies to coordinate the fight against criminals. But that doesn't mean that the EU has not created its own bodies to try to get up to scratch. A few examples: Frontex, Europol, Schengen visa, SIS, etc. Most of them (except Europol, I think) are part of the Schengen framework.

    It is a matter of degree and sophistication (and not least a relentless focus on building a formidable repressive apparatus in the case of the US, e.g. having one of the greatest ratio of prisoners per head of population and being one of the few so-called developed countries to apply the death penalty), not a matter of not standing up to scrutiny.

    As with the Euro, only time will tell whether Schengen will destroy the EU and the whole of the European civilisation in its wake or not.

    So far, paraphrasing Churchill (?), predictions of its impending death have been exaggerated.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/a-good-time-not-to-say-i-told-you-so-1137440.html

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  • 235. At 9:14pm on 05 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    @MA-II #233

    ... it spans several generations

    Ug and Og living in adjoining caves in what is now France 9000 years ago


    So how many generations is that exactly ? Can't you make a difference between 90 years and 9000 years ? And why are these 'caves' of yours supposed to be in France, anyhow? Somehow, on top of the "Ratskeller" in Bordeaux in 1973, I presume. I'm amazed you admit to so much prejudice. Talking about a fresh beginning in the 'New World'. Or are you shattered in your suburbia (Metuchen or thereabouts) by the civilization next door (NYC)?

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  • 236. At 9:23pm on 05 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    @margaret howard #226

    I think you yourself left the field to the 'men'. I.e. about half your comments are replies to "Homer Simpson", a favourite Roman Emperor with inconsistent ideas. Since the topics he 'discusses' are male-oriented (frequently he asserts that Americans are far better than Europeans in pissing contests), you encourage a male-oriented discussion. Only 11% of your contributions are not starting as a reply. Too little to make a difference.

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  • 237. At 9:26pm on 05 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 238. At 9:36pm on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Its Ok, D_M

    I was earlier doing a parody of Night of the Living Dead about Israel, so I'm quite wicked, and I guess I used one of the lines from that movie.....'we ....'

    and I got moderated....blush...actually it was a parody plus diatribe. but i hope this one gets passed by the nice nice moderators :)

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  • 239. At 9:38pm on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Also, I had a heck of a week, D_M,

    with no air conditioning, then a root canal on thurs, then today my father going to hospital for an infection (he is old)

    And I thought to myself, "my week of he..ck continues" :)

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  • 240. At 9:49pm on 05 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #229

    I'm damn sure a lot of us would willing contibute for You to go on a personal fact-finding mission asap

    I would contribute...as long as the ticket was only one-way.

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  • 241. At 9:51pm on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Margaret,

    I'm male..sorry,

    but, I agree with you that there are too few females here. They are so much more receptive and tolerant...so with the men here it is

    "debate-land" and its interesting if you look at it that way:)

    There IS a movie out now called "Zombieland" which tries to be a "Shaun of the Dead" type movie. ...just interesting tidbit for you...

    But, you SHOULD talk here more and at length:)

    Then Alice will come back....maybe:)

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  • 242. At 9:52pm on 05 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #232. At 8:34pm on 05 Jun 2010, JorgeG1,

    My I really rubbed your nerves up by speaking sense rather than your usual drivel, both 230 and 232 were the words of someone who has lost the plot and seeks to ridicule anything to the contrary of your somewhat bizarre beliefs. Just try for once using reason and logic, talking about tourists being only from UK was pathetic at minimum, maybe you don't live in a country where the citizens experience other countries but I certainly do and as you will have seen it's Belgium. Border crossing is a way of life and for that Schengen has proved useful as we can pop over to France for cheaper goods or heaven forbid to be tourists and enjoy French beaches. OMG doesn't that mean we'll be mixing with criminals?

    Other than that Schengen has done very little!

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  • 243. At 9:57pm on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    oh, and that comment that sarcasm is the lowest form of humor? -- earlier from ..someone, not you..

    I had heard before on a Chinese blog ..economist...but it was then new to me..sarcasm..lowest form..They say...hmmmm....

    better than direct funny hatred outright tho..huh:)

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  • 244. At 9:59pm on 05 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Remember,

    Criminals have money tooo:)

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  • 245. At 10:24pm on 05 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    sm********t;

    I was thinking about those cave paintings found in France some years ago that were dated at being about 9000 years old. Perhaps they were the first recorded history of war. Or was it supposed to have been 6000 years old? That would have put them several thousand European wars later.

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  • 246. At 10:35pm on 05 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Yo Oak
    I am trying to understand why you have this death wish for Britain. I am not a world traveler and have never had the good fortune to visit Britain. I have met a number of British who came to US to do business. Without exception they were all charming and hard working. Some say the British are lap dogs of US. Don't believe that. We do share ideas and philosophies which mean we wind up sharing the same military conflicts.

    The inference that because they have cameras installed in a number of locations they are somehow less democratic than North Korea. Come on bro. I've told you bout this hyperbole thing.

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  • 247. At 00:35am on 06 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Maudy, Maudy, Maudy,
    Lordy, Lordy, Lordy;

    "Yo Oak"

    "Come on bro."

    "I've told you bout this hyperbole thing."

    "I am not a world traveler"

    Really? You could have fooled me, I never would have guessed it :o)

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  • 248. At 01:20am on 06 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, and margaret
    thanks for remembering me :o)
    Yes, I am in violation of my own rules lately, neglecting home blog :o)
    Worked a bit, and then deviated a bit again to the old as hills Smolensk blog (2 months old :o) Ab Polish plane crash - we are still on the track! :o)))) In time or a little bit later :o)))), another 40 thousand buckets (as they say). or whatever.
    nevermind.
    I am learning in that aviation community new things every day. Needless to say we can all there by now pass exams for TU154 (M) (big difference)
    but you wouldn't know :o))))) anyway, how to land it in fog.
    Autothrottle has to be switched off, if you execute automated go-around, mind it :o)))) If you don't have ILS in the aerodrome, that is.
    When smth beeps over the Far Beacon in you cabin - you count seconds. (Depending on the radar version) If more than 6 - you've passed the Far Beacon higher and quicker than you should have done. aj jaj jaj.
    Heaps of educative tips! in other words.
    Here, so that you don't feel abandoned, I'll share one with you:

    How to drink in a cosmodrome, sequence and time intervals.

    - for successful start;
    - 10 sec - flight "normal'ny" (normal);
    - 20 sec - flight normal;
    - ... сек - flight normal;
    - for the separation of the first step of the rocketcarrier;
    - ... sec - flight normal;
    - telemethric? "telemetria" in norm;
    - for the separation of the second stage of the rocketcarrier;
    - very important toast: tangage (that's about diving nose up /down direction) and ? sniffing around? when a plane sniffs around like a dog? (bad habit) - within norm!
    (those who didn't pass this toast are not allowed for the further drinking)
    - ... sec - flight normal;
    - to the separation of the third stage of the rocketcarrier;
    - edge toast (summary) - cosmic "apparat" (device) in the given orbit!

    Further on one can drink in free order "for the present here Dames".

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  • 249. At 01:40am on 06 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "Gheryando, if You try to write another twisted version of the above I will never reply to You again on any matter. Frankly, this is just too ridiculous for the time spent on it and makes me question Your entire understanding of any topic discussed on these Blogs."

    cbw - chill out mate. So I take it your particular about the French then. How about the Italians though? No real combat experience either. Or the Germans?

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  • 250. At 03:18am on 06 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    Thank you, WA

    for gracing our males only enclave/club, you have remade it by your remarks "the guys and m. howard and web alice"

    Thank you again,

    we are breathing here, (not drowning, just waving) BUT the "other than male" need your perspective

    The guys are doing ok, and someone brought up a subject and I had an answer, but cain't remember what it was...oh well

    you be ok, we'll be ok, and you come back now, ya hear?

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  • 251. At 06:52am on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #201 QuietOakTree

    So we have your same old ANTI BRITISH CLAIMS !!!

    I have read the article in the Sunday Independent . In my opinion , you have misinterpreted it .

    You are dieing to claim that the Royal Family and other Aristocrats with large land holdings are criminals , not declaring their land and not paying taxes due .

    That isn't what the article says at all . Land that has not been sold or bought in the last 100 years may not be on the land registry .

    That does not mean that ownership is undeclared . Tax is paid when the land changes hands ; landowners and farmers are not taxed for just owning land ; but they are taxed on the farming profits of their land . Landowners have a mountain of bureaucratic forms to fill in and return to the ministry every year , by a certain date . On the basis of those documents an assessment of subsidy or CAP is made . It has nothing to do with who they are .

    The subsidies awarded are based on the Acreage/Hectares of the holding . It is my guess that these very rich landowners would not be impoverished if the didn't receive CAP subsidies .

    If Britain didn't have to contribute many billions of pounds to the EU ; she would be well able to continue such subsidies from Westminster .

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  • 252. At 07:28am on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #183 JorgeG1

    That's right none of this happens in cuckoo land .

    Neither British people nor visitors to Britain have to carry an Identity card or Passport ; British citizens do not have identity cards .

    I am sorry if you have been frequently stopped and asked for identity ; one can only assume that when you come to Britain , the police and Home Office like to keep an eye on you for some reason .

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  • 253. At 07:45am on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    QuietOakTree / Benefactor

    My passport which is 5 years old , doesn't say either Citizen or Subject .

    QOT , you say the wording has just been changed ; so I guess you recently renewed your Passport .

    My passport simple says - European Union - Great Britain and Northern Ireland .

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  • 254. At 07:45am on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #240 - commonsense_expressway

    "I would contribute...as long as the ticket was only one-way."

    You contribute to a one way ticket to Europe for Marcus and I will personally hunt you down and not be accountable for the consequences:-)

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  • 255. At 07:56am on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #230 & #232

    Nobody is proposing anything foolish.

    At least nothing nearly as ridiculous as Your attempt to suggest (80 million people) nobody from the British Isles or continental EUrope travelled abroad until Schengen!?

    We are certainly stating that Schengen isn't working properly: That it is a dangerously simplistic view of 'open borders' as a boon to everyone when patently that is not the case, and we are suggesting for all the supposed benefits the overall cost in Human terms for those exploited & those damaged by such a system is too high.

    You sneer at suggestions that 'Schengen', or 'EUro', or 'Brussels corruption' etc. may lead to the EU's downfall: We view with similar disregard Your blind repetition of claims that 'ever closer union', or 'non-stop centralisation', or 'unchallenged political elitism' etc. will be the only answer to EUrope's future.

    Nobody is all right and nobody is all wrong (except Jean Luc of course, whose intellectual capacity makes us weep with envy!) in these arguments. The EUropean Union is a fact of life and at present it is in the ascendancy though the last 2 years have seen it take some big knocks to its credibility. Even many 'pro-EU' who write on here concede the present EU needs much internal Reform if it is to succeed in taking the Citizens with it and not be seen as imposed from above by a political elite. You give the impression of one of those who can see only good in every aspect of EU in its present form.

    I ask You again, as I did much earlier on here: With 40% Unemployment in Spain's under-25s (as an example of an EU Economy not helped by supposed EU togetherness), the corrupt practises in the creation of the EUro-zone, the cross-border criminality problems exacerbated by Schengen etc., how can anyone seriously argue the present EU 'one-size-fits-all' regime has been a success!?

    Personally, from a rational stand-point I believe the above issues taken with others clearly demonstrate the EUropean Union is not a sound choice for the way forward in the UK/England or continental EUrope.

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  • 256. At 08:03am on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #201 - QuietOakTree
    #251 - Huaimek

    The UK is a net contributor to the CAP so Huaimek is right. If the UK were not in the EU and paid the subsidies direct from Westminster, thex could do so in full and have a large slice of change.

    Non-registration of land is a) not an offense and b) not a mechanism for tax avoidance. Apart from Local (Council) Tax, the only tax attracted by real property is on transfer of ownership. This will be typically Capital Gains Tax on the profit, Capital Transfer Tax or, if the owner dies in possession Inheritance Tax. These cannot be concealed and the land does not have to be registered. Again, Huaimek is right.

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  • 257. At 08:09am on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MargaretH

    Re #226

    Don't worry too much Margaret.

    Soon the World Cup starts & this particular male will allow others of any gender as much publishing space as they want throughout the whole tournament.

    I also agree with smroet, You don't get involved except to reply; & with Dave that females are more receptive (or is that a chauvinist stereotype!?).
    Though I'm bound to say WebAlice contribution is enjoyed by all us moronic males and perhaps You could take a leaf from her typography!

    Cheers.

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  • 258. At 08:30am on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    threnodioII

    Re #254

    See my #229.

    It's the 'Quantifiably Obvert Treecreeper' that I, commonsense & others are prepared to donate toward an assisted passage!

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  • 259. At 09:05am on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #255 - cool_brush_work

    Not for the first time, I want to meet you half way. We are not going to agree about Schengen so let us leave that to one side.

    "Even many 'pro-EU' who write on here concede the present EU needs much internal Reform if it is to succeed in taking the Citizens with it and not be seen as imposed from above by a political elite."

    Absolutely right. There is a huge problem with democratic accountability which everyone seems reluctant to address but, in fairness, national governments have been just as squeamish when it comes to seeking mandates as has Brussels. There is only one way to secure public support and that is to take all the hyperbole about the democratic dimension of the EU and make it manifest. Nothing less will do.

    With regard to the Euro, even the strongest opponent would have to agree that having a handy bit of paper that you can exchange for goods and services in 16 EU countries (plus Montenegro, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican) is useful. Far more importantly, it facilitates cross border commercial activity which does not have to factor in exchange rate variations. Having said that, the high degree of regulation across a range of countries at widely different points in the economic cycle simply limits their options. Spain is not in the mess it is because of the Euro. It is in a mess because of over investment in the speculative real estate sector, an over dependence on the service sector and an extravagant welfare system. These are structural economic problems and were going to happen anyway. The question is whether, now that they have identified these problems, being in the Euro helps them. The answer is that it might if it reaches the point where a bailout is needed if other Euro members are willing to play ball. On the other hand, the loss of control over factors which might have enabled them to help themselves, notably control of interest rates is denied to them. I am going to take the coward's way out and sit on the fence. If the ECB and member states can come up with a mechanism which enables all the members to ride the storm, I will be convinced. As a citizen of one non Euro country and resident of another, I can afford this luxury. Sorry about the cop out but if they want me on board, they going to have to sell it to me.

    The CAP has somehow found its way into this thread so it is perhaps worth mentioning that, over the years, its harshest critic has been the UK and, very slowly and painfully and by sheer doggedness, the Brits have managed to move mainstream European thinking towards a much more liberal open market approach which has gathered a head of steam. There is a lesson for everyone in this. Those die hard opponents of the project who argue that Britain is giving away all its authority on a plate to Brussels are wrong. Individual nations still can and do determine outcomes and instigate policy change. Equally those of the enthusiast tendency who argue that Britain is just plain bloody minded and obstructive are also wrong. This is constructive engagement, not willful opposition. Britain, you will recall, also won the argument for expansion as against deeper integration in the early years of this century.

    We need to strike a balance here. The EU is here to stay whether we like it or not. Whether the UK stays or goes may be less certain although my bet is that the crisis that would be triggered by the threat of withdrawal would focus minds wonderfully in Brussels about what they are getting wrong. I have read somewhere that Brussels now wants to ban the sale of pearl light bulbs. I would suggest that sacking the whole department that came up with this ludicrous idea and spending the money on something useful, while not in itself significant, might send a signal of better intent in the future. It is the sheer pettiness, the sense of government for its own sake which so angers people.

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  • 260. At 09:08am on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    JorgeG1

    I am English and until 2006 I lived in Italy . I have in no way felt impeded while travelling to or across Europe , having to show my passport at a frontier . In Italy I had an identity card , which it was necessary to carry ( In the car ) at all times . The Carabiniere quite often stop cars and ask to see one's identity card . That doesn't bother me either . In the 1960s I used to drive from Britain to Italy and back , with never the slightest bother .

    Certainly Criminals who gained access to one Schengen Country , have free access to all the others . Worse still are the Illegal immigrants and those of questionable validity ; can , for example arrive on a near sinking vessel in southern Italy ,then have free movement to go to northern Europe . If Britain were a Schengen member , they would have free access to Britain too , with no means of stopping them .

    Italy has been subjected to a crimewave of horrific proportions , including foreign Mafias , from Eastern block countries , Romania , Ukraine , Russia , to name but a few .

    The Schengen treaty is not for the convenience of European citizens ; it is to give the impression of Europe being a single state , without frontiers , emulating the United States of America .

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  • 261. At 09:16am on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #258 - cool_brush_work

    I take it that by 'assisted passage' you mean subsidised travel rather than something less palatable?

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  • 262. At 09:38am on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #241 David

    I used to think that Jukka Rohila was female , until he politely corrected me .
    I used to picture her as a frightfully officious , quite senior , bureaucrat in Brussels , with no sense of humour and no time at all for all those stupid Eurosceptics , who could not appreciate the wonderful EU .
    JR , I hope you will smile .

    I may be mistaken , but I have a feeling that " QuietOakTree " is a woman .
    Wait for the " Sparks to Fly ".

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  • 263. At 09:40am on 06 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #201

    Quietoaktree;

    Firstly, Huiamek and threnodio are completely correct, as I've told you before. Why you believe that you somehow know better than 3 Britons, at least one of which is a landlord and property owner, I dont know. However, I will try again:

    Which TAX are Britains landowners evading/avoiding by NOT registering their land?

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  • 264. At 09:41am on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    ThrenodioII

    Re #261

    Well, there must be an ancient 'hulk' laid up in some dock with all amenities... irons, keel-haul roping, foremast gibbet... so, yes, all the trimmings of transcontinental Antipodean shipping circa 1790.

    It's the least we can do for 1 held in such high esteem!

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  • 265. At 09:43am on 06 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #254

    "You contribute to a one way ticket to Europe for Marcus and I will personally hunt you down and not be accountable for the consequences:-)"

    Fair enough, but please remember you will need 2 seperate medical opinions to get me sectioned.

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  • 266. At 10:10am on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #249 Gheryando

    CBW is right , I have heard present day British soldiers say that they would not participate in a mixed European Defence Force , that they would rather resign from the army . It is not so much that they would not serve under a foreign command ; it is that they see French , Italian , German , Dutch , Swedish , more as home defence forces that combat troops for a war zone . When you are a soldier in a war zone , you need officers and commanders with war experience , you know and can trust .

    I think the Italians are very good at policing in a humanitarian role .

    It is my feeling that the Italians and armies of other EU states are pacifist and wouldn't " Fight their way out of a wet paper bag ".

    I'm sure that if the EU asked Britain nicely and paid for it , Britain could provide a defence force for the whole of Europe .

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  • 267. At 10:27am on 06 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    #228 Jorge re unprotected U.S. southern border [penetrated daily by criminals and narcotraficantes, let alone illegal immigrants]...




    Obama and his Administration having done nothing to secure that border despite numerous pleas by locals now express shock and outrage that some border states, such as Arizona, take law enforcement including border security in their own hands, although their resources are quite limited.

    Fortunately U.S. Constitution still alows us to form militias.

    And creating posses has a long tradition in U.S.' southern states.

    [I suspect that Texas and New Mexico will follow Arizona's example]



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  • 268. At 10:42am on 06 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Threnodio II (ref. your earlier comments).


    Economic refugees from Africa try and do get into EU mostly via Canary Islands which can hardly cope with their influx [been there, seen that]

    Refugees (incl. political one from Cacasus and even Far East (prominently Vietnamese) cross to Poland mostly via that country's long (partly mountainous) border with Ukraine (whose own border with Russia is very porous).

    Belarus is not a problem, since its crypto-communist dictator makes sure that his country's western border is strongly proctected to limit 'disastrous Western influences'. :)

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  • 269. At 10:50am on 06 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    I understand that Greek and Spanish protesters want to bankrupt their countries through massive strikes.


    But why would British Airways' unionists try to bankrupt their employer by announcing more and more new strikes?

    And where are they planning to find a gainful employment next?

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  • 270. At 10:58am on 06 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    " Italy has been subjected to a crimewave of horrific proportions , including foreign Mafias , from Eastern block countries , Romania , Ukraine , Russia , to name but a few .

    The Schengen treaty is not for the convenience of European citizens ; it is to give the impression of Europe being a single state , without frontiers , emulating the United States of America . "

    err, no. First of all, ukraine and russia are not in the EU. they need visas to come here. If they are illegal they might as well be illegal in a different country. However, there isnt actually that much trouble with them. The biggest problem is Romanians, who, because of linguistic similarities prefer coming to Italy. This is not unlike the UK "problem" with the Poles. But I disagree that the majority of decent hard-working and law-abiding people from these countries should be hostage to a few criminals. Rather, there should be increased police cooperation within the Schengen zone (as there already is anyway). However, the free movement of people that Schengen provides is for us, continental Europeans, something that we would hate giving up. I can understand that for UK'lers, the fact that they live on an island makes the whole thing less attractive. (not to mention that its annoying to drive on the other side of the road with the wrong car)

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  • 271. At 11:22am on 06 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re#270 "I can understand that for UK'lers, the fact that they live on an island makes the whole thing less attractive. (not to mention that its annoying to drive on the other side of the road with the wrong car)"




    Britons, Australians and New Zealanders as well as citizens of half a dozen other countries, might correct you pointing out that it's inhabitants of the European Continent who're driving "on the wrong side of the road". :)

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  • 272. At 11:33am on 06 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re North Korea and cameras....


    I don't think photo and video cameras used in UK are made in North Korea.

    Nor do I believe that Cannons, Casios, Fujis, Mamiyas, Minolta/Konicas, Nikons, Panasonics, Sonys and Yashikas are manufactured in EU. ;)



    P.S. N. Korea does manufacture bicycles, though.

    They're called - I kid you not - PEON!

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  • 273. At 11:51am on 06 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G and O;

    "cbw - chill out mate. "

    mate...AHA!...Aussie!...Gotcha!...J'accuse!

    :o)

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  • 274. At 11:57am on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #270

    "...increased Police co-operation (as there is already, anyway).."

    'Cooperation' doesn't mean they are doing any real 'policing'! Nobody catches criminals smuggling weapons, drugs, people, goods just by cooperation: Under EU aegis the various Police/Customs Forces meet up regularly and there's some really expensive conferences held annually in different member Nations. I'm sure unbeknown to us in the very dangerous work 'undercover cops/customs' do stirling work coordinating their anti-crime efforts - - all credit to these largely unheralded protectors of society - - however, the idea they have the wherewithal to effectively counter international crime exploiting 'open-borders', is beyond any credible acceptance of their role.

    Which brings us back to my query to ThrenodioII, but it applies just as well to Your goodself.
    Bearing in mind Your USA analogy re Schengen is already revealed as wholly bogus.

    What is it 27 Police Forces are doing post-Schengen that convinces You those 25 open-borders are being properly, effectively 'policed'?

    In the UK there used to be Officers walking the streets ('on the beat'), however that has all but ended and been replaced with Police patrolling in high-speed response vehicles, wearing body-armour & reliant on CCTV, Public calls & so-called 'intelligence-gathering' to know where the 'criminal' activity is taking place.
    Having driven across EUrope numerous times since 1968 I have seen this same change of 'policing' policy/technique take place in the 7 Nations from Finland to Britain as well as in a few further east & south.
    It is my understanding that in each of those Nations with the brilliant new police-strategy 'recorded numbers of serious crime' have increased.

    I do not doubt that it cannot possibly all be down to Schengen/open borders - - though I would hazard an intellectual guess the last 10yrs of unabated immigration via Schengen's thousands of unchecked border-crossings has had a part to play - - and, I am fully aware that all these crime issues have always existed and probably are just getting reported/recorded more accurately/often.

    What I cannot fathom is where is there any evidence that the Police/Customs of the EU25/27 were in any way prepared for post-Schengen and 10yrs later are able to do the job of 'policing' 25 open Nations?
    From the Finnish archipelago to Amsterdam, Calais, Warsaw, Rome, Bucharest with a moderate-sized haul of drugs in a van is just so easy it is laughable!



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  • 275. At 12:36pm on 06 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    270. At 10:58am on 06 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:


    " ...

    ukraine and russia are not in the EU. they need visas to come here. ..."

    EUpris: But once they are in the Schengen area they can move around more freely than would otherwise be the case. For that reason the Schengen zone encourages and supports criminals from outside it and from outside the"EU".


    "However, there isnt actually that much trouble with them. The biggest problem is Romanians, who, because of linguistic similarities prefer coming to Italy."

    EUpris: There are reports from Austria and the UK of problems with criminal Romanians.


    "But I disagree that the majority of decent hard-working and law-abiding people from these countries should be hostage to a few criminals."

    EUpris: I agree with that statement. Better border controls are to the advantage of foreigners also. We reputedly have Portuguese drugs gangs here. I want any Portuguese criminals thrown out. I don't want the very, very nice Portuguese people I have met here thrown out.

    "Rather, there should be increased police cooperation within the Schengen zone"

    EUpris: The "EU" cannot distinguish between cooperation and integration. It doesn't want to. It wants to use cooperation as camouflage for integration.

    " However, the free movement of people that Schengen provides is for us, continental Europeans, something that we would hate giving up."

    EUpris: I doubt if you speak for the majority of Continentals. Large numbers of Austrians hate the "EU". I would like to see some evidence that the Continentals like Schengen.

    Based on the experience with The Constitution/Lisbon Treaty you and people like you don't give a damn whether they like it or not. Your reference to "continental Europeans" and "we" is a ploy.

    "I can understand that for UK'lers, the fact that they live on an island makes the whole thing less attractive."


    EUpris: It is not just about living on an island. Hundreds of millions on the continent did not want Lisbon. My guess is that they did not want Schengen either.

    " (not to mention that its annoying to drive on the other side of the road with the wrong car)"

    EUpris: It would appear that, in your mind, what annoys you counts whereas things which annoy hundreds of millions of your "fellow Europeans" don't count.

    Since you don't care an awful lot about what pleases or annoys your "fellow Europeans" I conclude that your real motive in working for greater integration is megalomania.

    You, people like you and your "EU" are the enemies of the majority of Europeans.


    As regards driving on the "wrong side of the road": It is dangerous and continental Europeans should stop it. I tried it over here and almost got killed.

    A long time ago (thirty years) I read some statistics about road accidents. If my memory is correct, for the same amount of driving as the Brits, the Germans had twice as many accidents. The Italians had three times as many and the Greeks had twelve or fourteen times as many.

    We need compromise in Europe. We should all drive in the middle of the road.



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  • 276. At 12:48pm on 06 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    259. At 09:05am on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    " ... There is only one way to secure public support and that is to take all the hyperbole about the democratic dimension of the EU and make it manifest. Nothing less will do."

    EUpris: That would mean giving us a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The people who call the shots in the "EU" ain't gonna do that. They and their "EU" are the enemies of the people of Europe.

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  • 277. At 1:37pm on 06 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    247. MarcusAureliusII
    "God will get you for that!"

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  • 278. At 1:40pm on 06 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ CBW

    "You sneer at suggestions that 'Schengen', or 'EUro', or 'Brussels corruption' etc. may lead to the EU's downfall: We view with similar disregard Your blind repetition of claims that 'ever closer union', or 'non-stop centralisation', or 'unchallenged political elitism' etc. will be the only answer to EUrope's future."

    I did not have much respect for your opinions as they seemed just black and white: All EU bad, all US / UK good.

    Now I have even less as you keep putting in my mouth things that I have never said, e.g. "blind repetition of claims that 'ever closer union', or 'non-stop centralisation', or 'unchallenged political elitism' etc. will be the only answer to EUrope's future."

    I see good things and bad things with the EU. In general I think that free, non-policed movement inside Europe is a good thing and 28 European countries, including the Europhobe role models Switzerland, Norway and Iceland agree with me. I am also in favour of having a single currency in a single market rather than 27.

    Why is this supporting non-stop centralisation or unchallenged political elitism?

    You should stop peddling nonsense and start to make sense, but I think that won't happen.

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  • 279. At 1:50pm on 06 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ huamek

    "Neither British people nor visitors to Britain have to carry an Identity card or Passport ; British citizens do not have identity cards "

    The British police state is not bothered with that. Every one arriving at the UK border will have their photographic passport / ID scanned and will be automatically included in a Home Office database. No matter whether they do that once a year or one hundred, they will have one or one hundred entries in the Home Office database.

    Just like everywhere else if the British police have reason to want to talk to you they will stop you and ask you to identify yourself. It doesn't matter whether you carry an ID or not. If they have (or think they have) good reason they will invite you to their car and take you with them. Back at their destination they already have you on file in one of their dozens of databases.

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  • 280. At 2:05pm on 06 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    What's the matter Maud? Don't get around much? Don't leave the trailer park except for smokes and a six pack?

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  • 281. At 2:10pm on 06 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    #276
    EUprisoner209456731
    You talk in the name of people of Europe.
    It is interesting that you know so well everyone opinion.
    Don't you think that putting yourself as their representative, without consulting them, makes you no better than the ones you critisize so much.
    Kind of an irony.

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  • 282. At 2:15pm on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #259 Threnodio_II

    Thanks , you give a nice balanced opinion , which I go along with .
    If some of us , especially British , seem very negative ; it does not mean we are anti Europe . We draw the line at the obdurate stupidity of steamroller EU Brussels . As you say , if one of the EUs biggest financial contrubutors threatened to leave , or in fact left , it would cause a lot of self examination , even panic , in Brussels . I'm afraid that is what the EU needs , to rethink where it is going and perhaps even listen to the people .

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  • 283. At 2:20pm on 06 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    threnodious;

    "#240 - commonsense_expressway

    "I would contribute...as long as the ticket was only one-way."

    You contribute to a one way ticket to Europe for Marcus and I will personally hunt you down and not be accountable for the consequences:-)"

    Have no fear threnodious. I have no intention of ever returning to that place again. Nearly two years was enough for me for a lifetime. And you can be especially sure I won't visit that plessed blot, that skewered isle. I don't feel comfortable in a place where they can conduct unwarranted searches and seizures, where there are no consititutional rights because they only have the pretense of a constitution under what is only a pretense of a democratic government. Is the UK really more democratic than North Korea? Well at least you can still leave the UK if you want to. But if enough Brits do flee, I wonder how much longer that will last.

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  • 284. At 2:25pm on 06 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    EUpris;

    " ...

    ukraine and russia are not in the EU. they need visas to come here. ..."

    EUpris: But once they are in the Schengen area they can move around more freely than would otherwise be the case. For that reason the Schengen zone encourages and supports criminals from outside it and from outside the"EU"."

    It works both ways EU pris. More criminals from the EU would find easy access into Russia and Ukraine where problems with people trafficking and drug trafficking are rife. They may feel they have enough problems with criminals already. And they don't like being lectured to by outsiders either, especially on their own territory. They not only won't listen to EU-ers any more than the US will, they may react with more than the usual characteristic American indifference to it. Think of them as being like me...only a thousand times worse :o)

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  • 285. At 2:32pm on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re #283

    "..be especially sure I wont visit that blessed plot (British Isles).."

    Thanks, at least now I have an explanation for why the UK is so attractive to so many people from all over the World - - no chance of bumping into You - - as a short or long term residency the UK must go up several notches among millions on that piece of personal news!

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  • 286. At 2:37pm on 06 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Spoken like a true lord of the manor. Didn't your granny teach you anything about "noblesse oblidge"? Do you hold your pinkie finger up when you drink your glass of Boone Farms. What about Americans being great because of its diversity.

    You sound like liberals who pro-port to be bastions of free speech as long as it is spewed by them and not at them. What about all your verb-age directed at Europeans for their "hoity-toity" attitudes. Looks to me like your booger is showing. Are is that bugger?

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  • 287. At 2:39pm on 06 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Yo Marcass
    286 is for you.

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  • 288. At 2:47pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #268 - powermeerkat

    Yes, I should apologise for my earlier post. The Ukrainian border slipped my mind and my geography let me down. Sorry.

    And at #269

    I am not sure it is entirely fair to accuse protesters of wishing to bankrupt their countries. The populace are not, for the most part, that sophisticated when it comes to the finer points of economics. They were led to believe that the social system they were paying for was affordable. They are entitled to be angry. The point is that they now have to live with the reality and I agree that taking to the streets is not helpful. Maybe, though, they are entitled to some justice.

    #274 - cool_brush_work

    I have already agreed that the US analogy is bogus. I have never said otherwise. The point I made is entirely different but I don't think we are going to agree. We have quite a lot of common ground so why not leave it at that?

    #276 - EUprisoner209456731

    "That would mean giving us a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty".

    You are doing it again. Lisbon is enshrined in UK law but it also creates a mechanism for leaving. I would have thought that you, of all people, would stop bitching about Lisbon and go for the jugular - a referendum about whether to stay or go. Is that not what you want? Or maybe you too are too scared of the answer to ask the question.

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  • 289. At 3:17pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #279 - JorgeG1

    At the risk of being boring, I have a short story to tell. About five years ago, an acquaintance who was fortunate enough to have a taxi driving permit decided to work on New Years Eve to earn a bit of extra money. He was man who liked a drink but would never be stupid enough to drive a taxi if he had had a drink. He was stopped by the police no fewer than four times and when he finally became angry and asked by what right they did this, he was referred to the Prevention of Terrorism Act. A more flagrant abuse of authority is hard to imagine.

    Young people in the UK especially are expect to be able to prove their age if they are drinking or going to see an adult film, identify themselves if suspected of a public order offense and you can imagine the hard time people get if they are picked up on the grounds of 'reasonable suspicion' or 'stop and search' and are not carrying some form of ID. It is complete rubbish to suggest that no ID cards is some kind of freedom. Carry a passport, driving license or one of the voluntary registration cards or you are likely to end up in all sorts of trouble.

    Personally, I have no problem with having an ID card in Europe. It saves me all sorts of hassle. I can use it to prove who I am if I suddenly decide to order something in a shop (ID plus credit card is a secure transaction) and I can freely wander into Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia on a whim without let or hindrance.

    So, in one way, you are right. It is not correct that the British way is any more liberal or liberating than any other but, in another sense, you are entirely wrong. The problem in the UK is the terrible abuse of powers gifted to the law enforcement agencies in the aftermath of the terrorist surge. When a copper can hassle someone going about their business under anti-terrorism laws because they have nothing better to do, there is something seriously wrong.

    #283 - MarcusAureliusII

    I am sure there are people on here who think we don't like each other. I cannot imagine why. I am unconcerned about you imminent arrival. It's a pretty safe bet you will have messed up your visa anyway.

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  • 290. At 3:19pm on 06 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #270 Gheryando

    If European countries had the necessary policing to control the undesirables , from moving freely from country to country all around Europe ; you would risk that innocent travellers , like ourselves , being frequently stopped at random police checkpoints . The result would be the same as having frontier passport controls , perhaps even worse .

    You are right when you say that Ukrainians and Russians need visas to enter ; but once inside can travel where they like . Montenegrans and Romanians are big in expensive car theft ; giving smart Mercedes a bump on the autostrada ; when the driver stops hijacking the car . I cannot understand why owners of expensive cars do not have satellite tracking installed .

    I have known a number of Romanian women who come to Italy to do domestic service , principally looking after the elderly , at which they are Marvellous . Not all Albanians are bad ; but there are among them some merciless criminals and delinquents .

    I still maintain that The Real EU Commission , Brussels , reason for the Schengen Treaty was more for US like cosmetic reasons than for the convenience of European mainland citizens .

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  • 291. At 3:20pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #282 - Huaimek

    Coming from someone I do not always agree with, I appreciate your post. A refreshing change from those who prefer to hurl abuse. Thank you.

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  • 292. At 4:29pm on 06 Jun 2010, foxyeric wrote:

    Firstly The UK will not survive all alone. If the British Public vote against remaining within the EU (That's thanks to the press which is largely owned by non British). I will for one will be very happy.
    However to have business with Europe you will have to abide by their rules in order to sell any products.
    In time we will be forced to join a club, and I am sure that will only leave the Atlantic treaty i.e the Americans.
    Surely the most productive way to deal with the EU is to be more constructive within.

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  • 293. At 4:39pm on 06 Jun 2010, foxyeric wrote:

    Secondly, Europe is like many countries throughout the world trying to stand up to the great American market. No country can do this alone.
    So while we are discussing to leave Europe, China India Latin America, Asia(including Australia) are getting bigger and more powerful.
    So my point is do we stay as a little insignificant country living on past Empires?

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  • 294. At 4:43pm on 06 Jun 2010, foxyeric wrote:

    finally the British public only repeat the negativity that is reported in the British press who are anti Europe for obvious reasons.

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  • 295. At 4:52pm on 06 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 290 huamek


    "I still maintain that The Real EU Commission , Brussels , reason for the Schengen Treaty was more for US like cosmetic reasons than for the convenience of European mainland citizens ."

    Is this Europhobic EUSSR group-think or what?

    Did no one tell you that Schengen started life OUTSIDE the EU, as an agreement by just five EU countries in 1985?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement

    It only became EU law in 1997 after giving the UK cast iron reassurances that its keep-our-borders fundamentalism would not be challenged.

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  • 296. At 5:03pm on 06 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    cbw;

    "MAII

    Re #283

    "..be especially sure I wont visit that blessed plot (British Isles).."

    Thanks, at least now I have an explanation for why the UK is so attractive to so many people from all over the World - - no chance of bumping into You - - as a short or long term residency the UK must go up several notches among millions on that piece of personal news!"

    First of all, if you are going to quote me, don't change my words around. I didn't refer to the UK as a blessed plot but as a "plessed blot." Yes a blot. If you want to know what plessed means, its in the same dictionary with half the words in Jabberwocky.

    Well I don't know about what you say. My presence here doesn't seem to have stemmed the flow of Brits or others coming here one scintilla as far as I can tell. They just keep coming. And those irritating accents, they bring those with them. I do wish at the very least they'd park them and their alien words outside the door before they enter. Windscreen, loo, boot, bonnet, lift,...half the time when we can even understand what words they speak, we have no idea what they are talking aboot (aboot is Canadian for about, ay?)

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  • 297. At 5:05pm on 06 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Maud;

    "Yo Marcass"

    "Didn't your granny teach you anything about "noblesse oblidge"?"

    Yes, she taught me the correct way to spell it.

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  • 298. At 5:18pm on 06 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Marcass
    You stab me to the heart!!!!!!!

    Different dialect.....maybe?
    You know like "much oblidged"
    Can you buy that?

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  • 299. At 5:22pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #293 - foxyeric

    This is no longer about being competitive in the 20th century use of the word. We do not talk about a German or Japanese or French automotive industry any more. Buy a Renault these days and the chances are it was assembled in Slovenia, your VW probably came from Slovakia, your Suzuki from Hungary, your Honda from Swindon. In the 21st century, we should be focusing on protecting and creating employment by doing what we do well and selling the finished product into the global economy.

    The idea that you can manufacture a low cost mass produced product in the high wage environment of the EU is absurd. The environment is far better suited to producing high end product. This is why major computer manufacturers usually bearing US marques have almost everything made under license in China. Mass produced Nokia product comes from the same source while high end product is made in Germany.

    Far from being a gloomy prospect, it holds out hope for traditional industries. You may never figure out where you car comes from but it's a pretty safe bet that your cognac is French, your stilton is English and your scotch is - well, Scottish.

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  • 300. At 5:35pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #297 - MarcusAureliusII

    "Yes, she taught me the correct way to spell it"

    Along with theatre, colour, almost anything with the letter Z (zee to you) in it and all the other stuff that forces us to reset spell checkers every time we install software so that it actually understands proper English.

    Don't even go there with the French. If anyone else invites me to the ballAY or the theYADER, I am goining to scream.

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  • 301. At 6:01pm on 06 Jun 2010, smroet wrote:

    #299 threnodio-II

    "The idea that you can manufacture a low cost mass produced product in the high wage environment of the EU is absurd. The environment is far better suited to producing high end product."

    Yes, but how many people can afford these high end products? Wealth is being shifted: the poor buy cheap imports (which means the money goes to China or so), and can't find work because they do not have the skills to produce high end products. Wealth is also shifted from the 'middle class' to the rich, and from the 'rich' to the 'super rich'. Given this increasing income imbalance, the system becomes unbalanced entirely. Look at the USA, where there are lot of cities whose situation correspond to a bill board I saw in Marseille once (this city is very rich: in poor people).

    If the income distribution is not highly unbalanced, a country can develop. Compare e.g. South Korea with the Philippines, two countries starting out from about the same level in the 1950s, except for the income distribution balance, which was much healthier for South Korea. Consider where they are now.

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  • 302. At 6:15pm on 06 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    278. At 1:40pm on 06 Jun 2010, JorgeG1 wrote:


    " ...

    You should stop peddling nonsense and start to make sense, but I think that won't happen."

    EUpris: Your "EU"-Rubbish should give us the referendum we were promised, but I think that won't happen.

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  • 303. At 6:19pm on 06 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    Re:
    292. At 4:29pm on 06 Jun 2010, foxyeric
    293. At 4:39pm on 06 Jun 2010, foxyeric
    294. At 4:43pm on 06 Jun 2010, foxyeric

    EUpris: We've had all this tosh before. I can't be bothered to correct it once again really slowly.

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  • 304. At 6:30pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #301 - smroet

    Yes. This was not so much an issue until the planet ran out of money - or more correctly credit. I take your point absolutely but realistically you cannot equate production costs within the EU with cheap product unless you abandon the concept of a minimum wage and return to the sweatshop mentality. And then who is going to do the work? That's right, the very immigrants - almost all illegals because the minimum wage requirements are valid for those legally employed - that so many here are paranoid about excluding.

    The gap between quality product made here and that made in the developing world is narrowing rapidly. Europe has to sharpen its ideas and do what it does best within the economic realities and it better wake up to those pretty quickly if it is not to be swept to one side.

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  • 305. At 6:34pm on 06 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    289. At 3:17pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    " ...
    At the risk of being boring..."

    EUpris: It never worried you before!

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  • 306. At 6:36pm on 06 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    291. At 3:20pm on 06 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    " ...refreshing change from those who prefer to hurl abuse. ..."

    EUpris: The "EU" makes me hurl!

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  • 307. At 6:39pm on 06 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    81. At 2:10pm on 06 Jun 2010, opinion wrote:

    "#276
    EUprisoner209456731
    You talk in the name of people of Europe.
    It is interesting that you know so well everyone opinion.
    Don't you think that putting yourself as their representative, without consulting them, makes you no better than the ones you critisize so much.
    Kind of an irony."

    EUpris: Please give me the best example you can find of me doing that.

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  • 308. At 7:19pm on 06 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    An interesting article in the beeb. Looks like the G-20 are campaigning for a global bank tax. Well at least the US and Europe are. The developing countries plus Canada and Australia are against it.

    Now ain't that funny? The developing countries plus the ones who had proper restraint are asked to pay for what they didn't cause. Guilt by association I guess. At least the US and Europe agree on something.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10245212.stm

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  • 309. At 7:20pm on 06 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    198.Mathiasen wrote: 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, and Slovenia have as a majority in the EU used the rules about enhanced cooperation.
    ...
    According to press reports it is the first time that legislation has been put through by a group of member countries. Something of a milestone in the cooperation.


    And they bypassed the national parliaments again. So much for democracy, then.

    The relentless assault by the EU and its acolytes against national parliamentary democracy continues.

    One question: was the unelected/undemocratic EU politburo (Commission) involved?

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  • 310. At 7:21pm on 06 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 302

    "Your "EU"-Rubbish should give us the referendum we were promised, but I think that won't happen."

    Errr....your breathtaking arrogance is just catching up with your ditto ignorance.

    The "EU-Rubbish", whatever that means, didn't deny you a referendum. Your BritRubbish political parties did.

    Failing your BritRubbish political parties giving you your referendum, the next best alternative option took place a month ago. Your favourites, BNP and UKIP, didn't get enough votes to put you out of your misery.

    They will never put you out of your arrogance though. You obviously don't believe in democracy.

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  • 311. At 7:42pm on 06 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 312. At 7:45pm on 06 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 313. At 7:45pm on 06 Jun 2010, David wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 314. At 7:48pm on 06 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #278

    "..now I have even less (respect) as you keep putting in my mouth things that I have never said.." plus, "..why is this supporting non-stop centralisation or unchallenged political elitism..".

    Sorry, but I really cannot allow You to attempt to get away with this disclaimer of being a total 'pro-EU':

    Quote from Your #7, " ..push for a single market into Britain.. Britain to abide by the rules of the single market..", with an extract from Article 3.2, 'the internal market shall comprise an area *without internal frontiers*'.
    Reads & sounds like someone arguing for 'ever closer union', but maybe Your version explains why nobody in Brussels is actually willing to put that to a Vote among EUropean Citizens!

    Quote from Your #8, "..if you are a member of a club you cannot pick & choose which rules of the club you want to comply with..".
    Reads & sounds like someone supporting 'non-stop centralisation', but maybe Your version explains why Spain is in so much trouble!

    Quote from Your #20, "..I suggest the problem is not the EU but rather that British democracy is not working..".
    Reads & sounds like someone stating a case for 'political elitism', but maybe Your version requires that opponents just not say any word at all!

    Quote from Your #80, "..the Schengen agreement was only necessary because the UK refused to go along with the legislative development of one key element of EUropean integration that had already been expressed AS A PRINCIPLE without legal force in the Treaty of Rome: True freedom of movement inside the EU..".
    Pardon repetition, but, that is You writing & sounding like someone advocating 'unchallenged' acceptance of a POLICY IDEA FORMULATED by a 'political elite' 40 years prior to its activation taking no account of changes of any sort!

    Well, I could go on through each of Your contributions, however I'm sure we both have better things to do than 'wait for You to stop peddling nonsense and start to make sense'.

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  • 315. At 8:49pm on 06 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #309. At 7:20pm on 06 Jun 2010, mvr512
    Since a couple of completely groundless speculations about my readings of newspaper can be read above, let me begin with the statement that I found this in a Danish newspaper.

    “And they bypassed the national parliaments again.”

    Concerning the latest decision in the union, you don’t know the procedure, but tell us instead about what you think they are.

    It has been written into the treaties what a majority in the EU is, and that is somewhat more complicated than what we know from national parliaments.
    The decision is made on the usual democratic terms, namely that a majority decides something, but also in this case, it will be implemented through legislation in each an every member state, however with the exception of Denmark, since this decision collides with a Danish opt-out.

    Yet comes one of the few interesting things in this: None the less Denmark will have to adapt is legislation, simply because Danish citizens will be in a difficult situation if the country doesn’t. As a consequence Danish politicians would have to explain, why it is so silly. Therefore, everybody expects also the Danes to implement the decision.

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  • 316. At 9:00pm on 06 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    Many people have paid very big bills for phone cell calling from abroad, now the EU has made another decision most people can understand:

    From this summer there will be a limit to the cell phone calling that is when a certain amount has been reach, namely 62,50 Euros. When the owner reaches 80 per cent of that, (s)he will receive a SMS telling that the limit is not far away. If the consumer wants to, (s)he can change the limit by answering the SMS.

    As a matter of fact many business travellers have wanted a limit by 150 Euros.

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  • 317. At 9:16pm on 06 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #309 mvr512
    I forgot your strange question:
    was the unelected/undemocratic EU politburo (Commission) involved?

    As I stated in my original message the proposal and the decision was made by the ministers of justice. As you will know they are members of national parliaments.

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  • 318. At 9:30pm on 06 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #271. At 11:22am on 06 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Re#270 "I can understand that for UK'lers, the fact that they live on an island makes the whole thing less attractive. (not to mention that its annoying to drive on the other side of the road with the wrong car)"
    Britons, Australians and New Zealanders as well as citizens of half a dozen other countries, might correct you pointing out that it's inhabitants of the European Continent who're driving "on the wrong side of the road". :)"

    Ho Ho Ho, apart from the fact that it was Napoleon who wanted everything on the right (typical French), he couldn't change the fact that the train service in Belgium uses the UK side i.e. the trains are on the left, maybe others here can comment on how many other EU countries have trains that are on the left as I seem to recall Belgium is not alone in the EU so who is actually on the wrong side, rol.

    PS. Margaret Howard, should you miss our friend Alice's comments just let us know as I'm sure we can ensure her valued contributions.

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  • 319. At 9:36pm on 06 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 314 CBW clutching at straws rather than accept that you endlessly distort my arguments and my position (as well as anyone's that dares to defend anything about the EU) to make it look as if I am the new reincarnation of Stalin.

    The one I liked best is your "Quote from Your #20, "..I suggest the problem is not the EU but rather that British democracy is not working..".
    Reads & sounds like someone stating a case for 'political elitism'

    I'm going to have to call Kafka to work that one out. Or perhaps Freud?

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  • 320. At 10:07pm on 06 Jun 2010, Buzet23 wrote:

    #319. At 9:36pm on 06 Jun 2010, JorgeG1,

    We know your position but quite frankly your arguments do not stand examination, it is clear for some while that you have not yet distinguished the difference between those who like the concept of an EU that is free, with open borders and Nation states, and those who consider there is only one possible direction an EU can take i.e. an integrationalist federalist super state.

    You may of course refer to Freud, Kafka and any other psychologist or fiction writer you wish, but then they (if alive) may start analysing your almost paranoid aversion to anything that does not involve an integrationalist federalist super state or to put it another way, there are none so blind as those who can see.

    PS. It is somewhat curious that Franz Kafta wrote short stories which included "The Metamorphosis" and "In the Penal Colony", just what are you thinking the current EU direction refers to, the Metamorphosis or In the Penal Colony?

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  • 321. At 08:30am on 07 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #319

    I don't know about "..clutching at straws..", but I do read English fairly competently and know "..endless distortion.." when I see it. Therefore, any notion or proposal that I have attempted to portray You as the "...reincarnation of Stalin.." suggests to me there is no need for Kafka or Freud (unless You are fantasising about mother & Brussels at the same moment). No, all You need is to lie down in a shady corner with a cold compress on the forehead and think of daisies growing in a field: At least for a few hours.

    Re, "..the one I like best is Your quote from Your #20.."..

    Well, I am gratified You enjoyed it although evidently You didn't understand it!

    To explain the '..British democracy..' & '..political elitism..' observation by me is fairly easily achieved: You are stating there is something wrong with the British system of 'political' administration. You argue across all those contributions that it is the British who are at fault - - i.e. that by comparison the EU has got it right - - take #20 and all the quotes together and You are writing comments that infer only the EU has the answers: That, my friend, is 'elitism'.

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  • 322. At 08:53am on 07 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    David

    Re #311, 312, 313

    Looks like Mods decided it was Your turn on the naughty-step!

    Root-canal treatment can be a painful experience - - copious pain-killer known as whisky helps - - did it help You a little too much!?

    Cheers.

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  • 323. At 11:22am on 07 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 320 Buzet and 321 CBW

    Your posts read like stubborn schoolchildren who want to have their way.

    Why on earth is being in favour of Schengen and the Euro equal an 'almost paranoid aversion to anything that does not involve an integrationalist federalist super state'?

    As for 321, you really have lost me. This is just advanced parapsychology. I will have to revisit Freud, Kafka and also have a look at Hitchcock as well to see if they can help me understand your advanced metaphysical reasoning.

    Just for the record. I would really like to see a scenario where the citizens of Europe (in single Europe wide votes to be held at the same time) get to choose the Commission, the President of the Council and vote on treaties such as Lisbon. I would support a QMV of double majority of countries and citizens (for example a 60% majority). I bet if the UK was outvoted then you would decry "EUSSR is upon us". Of course, no country should be forced to accept a result that they do not like, i.e. they can always have the option to leave the EU (which I am reliably informed they do have under the LT). Is this supporting a totalitarian superstate?

    I will get on with Kafka to find the answers...

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  • 324. At 11:42am on 07 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #321

    "..stubborn children who want to have their way.."

    Whereas everytime You write in support of the EUropean Union that is of course an entirely reasonable, sensible viewpoint and in no way hints that You 'want to have Your way''.

    "Just for the record..", You will not be getting Your way: Though You clearly find it irritating Your perspective does not prevail over everyone else, we, the 'anti-EU' will continue to present our views as also being entirely reasonable & sensible.

    Also, for the record, Your 'totalitarian state..' is possible in many forms - - from the shere lunacy of the ideological cult of the leader in N. Korea, to the brutality & corruption of Burma's military junta, to the suffocating all-encompassing State-rule of China, all the way to the relatively benign yet fundamentally anti-Democratic supra-National Brussels-led one-size-fits-all EUropean Union.

    Do try to locate Kafka, if that is Your wish, but here's a hint for You: He died.

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  • 325. At 11:55am on 07 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @317 Mathiasen

    "As I stated in my original message the proposal and the decision was made by the ministers of justice. As you will know they are members of national parliaments."

    So that gives them the right to make decisions which effectively outrule national law?
    I`m not sure exacly who gave the ministers of justice the power and legitimation to make decisions above the heads of their respective national parliaments.

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  • 326. At 12:17pm on 07 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 324

    "Also, for the record, Your 'totalitarian state..' is possible in many forms"

    Why do you keep insulting me? Is this the way you debate? I am going to have to start insulting you as well.

    You are a pathetic little creature who seems to have nothing to do but insult others.

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  • 327. At 12:19pm on 07 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @315 Mathiasen

    "Concerning the latest decision in the union, you don’t know the procedure, but tell us instead about what you think they are."

    If you know better, why don`t you explain it to us?
    All I`ve seen so far are unsubstantiated claims.

    "It has been written into the treaties what a majority in the EU is, and that is somewhat more complicated than what we know from national parliaments.
    The decision is made on the usual democratic terms, namely that a majority decides something,..."

    I know the terms for a majority within the EU and am not impressed, to say the least. What you call democratic is so far from being democratic, it is ludicrous.
    The quota of representatation for example is a bad joke.
    How about you really take into account democraphics?
    Let`s take a look at the parliament: Germany has 96 seats, the maximum possible. Based on Germany`s population, it should have at least 150 seats.
    But that`s not possible, because quite a few other nations - namely Poland - think, that they deserve at least almost the same voting power, even though they have a lot less citizens.
    The quota only makes it so that 10 small nations cannot overrule the big nations all the time.

    Oh this is all so democratic! I`m really excited about all these new legislations from Brussels!

    "but also in this case, it will be implemented through legislation in each an every member state, however with the exception of Denmark, since this decision collides with a Danish opt-out."

    So the fact that the EU can force nations to implement it through legislation is democratic?

    Dear lord, spare me.




    Again: The EU has no democratic legitimation, because the people, the sovereign, were not asked. They were left out and therefore the EU has no legitimation to rule over them.
    How hard can this be to understand? We even have experts like Prof. Dr. Herbert von Arnim or Dr. Schachtschneider say this.
    They know a little bit more on this topic than most Eu-supporters mind you.

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  • 328. At 12:19pm on 07 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 324, I know Kafka is dead. I meant reading him.

    Perhaps if you read more you will realise that it is not 'shere lunacy' but sheer lunacy, i.e. like your own.

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  • 329. At 1:08pm on 07 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @139 JorgeG1

    "I'm going to have to call Kafka to work that one out. Or perhaps Freud?"

    Sometimes trying too hard to look smart just accomplishes the opposite...

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  • 330. At 1:16pm on 07 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 324

    "Also, for the record, Your 'totalitarian state..' is possible in many forms"

    What is clear is that it is you the only one behaving like a totalitarian super-parrot.

    No matter how many times I repeat I DO NOT SUPPORT A TOTALITARIAN STATE in any shape or form, YOU keep repeating like a parrot: "What you say does not matter, it is only what I, COOL BRUSH, say that counts"

    If that is not totalitarian super-lunacy I would like to know what is...

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  • 331. At 1:25pm on 07 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    According to a survey conducted by the dailytelegraph, 12 out of 25 British experts expect the euro in its current form not to survive the next 5 years.

    Now, nobody would be shocked by euroscepticism from British economists. But even under this premise, the survey paints a very very negative picture.

    But read for yourselves:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/7806064/Euro-will-be-dead-in-five-years.html



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  • 332. At 1:51pm on 07 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #327, DurstigerMann

    You should ask someone you trust if this decision is made in consistence or in inconsistence with the rules in the EU.
    The answer is yes, I can say already now. Therefore you need to ask the same person the next question: Why has Germany accepted these rules?

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  • 333. At 3:56pm on 07 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    I don`t need to ask this, because the rules in the EU have no democratic base.
    Germany has accepted these rules, because the political class never asked the people.
    The basic law does not include tools like a referendum. This could be changed easily, of course.
    Tells you a lot about how the political class thinks of the voters.

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  • 334. At 6:23pm on 07 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #333
    You will not get away from the question:
    Is this consistent with the rules or not?
    The answer is yes.

    Secondly, it will not help you to repeat the false notions, which have been written here ad nauseam:
    The government in Germany not only has the mandates in Bundestag. 90% per cent of Bundestag is behind the general EU policy, all parties fundamentally for the assistance to Greec. And they have a democratic mandate from the German voters.
    That's it.

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  • 335. At 9:33pm on 07 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    JorgeG1

    Re #330

    "..you (me) totalitarian super-parrot.."

    Nice one Jorge!

    Of course, nothing to do with anything in our debate about the pros & cons of Schengen/EU etc., but that's a clever little turn of phrase & I am pleased for You.

    And, on that spin I'll see You over the page on the next Blog for another bout of super-lunacy, such as You putting "QUOTATION MARKS" around a Sentence You have written in a silly attempt to imply I had written even 1 word of it!

    Cheers.

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  • 336. At 10:32pm on 07 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @334 Mathiasen
    "You will not get away from the question:
    Is this consistent with the rules or not?
    The answer is yes."

    I don`t need to get away, because you are under the false impression that rules in place cannot be questioned.

    I am not saying that the decision was according to rules. They obviously were.
    Instead, I am questioning the legitimacy of the rules themselves.
    There is no need to follow something or someone with no legitimation.


    Secondly, you also seem under the wrong impression that I actually think the German system is democratic.

    "The government in Germany not only has the mandates in Bundestag. 90% per cent of Bundestag is behind the general EU policy, all parties fundamentally for the assistance to Greec. And they have a democratic mandate from the German voters.
    That's it."

    Just how many people in the Bundestag can you vote for directly?
    More importantly: How can the voter decide on the members of the Federal Council?

    Why are 90% of the Bundestag for all this? Because they are complaisant slaves of their respective parties.
    They are, for the most part, not directly voted for, thus only got their mandate from their parties.

    You said that they had a mandate from the voters to aid Greece financially.
    I say: had the people been allowed a referendum on this issue, there would have been no money from Germany for Greece.

    We can`t even elect the president. The nominally highest position in our government is bartered away behind locked doors.


    The political class slowly began leaving the voters out decades ago and as our system needs the politicians to actually want to keep up with the citizens, we are all being left out by now.

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  • 337. At 06:08am on 08 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #336
    Yet another populist has joined this debate. Most of them are
    amazing "readers" too.

    You wrote: "Instead, I am questioning the legitimacy of the rules themselves."
    Really? Well, maybe you should ask Karlsruhe if it does too. It will make a considerable difference, actually it would move things from your private premises to the public area.

    You wrote: "you also seem under the wrong impression that I actually think the German system is democratic."
    - No, contrary to this I realize that you think you can apply your private notion about democracy. You have many friends here with exactly the same idea.
    Gosh!

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  • 338. At 9:57pm on 08 Jun 2010, Ruaraidh wrote:

    It is very interesting to read the foregoing comments but what has this got to do with the UK maintaining its sovereignty. The obvious answer to all of this palaver is to have a referendum asking the opinion of the British population on the subject of membership of the EU.
    We would at a stroke resolve our financial crisis by stopping payments to the EU and ridding ourselves of the Gravy Train MEP's who contribute nothing and undermine the decisions of the British government

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  • 339. At 01:14am on 09 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @337 Mathiasen

    "You wrote: "Instead, I am questioning the legitimacy of the rules themselves."
    Really? Well, maybe you should ask Karlsruhe if it does too. It will make a considerable difference, actually it would move things from your private premises to the public area."

    Simple fact: half of those judges in Karlsruhe, at any given time, are nominated by the political class. Namely the electoral committee of the Bundestag.
    I`m not so sure whether this can be considered to be proper checks and balances.

    "Yet another populist has joined this debate. Most of them are"

    I am not a populist. My suggestions would be easy to realize and there are very educated experts who think just the way I do. Like I wrote, one of them is Prof. Dr. Hans Herbert von Arnim.

    For example the President. To realize direct elections for this position would be hardly a problem. Austria is doing so already.
    Or reducing the number of Federal States to stop misallocation of money, decrease bureaucracy, etc etc... and save money. At the same time we could strengthen the communes in order to get the tax money where it is needed and allow more personal and direct democracy on this level. This would have a positive effect upwards imo.

    I know that those suggestions are kinda wooly, but I`m not gonna write an essay on here.

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  • 340. At 02:52am on 13 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    A short telegram: I am awfully sorry to have been missing.
    And I miss all very much.
    But it is such a relief to have a place away to be silly :o)
    (as if here I couldn't... :o)

    From great love to eh nevermind an assortment say of gentlemen here EXCLUSIVELY - I took myself out for a while, so that you won't get bored with me non-stop and all.

    Yes, the more I think about it :o)))) A real good excuse!
    :o)))))))))))))

    I'm headquartered in Smolensk - still. for the time being. Not so much along the aviation chaps, though, but there is a small business there on the side. Local mods opened an int'l chatter pavillion, to sift away private talks from technical Polish airplane crash discussion.

    And there I blossom :o)))), being a founding father of a "Smo-xford" (Smog-s-ford) Smolensky International University, putting together a lecture plan for June, arranging fees with the lecturers, and drafting in students. (Rather, a press :o)))) (we've got 2 students so far) (and 15 lecturers)
    Faculties range from defence and offence to glideslope-ology, lessons of Czech and Polish to maths for senior school grades, embroidering classes and creative avatar-making, information technolgy, risky sex (safe sex classes the originally appointed tutors refused to run (in spite of volunteers recruited for technical help), cat-walking in desert conditions (run by a man from nowhere. his town is not on the map :o)))), "Where to point a locator?", ship-building (paper models), how to land a Tu-154 in complex meteo conditions (those computer ? simulations) (very difficult subject) (but many do land already) and, how to say.
    Very enchanting silly life.

    Lots of talents gathered there and we plan to put them to use. while they are there anyway.

    Kissing and embracing all, if anything - generalissimo keeps an eye on me there (and shall also run 2 lectures)

    xxx
    Alice

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