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Cameron's first European summit

Gavin Hewitt | 09:10 UK time, Friday, 18 June 2010

David Cameron worked his European audience at his first summit. There were lots of smiles and handshakes. He used words like "positive", "engaged" and "activist" to
describe his approach to Europe. The European Commission went out of its way to welcome him, laying on a traditional British breakfast. On occasions the British prime minister seemed bemused as he met leaders he scarcely knew.

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The British strategy is to make friends and win allies early on, knowing that tougher battles lie ahead. He also wanted, however, to give an early indication that he was on guard against Brussels grabbing more power. Under one plan to stimulate growth and jobs, targets were set for education. David Cameron was quick to point out that education was a responsibility of member states.

At his final press conference his tone hardened. He spoke of "red lines". "Our bottom line, our red line if you like," he said, "is that I do not support and will not support the transfer of power from Westminster to Brussels. We are not in the euro, we're not going to join the euro." Three times he chose to make that point. David Cameron with other EU leaders in Brussels, 17 Jun 10

Mr Cameron is aware that there are many people who voted for him because they thought he would take a tougher line with Brussels. So he was speaking to different audiences. However, the new British government's instinct is to be pragmatic and to avoid unnecessary rows with its European partners.

The British are against the idea of general sanctions being applied to those countries who do not abide by the rules over debt. Their view is that sanctions should apply only to those countries in the eurozone. They got some support from President Sarkozy, who accepted that some countries like Britain and Denmark were in a different position.

Chancellor Merkel said "we have agreed that we want a system of taxes and levies for financial institutions to reach a fair burden-sharing". It may be difficult agreeing the terms of a levy. The British support a bank levy, but they do not think it should be managed at a pan-European level.

The 27 leaders who turned up in Brussels had crisis on their minds. So much so that the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, quipped that 10.30 had come and there was no new crisis.

The EU is bubbling with ideas on how to protect the troubled euro. Some are still proposals and fundamental disagreements remain.

Rather belatedly the European Union has agreed to back more stress tests of major banks and to publish the results. This is crucial if investors are to be persuaded the eurozone is a safe bet. Germany has been reluctant to open the books but the head of the Bundesbank, Axel Weber, said a new set of European bank stress tests was now needed.

Europe's leaders also agreed broad guidelines for tougher budget rules to ensure countries met their debt targets. There is still no agreement on what sanctions, if any, will be used to keep countries in line. The Germans had suggested that rule-breakers might lose their voting rights, but that would involve treaty changes and there is little enthusiasm for that. The view is that it would open up a whole seam of controversy.

The leaders signed up to a closer co-ordination of their budget policies but it is unclear how far they will actually co-ordinate their tax and spending.

The assumptions underlying budget plans would be submitted to the EU executive for peer review before being revealed to national parliaments.

So the trend is towards deepening policy co-ordination, but there is no agreement as to how to go about it. The tougher budget rules will not be set out in a firm proposal until October. Again there is wide support for tighter financial regulation, but no agreement on the details.

Almost certainly for the British government battles lie ahead, for many EU officials believe the lesson of the eurozone crisis is closer integration.

Comments

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  • 1. At 09:43am on 18 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    Firm but not belligerent. It does sound like Cameron is actually doing well over there. I am rather surprised the balancing act is going so well.

    "Almost certainly for the British government battles lie ahead, for many EU officials believe the lesson of the eurozone crisis is closer integration."

    Not surprised at this though. A stubbed toe in Milan or someone sneezing in Bonn is a major reason for closer integration to this lot.

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  • 2. At 10:05am on 18 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    You get what you negotiate in the EU. If Cameron does not make use of the opportunities that other countries' desire for greater integration between themselves present between now and 2015, then he will be giving away something for nothing again and again and again over a 5 year period.

    What is Nick Clegg going to do if Cameron, Merkel and Saekozy say they have decided there is a need for a new EU treaty that returns powers to the UK and allows greater integration in the eurozone? Will he defy Merkel and Sarkozy who say the changes are needed to stop eurozone breakup? Will he bring down the British government he is part of, and campaign in the subsequent election against reduced EU power over us, only to see Cameron win an easy majority if that is the issue which caused the election? Somehow, i don’t think so, so Cameron should tell Clegg he is a busted flush as far as EU issues go, and seal the deal with Merkel on a changed EU treaty, and with the British electorate too.

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  • 3. At 10:09am on 18 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    Gavin,

    Your ultimate sentence says it all, "...for many EU officials believe the lesson of the eurozone crisis is closer integration.

    Who ARE these officals? Why do their voices have any weight unless they are elected and authorised to represent their opinions with more democratic authority than perhaps the individual voices of the electorate that do NOT support closer integration?

    You might as well have written, "Almost certainly for the British government battles lie ahead, for many British (or, indeed, European) EU member states' citizens believe the lesson of the eurozone crisis is NOT closer integration."

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  • 4. At 10:23am on 18 Jun 2010, jefferson2000 wrote:

    @ 1: First check your geography for an instance: Bonn is not the capital of Germany anymore. It's called Berlin nowadays! Second, sure Cameron is doing well in the EU. If he really engages in European affairs he might find out, that there are actually people, who see certain things like he does. The big question is, is he able to see things like the others, when push comes to shove and he needs to change his mind on something. And that remains to be seen. For the UK weight in the EU I hope for the best, because it would be nice to see the German-French motor being extended and sometime balanced by a thrid party. But again compromises must be possible on both sides and...

    @ 2: ...repeating little-englanders comments again and again and again is of so little help here as the naive believe, that Cameron and Merkel would see to treaty changes the way little-englanders want them to be, will never be possible with Merkel. And would you kindly stop describe Nick Clegg as being the worst that could have happened to the UK. It's not completely unlikely Cameron has such a head start in Brussels, because he has been listening what Nick Clegg told him about working there. That's something most UK PM have never gotten used, to look over the horizon and see how politics is done in Brussels: Most often like in Westminster and yet sometimes a wee bit different.

    P.S.: Once again: You signed up for a club with certain rules. You have too possibilities. First you engage actively and have influence on the way it is run, or get the h*** out of it and don't get on the nerves of those who remain happily inside (but be ready for some tarrifs hurdles, like other non-EU members! Curious how British business would react to that in a economic crises, but again I guess all those little Englanders will buy British products, like there is no tomorrow!)

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  • 5. At 10:39am on 18 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    So, in summary: nothing accomplished.

    Seems like a very good outcome to me.

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  • 6. At 10:53am on 18 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    "@ 1: First check your geography for an instance: Bonn is not the capital of Germany anymore. It's called Berlin nowadays!"

    And last time I looked Milan was not the capital of Italy and I made no reference to capitals. Silly boy. I picked two random places off the top of my head. I could also have said "a visit from the Tooth Fairy last night is a major reason for further European integration for this lot".

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  • 7. At 10:57am on 18 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #3 - Menedemus

    Nick Robinson quoted Barroso recently as saying "History reminds us it is usually in times of crisis that we can make progress in the European project".

    A cynic might observe that there is no better opportunity to impose your will instead of seeking consent than the perception that a crisis is too urgent a matter to wait. They may even have a point if they had the slightest intention of back-peddling when the storm has passed but of course they do not. Power, once ceded, is very difficult to recover.

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  • 8. At 11:05am on 18 Jun 2010, statmanASH wrote:

    @4 Where was it mentioned that Bonn was the Capital - Milan isn't either. I think you will find that they were two European cities selected at random. Bonn does still exist though, the Capital was moved back to Berlin but a lot of the administration of Germany is still done there.

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  • 9. At 12:16pm on 18 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Surely there cannot be a better indicator of just how incredibly ridiculous the ever-encroaching tentacles of EU-Brussels are in danger of becoming than it pronouncing on "..education.."!?

    It just astonishes me how EU-Brussels with all that it has got on its Economic-Fiscal-Expansionist plate still finds time-money-resources-apparatchiks to spare to even breathe the word 'Education', never mind start to consider involving itself in National policy-making!?

    Surely even among some of the more sane 'pro-EU' the entertaining of such outlandish intrusion must raise the serious question: Exactly what is this behemoth about?

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  • 10. At 12:18pm on 18 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Don't be fooled by the photo op. Those are not smiles of happiness, it's pretators baring their fangs. All that's left out is the drool of those anticipating the kill. When the niceties are over, we'll see just how amicable they remain when they get down to the business of trying to twist his arm to agree to helping with the bailout of the PIIGS, submitting his government's budget to Brussels for "review" and 'suggested amendments" before the UK Parliament gets to see it, joining the Euro to help save it, and relinquishing what little is left of British sovereignty to the EU central government. That's when we will see where The Macaroon's loyalties really lie. I'm betting on at least a partial sellout which will be sold to Britain as " compromise." "Peace in our time." If there is one thing British politicians are good it, it's putting the best possible face on surrendering to enemies.

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  • 11. At 12:20pm on 18 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Meanwhile, back in the RealPolitik World:

    Mr Hewitt reports PM Cameron 3 times said, '..red line.. no EUro for UK.'

    Excellent.

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  • 12. At 12:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:


    The "EU" is a sick, arrogant dictatorship.

    No hand shakes, acted smiles or British breakfasts will change that.

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  • 13. At 12:45pm on 18 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    *Waits for the apology from another EuroFanatic*





    *sound of crickets*


    zzzz..mmmph...zzzzz

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  • 14. At 1:06pm on 18 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    jefferson2000

    Re #4

    "..repeating little-englanders.."?
    Would that be the opposite of repeated 'giant-EUropa forever' slogans/dogma?

    Or, are You only concerned with denigrating those who do not agree with Your version?
    I'm unfamiliar with the 'little-englander' phrasebook perhaps You could enlighten us all?

    Here's some extracts from the 'giant-EUropa forever' book of well known phrases & sayings:

    "..you signed up for a club with certain rules" - meaning, the UK will follow those rules but if France, Germany etc. want to twist them to suit a EUro-zone then it is a different matter.
    "..the Treaty of Rome included 'ever closer union'" - meaning, when several very senior & serious European Leaders created a 'Union' of basic Economic ideas in 1956 they envisaged 27 Nations all having their Laws made for them in Brussels except when France, Germany etc. want to twist them so as to prevent Turkey joining then it is a different matter.
    "..the competencies of EU-Brussels are subject specific and don't threaten any National sovereignty" - meaning nothing said by Brussels is sacrosanct until a EUropean Court of Justice over-rules a Nationally Elected Government policy and then it is a different matter.
    "..there is no EU it is only a framework for Nations to work together via a Commission' - meaning there is no need to follow Brussels Directives except if a Nation does not then it is a different matter and it will need special permission called a Derogation/opt-out to do so.
    "..the EU 'Democracy is just the same or better than UK or most EUropean Nations" - meaning, no Brussels has never subjected its 'policy-making' to any significant Electoral Ballot box test at regular intervals (e.g. 4 or 5 years) and it never will because it is does not have to have Citizen consent for its policies.
    "..the EU Parliament represents the Citizens" - meaning, the last time an MEP represented Constituents was the run-up to the EP Election when they wanted to be elected.


    PS: Once again, You choose to overlook the complete lack of Democratic Mandate/Accountability within the EU, but then that is a very different matter, isn't it at EU level: I.e. Whatever happens avoid the Citizens having their say!
    Curious how the oh-so popular EU won't put any of its policies or its existence to a Ballot box challenge, but then, I guess all those 'giant EUropa forever' proponents don't need to as they know what is best for everyone else!

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  • 15. At 1:13pm on 18 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #10 - MarcusAureliusII

    Just for once, you may be right about the parallel with Munich. It's simply your history which is at fault. It is not appeasement, it is buying time to prepare for the struggle ahead.

    #9 - cool_brush_work

    Ah yes, education.

    I am getting quite bleary eyed here reminiscing about the old Tony Blair days - 'edukashun, edukashun - oh damn it -skool'. Well I think we know where Cameron stands on that one. Just one sentence. 'Education is a matter for national governments'. Full stop - end of.

    Quite right too!

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  • 16. At 1:30pm on 18 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    cbw #9, what exactly are you referring to?

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  • 17. At 2:04pm on 18 Jun 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    So David Cameron intends to be "positive", "engaged" and "activist" re his approach to Europe. He also sought to give an early indication that he was guarded against Brussels "grabbing" more power.
    What if Brussels is not interested in "grabbing", but understands that Europe and the Euro is better protected under a unified front with common regulations?
    Regarding Cameron’s red line: “I do not support and will not support the transfer of power from Westminster to Brussels. We are not in the euro; we're not going to join the euro."
    Three times he chose to make this point; hopefully, he will not need to swallow this point three times when the circumstances change, and they will change.
    On Tuesday, the pound sterling tumbled. Fitch Ratings said the UK’s debt-cutting task was “formidable”. In fact it was emphasized that the scale of the United Kingdom’s fiscal challenge is formidable, so formidable that it warrants a strong medium-term consolidation strategy, including a faster pace of deficit reduction.
    The pound fell 1% against the euro and the American dollar.
    Every Brit and his bulldog knows that the UK’s in serious trouble. Will the new government be able to find ways to cut the UK deficit without hurting economic growth? Will the cuts be sufficient to make a sizeable dent in our deficit (or more importantly to stop credit rating agencies from downgrading)?
    If I was British, I would look to EU financial expertise; I would not want to take on the obviously-needed austerity program, which may cripple the economy, on the opinion of just The Coalition Government. If the British government's instinct is to be pragmatic, I wish that it would in fact get pragmatic, and in a hurry.
    The EU is indeed percolating with ideas on how to protect the euro; bit look closely: Is the Coalition Government also percolating with ideas on how to protect the pound sterling?
    I am a proponent of valid, orthodox stress tests for major banks as well as results being openly published. Investors, potential lenders must know that the eurozone is safe, fully capitalized, fully audited, derivatives written off, no lurking credit default swaps….Germany has been reluctant to open its books but it will. In remarkably little time, people will come to trust the Euro, and that trsut will make all the difference.
    Will Britain undergo stress tests with its banks so that lending can resume with confidence?
    Cameron leans towards EU policy co-ordination, but as usualy he provides no details. The tougher budget rules will not be set out in a firm proposal until October. That certainly lags behind the rest of Europe.
    Maybe the British people need to give Mr. Cameron a moderate push - and make sure its towards the EU. It's my firm belief that this is where the UK future lies.

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  • 18. At 2:21pm on 18 Jun 2010, frenchtommy wrote:

    I’m sure this must have been mentioned before, but when is there going to be a serious debate on the funds that each country gives to Europe? When most European countries are reducing their budgets and public spending, why should the amount that they pay to Europe rest constant ?

    Or for most countries in Europe is this a taboo subject. ?

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  • 19. At 2:21pm on 18 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @7 Threnodio_II
    Further to your last request, I convey the link Alice has just mailed to me.
    Regards. Shall comment this post later this evening.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 20. At 2:39pm on 18 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    @ 9 CBW

    Education was probably mentioned in regards to making GCSE's, Diplomas, NVQs, A levels and Degrees match up to their continental counterparts and vice versa, ergo making it easier for people with different qualifications from different countries to find jobs across the EU, good for streamlining the single market and growing the Economy and yada yada yada. I very much doubt it was with any intention to micromanage the syllabus of British schools, or stipulate certain lessons or anything like that.
    Although to be fair, I thought they already had a scheme for that in place, or at the very least they matched up fairly well already. I guess more details are required for any sort of informed judgement.

    @ 12 EUPrisoner

    I see you still fail to grasp what a dictatorship is, can you even tell me who exactly is supposed to be dictator of the EU?

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  • 21. At 3:27pm on 18 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    The EU has long tried to get its tentacles into education policy. As early as 1993, the de Clercq Report said European identity must be 'ingrained in people's minds' as a 'good product' using marketing techniques and that certain social categories, particularly 'women and youth', should become 'priority target groups”.

    The EU Commission still produces comic books for distribution to schools, of which the “The Raspberry Ice-cream War” is the most notorius. The plot has three euro-kiddies from the future, Christine, Max and Paul mysteriously transported back in time to a land where there are still guards at the city gate and every summer the raspberry ice cream war breaks out anew. The intrepid heroes declare “The people in this country need a good lesson in democracy and Europe” and set out to re-educate the natives who agree to pool their sovereignty. This was distributed to schools throughout Europe (except the UK where the 75000 copies were pulped for fear of the backlash they might produce).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Raspberry_Ice_Cream_War

    And there is the EU Commission funded “Spring Day for Europe” program which involves 6000+ schools every year. This get the kiddies involved in wholesome activities such as writing the 2005 Children’s Constitution in which the kiddies demanded a federal Europe complete with European army and food security provided by a common agricultural policy. The result of the work was presented to the grateful EU Commissioners who bank-roll the program as the voice of the future generation.

    http://www.springday2010.net/ww/en/pub/spring2010/about/past_editions.htm

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  • 22. At 3:27pm on 18 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    12. At 12:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:
    """"The "EU" is a sick, arrogant dictatorship.
    No hand shakes, acted smiles or British breakfasts will change that.""""

    Really? Back in 1845 the only true winner in Europe was Britain. Yet to thank all those British soldiers who gave their lifes fighting the Germans, British politics had stated they wanted to make Germans civil-production oriented and if possible more rich than British - nice one there. Germans did it in no time (since British had managed to "miss" the 95% of the German production bases during the bombardment) and Germany rose in no time to a leading position making the EU along with the French.

    I guess it is British amazing levels of democracy and respect towards its own citizens that gave their lifes (and had worse fate than the Germans they beat) the one that resulted in EU being the dictatorship you claim it to be afterall.

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  • 23. At 3:36pm on 18 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    Back to Cameron, what he strives to do is to keep England inside the EU while being out of the EU on every single occasion. I.e. being a member without doing anything in it. Continue the selective picking of bits and parts and discarting of what does not suit.

    This would be fine really but Britain does not remain just in that but tries openly to sabotage things by getting occupied with things like external affairs which is quite indicative: they do not want integration but they care to know whom the EU addresses and speaks with... hmmmm....

    Britain's position as it is is to be out of the EU for the very reasons that De Gaul had mentioned back in the 1960s. End of story. The other EU leaders have to realise this at last and start acting without considering Britain which may as well remain as a typical member of no voice, opting for 2-3 options that even Switzerland has opted (eg. Shengen) and that is all.

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  • 24. At 3:45pm on 18 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    In some things he is right though: education and such things - pure waste of time for the EU to get occupied with such things. EU should stop being occupied with other things.

    But what is Cameron's view on Defense in general? On External Affairs? On Military industry in EU? Of ESA? What does he have to say for the main energy issues of the EU countries? Each EU country on its own? It is up to anyone? Really? Does he believe so? Then if the previous British government was so aggressive when the previous Greek government had signed for the Southstream does that mean that Cameron does not care? And if the rest of the EU moves on to closer collaboration and leaves out the UK what is their problem? They can keep their army and their external affairs politics for them if they wish, absolutely no problem.

    At the end, one must ask : "Ok we understood you do not want to to move powers from London to Brussles, but what else do you not want?". ...

    ... cos it is certain that it is not just that the whole story. There are other things the British do not want.

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  • 25. At 4:05pm on 18 Jun 2010, jim3227 wrote:

    There are a lot of people within the EU who have simlar ideas and dont want a Federal state ( I agree the French and Greman Goverments may do) I regularly visit and speak with friends in france and holland who would like to be in the possition the UK is in now .In the frame work of the EU but not in the Euro as they are unable to fix things without all of the others agreeing . I know that there is alot of things we have had to accept but at this time (when the euro area is weak) we can be more Nationalistic in our approach .

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  • 26. At 4:50pm on 18 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 27. At 5:08pm on 18 Jun 2010, JorgeG wrote:

    @ 2 FBJ

    I don't think there is a need for a new treaty to achieve greater integration within the Eurozone. It is called 'enhanced cooperation' and it seems to be the way things are going, e.g. the 'budget peer review' that is against Locke's 17th century Law on Sovereignty.

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  • 28. At 5:25pm on 18 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    margaret howard @26,

    Personally I'd be delighted to reinstate capital punishment in the UK.

    I suspect that so would most of my countrymen.

    (You disagree? Wanna bet? Wanna put it to a referendum?.... I thought not)

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  • 29. At 5:27pm on 18 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #15

    "It is not appeasement, it is buying time to prepare for the struggle ahead"

    Erm, thats the same thing.

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  • 30. At 5:57pm on 18 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    MaxSceptic @#28

    That is exactly why the UK Westminster Parliament will never, ever, give their Electorate a referendum on Capital Punishment and exactly why, those same Servants of the Electorate (Bah humbug!) will never, ever give the UK Electorate a vote on membership of the EU.

    They know that the UK would become an ex-EU Member Nation, as Tommy Cooper used to say, "Just like that!" and the UK would return to hanging anyone who murdered, raped, robbed, pillaged, committed Treason or cheated on MP's Expenses!

    Heaven help paedophiles, speeding motorists, 4x4 drivers, anyone who doesn't believe in man-made Global Warming or anyone who fraudlently claimed benefits or cheats Social Services - they would be up before the hangman before anyone could say, "Miscarriage of Justice" or "Give it to him Chris!"

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  • 31. At 6:35pm on 18 Jun 2010, Freeborn John wrote:

    JorgeG1 (27): 'Enhanced co-operation' cannot be used to deprive existing members of the voting rights that current EU treaties allocate. Therefore Merkel needs a treaty change if she wants to sanction spendthrift eurozone states, and the UK's agreement for any such change. In return the UK must get changes that we want, i.e. return of powers stolen against the majority view in this country with the conniavence of the last Labour government.

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  • 32. At 8:43pm on 18 Jun 2010, PlanetEnglish wrote:

    Cameron & Clegg do not and will not have the power to change the Rules of EU - it is indeed a club. Club Rules have been set by ClubMed. Take it or leave it. Better to accept sooner than later. Or leave.
    Cameron & Clegg do not have the gall to leave.
    The bluff needs to be called - for the smooth running of EU and UK.
    Lessons of the Euro-meltdown - more integration, for most of Europe.
    Lessons of the Euro-meltdown - stay away from Euro, for UK.
    The choice I think is clear.
    UK has to fall in line with Charlemagne's Empire.
    Or it will have to leave - and its leadership is scared of leaving.
    Because UK screwed up bigtime - by leaving the Englishspeaking World it founded, from 1688 onwards.
    In order to become part of EU.
    With passage of time, UK will merely become another province of the Roman Empire.
    Unless Cameron works to re-establish UK as the heart of PlanetEnglish.
    There is no third option.

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  • 33. At 9:10pm on 18 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To PlanetEnglish (32):

    You do realize that it is planet America and not planet English?

    "Here is a couple of things that America got right, cars and freedom."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMRMW1FXSHw

    I rather join the planet Germany, thank you very much.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgEvy60bZYI

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  • 34. At 10:53pm on 18 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    19 - generalissimofranco

    Thank you. Alice was kind enough to email me the details so do not worry about the broken link and thank you for your trouble.

    Regards.

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  • 35. At 11:14pm on 18 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #29 - commonsense_expressway

    "It is not appeasement, it is buying time to prepare for the struggle ahead"

    Erm, thats the same thing

    Exactly. Please explain that to someone who considers it an act of betrayal.

    #30 - Menedemus

    I hope I have understood you correctly but, if not, feel free to correct me. Anyone who has participated in a judicial process resulting in the death of another human being is a murderer. Any prosecutor who has demanded the death penalty, any judge who has ever passed such a sentence, any holder of political office who has failed to exercise clemency - even the poor sad executioners themselves - are apologies for human beings and should have no place in a civilised society..

    If we can agree on nothing else, let us accept at least that ridding Europe of the senseless practice of judicial murder is a move in the right direction.

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  • 36. At 00:16am on 19 Jun 2010, Gareth wrote:

    This is one of the most cheerfully pro-EU posts I have seen. I am glad (given the linguistic evidence) that we can get into dialogue so well with our European friends at a discussion board level as well, if not better, as at that of a summit.

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  • 37. At 01:00am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    threnodious;

    "#10 - MarcusAureliusII

    Just for once, you may be right about the parallel with Munich. It's simply your history which is at fault. It is not appeasement, it is buying time to prepare for the struggle ahead."

    The struggle ahead for Camembert is to change his image so that he can go from being an MP to being and MEP. He's starting off in the right direction. He has to prove to Brussels just like anyone who wants to join "de organization" just where his loyalties really lie. And he is doing just that.

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  • 38. At 01:47am on 19 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    20. At 2:39pm on 18 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    " ...
    @ 12 EUPrisoner

    I see you still fail to grasp what a dictatorship is, can you even tell me who exactly is supposed to be dictator of the EU?"

    EUpris: I do not accept that a dictatorship has necessarily to have one person who is identifiable as the dictator.

    The "EU" is a dictatorship because we were promised a referendum which we did not get. It has no right to exist. Its very existence is the result of an act of dictatorship.

    If you wanted a named dictator I would have to say that it is a group of people.

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  • 39. At 01:52am on 19 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    "The European Commission went out of its way to welcome him, laying on a traditional British breakfast."

    EUpris: These are people who helped to ram the Lisbon Poison down our throats. I wouldn't eat or drink anything they offered me.

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  • 40. At 01:52am on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "If you wanted a named dictator I would have to say that it is a group of people. "

    who are those people? Can you provide a comprehensive list?

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  • 41. At 02:11am on 19 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2010/06/esa-chief-launches-his-third-t.shtml?scope=global&survey=no&surveyname=2010q2&site=jonathanamosblog&uid=041b5a88a918e0ce85ff7da1616951052b17ace1c0a081bfb289f6e3b94ddd16&url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2010/06/esa-chief-launches-his-third-t.shtml


    "A key factor playing into all three of these missing elements now is the EU and Article 189 of the Lisbon Treaty, which gives Brussels "joint competency" with its member states on matters of space policy."

    EUpris: Totally unacceptable!

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  • 42. At 02:15am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    There is no doubt and should be none that Camembert is a Meuron through and through. He acts like one, he talks like one, he thinks like one. He is not to be trusted. I said back during the campaign when he taunted the Brutish population with a hint there might be a referendum he didn't mean it. Now he's showing his true colors....yellow, yellow, and yellow. He's a yellow fellow.

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  • 43. At 03:15am on 19 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    "The assumptions underlying budget plans would be submitted to the EU executive for peer review before being revealed to national parliaments."

    However, the first step is done. It starts working.

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  • 44. At 03:22am on 19 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @39 EUprisoner
    "EUpris: These are people who helped to ram the Lisbon Poison down our throats. I wouldn't eat or drink anything they offered me."
    If all of your leaders go that way, they risk starving some day...along with half of the nation.

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  • 45. At 03:31am on 19 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @32 PlanetEnglish
    "With passage of time, UK will merely become another province of the Roman Empire. Unless Cameron works to re-establish UK as the heart of PlanetEnglish."

    Here in the East of Europe the English definitely won the language battle, thus filling the gap that opened after the Russian was no more compulsory. It seems that your planet is recovering.

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  • 46. At 03:40am on 19 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @34 Threnodio_II
    You are welcome. I cease the opportunity to comment that the first declarations your PM made are somewhat in contradiction with what really happened during the summit in Brussels, namely,
    “The leaders signed up to a closer co-ordination of their budget policies but it is unclear how far they will actually co-ordinate their tax and spending.”

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  • 47. At 04:27am on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Camera-on is clueless. The Roman empire hah...it will be Eurabia. Britain is already in the process of converting to Sharia law.

    "http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4749183.ece

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2957428/Sharia-law-courts-operating-in-Britain.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2957428/Sharia-law-courts-operating-in-Britain.html

    85 Sharia courts in Britain by a year ago this month.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196165/Britain-85-sharia-courts-The-astonishing-spread-Islamic-justice-closed-doors.html

    Does this explain why I hear so many more English accents in the US lately?

    The State of Oklahoma is preparing to launch a referendum prohibiting any state court from considering any judgements from non American courts including so called international law when deliberating decisions. It is expected within a year or two many more will follow. This is meant as a pre-emptive strike to prevent what is happening in Britain from happening here.

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/016713.html

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  • 48. At 05:29am on 19 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    Poland will elect a new president on Sunday. In the very quiet election campaign Jaroslaw Kaczynski has used a less aggressive tone than we are used to. Nonetheless, many will be looking to Warsaw in the next days to find out, what we should expect from Poland in the EU policy. In that respect the election is also an opinion poll in Poland.

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  • 49. At 07:02am on 19 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @48 Mathiasen
    “Poland will elect a new president on Sunday.”
    Among the East European nations, Poland is the country with more human/natural resources, strategic geographical situation and relatively large territory. Its stance on important international issues has got its political weight and consequences.
    In the Slavic world that is the nation which seconds Russian in terms of cultural heritage and influence among the Slavic nations.
    In the aftermath of the cold war, Poland has got the opportunity to balance the east-west relations (EU-Russia) with all the positive profits for itself. Shall the Poles miss the chance or not?

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  • 50. At 07:44am on 19 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    threnodio_II @#35

    In regard to judicial death penalty, I find it abhorrent and, in the modern Era, an anachronism as it is purely retribution by the State for crimes committed against an individual.

    That is not to say that I, as a human being, would not wish to kill any person who murdered my child or grandchild as a form of personal retribution but then I have to deal with those thoughts of vengeance in my own way and in my own time.

    Having the State perform retribution on my behalf is impersonal, without compassion for the victim or the guilty and, I feel, it is somewhat sanctimonious when Nation States will send innocent boy (and, these days, innocent girl) soldiers off to fight - and die - in wars that can be and are immoral, unjustified and without merit.

    However, my point was that British society can adopt vindictive and pugnacious attitudes (often reflected within the national press) towards murderers and many examples exist of vigilantism and vindictive thoughts that drive many people to think that 'hanging is too good' for this murderer or that mass rapist, etceteras.

    My fear is that emotion is a master of fate and, if the UK were given the right to vote in a referendum on the return of Capital Punishment, I reason that the British would most likely vote for its return. I think that the UK Westminster Parliament and its politicians suspect that public opinion would seek the re-introduction of the Death Penalty - if offered the chance - and so will never, ever give the UK Citizens that choice.

    Similarly, I suspect that the same politicians already know that there is such strong resentment of the EU that, if given the opportunity to unshackle the UK from the clasp of the EU, the British electorate would vote for that severance ... hence, the same politicians will never give the UK population that choice.

    David Cameron might give the UK a referendum on preventing the EU grabbing any more sovereignty over UK national powers but that is a referendum that he knows he wants to have because it suits him and his political objective to constrain the EU rather than have the EU Constrain the UK. However, he will never allow the British people the choice to leave the EU as that does not suit him or his political objectives.

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  • 51. At 08:29am on 19 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #47

    Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said he has been working on Muslim civil rights issues for several decades and anti-Islam rhetoric is approaching "Nazi-like" levels.

    "This is just the flip side of the anti-Semitic coin," Hooper said


    Ah yes, hatred against anybody (Europeans, Muslims, Democrats) is ok as long its not Jews eh Marcus?

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  • 52. At 08:35am on 19 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    The EU is bubbling with ideas on how to protect the troubled euro. Some are still proposals and fundamental disagreements remain.

    I don't doubt this. It is 'beneficial crisis' time, after all. I am willing to bet that every single one of those ideas the EU-ites are 'bubbling with' involve power transfers to Brussels.

    3.Menedemus wrote: Who ARE these officals? [those advocating closer integration, mvr512] Why do their voices have any weight unless they are elected and authorised to represent their opinions with more democratic authority than perhaps the individual voices of the electorate that do NOT support closer integration?

    Welcome to the EU's method of law/directive/regulation-making. It's called comitology, and the process driving it is called engrénage. Committees behind closed doors make tons of drafts which they present either via the Politburo (Commission) or Council (bunch of national govenrment leaders/ministers who wish to bypass their national parliaments).
    The proposals are usually (and deliberately) incomplete, which is supposed to lead to calls for more complete legislation, which the EU in turn will be 'more than happy to provide' because 'there was a clear call for more integration/more EU (whenever people say the EU's initial idea was incomplete)'. Engrénage is the EU's preferred method to gain powers in a policy area previously exclusive to the national governments and parliaments.

    Tons of ideas about in Brussels, such as formally abolishing national sovereignty, EU income tax, EU internet censorship/filters (we can all see where that one will lead to), abolishing national parliaments (this is an actual plan, which they keep under wraps right now) etc...

    You have to understand, for all these anti-democratic ideas and ways to attack national parliamentary democracy, even in policy areas that are not EU competences (yet), they have had plans for years, waiting for the opportunity to come along, hopefully in the guise of a major crisis which can be used to the EU's advantage (the 'beneficial crisis' method).

    And when all else fails, there is always the European Court of Justice, which was deliberately stuffed with rabid pro-integration judges. The ECJ is expert at finding cockamamy interpretations of EU treaties (treaties deliberately written in vague language as to make this possible). The ECJ thinks basically everything the EU wants has something to do with the internal market (once something is 'internal market' related, the ECJ can unilaterally declare it an EU-competence). If you have paid good attention, you will know that the ECJ is the #1 centralizing/integrating institution.

    Being federalist and pro-EU-integration is a necessary precondition for ECJ judges, there is a litmus test on this.

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  • 53. At 08:41am on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re Your #16 & my #9

    I was referring to this one-liner from Mr Hewitt's article:

    "..Under one plan (EU-Brussels) to stimulate growth and jobs, targets were set for education."

    It seems extraordinary to me in the midst of all its present difficulties some EU-Brussels' officials have been designated the task of considering and creating a set of supra-National proposals for 'education'!

    IMO, there, is the ample evidence of a 'behemoth': An enormous creature or thing (Oxford Dictionary), usually associated with unfeeling & unimagined threatening power.

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  • 54. At 08:50am on 19 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To EUprisoner209456731 (41):

    Thank you for the link. This is actually one of the interesting little news that gives light to what changes are going on and what is going to happen. Ever since the failure of private industries to pick up and work up the EU initiated Galileo program, it was more or less clear that without stronger EU/ESA, there could be no bigger European space projects.

    Now I do view this transformation as a positive sign, however I can see that you will be upset by it, because integration of space activities in the EU will march step by step with integration of defense activities.

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  • 55. At 09:02am on 19 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    21.Freeborn John wrote: The EU has long tried to get its tentacles into education policy. As early as 1993, the de Clercq Report said European identity must be 'ingrained in people's minds' as a 'good product' using marketing techniques and that certain social categories, particularly 'women and youth', should become 'priority target groups”.

    Empire IV certainly learned this important lesson from Reich III (1933-1945). I believe it was a former Austrian corporal from a Bavarian reserve unit who said: "When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I say calmly, 'Your child belongs to us already. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community'."

    The frightening thing is that even on primary schools, there is plenty of the EU's propaganda to be found, in an attempt to indoctrinate children that the undemocratic EU is somehow a great thing. They stop just short of calling on kids to 'rat out' their EU-hostile parents (something the Soviets taught kids: turn your parents in if they question the Soviet Union).

    Or just go see some university's 'European studies' curriculum. A scary thing to behold, where the 'new elite' are being taught in the ways of the EU with classes and lectures containing nothing but pure EU propaganda provided by its Politburo (Commission). For fun, try to argue with some of those students or lecturers, they will do nothing but drone out the standard EU propaganda, they are completely immune to reality, which will work to make them fit in just right in Brussels.

    And they are all very elitist with contempt for democracy and 'the common people' because 'the common people' might vote for the 'wrong' candidates and it is much better to mutually appoint the 'leaders' and not subject them to elections of democracy or any such nonsense.

    But the one thing that fills me with hope is that the recent referendums all proved that it was the younger generations who disproportionately voted more against the EU than the old ones did. They are losing the battle of ideas, and they know it so they are desperate to ram 'more EU' through rapidly to prevent the process being permanent stalled in a few years time.

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  • 56. At 09:07am on 19 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    Jukka wrote: Ever since the failure of private industries to pick up and work up the EU initiated Galileo program, it was more or less clear that without stronger EU/ESA, there could be no bigger European space projects.

    And what if we don't want 'bigger Euro space projects'? How do we stop them?

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  • 57. At 09:34am on 19 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To mvr512 (56):

    Don't be daft, everybody wants bigger rockets.

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  • 58. At 09:37am on 19 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    threnodio_II @35 wrote:

    "If we can agree on nothing else, let us accept at least that ridding Europe of the senseless practice of judicial murder is a move in the right direction."

    Not at all. The phrase "judicial murder" is an nonsense oxymoron. Capital punishment when applied correctly is both just and effective* (and re-offenders are quite rare).

    *Also cost-effective: How much money have taxpayers paid to keep alive irredeemable murderers and psychopaths like Peter Sutcliffe? Their disposal should be quite inexpensive.

    It seems that there are quite large gulfs of opinion that will not be filled by fluffy talk.

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  • 59. At 09:58am on 19 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To MaxSceptic (58):

    I think the main problem with your line of thinking is ... "when applied correctly".

    I do think that capital punishment would be the correct punishment in many cases, but I'm not willing to take it into usage because we can't guarantee that an innocent person wouldn't be convicted. I rather spend little more to keep people than risk putting innocents to death.

    Besides the financial argument in the grand scheme of things isn't valid. Most European states spend so little money to keeping up prisons that there are no real savings on using capital punishment.

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  • 60. At 10:28am on 19 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    59.Jukka Rohila wrote: Besides the financial argument in the grand scheme of things isn't valid. Most European states spend so little money to keeping up prisons that there are no real savings on using capital punishment.

    Capital punishment (which I am practically opposed to, but not ideologically) is not to save money.

    Its to make society at large more secure by removing the most undesirable elements (pedophiles, serial murderers) permanently.

    After all, society isn't some testing ground where left wing psychiatrists can release psychopaths into in order to see 'what happens'. You don't take a risk, especially not when it comes to kids.

    Judges should be held personally liable if any released pedophile or murderer commits another similar crime.

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  • 61. At 11:09am on 19 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #58 - MaxSceptic

    Not that it is relevant to my argument but my understanding is the American experience shows it is a lot cheaper to keep someone in jail for life than it is to put them to death.

    My position is absolutely clear.

    1. I am opposed to the death penalty in any circumstances on ethical, philosophical and ideological grounds.

    2. Nobody is going to change my mind so there is no point in trying to do so and I will not post further on the subject.

    3. It has absolutely nothing with the topic of this thread.

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  • 62. At 11:14am on 19 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:

    To mvr512 (60):

    The point of prison isn't to lock people away, it is to correct them so that they can be rehabilitated back to the society and to contribute back to it. Those people who are beyond help of prison belong to mental institutions until their problems have been corrected and fixed. But this is beyond the point...

    The real question is do we want to have a society that gives a second chance or not? If we give a second chance, there is always a possibility for an error. However if we don't, then we have a constant fear of making a one mistake that puts us or our loved ones away. I rather live in a society where there is hope for everybody.

    I would also like to point out what you and the yellow press forget is to mention counter examples, those people who were corrected in prison or in mental institutions and who made a change in their lives for better. Shouldn't that also be mentioned? Life of an hardened criminal who made the change is a life saved too.

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  • 63. At 11:42am on 19 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    mvr512 @#55

    You wrote, But the one thing that fills me with hope is that the recent referendums all proved that it was the younger generations who disproportionately voted more against the EU than the old ones did.

    Perhaps there is a reason for this generation disparity that the 'older generation' do not get?

    The concept of the coming together of France and Germany and their satellite nations arose from the fear that Germany and France had been embroiled in two European wars that had twice devastated Europe and, perhaps in particular, France and Germany. There was a feeling that Europeans had to do something to prevent there ever being a third European-centric world war involving those two nations.

    The simple truth is that as time has moved on so has the threat of Germany and France ever going to war again - that is not to say there cannot be war and strife in Europe as happened with the break-up of Serbia. The main thrust of the change to Europe is that the threat to Europe is no longer a nation-to-nation threat so much as threats from ideological fundamentalism.

    The younger European generations will probably see the threats to them as now being imported threats that come with uncontrolled immigration and threats from areas of the World outside the borders of continental Europe.

    The younger generations no longer see the value of the EU as being there to avoid internecine war as they now do 'feel' European but also feel comfortable being German, French, Dutch or whatever. They do not feel that the existence of the EU makes them European - they just ARE inhabitants of Europe and able to be, perhaps, a lot more mature and wish to less 'controlled' than their elders who seek to 'control' everything through the EU and happy to be ‘controlled’ in order to prevent further war that now will not happen.

    Maybe that is why the younger people no longer see the value in political centralisation – they already are mature enough to ensure that their lives are not blighted by war within Europe for national needs and so do not see the value of the EU with the same eyes as those of the older generations whose lives were so impacted by the wars of the first half of the 20th Century AD.

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  • 64. At 11:43am on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Completely opposed to Capital Punishment in any form for any sort of crime.

    The 'execution' of even 1 innocent person is 1 too many. That is my primary reasoning, however, there are other key factors: I cannot see how the taking of a life by the State achieves anything other than to suggest killing is acceptable human activity. I especially cannot understand any argument that insists this State execution is in any way better than the original act of murder.

    I write that as an ex-soldier, well used to firearms & with the knowledge I have using firearms caused harm on behalf of my Nation to others. Whilst that is a matter of conscience it is also defined by legal and moral standpints evolved over centuries and I, like almost any armed forces personnel, use those as my personal justification.
    Clearly no killing would be the best situation, but as we all know there are few Ghandi among us: A 'war' is not a 'civil' action in any sense of the word, however, I would argue placing a person in uniform & ordering them to fire is very different from the calculated or heat of the moment killing of another in a home, on the street etc. whilst in the act of committing other recognised crimes against society.

    Most murders in the UK & Continental EUrope are actually 'domestic', i.e. family relations.
    This does not excuse or make the act of murder any less abhorrent and unacceptable within society. Nevertheless, it does explain why repeat offenders are few & far between.
    In recent years the rampage-murders (for want of a better description) committed in Finland, UK, Germany, France are atypical. Murder whilst committing Robbery & other offences has increased in recent decades, but is still relatively rare in UK & EUrope

    Sentencing of murderers is where I believe the main problem lies for society: There is no doubt in my mind a tendency toward 'liberal-minded' attitudes that has prevailed in almost every facet of late-20th/early-21st Century life has as in almost everything else led to a Judiciary (and Police to some extent) being wholly out of touch with the general Citizen in their 'sentencing' policy for the crime of murder (& other of the more serious offences).

    A lot of legal-eagles will argue it is essential for the Judiciary to be 'apart/divorced' from the society they represent in Court in order for these very learned men & women to form Judgements unswayed by 'popular sentiment'.
    Unfortunately this separation has also led to a Judiciary that fails in many cases to reflect the gravity with which murder, sex-offence (& especially paedophilia) are viewed by normal society.

    Without 'execution' the Judicial Sentencing must equal 'Deterrence' & reflect Citizens' abhorrence of a crime in another form.

    Thus, in Finland I read last week of 2 males who got 3 under-16 youths drunk & then sexually abused them (not rape). Their punishment was Community service & a fine - - similar things go on all the time in the UK and elsewhere - - and IMO, a Judiciary that fails so badly to represent society in this manner is at the core of the problem of lack of trust between Citizens and all the sectors of Law enforcement.

    IMO 'Life' should mean 'Life' when given as the sentence for murder: IMO that 'life' tariff should only apply to the rampage/serial murder offenders: IMO the 'domestic' murderer does need a more cautious approach dependent on each situation (though I'm bound to say that the UK version where husbands are being let-off with derisory 3, 4, 5 yr imprisonment for manslaughter just because their wives said they had a tiny 'John Thomas' or were lousy in bed IS a crime in the Court sentencing that utterly fails to show respect for the loss of a Human life!).

    To bring this back to the EUropean element: For some among us Judicial Sentencing is clearly an area where uniformity may seem advantageous, however, it is also an area of societal judgement requiring considerable flexibility and is patently therefore unsuited to the supra-National blanket method of enforcing a change on Citizens everywhere. Much as I would say the EU Directives on 'working-time' are utterly inappropriate as a blanket measure across 27 Nations.

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  • 65. At 11:57am on 19 Jun 2010, MaxSceptic wrote:

    62. At 11:14am on 19 Jun 2010, Jukka Rohila @62 and others:

    Some see the objective of prison/punishment as rehabilitation.

    I see rehabilitation as only a secondary objective. The primary objective should be retribution.

    This is a philosophical difference that should probably not be debated on this blog/thread.

    (However, as the subject of this thread - the latest EU summit - has thankfully ended without any meaningful result (which is, come to think of it, actually a fantastic result!) it's time for a new thread?

    Trichet's recent visit to Madrid, anyone?

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  • 66. At 12:08pm on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    There is a nice piece of German-British reconciliation

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/10356336.stm

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  • 67. At 12:10pm on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    I am pro-capital punishment for

    -Child rape
    -Murder
    -incitement to murder

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  • 68. At 12:10pm on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    For all you eurobashers (MAII in particular) here is proof of how "weak" the euro is

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/10356727.stm

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  • 69. At 12:22pm on 19 Jun 2010, PlanetEnglish wrote:

    #42:
    Indeed Eurabia is what ClubMed is all about - ask the Greeks, who never allowed Popes to visit them for 1000 years, after the treachery of Rome.
    All the more reason for UK to stay with what they created, when they left the 'then EU' in 1688, and I consider USA as an extension of the English Language, along with Canada, Australia etc.
    Cameron & Clegg will huff and puff - but they dont have the gall to take on Charlemagne.The EUSSR is on a one track course - to decimate the dominance of English. After the UK, next is the USA & N America - with the next Pope likely to be from Montreal.
    Time for Planet English to regroup to see off this joint challenge by Eurabia.

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  • 70. At 12:36pm on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    J_R

    Trichet is one of many scampering around attempting to gloss over a Fiscal nightmare that has now run for over half the year! The weakness of EU-Brussels has been amply demonstrated: It is the 'centralisation' that is at fault and not the lack of it - - the efforts toward acquiring more central authority & power as an answer to the 'Zone' difficulties resemble the creation of the EUro Currency, more 'Political' wishful-thinking than realism in the corridors of power, Paris-Brussels-Berlin.

    Spain are in deep Economic-Fiscal doo-doos. No amount of glad-handing & firm comments by EU & IMF leadership will cover-up this raw fact.

    For so long as EUro-zone nations are seen to be in this type of trouble the EUro Currency will also be suspect in the Market Place.
    For so long as EU-Brussels attempts to hide behind falsified Monetary packages in which several contributing 'Zone' Nations are themselves in need of those monies and unrealistic accusations against Credit Ratings Agencies etc. whom it found no fault with until the present crisis, the whole of the 'Zone' will be suspect.

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  • 71. At 1:13pm on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #67

    Why?

    And, when is the 'child' no longer young enough - - 10, 11, 12yrs, post-menstrual cycle, but boys get raped too!?

    And, 'murder': Is that the idiot drunk/druggy in his motor car doing 70mph through a person on a zebra crossing? Or, is it the wife after years of beatings finally smacking her violent husband over the head with a vase when he's asleep?

    And, when is 'incitement' proven - - when the husband shouted at his wife in the pub, "I wish you were dead!" The gang-leader giving out weapons, but not using them him/herself? The 18yr old telling the 16yr old with a gun confronting a Policemen to, "Let him have it!" Did he mean the gun or the gunfire?

    For all the above You are on the Jury and for each Guilty Verdict You are stating the Death Sentence is required.

    In the 19th Century they had to reduce the number of Capital Punishment Crimes because Jurors were reluctant to convict if it meant an automatic Death Sentence: Are You sure, really sure, beyond a reasonable doubt - - it's a great way to ease the conscience and thereby let-off real murderers with the not-so murderous!

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  • 72. At 1:34pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    PE #69

    The UK does not have the spine to resist. It never really did. If there were ever any doubts, 1938 in Munich and Britain's deliberate weakness prior to it dispelled them. The US cannot remain Britain's guardian angel forever, especially when the UK's population seems predisposed to succumb.

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  • 73. At 1:44pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    G and O;

    How nice to know that Brits no longer have to cross the Channel to get the best deals on booze so they can get shnockered. And it would be a good thing for the elederly if prices for alcoholic beverages went down in the UK. With BP unlikely to ever be in a position to pay out a dividend again and 5% of UK pensions reportedly coming from BP, it would be a shame for Britain's retirees to have to face old age in a state of perpetual sobriety.

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  • 74. At 1:51pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The UK will return to the death penalty when Sharia law fully takes power and imposes it. But will it be by stoning or will they find some more humane method of execution. I understand that the axeman was often not very skilled and an execution was a gruesome process. A good axeman executioner was highly valued. The guillotine was considered a major technical advance in the art. I'm not saying which country it is but there's one that has a reputation for circular firing squads :-)

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  • 75. At 2:14pm on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re #73

    Back in hopelessly misinformed form again, I see!

    If BP go under 40% of all Dividends are owed to USA Citizens & and several thousand Americans will lose their jobs!

    Only You could come on here whining about the effects of Hurricane Katrina & then celebrating an Oil Slick in the same region cos it has a connection to a Global English-originated Company.

    Scmuck!

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  • 76. At 2:31pm on 19 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #74

    "But will it be by stoning or will they find some more humane method of execution"

    I'm sure we'll find more humane methods, like for example the firing squad, lethal injection or electric chair. I need to identify a country which still uses all three of these methods to execute people. Perhaps you can oblige, I was thinking maybe Iran, China or Saudi Arabia? Any others spring to mind?

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  • 77. At 2:49pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    nonsense offramp;

    In New York you can't hang a man with a wooden leg.....you have to use a rope.

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  • 78. At 2:53pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    In its many variants, this is now without doubt the most popular method of execution (and suicide) in the United States;

    http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=death+by+chocolate&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=P8scTPzXC8X6lwfjv5zaDA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CDoQsAQwAw

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  • 79. At 3:08pm on 19 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    The commission in Bruxelles recently made an estimation of Danish economy and the need for cuts in government spending that was not helpful to the Danish government but instead its opposition, which in consistence with the French government would like to invest the economy out of the crisis. The Danish finance minister called Bruxelles immediately to “explain the mistake and what the situation really was”. After that the commission changed its signals.

    So it made itself part of the political fight between government and opposition in Denmark. It is not the first time and probably also not the last that this takes place. It is more important however, that the commission most of the time tries to stay on good food with the governments since it has realised that it manages a cooperation of nation states, and only has the powers, which the nation states grant. A crucial aspect of the EU cooperation.

    Actually, I think quite a few EU citizens have realised this, but I admit to some there is still a way to go before they are so far. Therefore we have to listen to politicians, who circumvent the fact by calling the transfer of powers “Bruxelles”.

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  • 80. At 3:33pm on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "69. At 12:22pm on 19 Jun 2010, PlanetEnglish wrote:

    #42:
    Indeed Eurabia is what ClubMed is all about - ask the Greeks, who never allowed Popes to visit them for 1000 years, after the treachery of Rome.
    All the more reason for UK to stay with what they created, when they left the 'then EU' in 1688, and I consider USA as an extension of the English Language, along with Canada, Australia etc.
    Cameron & Clegg will huff and puff - but they dont have the gall to take on Charlemagne.The EUSSR is on a one track course - to decimate the dominance of English. After the UK, next is the USA & N America - with the next Pope likely to be from Montreal.
    Time for Planet English to regroup to see off this joint challenge by Eurabia."


    and the price for most ridiculous post of the day goes to......!

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  • 81. At 3:35pm on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    cbw - I'd go largely with how the US does it. I'd include child rapists for children under 16 as a rule of thumb.

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  • 82. At 3:46pm on 19 Jun 2010, Wyrdtimes wrote:

    "Cameron's English breakfast" says the link. Cameron does nothing for England.

    He promised to sort the West Lothian Question as a priority - what will happen? Nothing. He won't reform the Barnett Formula that values a Scottish life at £1600 more per person per year than an English life.

    Most of the cuts announced so far affect only England.

    The only thing English about the Conservative party are the people that voted them in. Only to be betrayed by Tories who just like Labour put the so called "Union" first and the people of England last.

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  • 83. At 5:16pm on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #81

    I'm assuming You mean You would support the Death Penalty for adult people (i.e. aged 16+) convicted of raping an under-16?
    The USA has 50 States and none of them execute child rapists irrespective of the age of the victim.
    Then again - - what do You do about the under-16 rapist offender - - statistics show most child molestors were themselves molested, so, at what age do You start executing them?

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  • 84. At 5:23pm on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    england rise

    Re 382

    For sure England is the only UK 'Union' Nation without its own Parliament.

    Though I suppose some would argue that as the Conservatives have no representative from north of the border at Westminster it can be called an England & Wales Parliament!

    I'm with You on the failure of proper 'Political' accountability and representation of the 49,000,000 English Citizens. It is one of the oddest factors of the Devolution process that the only Nation that did not get a Referendum (where we've heard that!?) were the English!

    Must be somwething about our thick-skins - - we put up with paying portions of England Taxation to all 3 other 'Union' nations - - and let them blame us for all and sundry into the bargain!

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  • 85. At 5:30pm on 19 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "The European Commission went out of its way to welcome him, laying on a traditional British breakfast."

    "You've made a real pig's breakfast of it Guthrie!"

    Marigold Featherstone (wife of judge Guthrie Featherstone QCMP.)

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  • 86. At 5:43pm on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "The USA has 50 States and none of them execute child rapists irrespective of the age of the victim."

    False. They have laws. Oklahoma does.

    my reference to US was mainly regarding to murderers though.

    Also, regarding of your unproven claim that "most child molestors were themselves molested".. I don't care. You have to draw a line at some point. There is simply no excuse.

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  • 87. At 6:34pm on 19 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #86

    Are You sure about Oaklahoma executing child-rapists? I just googled & could find no reference to it.

    As for Your, "..I don't care... have to draw the line somewhere..": Well, that just gives added weight to my point.
    How can You poossibly state that aged 15yrs 11 months a child rapist should not be executed and 1 month later they can be!?
    Similaerly how can the 15yrs 11 month victim of molestation 1 month later committing the same gross act becomes such a pariah they must be put to death!?

    Now, I cannot do the I.T. links as I have no ITC skills, however, if You would care to look at UK Home Office surveys and indeed those from the USA there is a clear correlation between 'sex-victim' & 'sex-offender'.

    Do not mistake me: I am not excusing these worst of all crimes (rape, paedophilia, murder) or being overly 'liberal' I just cannot see how You can differentiate between Your willingness to have the State appoint someone to kill on Your behalf and a murderer or sex offender: What is achieved? How is society improved/served by such legally sanctioned action?

    I note You haven't even attempted to pronounce on the guilt/innocence for the examples I gave in #71.

    Okay, I know this is not the right topic for this Blog as J_R mentioned earlier, so enough from me on this and I quite understand if You want to draw a line on it too.

    Cheers.

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  • 88. At 7:02pm on 19 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    "How can You poossibly state that aged 15yrs 11 months a child rapist should not be executed and 1 month later they can be!?
    Similaerly how can the 15yrs 11 month victim of molestation 1 month later committing the same gross act becomes such a pariah they must be put to death!?"

    cbw - I am no political/ethical expert. It is commonly accepted that a person is an adult at 18 years of age and thus is treated as such.

    Same concept.

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  • 89. At 8:12pm on 19 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #88 - Gheryando

    At the very least, majority ages should be equalised.

    If you are old enough to die for your country, then you are old enough to vote for the people who give the orders. If you are old enough to be treated by due process as an adult, you are old enough to make your life decisions about sexuality, alcohol or tobacco. If you are old enough to drive a tank, you are old enough to drive a car. And if you are old enough to dance at one end of the ballroom, you are old enough to dance at the other end.

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  • 90. At 00:29am on 20 Jun 2010, TeaPot562 wrote:

    @threnodius_II: #61
    The reason why it is a lot cheaper in the USA to keep someone in jail for life (rather than put them to death) is the existence in most states of numerous rounds of appeals that come into play if a convicted felon is sentenced to death. For instance, was the defense counsel in the original trial incompetent? And many more questions of like manner. Litigation is expensive.
    The different states have varying experiences on this. In California, many prisoners have been "on death row" for ten years or more, without exhausting all possible appeals. In Texas, there are apparently fewer rounds of appeals under their state constitution, as Texas seems to have much shorter delays between sentencing and execution.
    Especially in cases where religious conviction motivated the crime, my personal preference is "life w/o possibility of parole." This avoids someone claiming that his execution was a form of martyrdom. That also allows for some reparation to the individual wrongly convicted in the first place. (Which has been known to happen, even in Texas.)
    TeaPot562

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  • 91. At 01:53am on 20 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    threnodio

    #89 - sure. and your point is?

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  • 92. At 02:35am on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mathiasen, @48. That's the only political news I know, for the past two months :o))) That Poles will have an election tomorrow, instead of, nevermind.
    :o)

    I dine and wine among Poles! for 2 months.
    I am alright.
    (Still don't understand a thing.)
    (Nevermind it's freedom there, all write in whatever languages. And if don't care you simply skip to google translate strange alphabets.
    Though they threaten us with automatic google yourself out to another tongue button in-built right by reply square. :o)

    Now.
    Where is David?
    What have you done with my David?
    Did he call out Alice! Alice! Come back! Lost voice. Lost last resources ? :o( :o( :o((((( oj.
    How cold-hearted I were. (am)
    oj.

    ?

    oj.

    Mavrelius. What were you thinking about?
    What are you thinking about?!
    Who will be joking at (with) me?
    MA. Be serious. If you google International Chatter Pavillion - you will find there Alice any given day. That is, night. Morning. Whatever.
    Only beware it's strictly moderated there you must be off-top that is the rule.
    :o)))))))))))))))))

    Chaps! get serious! when you need a chat away from politics. You will dry up otherwise!

    Anyway. I need to be getting back here. David must be restored.
    I am forgetting the road ...

    Chaps, get regGet registered and chat

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  • 93. At 03:08am on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Like, there is a Hungarian there, who always says something.
    It's alright!
    Sometimes come Poles who understand him and translate him into Polish.

    Then comes a Pole who knows English and translates it fr Polish into English.
    Then come I and translate it into Russian.

    Easy :o))))))))))))

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  • 94. At 08:11am on 20 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #17 Bluesberry

    If the EU had financial expertise , the Euro might not be in the trouble it is in today , in fact there might not , as yet , have been a Euro .

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  • 95. At 08:31am on 20 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #24 Nik

    " There are other things British do not want ".

    Like Ever Closer Union to a Single Federal State or Membership of the European Union ?

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  • 96. At 09:12am on 20 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #57 Jukka Rohila

    " Every one wants bigger rockets " I agree .

    I prefer to keep mine in my discreetly hidden from view .

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  • 97. At 09:26am on 20 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #60 Mvr512

    " Judges should be personally responsible if any pedofile or murderer commits a similar crime ".

    It is easy to say that ; but I believe that today Judges do not have a free hand in sentencing . I believe they are subject to ECJ rules and European human rights .

    All matters of Justice should be repatriated to Britain and the ECJ have no powers to dictate to or overule British courts of justice .

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  • 98. At 10:02am on 20 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    WebAliceinwonderland

    Welcome back , we have missed you !

    A little while ago David said goodbye to everyone , but didn't say where he was going , or why he would not continue to blog .

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  • 99. At 10:08am on 20 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #91 - Gheryando

    Only that there are still a lot of places where this is not the case. That's all.

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  • 100. At 10:20am on 20 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #97 - Huaimek

    "It is easy to say that ; but I believe that today Judges do not have a free hand in sentencing . I believe they are subject to ECJ rules and European human rights".

    Oh no! The biggest single obstacle to judicial discretion in the UK has been the imposition of mandatory sentences by Parliament at the behest of the government. And the government which was most to blame was the recent Labour administration.

    #60 Mvr512

    " Judges should be personally responsible if any pedofile or murderer commits a similar crime ". No, never. Next you will be suggesting that doctors should be criminally liable when they lose a patient. Only in cases of gross negligence should it be considered. People should never be afraid to do their jobs. They will be too timid to do them properly.

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  • 101. At 11:56am on 20 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    The best case for capital punishment is that anyone who has been subjected to it, hasn't committed a crime again.

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  • 102. At 11:59am on 20 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    92 Alice
    "If you google International Chatter Pavillion - you will find there Alice any given day. That is, night. Morning. Whatever"

    Nice to have you back. But what category do you chat under? Any links available?

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  • 103. At 12:56pm on 20 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #101

    And the best case for NOT having Capital Punishment is Timothy Evans, Hussein Mattan, George Kelly, Derek Bentley, James Hanratty... all Hung circa 1950s-60s and subsequently cleared of murder!

    Then there's those that would have faced the death penalty, but for the humane & civilised reform of abolishing it in 1969, e.g. Carol Hanson, Stefan Kizko etc. entirely innocent & released from 'life' sentences and all those freed Irish 'terrorists' who turned out to have been framed!

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  • 104. At 1:09pm on 20 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @ 92 93 AliceInWonderLand
    Hi Alice and welcome back. I have tried to convey the link of the International Chatter Pavillon to Nik and to Threnodio_II, but the BBC moderators have claimed it was a breach of the rules and they carefully erased the web address you mailed to me.
    I think that there are also some pure technical problems for those who eventually would like to chat with Russians, Poles, Czechs, and Ukrainians etc. The application form of the Russian blog you mentioned is made in Russian i.e. in Cyrillic. With a few exceptions, nobody here is in good command of Russian, and it seems that nobody uses the Cyrillic. I have tried to invite several French, but they complained that the blog was virtually inaccessible.
    What a pity that except for you, no other Russian seems to be present here. It is a pity, that no Brit, French, German or Spaniard is so far visible on the blog you mentioned. I suppose the main reason lies in the fact that it has been open several days ago and most people are still unaware of its existence. It is to note also, that the present presidential elections in Warsaw and the Smolensk airplane crash that happened two months ago are somehow linked together and that except for the Russians, the Poles, and other people from the East, nobody among the West Europeans can take that excellent opportunity to discuss freely what he thinks of Poland and of that succession of events that can influence the East-West relations.
    To that matter, I can express some dissatisfaction that even the present BBC blog (which is intended to be international) is not enough visited by the people of Eastern Europe.
    I cannot see how we, European folks, can accelerate the integration process if we are not enough eager to make use of the availability of this one and of many other well organized international forums.
    P.S. If MA ever happens to join the International Chatt Pavillon, his presence there will quickly make him a star (before they put him on a slow fire in order to eat him alive).

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  • 105. At 2:19pm on 20 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #104 - generalissimofranco

    I have successfully joined by installing Start Im translator into my browser. I was able to use this to translate the registration questions, which is quite simple and, once registered, found it straight forward. There are only a few words to remember.

    As regards Poland, I think we should wait for today's presidential election result. We have elections recently in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. The shift to the right was widely expected in Hungary after 2 terms of the socialists but the others were a little more surprising and suggest a general move to the right in the region. Of course, the Polish government is already centre right and this is only a presidential election but it will still be interesting.

    I cannot imagine that it will effect relations with Russia one bit. There is a mutual economic reliance - trade in one direction, energy in the other and I can discern no animosity towards Russia in the region. On the contrary, Russian visitors are here in numbers this year, they are being made welcome - no doubt the fists full of roubles have something to do with this. The defence missile shield issue, which was probably the only reason for friction, has effectively gone away. There is probably nothing more to be said about the air crash either. It was a tragedy for the individuals and their families and for the nation of Poland but the fact that it was that particular plane in those unusual circumstances does not mean is was not simply a horrible accident. Is anyone suggesting otherwise?

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  • 106. At 2:32pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

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

  • 107. At 3:05pm on 20 Jun 2010, Harry wrote:

    I am watching Greek protests and can not be convinced that most of the time the protesters are being guided and paid by lobby groups that aim to remove Greece from Euro. Greece INC lost all underground activities when Euro came into existence. Money exiting Greece prior to Euro was difficult. One had to employ exporters sometimes paying them two to one to outflow capital. Now this and other laundering business is lost. The financial gurus cant wait till Greece goes to Drachma, then devalue currency and make billions. Greece needs Europe to protect the Greek people. I am sure intelligence reports will confirm or deny my thoughts. I feel that is necessary to post them. Follow the demonstrators, follow the money trail....evident to the most casual observer.

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  • 108. At 3:17pm on 20 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    Anyone interested in Russia might be able to look up Russian television , rt.com on the internet . I have Dynasat satellite TV , unfortunately no BBC , but equally good and very interesting Russian TV news from around the world , some interesting documentaries around Russia and of Russian culture . All in English language .

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  • 109. At 4:00pm on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Huaimek @98 "A little while ago David said goodbye to everyone , but didn't say where he was going , or why he would not continue to blog."

    Really?
    I feel very bad about it; hardly something so happy took place. and he decided not to share it with others.

    Deserting friends in heavy circumstances is the ultimate sin ever possible.
    Apart from being here in the hope he glances back there isn't much to do.
    Well in fact.... He is Stevenson, I remember. Like the writer of The Black Arrow.

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  • 110. At 4:02pm on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Mavrelius, @106. See, you've broken rules. And over there you can't.
    We are busy composing those rules. If you take part you can put in all you like :o)

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  • 111. At 4:08pm on 20 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "They sat by a big table.

    -Would you like to join us? - one of them asked.

    - No - I replied - no."

    (Franz Kafka)

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  • 112. At 4:22pm on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    margaret howard, very nice of you to enquire. The place is in the making. It's 2 days old! :o)))))))))))) come to think of it. for crying out loud. And - 1400 messages. There is a pent up demand indeed for a place in all tongues with flexible approach to themes.
    Two Englsih-speakers from here who don't know one word in Russian (and never will) have registered somehow, so it is possible. The technical chaps are translating all into English, doubling sign posts, as min the "submit" button is already named so :o)))) And threnodio has rightly advised that my "citate? citation?" is best looking in decent English as "quote".
    For general orientation - the int'l chatter box-ers place has moved away from Smolensk base. 2 days ago, so I am not deserting you, I keep you in the knowing rather fast.

    The crash of the Polish president aircraft was discussed in Smolensk base, and is, but the side business of abstract homely-style chatting, on personal things, and things of common interest - has been re-located.

    The thing is there was a feeling Smolesnk city admin was feeling fed up :o). The whole world blasted into their city resource :o) and went completely wild :o) The aircraft catastrophe blog the city still tolerates, but those int'l chatter box-es - there is a clear feeling and signs - they couldn't anymore.
    Anyway it was good of the city admin, to host, and for 2 months of absolute freedom - one can only say "thank you".
    So the chatters said "Thank you" and left to another platform. I can't quote the link here, understandably, once again - when you google International Chatter Pavillion - you will get there and only there. Nothing else is called in the world so.

    With the themes, well. Bloggers create new every day, What we coook and how, Bachelor's Cuisine (fried eggs mostly must say :o))))))) Borsch - int'l options, Fishing trophies, "photos of how our Motherlands :o) look", various cities and villages photos, fondly taken by locals, "A Man and a Woman", "I stopped Smoking today!" (sympathisers tease the guy), Let's learn Polish, "Smoxford Uni" schedule recruiting students :o)
    (still two :o) - in other words - innocent chatter on various occasions.

    Sure, here all are heavy-weights in politics, and in fact - I don't know myself how long I will stand that innocent chatter :o). May become boring.
    But for the time being - when new - it's a relief to be able to post various links in "Fav. music", and, how to say, have a relaxation place on a side.

    You can't always be serious.
    This is a serious place; and that one is a place to be silly and easy-going.
    A person needs both things in life. I think.
    You can't always discuss borsch cooking :o)
    But there must be a place where you can.

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  • 113. At 4:24pm on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    powermeer, I think you'll be perfect there. especially if you utilise the language-free approach and keep to Suahili.
    :o)))))))))))))))))))

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  • 114. At 5:04pm on 20 Jun 2010, Justin150 wrote:

    #17 wrote "If I was British, I would look to EU financial expertise"

    Lets see about some of this "financial expertise"

    Greece: when in doubt fiddle the books
    Italy: runs two sets of books, one for you and one for the authorities
    Spain: what you mean we were supposed to keep books?

    And of course the old favourite

    Germany: if the books contain information which deviates from the authorities approved message, burn the books

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  • 115. At 5:36pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    I don't know why my posting was deleted. Not only doesn't the KGBBC not tell you what rule you broke and how but this time they didn't even send me an e-mail of my original posting telling me that I broke the rules. So the thing to do is just post a lot more short messages. That way you'll know which one broke the rules.

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  • 116. At 5:37pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    I found your website and posted a link with the English translation. That might have been how I broke the rules. So far it seems very boring to me. I didn't try to register. I'll watch it for awhile but unless it gets more substantive, I'll stick to this site.

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  • 117. At 5:37pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    After you left, David went off on his own. I think he went to slay Goliath. Anyway I posted a few lines from a child's fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" and something in it may have offended the KGBBC. That could have been the reason they deleted it.

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  • 118. At 5:50pm on 20 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @105 Threnodio_II
    Thank you for the comment. Things have changed not only on Slovakia, in Hungary and in Poland. There is a visible shift to the right here in Bulgaria, in neighbor Romania, i.e. almost elsewhere in the East of Europe. I guess that in times of deep recession, the electorate instinctively turns its hopes to the right wing parties. At least that is what the European history taught us.
    Back to the business. What really impresses me is the visible change in the Gavin Hewitt’s stance over the common European affairs. For the last months before the parliamentary elections in the UK, Mr. Hewitt reported at least thirty times on the role Germany played in the present general crisis in the euro zone and in the EU itself. And I was a little bit tired to see almost every day the picture of Frau Merkel, as if her team was to be blamed for what had happened in Greece and in the rest of the countries of the so called PIIGS team. True, some fellow bloggers tried to protest several times for that evident one-sided approach of the BBC correspondent’s team but, as you know Mr. Hewitt did not change much the tone of his speech until the coming of Mr. David Cameron in Westminster.
    Now everything seems to change very quickly. I do not mean that there will be some attempt of Westminster to isolate even further the UK from the irreversible trend of the European integration process. On the contrary, the present British leadership is fully aware of its dependence on what is going to happen in the mainland. And the change is already visible. Mr. Cameron and friends will try their best to play the first fiddle in the European band. They have got plans how to act. Let us hope that the British contribution will be good for the European Union, and for Europe as a whole.
    I take the opportunity to thank you also for your decision to post in the Russian International Chatter Pavillon. If many Brits were so active in their virtual contacts with Russia and with the Eastern European countries, a lot of cumulated prejudices would be removed through the individual human contact. Alice seems to be a good example of that new reality.

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  • 119. At 5:52pm on 20 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re #116

    Don't go!

    We all have such fun when You kick us when we're down and when we're climbing back up & then again when we're on our feet and looking the other way...

    This 'Blog NEEDS You': I have a Poster of Kitchener and another of Uncle Sam & both has a finger pointing at MarcusAureliusII.

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  • 120. At 6:16pm on 20 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    cbw - are you in favour or against capital punishment? Yes or no?

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  • 121. At 6:33pm on 20 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #116

    I'll watch it for awhile but unless it gets more substantive, I'll stick to this site.

    Please, please let it get more substantive.

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  • 122. At 6:43pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    WA;

    While you were away, a company called BP invented a new way to obtain crude oil. BP used to be called British Petroleum...before they had a big accident in one of their plants in Texas City, Texas that killed a lot of people, had a major oil spill in Alaska that leaked about I think a quarter of a million barrels of oil into Prudhoe bay, and had about 760 major safety violation citiations at their American oil facilities which is 97% of the entire oil industry's major violations here. So they changed their name to BP so nobody would know they're British (shhhh, don't tell anybody, it's a big secret that they are British, they don't want anyone to know because they are embarrassed by bad publicity.)

    So what they invented is rather than drilling a well and operating it continuously the way it's usually done, they drill a hole deep below the ocean bottom, that bottom being a mile deep and then they drilled another mile or two below that and they tapped into a high pressure underground reservoir of maybe a billion barrels of oil. So what they do is instead of going to the expense of operting an oil rig, they just pump it right out of the ocean and separate it from the water. It goes straight on to the tankers. Now admittedly they don't get it all, a lot gets lost into the ocean but so what, it is free after all. There's plenty more where it came from.

    That reminds me of people who like to catch fish but don't want to be bothered with fishing rods, reels, lines, hooks, lures, bait, or even nets that get tangled up and need repairs. They just find a school of fish with a fish finding sonar, throw a live grenade into the water, and when the grenade goes off, the dead fish float to the top. Then they just paddle over to where they are floating and scoop them up. There's no rush, they won't get away, they aren't going anywhere. No muss, no fuss, no bother. Looks like BP now catches oil the way those guys catch fish :-)

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  • 123. At 6:46pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    cbw;

    "MAII

    Re #116

    Don't go!

    We all have such fun when You kick us when we're down and when we're climbing back up & then again when we're on our feet and looking the other way..."

    I wouldn't think of it. That's our "special relationship." What are friends for if not to tell them things they need to know that no one else will?

    "This 'Blog NEEDS You': I have a Poster of Kitchener and another of Uncle Sam & both has a finger pointing at MarcusAureliusII."

    What you don't have is a poster of me pointing back at them...with a finger that says "j'accuse!"

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  • 124. At 7:11pm on 20 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @116 MA
    Marcus, take the chance and go…

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  • 125. At 7:13pm on 20 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    MAII

    Re #123

    Typically: I'm fairly certain You are mistaken about Your Poster.


    Isn't it the Elmer Fudd one where he sticks his gun-barrel down a Rabbit-hole and it is coming out another hole behind him pointing at his rear!?

    Anyway, Ivory Coast are about to thrash Brazil (I hope) in the World Cup, so I'm off.

    Cheers.

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  • 126. At 8:14pm on 20 Jun 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #125 #123

    This is the one I think you both had in mind.

    http://www.ushanka.us/blog/images/Uncle_Sam.jpg

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  • 127. At 8:42pm on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MA,
    it won't get more substantive.
    After I spoke with you this morn - everything vanished.
    :o))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    No, not all. I haven't seen the process, but the survivors say that this free of charge web hosting place prived very greedy.

    When it counted 1,000 posts in one theme (of many, in our Pavillion - it simply erased the thousand posts and started counting all anew!

    !!!!!

    It seems to have a meter! Like in a taxi!

    Chaps immediately created Chatter Pavillion -2 (which is now going on) - but this is impossible!

    We've have filled with chirrup a thousand in 3 days (2 days and this morning) - this is a norm, so to say. OK, more than norm, must be. All were excited and wrote stupid things, for the beg.
    But anyway - we can't create Pavillion-3, Pavillion-4, Pavillion-5 - every 3 days!

    Anyway the technical chap (beyond Urals) is sleeping now.
    A MIG pilot says he can say a word for us to have a base at an avaiation forum, but no specific forums will stand us for a long time. I think. Those he says Alice there are lots of pilots there and no girls they will be very accommodating. :o)
    But we wanted an int'l place of our own! But if it will be bringing down everything to zero every 3 days - no nerves are enough for it.

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  • 128. At 8:43pm on 20 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    An electrician from Smolensk aerodrome says let's collect money and buy decent hosting for ourselves somewhere for several years. May be.

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  • 129. At 9:41pm on 20 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:



    The sunsets around here haver been spectacularly beautiful recently.

    I suppose it is because we are in the "EU".

    It is just so exciting being European!

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  • 130. At 9:49pm on 20 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:


    Austrian Radio website reports corruption in Italy getting worse and worse and worse.

    AND including senior figures in the Catholic Church.

    And I am supposed to want to be in the "EU" !!

    What a stupid idea!!


    All those rubbishy institutions that exist already and the new rubbishy institutions they want to create will all be, in part, peopled by people from Italy and other countries with a tradition of corruption.

    I am sitting here with the fantastic magazine "Taste Italia".

    Cook Italian? YES!! YES!! YES!!

    In a political union with the Italians?

    WHAT A STUPID IDEA!!!

    WHAT A STUPID IDEA!!!

    WHAT A STUPID IDEA!!!







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  • 131. At 10:49pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    generalassimo;

    "Marcus, take the chance and go…"

    I am grateful to you for the invitation but seeing as my work here is nowhere near completion yet, I feel it my duty to remain here to carry on with my efforts. Take you for example. Despite my best attempts so far, I have not managed to educate you hardly at all about the ways of the world. It would sorely pain me no end to leave you in such a state. So much as it disappoints me to pass up this generous opportunity and despite your encouragement, there is little doubt that I must stay even if only for your sake. I am not discouraged at all. It may take much time but I feel where there's life, there's hope :o) Don't worry, I won't give up on you...not if it takes a thousand years :o)))))

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  • 132. At 10:53pm on 20 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    Opt-outs are very annoying to the other countries in EU, and countries with opt-outs are considered halfhearted, difficult to deal with, and a threat against the cooperation by the rest of the member states, or sometimes indifferent. Such countries have less influence on the decisions in the EU.

    As is well-known Great Britain and Denmark both have opt-outs. They are considered as outsiders and they are frequently reminded about this by the other member states. However, both countries react differently on the situation, as the research of a recent PhD by Rebecca Adler-Nissen from Copenhagen University shows.

    The reason is probably the very different perspectives of the membership for the two countries. In Denmark a large parliamentary majority and the press are advocating an abandonment of the opt-outs, and are waiting for the moment when a majority of voters are ready for this. The Danish strategy in EU to avoid additional loss of influence is therefore to make diplomatic reparations.
    No so with the Britons. Their strategy is to work as missionaries - for British positions, of course, which is not exactly making these positions more popular. The Britons are considered arrogant in the EMU-matter, so Rebecca Adler-Nissen.

    While the articles in this blog frequently appear as pleas of the British government, media in other countries are less concerned with the missionary work of the Britons, and actually I think we should be relieved that the rest of the European media not on daily basis portray UK as the country that blocks everything, even if diplomats of the other countries think it is the case. However, as the research of Adler-Nissen also shows, diplomats have many ways to convey their dissatisfaction - and they do.

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  • 133. At 11:53pm on 20 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    Mathiasen - could you link that research?

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  • 134. At 11:55pm on 20 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

    Yo Alice

    Long time no hear. Was this like a trial separation? I hope you got it out of your system.

    What's the latest on the painting?

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  • 135. At 00:07am on 21 Jun 2010, margaret howard wrote:

    119 cool brush work wrote:

    "MAII Dont go.We all have such fun when You kick us when we're down and when we're climbing back up & then again when we're on our feet and looking the other way...This 'Blog NEEDS You'"

    For goodness sake, don't encourage the man.

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  • 136. At 00:15am on 21 Jun 2010, MaudDib wrote:

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

  • 137. At 00:25am on 21 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    132. At 10:53pm on 20 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:


    "Opt-outs are very annoying to the other countries in EU,..."

    EUpris: The "EU" is more than "very annoying" for Brits like me. 82% of Brits wanted a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty but did not get one. Thank you for telling us what "other countries" think. How about somebody taking note of what the majority of Brits want??!!

    It is not really "other countries." The disgraceful goings on surrounding the Lisbon Treaty have shown that representative democracy isn't working in the UK or elsewhere in the "EU".


    " ... and countries with opt-outs are considered halfhearted, difficult to deal with, and a threat against the cooperation by the rest of the member states, ..."

    EUpris: We are not half hearted. We hate the rotten thing!

    "cooperation"

    EUpris: It isn't cooperation. It is megalomania and dictatorship.

    "or sometimes indifferent."

    EUpris: Not indifferent! Despise and hate it!

    " Such countries have less influence on the decisions in the EU."

    EUpris: Because we do not belong in the "EU" we are never going to influence it a lot. Please get us thrown out!

    "Such countries have less influence on the decisions in the EU."

    The people have no influence in the "EU". The French and Dutch referendums and the first Irish referendum were ignored. The wishes of the Brits and Germans to have a referendum were ignored.

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  • 138. At 00:32am on 21 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    132. At 10:53pm on 20 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    " ... Such countries have less influence on the decisions in the EU."

    EUpris: The UK would have more influence on the "EU" if we left. We are supporting waste and corruption in the "EU" with our payments. If we left, they would have more incentive to sort it out.

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  • 139. At 00:34am on 21 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    132. At 10:53pm on 20 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    " ... Such countries have less influence on the decisions in the EU. ..."

    EUpris: There is no point in having influence in the "EU" when it leaves us with no influence in our own country.

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  • 140. At 02:19am on 21 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    MaudDib,

    kiss kiss kiss kiss and Yo!

    Rembrandt is back home :o)
    He doesn't want to be sold :o))))))))))))))

    I left him at an antique place; they said have a buyer but don't want to show at my place, naturally wanted to earn smth on top. Or whatever.

    In fact I was told later that's a usual procedure with SOME of our small tiny traders, they grabatise a thing, leave the owner a silly piece of paper, then it is unsold, then you want to take it back, then they say it got lost by mistake, then you go to a court for years, trying to prove what it were and how much it was :o)))), if it's written "we've taken an 18th century portrait" :o)))))))))

    Anyway, they didn't sell it. Were saying "the buyer didn't come as planned, let's wait another week".

    Then I went there without warning entered embraced dear old man :o)))) and said we are leaving I am taking him back home :o))))))))))
    They didn't want to give it to me back but I was steadily backing towards the door :o)))))))) embracing the portrait :o)))))))))))))

    So we went back by usual trolleybus me happily embracing old chap what a relief to have him back.
    Must be, after all, he is a saint. St. Jerome (an art institute in Holland wrote me likely him)


    I counted him as a painting, an ugly old man. And he is a saint.
    So I was feeling awfull selling him away.

    Don't know. So far hold on, don't surrender. Money - nil. :o)))))))))))))

    But it is much more pacifying to have saints home in case of anything.
    Besides, he is tricky. He clearly won't go to anyone hell knows who.
    Doesn't want to, charactered saint. That's an un-easy portrait.
    Grandma used to turn him face to the wall not for nothing. Particular looks. :o)))))))) A "deep portrtait", as they all said. :o)
    But me he seems to like :o)

    Got used to :o)))))))))))))

    re "the system" :o)))))))))))))) I am anyway only purely symbolically.
    It only seems to you that I am here :o)))))))))
    OK, OK. I won't.
    Awful glad to hear you.

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  • 141. At 04:56am on 21 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #133. Gheryando

    Good morning, Gheryando
    Here is a reference to one of Adler-Nissen pre-PhD articles:
    Adler-Nissen, Rebecca (2008) "The Diplomacy of Opting Out: A Bourdieudian Approach to National Integration Strategies", Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 663-684.

    and her PhD:
    Adler-Nissen, Rebecca (2009) The Diplomacy of Opting Out: British and Danish Stigma Management in the European Union, PhD thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen

    - interesting title, right?

    I don't think BBC will allow me to link to Adler-Nissen, but just google her name. There are +71.000 results but assisting professor Adler-Nissen is first on the list and that includes a photoalbum.

    In the presentation of her research profile she writes:
    Rebecca Adler-Nissen researches in the development of EU and the relation between the member states, particularly the Danish and the British opt-outs, flexible integration, EU’s constitutionally development and joint diplomacy as well as socialisation in international organisations.

    Obviously she has succeeded to put all of this into her PhD-thesis.

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  • 142. At 05:42am on 21 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #115 MarcusAuraliusII

    On the few occasions my posts have been deleted , I have received the BBC message . I discovered that by scrolling down I could then find and reread my own message and correct what I thought might be deemed offensive . I didn't figure out quite how to repost it . Perhaps someone can advise .
    I suspect your problem may be choice of words . It is possible to say things using " veiled " wording , that says what you mean to but without it being obvious or offensive .

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  • 143. At 05:44am on 21 Jun 2010, Jan_Keeskop wrote:

    WebAliceinwonderland: On post 109, David did share. He has that capacity for openness, even during times of personal hardship, that more reserved people can find so remarkable — and so difficult.

    David, I didn’t see that post when you’d first written it — I truly hope that your Week From Heck hasn’t turned into Heck Until Further Notice.

    Everyone, if you have One (or More), please remember David and his father in your next chat(s); if you do without Any, then please spare a moment to wish them well in your preferred manner.

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  • 144. At 06:18am on 21 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #130 Europrisoner .

    Italy getting more corrupt ! That isn't possible , it is already at saturation point .

    At a natural health , healing and organic fair , I once gave hands on healing to a man who told me he was a Senator for the Naples region . He lived in a country town behind the coast south of Naples . He asked me whether I had ever been to Naples and Pompei .
    I said No , I was too afraid of criminals and pickpockets . He said to me ," Come and stay with me I will take you on a personally conducted tour ". I said ," thank you very much , I might do that one day ".
    Afterwards I thought , maybe he is a Camorra boss , nobody would touch me if I am with him .

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  • 145. At 06:50am on 21 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @ 131 MarcusAureliusII
    Marcus,
    I am really sorry to see that you somehow underestimate many of your European fellow bloggers here thinking that their personnel comments to some of your (shall I say, inadequate assessments of everything that goes on here, in the old continent) are all they know and think about America.
    America is still a strong support of our civilisation, an example of how the human creative genius can triumph over the challenges of the Nature in order to make our existence easier and more productive.
    If you come to my country, you will be surprised to know, that even in the most obscured villages here there are libraries where the works of you most notorious writers, playwrights, poets and politicians are available for everybody. I avow that at times I was also a little bit rude to you. But that fact does not mean at all that I do not appreciate the contribution of your nation to the welfare of the civilised humanity, and in particular of the East European countries.
    What I am trying to convey is that we (in the East) as well as you (in the US) still have many cumulated prejudices (for each other) that somehow embarrass the smooth development of the relations between us. Apart from the education which is an indispensable tool to ease and to boost the East-West relations, I think the next step is to facilitate the visa regime.
    To that matter, I think that even the present innocent and not engaging chat could contribute to the establishment of a personnel and friendly human contact which is a necessary condition for a more open relationship between people who probably will never meet, but who already trust each other.
    Take the case of Alice. Do you still have some doubts over her well intended effort to communicate with you? Nil?! But it took more than two years for both of you to come to the present, normal and fair way of exchanging ideas and thoughts on any possible issues.

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  • 146. At 07:11am on 21 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #137 Europrisoner and others

    The British government of the day only has to take Britain one step further towards closer union and they are out at the next general election . Labour would have had a more decisive defeat , if their hadn't been doubts about David Cameron . British governments are in a difficult position negotiating with the EU , because they have to watch their backs all the time . John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty ; staunch conservative voters abandoned the party , leading to a massive defeat . Am I right that Britain had the EU presidency at the time , the PM as president of the moment would have to support the club .
    It is difficult for a British government to act positively in the EU , when it does not have the support of the people . Some British parliamentary constituencies will only select a candidate who is Eurosceptic .

    At the time of Maastricht John Major believed in a level playing field , that Britain could have a positive influence on the course that Europe would take . That hasn't been so ; the course has been predecided as per the original Treaty of Rome .

    I believe when John Major recommended enlargement ; he believe that the EU would go more towards a Commonwealth of independent nation states ; the British people would have gone along with that .

    Not So ; the EU has progressed towards a single federal state ; which with so many diverse member states , makes it very unwealdy and difficult to manage . I believe there is a need to drastically rethink the whole project , or risk the EU breakind apart altogether .

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  • 147. At 07:13am on 21 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #138 Europrisoner

    I agree !

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  • 148. At 07:40am on 21 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #140 WebAliceinwonderland

    I was worried for you before , when you said you had taken the painting to an antique dealer , but didn't like to say . I am so glad you have it safe at home again .

    You should not take valuable paintings to antique dealers to sell ; unless you know them very well and even then , better not . " Never do business with friends or relatives ".

    If you have a valuable painting you would like to sell , better to go to The National State Gallery , where there are independent art experts and restorers , who have the facility to examine your painting microscopically , generally free of charge , or for a small fee .
    You will then know whether for an example you have a genuine Rembrandt , school of or copy . Even the lesser two might be quite valuable , seen as the hand of one of his pupils who subsequently became famous .

    When you know what the painting is , you can then go to the best Art and Antique Auctioneers , with the certain knowledge of what you have to sell . A reputable Auction House can also have your painting valued by an independent art expert .

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  • 149. At 07:55am on 21 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    Those on the blog, who keep an eye on Warsaw, have probably noticed that pres. Komorowski was 4 per cent short of winning the election in the first round. Because of certain circumstances, like for instance the fact the Poland to do not voting per letter, nobody can be sure if Komorowski wins the next round.
    However, the Polish president has influence on Polish foreign policy, and the signal sent from Polish voters in this round will definitely be understood as a positive signal by Poland's partners in the EU.

    Contrary to the selfstigmatisation of Denmark and UK, I expect Poland to continue to integrate in the Union.

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  • 150. At 08:46am on 21 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #120 & "..cbw - Are You in favour or against capital punishment? Yes or no."

    Are you joking or having a dense-weekend?
    After the content of my #64, 71, 83 / 87 / 103, how You or anyone could be confused or mistaken on my attitude to Capital Punishment is a mystery of the first order!

    As per my first sentence of #64, I am "completely opposed to Capital Punishment in any form for any sort of crime."

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  • 151. At 08:52am on 21 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #149

    "..self-stigmatisation..": Like it! A very thoughtful adjectival creation for the UK/England and though I don't know so much about it, for Denmark too in relations with the EU-Brussels.

    Of course, the opposite and one which I and presumably other 'anti-EU' would "..opt-in" for is, 'multi-parasitical' as the appropriate descriptor for the entity that is known as the EUropean Union!

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  • 152. At 09:14am on 21 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #151. At 08:52am on 21 Jun 2010, cool_brush_
    ... which, if it was to be taken seriously, would raise a serious question about the intelligence of the entire British electorate, of the PM and his government, the British trades and industries, as well as of the British press.
    Actually, I am not worried... but the missionary work is in vain.

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  • 153. At 09:29am on 21 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    Huaimek @#146

    You are aware of my EUscepticism I am sure but I also have to say that the British Prime Minister of the Day has to tread a fine path between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the EU.

    The EU exists whether the British People like it or not. If the UK were to leave the EU I am sure the EU would continue - less well funded but funds are no longer the be-all-and-end-all of the EU existence as the EU has expanded and there is momemtum to the whole edifice.

    It is very easy to criticise John Major for signing the UK up to the Maasticht Treaty but one has to put his actions into perspective.

    The UK was a member of the EEC and John Major was (and probably still is) a very pragmatic politician. One must not forget that when Margaret Thatcher was convoked into surrendering her premiership (by resigning leadership of the Conservative Party) she 'chose' John Major as her preferred candidate to take on leadership of the Conservative Party. John Major may not have been made of Iron like his predecessor but he was a stronger leader of the Tories than many people give him credit for.

    In his negotiations for the UK signing up to Masstricht, John Major negotiated several opt-outs that continue up until today.

    He also ensured that the EU expanded to the current 27 member nations - something which Germany and France opposed at the time and it was that one tremendous success that outweighs all else that Britain has done for the EU.

    In one fell swoop, John Major signed the UK up to to the treaty that formulated the present EU but he also has irrevocably weakened the strength of Germany and France to maintain total dominance of the EU and fashion the EU entirely in their mold.

    I very much fear the possibilities of Qualified Majority Voting in the Council of Europe thta has been provided by the Treaty of Lisbon but I also have to say that, thanks to John Major, the combined populations of France nad Germany no longer carry the automatic weight of percentage of the European population to get things through despite their population number. John Major has basically stymied Germany and France form ever having total political domination of Europe.

    John Major lost the next British General Election (and that may well have been the result of the populist view that he, John Major, had sold the UK out to the new EU) but there is a lot else he did that is often overlooked and his acceptance of Masstricht might have cost the rest of the then EEC membership a lot more as they have lost all hope of their total domination of Europe and the secret potential for a Fourth Reich by stealth.

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  • 154. At 09:58am on 21 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Mathiasen

    Re #152 & "..missionary work is in vain."

    You are right of course: No amount of your's & other's efforts to persuade enough of the British to give up their Islands to a supra-National identity will ever prevail.

    Naturally, nature being what is, the UK/England has had to join in measured parts with the Brussels living organism for how can anyone establish what are a parasites strengths & weaknesses without the minutest of examinations of the whole creature!?

    You may well take solace in the election of Poland's next President: Whomever it is we wish him more luck than his predecessor! Nevertheless, with the EU in such dire straits at present, it is revealing the 'pro-EU' invest so much in the election of one man.
    One could say it is the other side of the election coin: From that of Mr Cameron - - a counter-balance so esteemed by Brussels - - whilst I would consider it just a little more evidence of an organism continuing to feed on itself as there is nothing else left for it!

    Actually, I too, am not worried... the Citizen's scalpel exposure of the EU's unsightly & inefficient sutures is gradually taking place: These operations to remove the most dangerous parasitic cells always take time if they are to be 100% successful.

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  • 155. At 10:12am on 21 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    122. At 6:43pm on 20 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    """While you were away, a company called BP invented a new way to obtain crude oil. BP used to be called British Petroleum...So they changed their name to BP so nobody would know they're British (shhhh, don't tell anybody, it's a big secret that they are British, they don't want anyone to know because they are embarrassed by bad publicity.)""""

    And Shell used to be Royal Dutch prior to the involvement of Royal British something... So? In this internationalised world, companies prefer more neutral names.

    """...before they had a big accident in one of their plants in Texas City, Texas that killed a lot of people, had a major oil spill in Alaska that leaked about I think a quarter of a million barrels of oil into Prudhoe bay, and had about 760 major safety violation citiations at their American oil facilities which is 97% of the entire oil industry's major violations here..."""

    One has to visit Latin America and the Middle East to see the record that the Exxons and the Aramcos have left behind. Are you trying to tell us via that 97% of BP, that American companies do all their nasty staff abroad? No wonder they have the margin to respect the environment back home. But BP in US IS abroad. Its record back in the UK is not that bad since they have too the margin to respect all regulations, which they won't if they are in the US. Now you see how it is to be treated like a foolish native of a third world country! Go on BP!

    """"So what they invented is rather than drilling a well and operating it continuously the way it's usually done, they drill a hole deep below the ocean bottom, that bottom being a mile deep and then they drilled another mile or two below that and they tapped into a high pressure underground reservoir of maybe a billion barrels of oil. So what they do is instead of going to the expense of operting an oil rig, they just pump it right out of the ocean and separate it from the water. It goes straight on to the tankers. Now admittedly they don't get it all, a lot gets lost into the ocean but so what, it is free after all. There's plenty more where it came from.""""

    N'importe quoi. Since you have remained in the stone age of oil drilling, permit me to inform you that since those primitive ages where companies could drill maximum down to 200m of depth using those neolithic Tour d'Eiffel-like structures, other companies have done some progress. Norwegians have for several decades reached the 400-500m with their quite impressive towers constructed of cement and which can also serve as storage points while on top may house many more crews and installations on top. But the cutting edge of technology has been the evolution that Anglo-French companies have brought forward, namely the combination of SURF/FSO (i.e. subsea umbilicals, risers, flowlines / Floating Storage and Offloading systems) which obviously inbolve the replacement of the primitive oilrigs with robotically installed drills in the bottom of the sea installing the drill in parts and opening the well and connecting it to flexible pipes which go up to a large storage barge - which is actually often also a production unit (thus an FPSO) which alimentates the crude oil tankers. This technology permits not only just to pass the 500m limit but actually to reach to deapths down to much more than 1200m, thus opening the exploitation of spots that could not had been exploited with old low tech techniques such as the oil rig.

    This technology since floating freely it is actually statistically safer than the oilrig which is prone to any seismic activity, large waves and other such environmental catastrophies as the maximum that can happen is the flexible pipe to be damaged which causes the drill to stop and seal itself. In case of bad weather it can leave its single point of mooring (SPM) and float away as a ship and then come back the next day. Most importantly it is much more environmentally friendly since it does not employ steel structures inside the sea - many of which when decomissioned simply remain there to rust almost as archaiological testimony to the age of oil. It employs reuseable systems while the FSOs/FPSOs are often ancient decomissioned crude oil tanker ships that are retrofitted to become storage barges thus effectively being recycled cancelling the need of construction of new material). All the materal can be simply transferred from oil spot to oil spot.

    The SURF/FSO systems were developed for deep water drilling, but of course are nowadays the best way to drill in just any depth and are cost effective even in quite shallow waters were really a primitive rig would still do the job in a linear way cheaper (though the SURF/FSO comes cheaper if one sends there material there...). The last field I am aware, 5 years back, is the Bonga field in the corner of W.Africa south of Nigeria & west of Cameroon was drilled at a depth of 1350m, I am sure they are out there to drill for more than 1500m soon. Now as far as I know the waters outside Louisianna are pathetically shallow - we talk about depths ranging from 30-80m (where most old oilrigs are) to 200m. Thus the application of SURFS/FSOs by BP in Louisianna had to be piece of cake, especially for BP which has handled more tough projects like that in Africa.

    Hence one has to see in detail what happened. The project was comissioned to 2 American companies, 1 of which is the infamous Halliburton. I guess MAII if you treat this as an accident you should directly pose your questioning on the technical capabilities of the US companies and not that of BP which is simply the byuer. BP can only be liable if it openly did not respect regulations but from there on the likes of Halliburton are the prime responsibles for being the operators of that drill for the account of BP.

    What is interesting though is what preceeds this accident:
    1) Summer 2008. After 4+4 years in government, GWBush remembers 5 months before leaving to permit the drilling outside Louisianna (and other coastal oil spots).
    2) Obama, still a candidate, reacts and says he will cancel the decision.
    3) Winter 2009. Obama takes on the presidency and freezes oil drilling in the region.
    4) March 2010: Obama lifts the freeze of the the oil extraction in the area.
    5)... three weeks later in April 2010, there is an explosion and 10 people die onboard the floating platform.
    6) US media and Obama are first to jump and accuse the BP even prior to any proper investigation. Nobody talks of Halliburton and the likes...
    7) Obama right the next day returns with the ban on the drilling of these reserves.

    Hence, the possibilities of this being an accident are getting less and less with each point added...

    MAII... I guess you drowning in shallow waters... go do some research on the issue before affirming whatever.

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  • 156. At 10:23am on 21 Jun 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    Menedemus 153

    I have to correct you on the suggestion in your final paragraph that John Major lost the next British General Election after signing the Masstricht treaty. Masstricht was signed in February 1992. John Major fought and won a general election in April 1992. The one he lost , in 1997, was due largely to party in-fighting and sleaze.

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  • 157. At 10:34am on 21 Jun 2010, Huaimek wrote:

    #153 Menedemus

    Excellent post ! I appreciate another slant on the same theme ; which one could not have seen at the time .

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  • 158. At 10:37am on 21 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #153 - Menedemus

    There a couple of things to add to that. It is important to remember that the process had already begun with the Single European Act of 1986/7. It is widely held that this was limited to creating the open market but this is far from being the case. It also ushered in European Political Cooperation (EPC). The Act came into law under the watch of Margaret Thatcher. She, like her successors had red lines, most notably the rebate against the CAP. However, it is simply not the case that Maastricht was the beginning of the political integration process. Both SEA and Nice had already begun to take us in that direction. What Maastricht did was bring into play Justice and Home Affairs(JHA), Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters (PJCC)and Common Foreign and Security Policy(CFSP). Incidentally, the SEA was only subject to referendums in Denmark and Ireland. No one else was consulted directly.

    The general election of 1992 included a manifesto commitment on the party of the Tories to ratify Maastricht. This was, in effect, their mandate. I have commented before that it was something of a lame duck since no major party was opposed to it but it is significant that no serious party stood in opposition to it. The only real opposition came from the Tories own benches during a parliament which tore the party asunder and consigned them to the wastelands for 13 years.

    There are two lessons for political parties here. The first is that British public opinion on matters EU related continues to be sharply divided and these divisions cross party lines. The characterisation of Labour as being broadly pro-EU, the Lib Dems as enthusiasts and the Tories as sceptical simply does not stand up to examination. Europe is not an issue which wins elections and yet it can bring governments to their knees. The fact that John Redwood and Ken Clarke can be elected by the same party on the same manifesto is testament to that.

    It seems that the new government has finally faced up to the fact that the people have to be consulted directly about future treaties or treaty changes. While welcoming that in principle, I have to say that this has at least as much to do with ensuring that the EU will not in future be the elephant in the room when parties run into trouble (it was your choice, voters - don't blame us!) as it does with democratic accountability.

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  • 159. At 10:50am on 21 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    38. At 01:47am on 19 Jun 2010, EUprisoner209456731 wrote:

    "EUpris: I do not accept that a dictatorship has necessarily to have one person who is identifiable as the dictator.
    The "EU" is a dictatorship because we were promised a referendum which we did not get. It has no right to exist. Its very existence is the result of an act of dictatorship.
    If you wanted a named dictator I would have to say that it is a group of people. "

    The word dictatorship has a definition, and the defintion is a form of government in which all power rests with one man, a dictator. Maybe you mean Oligarchy, although thats not quite right as it implys that the EU is controlled by certain families. Maybe Meritocracy, although not on the basis of any merits you or I may like...

    p.s. You might like Kleptocracy, which means "Rule by thieves" and while not an official term for Government it is generally applied to Governments that take advantage of their position to accumulate personal wealth for its members.
    (It is not a term I would apply, but you might like it I suppose.)

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  • 160. At 11:03am on 21 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:

    #155 - Nik

    Just copy and paste "Union Carbide - Bohpal" into every reply to any comment about BP from Marcus. If that doesn't shut him up, nothing will.

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  • 161. At 11:28am on 21 Jun 2010, Gheryando wrote:

    thanks Mathiasen for that. Interesting.

    cbw - I was just wondering whether you just wanted to be difficult

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  • 162. At 11:45am on 21 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    Welcome back Web Alice. It is a pleasure to see you back on the board. :)

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  • 163. At 11:53am on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "the infamous Haliburton"...



    Our resident Greek poster has forgotten to mention, (of course) that it was that much maligned Haliburton which had warned British Petroleum months before its latest SNAFU that that cutting corners on safety to save $500,000.00 a day might well result in a major disaster.

    [yes, pertinent documents have emerged during the Congressional hearings].

    And that at least one internal BP document reveals, that the Benevolent Petroleum was assuming that a failure of a faulty BOP might result in an oil spill reaching 100,000 barrels a day volume.

    Which, incidentally, was an actual BP's daily "output" according to the latest data.

    And yet British Petroleum still pressured its subcontractors to implement cheaper procedures knowing fully well they were much riskier as well.

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  • 164. At 12:02pm on 21 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A lot of European posters keep bringing up Union Carbide and Bhopal as well as other crimes committed by American corporations in other countries. Let me enlighten you. India like many other countries outside Europe is a sovereign nation with its own laws and its own courts and penalties for violating its laws. Also unlike most European nations it is a democracy, in fact it is often referred to as the world's largest democracy. That means its own people have the most control over what the laws are, what the penal and civil codes will be, and what the punishments meted out for violating them will be. They also have the most control over who will hold political power and sit on courts as well as the power to hold corrupt inviduals to account if they take bribes for not enforcing the laws. And they have free and I presume fair elections. The United States government has no jurisdiction to enforce laws in other sovereign nations. If the people of India through their government or even China decide it is in their best societal interest to create lax laws which do not impose severe penalties in order to attract foreign investment they desperately need, that is their business. I have no idea why this becomes an issue with the BP case. India has its laws, America has its laws, and Britain, Hungary, Greece....well they have the EU laws. That after all is what they voted for and what most with rare exceptions like EuroPrisoner accept, a dictatorship of the elites in Brussels. And how very quintessentially European the EU is. But European experience and values are not reflected in other countries such as India or America which have their own. I understand Europeans cannot accept that but it's just the way it is and no amount of effort to impose a one world international law will work. It didn't for the USSR and it won't for the EUSSR or the UNSSR.

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  • 165. At 12:04pm on 21 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    160. At 11:03am on 21 Jun 2010, threnodio_II wrote:
    """#155 - Nik
    Just copy and paste "Union Carbide - Bohpal" into every reply to any comment about BP from Marcus. If that doesn't shut him up, nothing will."""

    Union Carbide-Bohpal... horrible horrible disaster, yet the name Union Carbide was not so repeated. In the case of Louisianna most people have heard BP while not even knowing where the drill was exactly. If you ask them about Halliburton or Transocean they totally ignore their implication there.

    What bothers me most is the US (and not only) media treating of this event. They have fallen on such a bashing against BP obviously following political orders, while silencing the role and responsibility of Halliburton and Transocean who was of course the operator of the platform and thus responsible for the maintenance of it. And all that prior to any proper investigation of how & why. These projects are large complext projects that include the participation of many companies. The fact that the end client is BP does not mean that the full responsibility is blindly thrown on them: in fact they indeed have a responsibility for the accident (and it is up to the investigation to tell at what level, not up to Obama or CNN...), they have a responsibility to provide a solution but then them in turn they have the right to pursue Transocean and Halliburton for all the long series of failures both during installation as well as maintenance of the platform. If anything, the greatest responsibility of BP was that it contracted for political reasons (of course...) the incapable Halliburton and Transocean instead of contracting more capable companies like the European (Anglo-Franch & Anglo-Franco-Dutch) Acergy & SBM who have been operating for years at much more deep and thus difficult oil spots in the Atlantic ocean.

    But we know how things are and how things are going to be.

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  • 166. At 12:11pm on 21 Jun 2010, Freeman wrote:

    I think you will find every big oil company has lots of people at the top who would sell their grandmothers if they thought there was a brass farthing in it. Discerning which evil bag of unmentionables is worse seems like a rather pointless exercise. ^^

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  • 167. At 12:16pm on 21 Jun 2010, Benefactor wrote:

    EU members have EU laws, wow, must be obvious day at camp stupid.

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  • 168. At 12:37pm on 21 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    163. At 11:53am on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    """""the infamous Haliburton"...Our resident Greek poster has forgotten to mention, (of course) that it was that much maligned Haliburton which had warned British Petroleum months before its latest SNAFU that that cutting corners on safety to save $500,000.00 a day might well result in a major disaster...And yet British Petroleum still pressured its subcontractors to implement cheaper procedures knowing fully well they were much riskier as well."""""

    (well...the Greek poster is resident naturally on a thread of Europe). Our guest US poster however negates the fact that if Hallibarton wants to play the victim it has to show that themselves did all the necessary action to inform properly BP and that as a last resort they have frozen all their works until suitable action from BP would had been taken. Obviously no Halliburton nor Tansocean have done so and apart some memos they have sent in BP they have not much else to show.

    On the other hand, you ignore that there are different solutions to different cases. BP and related companies are in projects in Africa that drill to depths of more than 1200m (eg. Greater Plutonio, outside Angola). It goes withoutsaying that one cannot expect to have the same safety procedures for a depth of 1200m and a depth of less than 200m. Other sea-pressures, other material, other procedures.

    Given the relative modernity of these procedures I doubt that there is any valid regulation on such systems apart the well known basics about drilling and pipeworks and some general stuff. At the end the basic is to just present a safety system and some over-engineered (say of a ration of 2, 2,5), dimensioning.

    I would really like to read such reports by Halliburton (I'm technically trained and can get most of their jargon, do not worry...) before formulating any opinion but frankly, 2 months after the accident and after all that BP bashing since day 1, I really doubt on the full validity of such late information from Halliburton and Transocean.

    I know first hand the environment of such projects. Now, if it was some small company, (3rd or 4th tier - it exists you know...), subcontractor of subcontractor of subcontractor and so on, I would understand that there would be enormous pressure on them and that they would have no practical option other than either to bend the rules and go on with the exploitation or to opt out of the project. However, huge corporations such as Halliburton and Transocean cannot be playing the poor 4th tier little company/supplier(=slavetrader) of men. If all these reports are right and if indeed BP chose a technical solution not adapted to the case (of which, given its experience I am really intrigued to see how and why) and if Halliburton had seen such a gros safety risk with the construction of that drill & floating platform, all they had to do is to refuse to operate under such conditions and throw the ball to the BP side, stop works, sue BP, till pressing down BP to fund for a more suitable solution. Frankly, I may imagine more easily the case of Halliburton and Transocean getting the bid blindly (and BP giving them the bid for political reasons) without realising the full technical competencies they must have to construct & operate such a drill, then finding out they cannot install properly the cheap BP solution without implicating smaller margins for them. Really, a non-functional safety seal in such a project is something too basic to had been ignored even by the most arrogant, ignorant BP project manager & director (any oil drill project manager would quit over this), I am thinking that the issue was more complex than something so basic as that. If BP chose a "cheaper solution" - and I would not expect it to chose the same expensive solution as for 1200m!!! - and if Halliburton and Transocean were not up to the task of implementing it then BP can only be responsible for having accepted the technical files of the bids of these two companies who might as well had been not up to that task. Do not get surprised on that, you would be surprised to know how many technical details are missing from the initial technical characteristics of the bid and "retrofitted" later on. Now while accidents have happened elsewhere, such things have never happened in projects that are 10 times more difficult and complex.

    I guess BP, that was complaining about Russian government legoscillations making its life difficult there, has taken a taste of how it is to operate in the US... Chose your boogeyman.

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  • 169. At 12:38pm on 21 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    163. At 11:53am on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    """""the infamous Haliburton"...Our resident Greek poster has forgotten to mention, (of course) that it was that much maligned Haliburton which had warned British Petroleum months before its latest SNAFU that that cutting corners on safety to save $500,000.00 a day might well result in a major disaster...And yet British Petroleum still pressured its subcontractors to implement cheaper procedures knowing fully well they were much riskier as well."""""

    (well...the Greek poster is resident naturally on a thread of Europe). Our guest US poster however negates the fact that if Hallibarton wants to play the victim it has to show that themselves did all the necessary action to inform properly BP and that as a last resort they have frozen all their works until suitable action from BP would had been taken. Obviously no Halliburton nor Tansocean have done so and apart some memos they have sent in BP they have not much else to show.

    On the other hand, you ignore that there are different solutions to different cases. BP and related companies are in projects in Africa that drill to depths of more than 1200m (eg. Greater Plutonio, outside Angola). It goes withoutsaying that one cannot expect to have the same safety procedures for a depth of 1200m and a depth of less than 200m. Other sea-pressures, other material, other procedures.

    Given the relative modernity of these procedures I doubt that there is any valid regulation on such systems apart the well known basics about drilling and pipeworks and some general stuff. At the end the basic is to just present a safety system and some over-engineered (say of a ration of 2, 2,5), dimensioning.

    I would really like to read such reports by Halliburton (I'm technically trained and can get most of their jargon, do not worry...) before formulating any opinion but frankly, 2 months after the accident and after all that BP bashing since day 1, I really doubt on the full validity of such late information from Halliburton and Transocean.

    I know first hand the environment of such projects. Now, if it was some small company, (3rd or 4th tier - it exists you know...), subcontractor of subcontractor of subcontractor and so on, I would understand that there would be enormous pressure on them and that they would have no practical option other than either to bend the rules and go on with the exploitation or to opt out of the project. However, huge corporations such as Halliburton and Transocean cannot be playing the poor 4th tier little company/supplier(=slavetrader) of men. If all these reports are right and if indeed BP chose a technical solution not adapted to the case (of which, given its experience I am really intrigued to see how and why) and if Halliburton had seen such a gros safety risk with the construction of that drill & floating platform, all they had to do is to refuse to operate under such conditions and throw the ball to the BP side, stop works, sue BP, till pressing down BP to fund for a more suitable solution. Frankly, I may imagine more easily the case of Halliburton and Transocean getting the bid blindly (and BP giving them the bid for political reasons) without realising the full technical competencies they must have to construct & operate such a drill, then finding out they cannot install properly the cheap BP solution without implicating smaller margins for them. Really, a non-functional safety seal in such a project is something too basic to had been ignored even by the most arrogant, ignorant BP project manager & director (any oil drill project manager would quit over this), I am thinking that the issue was more complex than something so basic as that. If BP chose a "cheaper solution" - and I would not expect it to chose the same expensive solution as for 1200m!!! - and if Halliburton and Transocean were not up to the task of implementing it then BP can only be responsible for having accepted the technical files of the bids of these two companies who might as well had been not up to that task. Do not get surprised on that, you would be surprised to know how many technical details are missing from the initial technical characteristics of the bid and "retrofitted" later on. Now while accidents have happened elsewhere, such things have never happened in projects that are 10 times more difficult and complex.

    I guess BP, that was complaining about Russian government legal oscillations making its life difficult there, has taken a taste of how it is to operate in the US...

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  • 170. At 12:49pm on 21 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    Irrelevant to our main issue on Europe/Britain&EU but one has to live and learn...

    Read & learn...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/10362519.stm

    Now open a google map and study well the map. Now you know why Iran was and is the problem. You know why Iraq, you know why Afganistan. And leave the rest to search for bearded guys in caves...

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  • 171. At 1:05pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Obviously no Halliburton nor Tansocean have done so and apart some memos they have sent in BP they have not much else to show."


    It's 'Haliburton'.

    And sending urgent memos was more than the current BP CEO has ever done.

    Well, sort of going sailing. :)

    [I won't go into what the previous BP CEO did to get fired.
    Although it involved some deep drilling as well.]


    And re residents versus guests...

    Methinks BP has overstayed its welcome as U.S.'s guest.

    Although I somehow don't think ROSNEFT is going to be invited it its place. :)

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  • 172. At 1:21pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    ' The Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be leaking up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day, almost double the current estimate, according to an internal BP document released by a US congressman.

    Speaking on US TV, Ed Markey said BP was "either lying or grossly incompetent" about measuring the magnitude of the spill.' [BBC]

    No, I don't think any comment is required.

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  • 173. At 2:52pm on 21 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    Re172:

    None is saying BP has not any part of responsibility. What I say is that is was named from day 1 as the single responsible for it which even at first sight is clearly not and the more one searches the more understands the responsibility of Transocean and Haliburton which is the one who provoked the actual accident.

    1) The platform is operated (and as far as I know legally owned by Transocean).
    2) Haliburton took part in the construction of the cementing base around the drill and it is there where the failure came.
    3) BP is end buyer.

    Go trace the line of responsibility. BP accepts its part. Transocean accept its part. Haliburton refused to accept anything while it is their own incompetence that the accident came. Haliburton is a company that for long of its short history (rising from anonymity during the Bush years with Cheney on their side...) has gathered the one scandal after the other. I guess they have far too much political support in the US to feel obliged to take responsibility for this. Frankly, given their record and their links to the US oil-finance markets I can only imagine them provoking the actualy accident rather than trying to do anything about it.

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  • 174. At 3:21pm on 21 Jun 2010, cool_brush_work wrote:

    Gheryando

    Re #161

    Me! 'Difficult!'

    Perish the thought!

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  • 175. At 4:33pm on 21 Jun 2010, mvr512 wrote:

    118.generalissimofranco wrote: Now everything seems to change very quickly. I do not mean that there will be some attempt of Westminster to isolate even further the UK from the irreversible trend of the European integration process.

    There is nothing irreversible about the 'integration process'. Popular support for this process is lacking and when (hopefully, not if) opposition reaches critical mass anywhere, it will be all over. We don't need the undemocratic EU anyway, some form of economic cooperation only will more than suffice.

    About 70 years ago Europe also heard that a certain process was 'irreversible' for at least a 1000 years. Turned out it wasn't. Undemocratic empires come and go. Even ones that pretend to be democratic whilst all the way sidelining elected national parliaments.

    132.Mathiasen wrote: Opt-outs are very annoying to the other countries in EU, and countries with opt-outs are considered halfhearted, difficult to deal with, and a threat against the cooperation by the rest of the member states, or sometimes indifferent. Such countries have less influence on the decisions in the EU.

    No they are not annoying. In fact, they are very understandable as politicians first job is to do what the national voters want. It should at all times be forbidden that politicians place the interests of the undemocratic EU ahead of the interest of those that voted them in office.

    I think you are displaying the typical EU-phile attitude that believes that we must always do what the EU wants no matter how bad we think it is for our own country. I disagree with that attitude. The undemocratic EU ought to be disbanded and laws made only on the national level where the demos is and thus where the democracy is. But yes I realize politicians are not going to kill off their undemocratic gravy train, so other measures might be needed in the future.

    As is well-known Great Britain and Denmark both have opt-outs. They are considered as outsiders and they are frequently reminded about this by the other member states.

    They may occasionally be reminded of it by unelected EU types but not by the peoples of other countries. Opt outs and vetos are very democratic since they come from the desire of the peoples it concerns. The undemocratic EU of course wishes to destroy democracy and destroy the distinction of every country, but we the peoples do not agree. We need more opt outs, not less.

    However, both countries react differently on the situation, as the research of a recent PhD by Rebecca Adler-Nissen from Copenhagen University shows.

    I'm willing to bet that frau Adler-Nissen is rabidly pro-EU and thus anti-democracy, and therefore biased. Am I right?

    I think we should be relieved that the rest of the European media not on daily basis portray UK as the country that blocks everything, even if diplomats of the other countries think it is the case.

    Anyone who thinks Britain is who blocks everything is patently wrong. And who cares what unelected diplomats think. If the peoples of one single country think a policy is bad for their country their politicians should never be allowed to ignore that. Elected politicians should never be allowed to put what the undemocratic EU wants ahead of what their voters want.

    And throughout EU history, France is by far the #1 blocker. Any major policy idea that doesn't benefit France disproportionately, gets vetoed by France. Non-major things simply are ignored by France. French politicians are extremely arrogant and I think Sarkozy might even have a case of 'Napoleon-complex'. Sarkozy really thinks he has some god-given right to make decisions on behalf of the EU, without consulting parliaments. All recent French presidents have done similar stuff.

    I find it frightening to see how many people on this blog always seem to think politicians ought to do what Brussels wants every time, even if the ones who voted said politicians in office, disagree.
    Here's a reminder for you: not only do national politicians have the right to disagree with the undemocratic EU, in fact when a majority of people in a country oppose something, their elected representatives have a duty to block such a proposal at all costs.
    Why? Because that is democratic. Democracy is where the demos is, on the national level. And if a vast majority of people in country X oppose an idea that the undemocratic EU came up with, politicians from country X have a duty to block said idea.

    Democracy is when people vote, democracy is not a bunch of countries voting because a bunch of countries is not a demos. Democracy is by definition impossible on the supranational level.

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  • 176. At 4:53pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Nick,

    I have just spent couple of days in Greece (before sailing from Pireus through Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, etc., to Turkey (Marmaris, Bodrum, Kusadasi, Canakkale, Izmir, etc.).


    And after talking to Greeks who seem to blame everybody else but themeselves for their current woes I am somehow not surprised that you'd be blaming everybody and their grandmother (READ: Haliburton)for the BP snafu, BUT BP.

    Must be something in the water. Or ouzo.:-)

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  • 177. At 5:13pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #175 "Any major policy idea that doesn't benefit France disproportionately, gets vetoed by France."



    CAP reform anyone?

    End to illegal EUSSR's subsidies for EADS/Airbus?

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  • 178. At 5:19pm on 21 Jun 2010, Mathiasen wrote:

    #175. At 4:33pm on 21 Jun 2010, mvr512
    Have you noticed that the member states of EU, including the one you are citizen in, are democracies?
    That politicans are elected with a mandate from the majority of the voters, also so in your country, and that politicians in the member states are seeking to influence on decisions?

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  • 179. At 6:35pm on 21 Jun 2010, Menedemus wrote:

    Wonthillian @#156.

    Whilst I accept that John Major and the Conservative Party won the UK Election of 1992 (one month after signing the Treaty of Maastricht) he lost the election of 1997.

    Not wishing to sound too pedantic ... the Treaty of Maastricht was not ratified by the time of that first 1992 General Election (but in which the Tory Manifesto kind of foisted the EU on the British AFTER the event as it were!)and the EU and the Treaty were not enacted until November 1993.

    Again, whilst I accept that there was Tory sleaze and there was party in-fighting which ruined John Major's chance of winning the 1997 UK General Election, when John Major referred to the b******s in his party who were stabbing him the back, he meant the EUsceptical wing of his party as being the party members most responsible for his party's demise from power in 1997.

    The reason that the sceptics took such umbrage with John Major was because, by 1997 the EU had been in existence for 3 years and EUsceptics could see that the Treaty of Maastricht had irrevocably surrendered too much sovereignty to the EU for the EU to ever surrender it back to the National Parliament. Momentum was created by Maastricht and inertia could no longer be a sanctuary for the EUsceptics who could have hoped for the EEC to fall apart before then.

    Maastricht was and is THE Treaty that irrevocably created the EU as an edifice that cannot now be stopped and that countries may only join or leave. That is not John Major's fault but it is, alas, an impact of a Treaty to which consigned the future of the UK.

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  • 180. At 01:50am on 22 Jun 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Nik;

    "Our guest US poster...."

    There are no guest posters on this blog site. All posters are the same. It's only the rules that sometimes seem inequitably applied.

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  • 181. At 04:41am on 22 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @ mvr512
    “There is nothing irreversible about the 'integration process'. Popular support for this process is lacking and when (hopefully, not if) opposition reaches critical mass anywhere, it will be all over.”
    The integration process is a fact friend. Nobody is able to stop the free movement of labour, capital, services and goods. What happened, say in Spain, concerns directly, the level of unemployment, say in Romania and Bulgaria, etc. The fate of millions and millions of EU citizens depends more and more on the complex interaction of the national economies within the EU.
    “About 70 years ago Europe also heard that a certain process was 'irreversible' for at least a 1000 years. Turned out it wasn't. Undemocratic empires come and go. Even ones that pretend to be democratic whilst all the way sidelining elected national parliaments.”
    I see the point, and I must agree that to a certain extend you are right to argue that the central Brussels authorities have not yet the legal right to interfere in the home affairs of the democratically elected national governments. However, your comparison of the EU with the former communist regimes of Eastern Europe is somewhat inadequate.

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  • 182. At 10:33am on 22 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    176. At 4:53pm on 21 Jun 2010, powermeerkat wrote:
    Nick,
    I have just spent couple of days in Greece (before sailing from Pireus through Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, etc., to Turkey (Marmaris, Bodrum, Kusadasi, Canakkale, Izmir, etc.).
    And after talking to Greeks who seem to blame everybody else but themeselves for their current woes I am somehow not surprised that you'd be blaming everybody and their grandmother (READ: Haliburton)for the BP snafu, BUT BP.
    Must be something in the water. Or ouzo.:-)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You lack the basic knowledge of the country and its very recent history to understand why Greeks blame "others". They do not blame others, they blame particularly the British, the Germans & the Americans. I am sorry but they have absolutely every right to do so. They do not blame the Russians or the Chinese.

    Greece is a country were only in the last 70 years there were 2 murders of presidents on power (let alone other murders of other politicians) both of whom gave rise to the prominent political families that ruled Greece in the postWWII era, the Papandreou and Karamanlis families. Most Greeks, despite their depressing information (which is very politically coloured because of their family background) one way or another know about such things.

    1) Greeks were neutral in WWI. It was British that used their agent Venizelos to divide the country and even militarily attacked it viciously to enter it in the WWI on their side. Then they implicated the reluctant Greeks in Minor Asia where they managed to accelerate the genocide of Greeks that had already started 10 years back.
    2) Greeks were totally neutral in WWII. It was British that forced the situations to implicate them and they had to murder president Metaxas to do so.
    2) Germans did a genocide in Greece especially via the famine that killed more than 700,000 people - on the overall nearly 1 million Greeks died in WWII.
    3) Papandreou family was installed as a major political family by British in post-WWII to replace the murdered Metaxas & relted nomenclature. When Papandreou came to Greece from British occupied Egypt along with the British army, he started the civil war along with British-paid KKE communist party.
    4) Karamanlis family rose in prominence right after the murder of Papagos in 1955 (the Greek version of De Gaul) to serve British interests. He is the man that collaborated in the selling of Cyprus from abroad (during the 2nd dictatorship installed by Americans to enable the British retain their bases in Cyprus).
    5) Most interestingly, KKE communist party was installed in Greece by Zurich paid foreigners that had not even any Greek citizenship. It was hugely rejected by Greeks and the few remnants were in prison for treason against the state but then KKE was revived in its most venomous form from near-vegetable condition by British who funded it hugely during WWII (just like they did in Jugoslavia) to create the civil war and control better things.
    6) The 2 dictatorships of 67-73 & 73-74 were US imposed (even Clinton admitted it and apologised for it).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am sorry but you must be nuts to claim that Greeks have no right to accuse others of their bad fate. Know that Greeks are the most strict with themselves admitting they have let themselves been fooled all the way, and still they are fooled all the way just like ANY other nation in the world mate. Still the vast majority of Greeks ignore the founders of KKE. They ignore that Papandreou family IS NOT EVEN Greek, and that Jeffrey Papandreou learnt Greek by a teacher since the age of 12 years old (and thus he cannot talk fluently and does so many errors even now at the age of 55 years old...). They ignore about the Metaxas murder. They ignore about the Papagos murder. They do not know Makarios was a false priest and an agent of the British. It is the media. Propaganda. Total misinformation. Still Greeks deep in the head they know there is something wrong and that "so much treason" cannot be explained by local conditions but by the geopolitical needs of countries like US, Britain etc. And they are 100% right because both history and latest events 100% agree with that view. I have so many times silenced you here with the amount of info I have given you on certain issues so spare me any cheap disagreements now.

    Wake up and face the reality. It is not just in Greece, it is everywhere. Propaganda, misinformation, geopolitics, total control. What can small countries do, especially those who are in geopolitical hotspots, like Greece is. Just that in Greece, a small nation, the truth is heard sometimes a bit more often. Deal with it.

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  • 183. At 10:51am on 22 Jun 2010, Wonthillian wrote:

    Menedemus @179

    …Which more or less demonstrates the point that the EU has always been more of an internal problem for the Tories than it has been a problem for UK public at large.

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  • 184. At 3:44pm on 22 Jun 2010, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @178 Mathiasen

    "Have you noticed that the member states of EU, including the one you are citizen in, are democracies?
    That politicans are elected with a mandate from the majority of the voters, also so in your country, and that politicians in the member states are seeking to influence on decisions?"

    And your point is...?

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  • 185. At 4:24pm on 22 Jun 2010, Nik wrote:

    To put things straight:
    Democracy is when people vote on d e c i s i o n m a k i n g NOT on people. I.e. in a true democracy it is people who vote and directly take decision on what tax to pay, what social benefit to have and what country to attack. As simple as that. Leaders are selected by lottery and their role is simply to coordinate the application of the citizens' decision.

    As such I guess many of you would not wish to live under a democratic regime.

    Democracy might not be a bunch of countries voting because indeed a bunch of countries is not a demos. Indeed democracy is by definition impossible on the supranational level. But nor is on the national level if it is all about electing a face. In democracy you listen to the rhetors and vote for DECISIONS. Eg. put the tax at 10% or 11%. Vote. Give unemployment benefit at 50% of the minimum wage or at 80% or not at all? Vote. Make war against Iraq or not? Vote.
    Why would you care if the application of YOUR decision was being coordinated by a university professor, a body-builder, a monk or a call-girl if it was anyway going to be applied because the regime imposes it? That is democracy. When you start voting for faces selling you cheap rhetorics and when they rise they do the exact inverse of what they promise, you can't really complain about lack of democracy on supranational level, nor that lack of the one justifies presence of the other.

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  • 186. At 01:28am on 23 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Huaimek,
    thank you for the kind thought. Yes, all nervous and kind of risky, but not very much. Surely it isn't Rembrandt just a joking home name for him. Besides, I've asked Reijksmuseum :o) direct :o) - if they recognise him, finally! :o) No, they don't. So it's alright. But I am also awful glad it is back home. and we are both alright. So far. :o)

    It is nothing special for the Wetern antique dealers, heaps of things like that and 100 times better things in circulation around. It is just in here it is unusual as we don't have much Western Europen art. Only own masters at homes. And on your side it's the other way around.
    But now these things will go cheaper and cheaper every day as Russia recently allowed import of antique art pieces into Russia and I heard with zero tax. Some dealers are bringing in trucks. Simply - buying on your side - by trucks!
    So such "Rembrands" will soon be in abundance on every corner in Russia.

    The only side effect here is that everybody suspects everybody in seeing a piece of art that it was imported from the West for copecks (figuratevely) (but antiques are cheaper to buy in Western Europe, fact). Origins impossible to trace , hands -on knowledge here missing, so the antique market here is right now in a state of revolution and being kind of upside down due to the new influx of things from the West.

    And in Western Europe things are cheaper because you haven't had such a smashing 20th century - here a rare bird survived :o) so to say. Either sold for bread or swappped for bread or burned down in occupation or exported or burned down together with estates in revolution. or in civil wr :o) or in 2nd Or simply burned for heating in siege here. and, how to say :o) - a rare happy chair survived ;o))
    While all rumour here that "in the west" furniture, for example, is on all 4 legs and survived the 20th century. :o)
    Anyway. We'll see.

    Chaps I am back to my old and extraordinary defective computer Mum grabatised her Vaio. :o(
    I open 1 page for half an hour :o)
    I won't be very talkative - because I simply can't! :o))))


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  • 187. At 01:32am on 23 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    I heard that we have quarreled with Lukashenko and he stopped oil transit into Europe. One thing I am awful glad about is it is summer and no threnodio and generalissimo are freezing this time.
    I am very sorry but I have a day free tomorrow and will take measures.

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  • 188. At 01:44am on 23 Jun 2010, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    see what google advertised to me, by the way. must be because I looked around a lot.

    http://www.masterworksfineart.com/inventory/rembrandt/?gclid=CJaj05P7tKICFUYqDgodHAd26g

    do they really sell real Rembrandts

    can't figure out the zero-s. Like - 50 dollars or 50,000 dollars?

    Anyway - what nice paitings Never saw these. didn't know etchings exist. a pleasure simply to look at.

    (mine is then surely NOT Rembrandt :o)
    It doesn't leave one happier :o))))

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  • 189. At 06:28am on 25 Jun 2010, generalissimofranco wrote:

    @ 187 WA
    Thanks for the manifested sympathy and concern. For my part, I just feel fine. The summer time here is the best season for relaxing and meditating. The temperatures rarely go higher than 30.
    Regards

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  • 190. At 9:36pm on 28 Jun 2010, hines wrote:

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

  • 191. At 04:41am on 30 Jun 2010, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Gavin:

    I am glad, that David Cameron was able to achieved something at his First European Summit.....

    (d)

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