Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html en-gb 30 Thu 28 Aug 2014 09:35:18 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=99#comment234 227 CC"--a letter was read out from the Prime Minister in which he blamed "those who governed in London" at the time for the disaster.""Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, "in no way justified. He added: 'I know that some people wonder whether nearly 40 years on from an event a Prime Minister needs to issue an apology.“"The Prime Minister plans to go further than any previous leader in seeking to distance himself from the actions of the British Empire -- Africans were sent to the Americas and sold into slavery between 1450 and the early 19th century. By then Britain was the dominant trader, transporting more than 300,000 slaves a year in shackles on disease-ridden boats.""He said: "It is hard to believe that this went on for so long, that the last children sailed in 1967 after most of us in this House were born.More than 130,000 children, aged between three and 14, were sent to Commonwealth countries.""So far as is known, neither the Queen nor her predecessors have ever previously apologised for anything.""After the 1832 Act, one in six of UK males could vote --this implies BEFORE 1832 LESS than one in six British males could vote. (if my logic is correct!)" The average Briton was NOT responsible. CC wrote---"Germany apololgised...in 2004! I wonder when the reparations start.---"Your contribution is appreciated but hardly earth-shattering, only the Maori apology was new to me.I would have imagined that the Monarch should have apologized to the Bloody Sunday massacre (Her Majesties armed forces) and why should a Prime Minister give apologies instead of the families who profited from the exploitation of the Colonies?Its nice to see you read and believe ´the Independent ´is that a new habit of yours ? Wed 19 Jan 2011 23:53:32 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=99#comment233 There is a manual to that TU. Widely available in the internet, to say nothing of plane owners. It says the Go-around button can be activated only after first two preliminary buttons are activated. Approach button. And glideslope button. Reasonable. No go-arounds are planned in TU to be performed automatic from the crusing mode, crusing height and speed and cruising plane position.That the previous two were not activated is a fact. It is useless to press the third button and wait for automated Go-around to happen. For the simple reason it is fed by electricity from the previous button. Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:58:34 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=98#comment232 # 229. At 10:31pm on 19 Jan 2011, Buzet23 wrote: After five days I return to this blog and a new thread to see nothing much has changed, QOT and MH still continue to defy logic and common sense and blame all known ills on England. Welcome back, Buzet23! Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:49:15 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=98#comment231 225. At 10:04pm on 19 Jan 2011, DurstigerMann wrote: In 1914, the German Empire asked France how it would react to a German-Russian war. The answer basically was "in the best of French interests", which undeniably was a declaration of intent.It was not German belligerence which made Germany invade France and risk a war with the world-spanning British Empire which Willhelm II so admired and tried to emulate.Fear of a French invasion and a war on two fronts, as well as the belief that a preventive military strike would get rid of this problem, caused the German army to march into France. That is nothing but spin, and complete rubbish.The fact is that Germany was not interested in avoiding war in 1914. The German High Command had their plan to invade France through Belgium and they had concluded in 1912 that their army would be ready to win such a war by 1914. They discounted the British army as insignificant.Above all, it was German arrogance that led the world to war in 1914. It could so easily have been avoided but for Germany, the clock for was already ticking - they were ready for war - and they brushed aside the efforts of the British Foreign Secretary who tried to mediate to avoid war.It was of course German rearmament in the years before 1914 that brought about the Entente Cordiale with France and the alliances with Russia. Germany knew that war with one would mean war with all three. Rather than seek to avoid such a war which they could so easily have done, Germany planned instead to start and win such a war if a suitable pretext arose! Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:42:36 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=97#comment230 25% of all the world's flying aircarfts in 1980 were made in Russia.It is no surprise that the technical committee that sorts out accidents of USSR made planes - as these still constitute a major part of things flying in ex-USSR quarters - sits in Moscow.Not in the USA, who would not know where there is an end where the beginning of a TU.The only thing that American experts could be asked - is why the automated flight their system prevents the pilots from entering data re the aerodromes that are not in the TAWS data-base - into the system.For the Polish crew had it entered - but the system rejects it - and it still screamed half the TAWS standard warning screams "terrain ahead". As it does when a plane approaches any aerodrome that is not in the taWs data-base - about to crash or about to land normally. The system screams anyway. I suppose the system resist updating simply because it's bad business. When all start expanding the version by themselves - who would be buying TAWS upgrades? To the question of all the media "Why Polish pilots changed manually the barometer reading from proper 745 (of the aerodrome) to standard 760 (pressure at cruising height), and, thus, dis-armed themselves of knowing their true height by as minimum this one barometer, located right in front of the pilot,- MAK stubbornly answers "We have no way of knowing why and who of the crew would do it."Exactly, why? Especially that they got 745 by all records alright from the ground control, set it on two barometers, but manually mis-positioned the readings on the main one. ?While MAK says "We don't know" - all pilots around - do. It is, apparently, a common mal-practice, to keep TAWS-connected barometer on cruising height air pressure of 760, to fool it, to simply shut down the noise, TAWS screams - one half of them. As it screams insane when a plane is about to land any aerodrome that isn't in TAWS database. And this barometer manual "fixing" - halves the "problem". The TAWs system is not fooled completely, but, as I understood it, still shrieks only half of the normal shrieks.So, the Polish crew have been in this aerodrome days before the crash, fed the safe approach parameters, to be able to do it automatic, into the system. The the system rejected it, because it was hand-made in-put. Not purchese of an additional up-date.You don't think it would have helped them, to be able to land in full automation mode, in fog, without ANY ground control assistance? There are many holes in that cheese. Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:39:41 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=97#comment229 #225DMRE: 1870"It is thought that Otto von Bismarck was keen to bring about the war, noting in his book, after being forced to resign from the role of Chancellor, that "I knew that a Franco-Prussian War must take place before a united Germany was formed""The causes of WW1 will be debated until hell freezes over, but I know what I think. Your statement is key:".... the world-spanning British Empire which Willhelm II so admired and tried to emulate." Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:33:51 GMT+1 Buzet23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=97#comment228 After five days I return to this blog and a new thread to see nothing much has changed, QOT and MH still continue to defy logic and common sense and blame all known ills on England.If you have a nasty ailment and went to your doctor for a cure they would prescribe a medicine and if that did not work they would prescribe a different medicine and so on. Eventually if nothing prescribed works you would change doctor. Unfortunately the QOT's, MH's and EU lovers of this world think that the remedy is to simply keep increasing the dose of the same medicine and blame the English for sowing the seeds of doubt by saying that the medicine is fundamentally flawed and will never solve the problem. The EU and Euro are the same, ever closer fiscal and political union is their only solution to all known ills no matter how much evidence to the contrary exists. As usual, Colin Bullen got it right earlier when he said there were three possible ways the EU could end up, unfortunately the most likely is ever increasing corruption followed by a total collapse since the EU countries have been reduced to third world status by the corrupt, despotic politicians. Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:31:23 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=96#comment227 # 222. At 8:59pm on 19 Jan 2011, quietoaktree wrote: #202 CBW"you're British aren't you?" Your posts are parrot like as you keep repeating the same old anti British rant. You said exactly the same in #49. Have you a serious memory problem? Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:23:55 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=96#comment226 #224quietoaktree;"NO,- but it appears to be only the Germans who are ashamed of their atrocities.--and admit them !"http://www.independent.co.uk/news/blair-issues-apology-for-irish-potato-famine-1253790.htmlhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1286798/Bloody-Sunday--Saville-Inquiry-Cameron-apologises-shootings-report-blames-British-soldiers-unjustifiable-killings.htmlhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/nov/26/race.immigrationpolicyhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8531664.stmhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/queen-to-say-sorry-to-the-maori-people-1589370.html Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:21:09 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=95#comment225 powermeer, "Yes, indeed, Alice. And that's why in all doubious cases world airlines ask NTSB experts to examine their planes' black boxes.[Of course Russian highly capable, world famous "independent" experts have had many months to tamper with them.]As I have stated, MAC report has been dead on arrival, and most media in EU have considered it as such."You mix up politics with technical aviation side. It is irrelevant what Polish public thinks the reason of the accident was, it is irrelevant what Russian public thinks it was, it is irrelevant what media thinks it was.What matters is those audio tapes from an open microphone in the controller room - that match the radio exchange data recorded separately in the control room, that match sound in the plane's pilots' cabin extracted from the planes' black boxes, that match the technical parameters of the flight extracted from the black boxes, that match the records taken from the engines and other plane's equipment spots (in black boxes), that match TAWS records - deciphered in your precious USA, on-site, by the producer of the automatic equipment, regarding the plane's course and changes in it flying parameters (also extracted from the black boxes). From the moment of the plane crash - to the time MAK and Polish experts -all together - opened the very black boxes and began investigating them -there passed 24hrs.You don't think MAK was a little bit too busy during these 24 hours to falsify all the sounds - in the cabin and on the ground, technical plane's readings and TAWS records - to match one to one later together?That'll be quite a spectacle - to find actors for all parts, of the crew and on the ground, and re-run all the technical readers.Keeping in mind during these 24 hrs Russia would be also busy cleaning away "liquid helium", dis-arming the "telescopic birch-tree", that? what was it? squadron of specially trained "military hampsters" :o)))))))))))))? those? little home pets ? who "made their way into the pilots' cabin" ;o)))))) and what not we have heard in the past 8 months. As Kachinsky's brother said a month ago - the body of his brother, President, was also "falsified" - he "does not recognise him", that his brother is in fact, alive, and is kept in KGB sellars since - quite a furore news it was.Meanwhile, at English-speaking aviation site that I visit, from time to time, all those things good for public and media don't sell.While the MAK-site published data - does.Can be because it is a technical committee, and when technical men read those ? curves and readings - they make sense to them. Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:17:30 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=95#comment224 @213 champagne_charlie"1870 German invasion of France -150,000 dead1914 German invasion of France -1.7 million dead1940 German invasion of France -500,000 deadTotal: 2,350,000 French people killed by deliberate German belligerence and Empire building. "In 1870, Napoleon III declared war on Prussia.You could argue that this was all plotted by Bismarck in order to unite Germany. But you could also say that Napoleon III just wanted to look good in France and sent an ultimatum on 6. Juli which put heavy pressure on him in terms of how to deal with Prussia, even after Hohenzollern willingly relinquished its aspiration on the Spanish throne.In 1914, the German Empire asked France how it would react to a German-Russian war. The answer basically was "in the best of French interests", which undeniably was a declaration of intent.It was not German belligerence which made Germany invade France and risk a war with the world-spanning British Empire which Willhelm II so admired and tried to emulate.Fear of a French invasion and a war on two fronts, as well as the belief that a preventive military strike would get rid of this problem, caused the German army to march into France.Now let`s talk about the German invasion of Russia under Napoleon.Was it German belligerence? German Empire building? German militarism? German cultural heritage? Wed 19 Jan 2011 22:04:03 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=94#comment223 #213 CCNO,- but it appears to be only the Germans who are ashamed of their atrocities.--and admit them ! Wed 19 Jan 2011 21:37:37 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=94#comment222 CC-- you are blaming Serfs for wars ???--I do not ! Wed 19 Jan 2011 21:06:50 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=94#comment221 #202 CBW"you're British aren't you?""It is true that in the salons of Europe Britain is sometimes regarded as having a rather quaint view of democracy and sovereignty."--not only in the salons of Europe --- but around the world !--At least I keep to Mr. Hewitt´s blog topic despite massive resistance from British contributors who automatically accepted "you're British aren't you?" --as complimentary. Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:59:31 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=93#comment220 217. At 8:10pm on 19 Jan 2011, margaret howard wrote: 213 champagne charlieYou really ought to end this thread now before you make a complete fool of yourself. European history was obviously not on your curriculum. I have yet to find that any subject is on your curriculum from reading any of your contributions. I think you really ought to heed your own advice from the first sentence of your reply in #217 before you make a bigger fool of yourself. Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:54:44 GMT+1 alfred_son_of_ethelwulf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=93#comment219 Dear Democracy Threat ...With all due respect ... are you really that .... (will the Mods allow this .... ) ... STUPID !!!!If the Mods don't allow this ... but allow your nonsense then God help us all !!!!He was talking about Germany dear boy, Germany ... you know "Deutchland, Deutchland Uber Alles ... " and all that !!!! Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:43:09 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=92#comment218 #217margarethoward;I'm sure you'd love it if this blog was relegated to nothing more than an anti-British chatroom. Sorry, but, NO. Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:26:18 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=92#comment217 German overseas aid budget - 5 billion eurosUK overseas aid budget - 11 billion eurosShall I go on quietoaktree? Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:12:02 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=91#comment216 213 champagne charlieYou really ought to end this thread now before you make a complete fool of yourself. European history was obviously not on your curriculum. Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:10:59 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=91#comment215 206. At 6:48pm on 19 Jan 2011, Mathiasen wrote: Of course I shall not interrupt the discussion about the long and conflict rich history of England, but may I on topic for a short moment just mention that the European Parliament today had the opportunity to say loud and clear to the Hungarian PM what the Parliamentarians, not least Cohn-Bendit, think of the media legislation under the new government in Hungary. The PM was not amused. However, not few Hungarians are.Back to the history lessons of the isles...What is the European parliament concerned about the draft Hungarian media legislation? What is it to do with them?Is the European parliament equally concerned about the Italian media which is dominated by the Italian PM, Berlusconi? And if not, why not? The European Parliament should concern themselves with the small matter of fraud in the EU that has meant that auditors have been unable to sign off the EU accounts for very many years. Wed 19 Jan 2011 20:07:58 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=91#comment214 209. At 7:07pm on 19 Jan 2011, democracythreat wrote: champagne_charlie wrote:"#200#201quietoaktree;Just for starters, perhaps you might like to concentrate on the three invasions of France in a 70 year period, causing millions of deaths,lead by absolute monarchs and dictators with the associated theft of their territory. Then come back and lecture us about democracy."I know Britain sent armies to kill folks in france in 1914, and then again after the second world war was pretty much over. But dang my dongs if I can think of the third invasion.When was it? My guess is that Champagne Charlie was referring to 1870 to 1940, when France was invaded 3 times by Germany. Hope that helps! Wed 19 Jan 2011 19:51:10 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=90#comment213 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herero_and_Namaqua_genocideGermany apololgised...in 2004! I wonder when the reparations start. Wed 19 Jan 2011 19:50:10 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=90#comment212 1870 German invasion of France -150,000 dead 1914 German invasion of France -1.7 million dead 1940 German invasion of France -500,000 dead Total: 2,350,000 French people killed by deliberate German belligerence and Empire building. Need I go on about the legacy of the French(look the state of Haiti, Algeria Indo-China etc), German (wars of conquest/land grab/empire building/Rwanda), Belgian(Rwanda - need I say more? 1million dead), Dutch (Boers/indonesia/the first slavers), Italian(East and North Africa), Spanish(genocidal conquest of the americas- slavery), Portuguese(genocide,the biggest slavers),American(genocide/slavery/aggressive wars of conquest), Russian(eastern europe) and Japanese(east asia/rape of china) colonialism and war mongering. Or are you charlatans still maintaining it was only the British? Wed 19 Jan 2011 19:47:44 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=89#comment211 This post has been Removed Wed 19 Jan 2011 19:25:14 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=89#comment210 #209democracythreat;"I know Britain sent armies to kill folks in france in 1914, and then again after the second world war was pretty much over. But dang my dongs if I can think of the third invasion.When was it?"Did you suffer a stroke mid-draft? Wed 19 Jan 2011 19:23:04 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=88#comment209 This post has been Removed Wed 19 Jan 2011 19:15:43 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=88#comment208 champagne_charlie wrote:"#200#201quietoaktree;Just for starters, perhaps you might like to concentrate on the three invasions of France in a 70 year period, causing millions of deaths,lead by absolute monarchs and dictators with the associated theft of their territory. Then come back and lecture us about democracy."I know Britain sent armies to kill folks in france in 1914, and then again after the second world war was pretty much over. But dang my dongs if I can think of the third invasion.When was it? Wed 19 Jan 2011 19:07:17 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=88#comment207 200 QOT writes:"The atrocities of Colonialism, slavery etc. sit squarely on the lap of those you feverishly defend-- even if it is Wales, Ireland or Scotland --- probably the first Colonies of the Warlords you constantly attempt to ´whitewash´."------------------------You might find the figures below useful. They are the population numbers in Ireland starting at the bottom of the column before the enforced Act of Union.Year Population %Change 2006 4.24m +8.1 2002 3.92m +8.2 1996 3.63m +2.9 1991 3.53m -(0.6) 1986 3.54m +2.8 1981 3.44m +2.3 1979 3.37m +13.2 1973 Ireland joins the common market==================1971 2.98m +3.2 1926 2.97m -(5.4) 1841 6.53m in 1800 before the Act of Union the population was about 6m. And then began the English takeover and all the disasters for Ireland that went with it. The dreadful potatoe famine decimated the population with people dropping dead by the roadside and yet London insisted on exporting £15m in foodstuffs, an enormous amount that could have fed the population. Those who could emigrated and that led to a population collapse not matched since. Today the population is over 6m and the fastest rising in Europe.Since joining the European Union in 1973, Ireland (Éire) has transformed itself from a largely agricultural society into a modern, technologically advanced Celtic Tiger economy.It wasn't just Ireland. In the 1960's both the highlands of Scotland and much of Wales were extremely poor and among the most neglected regions of Europe. And all that under English stewardship. The EU poured in billions and transformed much of the countries beyond recognition.So now we have a blip in the system, largely caused by greedy bankers in the USA and the deregulated city of London. It will pass and maybe we will all have become wiser and stronger. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs and in the scheme of European history the EU is but a stripling albeit a wonderful and brave attempt to forge a united and strong continent of Europe after so many disasterous wars which we have now hopefully left behind. Wed 19 Jan 2011 18:53:57 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=87#comment206 #200#201quietoaktree;Just for starters, perhaps you might like to concentrate on the three invasions of France in a 70 year period, causing millions of deaths,lead by absolute monarchs and dictators with the associated theft of their territory. Then come back and lecture us about democracy. Wed 19 Jan 2011 18:51:18 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=87#comment205 Of course I shall not interrupt the discussion about the long and conflict rich history of England, but may I on topic for a short moment just mention that the European Parliament today had the opportunity to say loud and clear to the Hungarian PM what the Parliamentarians, not least Cohn-Bendit, think of the media legislation under the new government in Hungary. The PM was not amused. However, not few Hungarians are.Back to the history lessons of the isles... Wed 19 Jan 2011 18:48:35 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=86#comment204 cbw wrote:"Yes, by all means 'democratic' processes should reflect 'popular' feeling, but after 20 years of the political-construct EU-Brussels entity let us not have 'pro-EU' still attempting to portray the EU as so beneficient in its claims for social good-order & harmony.It is not the UK Parliament that has banned minarets, nor Burkha, nor flouted alleged EU-Law to force out 'Roma' etc. "No. The UK Parliament has been busy invading countries all over creation, and shooting the burkhas right off of folks.In the spirit of retrieving the log from one's own eye before attempting to remove the fleck from your neighbours' eye, I'd suggest that one of the things which should go with real democracy is armed neutrality.And banking privacy laws, which do no end of good for the individuals who enjoy it, and cause no end of frustration to the party members who are just dying to get at other people's money and spend it doing good deeds, with "good" defined according to their most pet whimsical fancy.Machine guns in every living room, direct democracy and private banking. You can scarcely go wrong, it's the breakfast of champions. Wed 19 Jan 2011 18:48:24 GMT+1 alfred_son_of_ethelwulf http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=86#comment203 Some superb posts on here by Cool Brush Work. More and more of the English people are questioning the benefit's of both a British Union and a European Superstate that takes an increasing chunk of our tax income, yet treats us as second class citizens. Uni fees, Elderly Care, Prescription Charges, Hospital Parking Fees, The West Lothian Question, The Barnett Formula, The European Parliament Gravy Train, The lack of Audited European Accounts, the imposition of European laws, the lack of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the influx of cheap European labour meaning mass unemployment for our own.The list is endless ... I know we as a people are slow to anger, but surely there must come a breaking point.When it comes, change will sweep away the current failed political elite.I can't wait for that 'Wind of Change'. Wed 19 Jan 2011 18:45:33 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=85#comment202 #200 #201quietoaktree;You say you like to compare societies? Come on then, lets have a critique of German democracy 1815-1949. Should be good for a laugh. Wed 19 Jan 2011 18:14:41 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=85#comment201 200. At 5:09pm on 19 Jan 2011, quietoaktree wrote:After the 1832 Act, one in six of UK males could vote --this implies BEFORE 1832 LESS than one in six British males could vote. (if my logic is correct!)"'Correct' about what!? Where did anyone on this blog say otherwise!?So what if the 1832 Reform Act didn't give the Vote to every Briton!Please tell us which Nation's Parliament had done so at that time!?"The atrocities of Colonialism, slavery etc. sit squarely on the lap of those you feverishly defend-- even if it is Wales, Ireland or Scotland --- probably the first Colonies of the Warlords you constantly attempt to ´whitewash´."You really and truly and sadly have absolutely no idea what You are talking about when it comes to the UK/England: You exist on a diet of web-links.The list I provided at #187 of the UK's 'Democratic' evolution was simply to illustrate the paucity of Your perspective in all these matters.Of course 'invasions' 'war', 'slavery', 'colonies', 'cruelty' etc. all went on in the same time-frame! Then again so did 'invention', 'exploration', 'medical/technological/scientific' advances, 'emigration', 'immigration', 'law', 'literature', 'social inclusion'...So what! That's the Human Experience!Today some 20 French were found guilty of Arms Trading & Money-Laundering with war-ravaged Angola: Some of those 20 are well-known & have made names by 'good' deeds, but today wasn't their day! Tomorrow or the next or sometime it will be the turn of Britons, Americans, Chinese, Nigerians, Argentinians, Tunisians, Indians...WAKE UP QOT! There is a World out there and Great Britain is just one portion of a mass that You clearly are incapable of appreciating for all its good & bad.That You contribute on this blog and regularly reveal You don't 'get it' is a sad fact.There is nothing more to add. Wed 19 Jan 2011 17:46:43 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=85#comment200 CBWhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_ClearancesThe Union of the Parliaments (England and Scotland) was 1707 !!!!Who could say NO --with no voting Rights ? Wed 19 Jan 2011 17:22:56 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=84#comment199 #187 CBW Many thanks for the totally irrelevant information you added to the discussion.After the 1832 Act, one in six of UK males could vote --this implies BEFORE 1832 LESS than one in six British males could vote. (if my logic is correct!)While the arguments of Busby2 begin at 1536, he is falling into the same false arguments as yourself as to ´British Democracy´ and the responsibility of Colin Bullen´s ´5th column´. (which he is afraid to name)The atrocities of Colonialism, slavery etc. sit squarely on the lap of those you feverishly defend-- even if it is Wales, Ireland or Scotland --- probably the first Colonies of the Warlords you constantly attempt to ´whitewash´. Wed 19 Jan 2011 17:09:02 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=84#comment198 198. At 4:25pm on 19 Jan 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:#192CBW;Heck, why not, let the Germans do it. They have the economy and the population - time to crawl out from behind that constitution, put their beers down and get the hell out of Kabul. They can replace the British troops in Helmand."To be fair: There are several thousand German troops in Afghanistan, BUT only in a support/re-build infrastructure role. Their Constitution officially forbids any 'overseas' military ventures.That said, some German 'special forces' clearly in breech of that Constitutional constraint did take part in some front-line operations some time ago.Maybe, a combination of the axis-of-ill-intent, France-Brussels-Germany could take up the mantle of 'protector' of Democracy: All 3 post-Maastricht certainly have a blowhard record of their military might! However, I certainly would concur there is no reason an Independent England should continue to take the brunt of International commitments that were more properly based on a Great Britain perception of Foreign Policy in tandem with the USA.Personally, I would prefer England remained a part of NATO & for sure I would oppose any English contribution to the EUropean Defence Force - - let France & the others finally do something apart from on the parade ground - - I would also support England retaining as strong a Political & Economic Trans-Atlantic Alliance (presuming the Americans still have time for 'little old England'). As a modest sized Nation with limited resources for 'foreign' adventures I wouldn't lose too much sleep even if we pulled out of NATO just so long as England didn't waste any military resources supporting the EU: Let its members save themselves. Who knows! Maybe Russia will come to their aid yet again, after the last 2 decades of 'fair-weather' friendship why should UK/England or USA bother!? Wed 19 Jan 2011 17:07:28 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=83#comment197 #192CBW;Heck, why not, let the Germans do it. They have the economy and the population - time to crawl out from behind that constitution, put their beers down and get the hell out of Kabul. They can replace the British troops in Helmand. Wed 19 Jan 2011 16:25:29 GMT+1 one step beyond http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=83#comment196 Re post 172, Burtine, for some reason my post has been referred, unlike you I will not assume it is you. I can categorically state I have never referred a post for moderation, let alone yours. I do feel justified in commenting on an pen forum on other posts. Wed 19 Jan 2011 16:21:57 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=82#comment195 Re: pres. Hujintaos' visist to U.S.And what has changed in China re basic human and civil rights in the last 50 years?Inquiring Mongolians, Tibetans and Uighurs want know. :-( Wed 19 Jan 2011 16:15:34 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=82#comment194 "There were no extra-s in that control room, FSB or not."Sorry , Alice, but an FSB officer walking out of Severny tower was clearly seen by a several RUSSSIAN citizens.He flashed his FSB ID and was immediately let to pass.P.S. I recall that merely several months ago you yorself claimed here that the original Katyn Massacre could not have been possibly perpetrated by NKVD.[Would you like me to copy and paste your orginal claim here?] Wed 19 Jan 2011 16:05:25 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=82#comment193 #189CBW"It always strikes me as incredible how all 3 want out-from-under the English 'overlord' and all 3 have 'Nationalist' Parties pursuing Membership of the EU! "And to retain the British monarch as Head of State :) Wed 19 Jan 2011 15:58:58 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=81#comment192 "I understand in your view only United States are worthy calling experts over to investigate all air related accidents, especially given your excellent knowledge no doubt of Russian-made aircrafts"Yes, indeed, Alice. And that's why in all doubious cases world airlines ask NTSB experts to examine their planes' black boxes.[Of course Russian highly capable, world famous "independent" experts have had many months to tamper with them.]As I have stated, MAC report has been dead on arrival, and most media in EU have considered it as such.P.S. Re alcohol: the lying liers in lying "new, improved independent Russian media" have dutifully reported it. Polish media, and authorities, on the other hand, consider it as patent a lie, as lies about original Katyn murder.BTW. Last nights Polish TV poll (by SMS):"Do you think the truth abbout Smolensk crash will ever be revelead?"15% - yes85% - NO.And now let's discuss Magnitsky and Khodorkovsky cases before "independent" Russian judges. :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Wed 19 Jan 2011 15:57:35 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=81#comment191 182. At 2:02pm on 19 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:"..I wouldn’t turn to the BBC for ‘balance’ as far as the other ‘nations’ of these islands are concerned. It screened the leaders’ debates throughout the UK, but the leaders of the nationalist parties were excluded, to the subsequent detriment of their parties in the election. Blatant unionist bias, nothing less..."Or, 1) we could interpret the BBC-SKY-ITV decision not to accept 'Nationalist' Party Leaders participation in a UK-wide General Election debate was because they each only represented Candidates from 1 Union Nation,And,2) we should recall each 'National' area had its own TV Debate for its Political Leaders."..Turn to the BBC News Channel and there is virtually nothing but England on it. Wales gets a brief news summary of two minutes per half hour on BBC Breakfast. News bulletins aren’t any better..."This is just simply inaccurate at best and deliberately misleading at worst: BBC Wales runs exclusive Radio & TV Wales-orientated 'news' programmes. Even on this BBC web-site if You bother to click on the UK page You will find a separate page devoted to Wales 'news', 'features' etc. "..Would it (England) retain its seat on the UN’s Security Council?I cannot see the point of the question: What do You care, You are Welsh!? That said, I'd be delighted if a free-at-last (of the UK & of the EU) England returned the UN Security Council seat. Let some of the constant International Complainers finally have to put their Military & Money where their bitter mouths are and had to start operating large-scale on behalf of the UN as G.B. has done for over half a century.Anyone for the Saudis, Iranians, Brazil, Indonesia, Germany (!?) etc. sending their Armed Forces as 'police' to ensure 'peace-keeping'...Yeah, go ahead, take all the supposed 'power' from the "rump" England! Security Council, IMF, G8... Get rid of them all: Personally, I cannot see 50+ million English giving a moments thought to not having to fund & sort other peoples' problems. Welsh, Scot, Irish won't need a Passport to come & go, but for sure the idea they just walk in & take English jobs will disappear the moment England dumps the EU-Brussels entity. Nobody will mind in the 3 Union Nations cos You're all so sure You'll do better elsewhere AND, I AGREE, so off You jolly well go. Wed 19 Jan 2011 15:54:37 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=80#comment190 # 182. Bryn_Teilo wrote:I note you took most of the space in reply to me to attack the BBC in general and did not take issue with any of the points in the BBC link I posted on the history and context of the Acts of Union and the benefits they brought the people of Wales. The Bible wasn’t translated into Welsh in 1588 in order to assist or preserve the Welsh Language. It was done because of a Protestant desire to save the souls of Wales’ inhabitants who couldn’t read or understand English. That it had the effect in later centuries of helping to preserve it was an unintended consequence. How many of the Welsh population could read and understand Latin at the time? Very few, I expect.When I showed you that the English ensured the survival of the Welsh language, you dismissed it as merely an unintended consequence! That is a mean line to take to fit in with your preconceived anti-English bias.The truth is that the Tudors knew full well that translating the Bible into Welsh, and making it available in every Welsh parish would mean the survival of the Welsh language, the growth of protestanism in Wales and that it would therefore strengthen the union with England of 1535-42 that established English law and equality for Wales, with English as the official language of Government and commerce. There was nothing unintended about it. It worked and pleased all sides, apart from catholics (and you it seems)!If there was an unitended consequence of translating the Bible into Welsh, it would be that the survival of the Welsh language into the modern day has fostered a very small minority of the Welsh to want to break up the union. If Wales became independent then it would get 13 MEPs as opposed to its current four, as a full member of the EU. That would be less than 2% of the total number of MEPs in a European Parliament that does not even control the agenda of the EU, compared to a Welsh representation of over 5% of the seats in the House of Commons. Wed 19 Jan 2011 15:42:25 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=80#comment189 "And Obama gave our last PM a DVD which didn't work outside the US - value $0. And he still expects UK troops to fight US wars?(Two can play your silly games)"Mr. Mubarack Hussein Obama is a former (?) community organizer and labour lawyer.What did you expect from his kind? A class act? Wed 19 Jan 2011 15:38:54 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=80#comment188 182. At 2:02pm on 19 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:#164 cool_brush_work wrote:"Having a grandpappy from Tonyrefail doesn’t equate with knowledge about Wales, its Language and people. Certainly not in your case, it seems."Ah bless! You get caught out with Your own prejudices on both sleeves and You can't take it.Next time You want to lecture the 'English' on their iniquitous past perhaps You should recall 'wales' is from the Anglo-Saxon term 'wealh' meaning 'foreigner' - - look mate - - I've no doubt the English exploited Wales, but if You care to look there's a good few millions of Welsh ancestry across the whole UK and they've not all just blamed the English or have the conviction an Independent Wales would have done any better.That said, I'm with You: On record on this blog countless times urging the 'freeing' of England from the yoke of the UK's other 3 Nations. The UK is past its sell-by date and we 4 Union Nations really need our Westminster Parliamentarians to recognise there has to be a parting-of-the-ways. I trust it will be amicable and I wish all the neighbours longevity & prosperity.When You all get what You asked for, just don't come back - - You can all manage for Your-grumpy-selves and look to basket-case EU-Brussels for assistance.It always strikes me as incredible how all 3 want out-from-under the English 'overlord' and all 3 have 'Nationalist' Parties pursuing Membership of the EU! So, You didn't get adequate REPRESENTATION among 4 & 60,000,000, but You all think You will as 1 among 30+ & 525,000,000!Good luck with that political fantasy.Me? I'm hoping when England is shot of the others the English will rise up and Vote out of the EU's all-embracing, Un-Democratic tentacles.Because IMO, 50,000,000+ English can manage perfectly well without 11 million and certainly don't need 500+ million instructing us (as You complain happened to You) on our Political-Economic-Judicial-Social-Military future. Wed 19 Jan 2011 15:24:48 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=79#comment187 powermeer "It's sad, but when the chief of Russian diplomacy, min. Lavrov claims that MAC (a phoney body) is an "international organization" and as such impartial, one has to laugh unvoluntarily"There is a lot of air traffic between former 15 USSR countries. Why do you think, and who do you think, they should have been addressing the past 20 years, for technical expertise of all accidents, catastrophers and smaller things when a plane scuddles off the run-way or something.? I understand in your view only United States are worthy calling experts over to investigate all air related accidents, especially given your excellent knowledge no doubt of Russian-made aircrafts :o)))))))))))))), but surprise suprise countries are able to get together and make a technical commitee to research cases, without US assistance in that part of the globe. And that's how MAC was formed, with reps from all ex republics, and it is an ICAO certified INTERNATIOANAL organisation. Even if that "internationalism" is just former USSR. It is still different countries now, comprehend?Lavrov never says things that can't be verified by a doc. :o))))))) "And besides: none of the 2 key very simple questions has been answered:1. If weather (or any other) conditions at Severny precluded safe landing - why wasn't the airport closed?[a routine decision made by airports' towers everywhere under such circumstances.]"Airport own minima allowed it to accept planes to 100 metres hight decision-taking point - which it did. At which point either the pilot simply SEES the runway in some chancy opening of the clouds, or due to slant visibility from the plane (always better a bit, than what is observed on the ground level) - and lands watching the runway himself and immediately, un-aided by ground control, or goes away off for a second approach or totally away to the spare airport.Approach - to a civil aviation plane, by international ICAO civil aviation rules - can be denied these days by the ground control only in two cases - an obstacle on the run-way, like a truck, a broken plane, any objects on it/run-way not functional, not clean, ice snow whatever/run-way ruined, in holes2. no time, too small interval, between the plane going in front and the plane in cueue following after2. Why were the airport's controllers clearly unaware of the REAL position and altitude of plane with the top Polish government delegation?Roughly they were, and watched the plane as a "lump" moving on their screen, between the plus-minus "limit" lines of the descent curve, for more exactness they first missed the Polish plane announcing its type of approach, this means requesting the very procedure of monitoring it at all. !!!!! And, as a follow up from it, ground control missed having Polish plane reporting to them their heights at set intervals (it was by fact never reported once at all). They needed their height reports on that equipment, to know where they are. Note Iliushin Russian FSB plane approach in those trascripts. All done by the book, type of approach procedure asked, confirmed, re-confirmed twice - procedure to be followed between the ground control and the plane was established. Heights were given by the plane non-stop.But, unlike the Polish plane, when IL did not see the ground at 100 metres - it twice went off away - was able to. In hand mode.While the Polish plane relied on automatic go-round first, losing precious time, not being aware in the absence of automated equipment on that aerodrome it is useless to press the go-around button. They waited and nothing happened. And only then began manual flight control.I'll skip an unanswered question about a presence, role, let alone identity of a FSB officer present at the towerThere were 3 men in the tower and one at the farther end of the runway, heard only in radio talks' records. Which of the three is FSB I don't know. If you read the trascripts of these three talks, you will quickly see that they were in fact short of hands, and there were no extra-s, even if one was FSB he was made useful. Given they simultaneously talked with two planes in approach, with meteo in the other end of the city re clearing of fog prospects, with different city ends to check how it develops the situation with the fog there, with Moscow trying to convince them to have someone phone the Polish plane with the president on board and convince themnever even go in Smolensk direction, but proceed straight to the spare aerodrome, hundreds of phone calls they made to establish what that very spare aerodrome should be! that will accept the Kachinsky plane. To know what to tell the kachinsky plane when/if it comes to their zone of air control. Add to this their constant running out to run-way and quarrelling with security and jouranlsists gathering on the run-way, demanding all to clear the runway, and it follows all said Yes sure and then walked the runway again. Which was driving the main controller clearly mad.There were no extra-s in that control room, FSB or not."P.S. It's quite likely that the chairwoman of MAC may be sued in international court by the widow of the chief of the Polish Airforce for a disgusting slanderous claim made re her late husband."Her right; Head of Polish investigation committee has also conformed publicly yesterday, in Poland, that there was alcohol of 0.6 in the Polish Airforce Commander body. Wed 19 Jan 2011 15:19:22 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=79#comment186 179. At 12:54pm on 19 Jan 2011, quietoaktree wrote:#171 Busby2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Act_1832What good is going back hundreds of years to prove a point -- with NO democracy as we NOW know it ?"JUST ADMIT IT, QOT: YOU haven't a clue about the UK, have You!?Try these in Your desparate longing to find the factual reality of the UK's 'Demcratic' evolution:2nd Parliament Reform Act, 18673rd Parliament Reform Act, 1884Parliament (House of Lords) Reform Acts, 1911 & 1949Enfranchisement Acts (Females 30+/21+), 1918 & 1928Representation of the People Act, 1948Enfranchisement (age 18) Act, 1970Northern Ireland Devolved Assembly Act, 1998Scotland (Devolution) Parliament Act, 1998Wales (Devolution) Assembly Acts, 1998 & 2006Constitutional Reform (Lords) Act, 2005plus,United Kingdom 'Alternative Voting' Bill, introduced January 2011.Of course there's a fair amount of 'social' Legislation too:Abolition of Death Penalty Act, 1965Sexual Offences (decriminalising Homosexuality) Act, 1967Equal Pay Act, 1970Sex Discrimination Act, 1975Race Relations Act, 1976Disability Discrimination Act, 1995Human Rights Act, 1998Several of the above were combined into the Equality Act, 2010 which where needed recognised & incorporated EU Legislation.Now, of course, Acts are just bits of paper and there is undoubtedly a divide between intention and reality: However, the Legislation is there & it is available to be acted upon by all Citizens & Institutions of the United Kingdom.Thus virtually entire components of the much vaunted EU 'Charter of Human Rights' were long since in operation under the Law in the UK.As a useful exercise QOT why not research fellow EU Member States as yet to enact the 'Charter'! I know it is a blow, QOT: You conceive of the UK as 1832... And the anyone else with a smidgeon of intellect thinks UK = 21st Century. Wed 19 Jan 2011 14:59:06 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=78#comment185 "Looks to me as though fiscal union would strengthen the control by the North, and offer damn all to the South, no matter how good the intentions are."This is, what the EU always was about. First it was introduced to weaken the German economic impact on Europe and to further French interests, but now that German politicians aren`t even shy to display their national interests openly as well, it`s slowly turning into a new Frankish Empire. Wed 19 Jan 2011 14:43:19 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=78#comment184 @180 myneerkop"In my ignorance, I simply do not understand how the weaker, mainly mediterranean states, can improve their lot within the EU. They will never catch up with the North economically (unless they find a lot of oil or other strategic substance). They therefore seem doomed to be dependent on perpetual handouts, just enough to stop serious unrest, and to be suppliers of cheap labour, holidays and holiday homes. The old alternative was I suppose periodic devaluation to reduce debt."Even before joining the EMU, the Greek government borrowed money abroad. This means that devaluating its own currency wouldn`t be of that much help to alleviate pressure.In terms of goverment spendings, the EMU gave Greece (and other countries) a fantastic chance to restructure public debt due to the access to cheaper credit than otherwise possible on the markets.But what did they do? They got drunk on cheap credit.This is a reality often ignored in the public debate about the EU-bailouts.Where the EMU hit those PIIGS hard was in terms of competitiveness, foreign investment, foreign trade balance, etc. On balance, the euro made them less competitive on real market terms. Wed 19 Jan 2011 14:37:23 GMT+1 EU-pro http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=77#comment183 @ 50. At 4:46pm on 17 Jan 2011, Justin150 - Are there any examples of a long term successful union where the component countries all spoke different languages?Switzerland, Brazil (not the movie), USA - just to take a slip from every corner.Canada if you like example from Commonwealth...I think USA at this point looks particularly nicely. But I might be wrong, let's discuss and than go to the war. Let's follow the ancient Greek tradition, country where democracy was born. Wed 19 Jan 2011 14:35:09 GMT+1 one step beyond http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=77#comment182 Re 172, Burtine, I have never and would never refer a comment to the moderators. I feel absolutely right to comment on an entry which I believe to be innacurate. You again repeat the accusation that Gavin lied, I again ask you to withdraw this. In addition I ask you to withdraw the allegation I referred your post to the moderator, an allegation you make again without any evidence. Only in this case I know for certain it is not true. Wed 19 Jan 2011 14:28:04 GMT+1 Bryn_Teilo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=77#comment181 #164 cool_brush_work wrote:‘Yes, the 'Celtic Fringe' has much to answer for - - but, as I say, we English are preter-naturally gentle on our neighbours - - seeing, experiencing & knowing as England does their many little foibles & quirks, e.g. an inability to recall 52,000,000 English pay Tax to keep the 11,000,000 safe, fed & warm in their cots!’If it was largesse on the part of English taxpayers, then Wales and Scotland would have been cut loose long since. The Irish had to fight their way out. Likewise most of the ‘British’ Empire. In all likelihood Wales will remain its last colony, having been its first.Having a grandpappy from Tonyrefail doesn’t equate with knowledge about Wales, its Language and people. Certainly not in your case, it seems.#161 champagne_charlie: ‘Abuse of the English’. You may care to point out where in my comments that ‘abuse’ lies. If I were to choose my neighbours, I’d choose the English, but not to run my affairs. #171 busby2I wouldn’t turn to the BBC for ‘balance’ as far as the other ‘nations’ of these islands are concerned. It screened the leaders’ debates throughout the UK, but the leaders of the nationalist parties were excluded, to the subsequent detriment of their parties in the election. Blatant unionist bias, nothing less. What can one expect from a Corporation which relies on its income from the goodwill of two establishment parties which take it in turn to do a really bad job of governing these islands? Turn to the BBC News Channel and there is virtually nothing but England on it. Wales gets a brief news summary of two minutes per half hour on BBC Breakfast. News bulletins aren’t any better. Here in Wales we’re extremely well informed about all the changes in education and the NHS in England thanks to the BBC. Even the BBC Trust published a report which said that Wales was the ‘invisible nation’ as far as the BBC was concerned. However the Trust didn’t take any steps to change things. Note that broadcasting hasn’t been devolved from Westminster.Henry VIII was approximately one-eighth Welsh by descent. The Bible wasn’t translated into Welsh in 1588 in order to assist or preserve the Welsh Language. It was done because of a Protestant desire to save the souls of Wales’ inhabitants who couldn’t read or understand English. That it had the effect in later centuries of helping to preserve it was an unintended consequence. Just as the decision to preserve Sterling had nothing to do with the banking crisis. It was done to ensure that the Establishment at Whitehall and Westminster kept their grubby hands on the money – and thus the power.The Scots seem to be getting a drubbing on here. I’m not an apologist for Blair or Brown – imo they were two of the worst PM’s - ever. The former didn’t make much of his origins, and the latter distanced himself from his Scottishness to the point of ordering the Union Flag to be flown on all public buildings, everywhere – to ingratiate himself with voters south of the Border? Btw, if they, the Scots, were to opt for self-determination, or independence, as you might call it, what might the remaining rump be called? Engwalni, Walengni or Niwaleng perhaps? Would it retain its seat on the UN’s Security Council?If Wales became independent then it would get 13 MEPs as opposed to its current four, as a full member of the EU. Wed 19 Jan 2011 14:02:18 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=76#comment180 Re #178. At 12:41pm on 19 Jan 2011, onefootinthegravy wrote:"..the countries you (cbw) named - france, austria, belgium, italy, netherlands, slovakia all voted for ultra-right nationalist parties, on mainly anti-immigration platforms in free and fair democratic elections in sovereign member states. are they not allowed to do that under your version of what sovereignty means ?"Well, it is an interesting insight into Your opinion of what constitutes the successful 'democratic' system.I'm not so far away from You in my #111, "..As I've pointed out before at least at a National level the worst extremes are kept at bay in the UK which is more than can be said for over half the EU member States. Yes, I realise in a Democracy all have a right to be heard, but it seems to me Continental EU States have lamentably failed in Democratic terms in winning the argument over the extreme groups. Something wrong in the EU 'democracy' as it clearly has not had the success of the UK system."My contention is those 'pro-EU' (& there are many on these blogs) who complain of the weaknesses of UK/England 'democracy' neglect/refuse to acknowledge their Continental 'democracy' is where the Far Right, the Racist, the Nationalist has not only been significantly successful at the Polls, but also has taken part in some Governments.Frankly, when I read those accusations of 'flag-waving' & 'nationalism' made against UK 'anti-EU' on this blog I wonder if the Commentators are even aware of the last 50 years Political History sur le Continent' - - it is not the UK's BNP that has had consistent 10% to 20+% National Electoral support post-1945 - - when all is said & done about the impact of supposed EU 'democracy' Marie Le Penn, Gert Wilders etc. aren't standing for & succeeding in any Public Office in the UK!Yes, by all means 'democratic' processes should reflect 'popular' feeling, but after 20 years of the political-construct EU-Brussels entity let us not have 'pro-EU' still attempting to portray the EU as so beneficient in its claims for social good-order & harmony.It is not the UK Parliament that has banned minarets, nor Burkha, nor flouted alleged EU-Law to force out 'Roma' etc. "..as for formulaic 'anti-english speaking' drivel i, as an english-speaker from my mother's knee, encounter more anti eu/euro drivel from english speakers on this site than the other way around.."Well, I'm afraid that's all down to personal interpretation: I certainly do not agree - - anyone reading longterm the dross of QOT, JorgeG1 or the bandwagon bile of 'anti-English' from MHoward will surely reflect with incredulity at the prejudicial trivia they present on a regular basis - - and as for those 'pro-EU' who're English it is too often a cop-out for them to allege we 'anti' are stereotypically 'little Englanders'/'Imperialists' and all that guff. "..whilst i was waiting for bbc id to sort out my moniker (again !) i went to the guardian website and found this - "Surely the fact that a load of unelected political cronies are so against having a referendum that they'll employ filibustering is the best possible advert for voting yes to AV". and the writer wasn't referring to brussels but to the "mother (******)of all parliaments (house of lords section) in, i think, england, uk..."Obviously, the BBC is not answerable for what is on another non-BBC web-page.As for the comment You quote: Was it the only 1 or were there others of a differing viewpoint?In any case, I don't agree with the contributor's perspective (nor, I think, with what You are trying to infer from it) about the UK Parliament: It is the Right & Responsibility of the Peers in the House of Lords to debate and use their legitimate constitutional privileges to express their views whether 'delaying' or otherwise. That is how the UK Parliamentary system functions."..i have to admit i don't know what AV is..."Well, then You should: It is a key plank of the Con-LibDem Coalition's agreement on UK Constitutional Reform.AV = ALTERNATIVE VOTE: A Bill before Parliament proposes altering the UK Voting system from FPTP to one in which Constituents number their PREFERENCES in order of 1st down as their preferred MP/Councillor or whatever. If no Candidate receives 50% or more votes in the first Ballot then the 2nd choices are added on and so on until a winner is counted.The Coalition have used the 'Guillotine Debate' procedure to try to have the Bill passed and in time for the next Council Elections - - it remains to be seen if it will be enacted."..are there any other democratic european states with a non-elected second chamber ?"Last time I checked 50+ Countries around the World had 2nd Chambers as a part of their Governing process.So far as I'm aware France & Ireland have 'Upper Chambers' elected by their Councillors & MPs, which is not so different from the nomination & appointment process by the Political Parties of the UK. Italy & Austria also have some 'appointed' as well as elected members of Upper Houses. In almost the entire EU there are restrictions of some sort on those eligible to vote for candidates/members of the 2nd Chamber.You may be aware there has been several protracted attempts during the New Lab Governments to settle the matter of who & how the 2nd Chamber gets to be filled - - as yet there has been no resolution - - I haven't heard of any Con-LibDem proposals on the matter.Thanks for Your considered reply which was refreshingly empty of name-calling.Cheers. Wed 19 Jan 2011 13:59:56 GMT+1 ciconia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=76#comment179 In my ignorance, I simply do not understand how the weaker, mainly mediterranean states, can improve their lot within the EU. They will never catch up with the North economically (unless they find a lot of oil or other strategic substance). They therefore seem doomed to be dependent on perpetual handouts, just enough to stop serious unrest, and to be suppliers of cheap labour, holidays and holiday homes. The old alternative was I suppose periodic devaluation to reduce debt.We now see that the price of the bribes to these states to join the EU is disproportionate suffering when things go wrong. It doesn't really matter who's fault it is. All the cards seem to be held by the North, and guess what, when the going gets tough the largesse dries up.Looks to me as though fiscal union would strengthen the control by the North, and offer damn all to the South, no matter how good the intentions are. Wed 19 Jan 2011 13:56:50 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=75#comment178 #171 Busby2http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reform_Act_1832What good is going back hundreds of years to prove a point -- with NO democracy as we NOW know it ? Wed 19 Jan 2011 12:54:31 GMT+1 onefootinthegravy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=75#comment177 @cool-brush-work, the countries you named - france, austria, belgium, italy, netherlands, slovakia all voted for ultra-right nationalist parties, on mainly anti-immigration platforms in free and fair democratic elections in sovereign member states. are they not allowed to do that under your version of what sovereignty means ? as for formulaic 'anti-english speaking' drivel i, as an english-speaker from my mother's knee, encounter more anti eu/euro drivel from english speakers on this site than the other way around. whilst i was waiting for bbc id to sort out my moniker (again !) i went to the guardian website and found this - "Surely the fact that a load of unelected political cronies are so against having a referendum that they'll employ filibustering is the best possible advert for voting yes to AV". and the writer wasn't referring to brussels but to the "mother (******)of all parliaments (house of lords section) in, i think, england, uk. if you hurry over to the guardian site (it's free and english speaking) you can maybe catch it. i have to admit i don't know what AV is. Anti-vivisection maybe ? are there any other democratic european states with a non-elected second chamber ? Wed 19 Jan 2011 12:41:21 GMT+1 Peter David Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=74#comment176 I would like to reinforce and support the comment number 60 made by samanthav when she said."However whilst they talk of grand federal matters their behaviour does not always back this up."Only this week Europe has promised all sorts of changes to its so-called "shock and awe" rescue package but now in reality looks likely to do little if anything. Meanwhile I see that poor Portugal's government bond yields are above 7% again... Wed 19 Jan 2011 12:35:41 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=74#comment175 #153 WAADollar notes have been the most easiest to counterfeit.Probably your best bet is to keep in Roubles and take the house seller with you to the bank (you trust). -- and let the bank verify the (dollar or Euro) notes are genuine in front of the house seller. (Euros are more difficult to counterfeit.)This way the bank has the responsibility. Wed 19 Jan 2011 12:34:09 GMT+1 bbony http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=74#comment174 A chance to be more democratic, to elucidate the honorable heritage, the western part of Europe had in the moment of its gluing together with the eastern part. It was the moment of challenge for both parties, to change. Democracy is not an exclusive fief of one particular nation, and it's easy to be lost, as much as it is hard to acquire. It is open and transferable. Never self-satisfied.And what has happened with that moment? What has been developed since then is only a broad prejudice, not the democracy, that the east has to learn from the west. In fact, and that is my opinion, the direction of thoughts should have been reversed. Those brave nations have acquired their freedom by themselves, without (almost) any help from the west. If nothing else, they have brought with them the bitter experience. They know the meaning of the notorius - USSR, socialism, etc. Does the other party know the same?It is true the west has spoiled the east. It looks like that. Instead of open door to a mutual work for the same purpose, democracy and wealthy society, they got preachments. And everything which comes with it: immoderate consumerism, banks, much higher percentage of robberies, etc. Simply because of the state of democracy in that moment, being transfered from the west to the east. Nothing has changed on the west.And now comes the question of developing the democracy. For the sake of the common project. Isn't it too late? An alarm bell in pursuing the project. Wed 19 Jan 2011 12:26:15 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=73#comment173 Re #148. At 11:31pm on 18 Jan 2011, DurstigerMann wrote:@145 Bryn_Teilo "The HDI is one big hoax. The USA are ranked 4th, Greece, Spain and Italy are ranked above GB and on one level with Germany and Austria.Are you kidding me? You can even see the vast difference in actual economic power and prosperity by taking the train from Italy to Austria, Switzerland or Germany. Great Britain has way better economic data and prospects, higher literacy and only a slightly lower life expectancy than Italy.Let alone Spain or Greece. Pay those countries a visit for a change and you will see that there exist big differences in wealth even amongst 1st world countries." Now, now DTMann, You can't be making the fellow from the 'principality' start facing the factual reality - - he's grown up with a 'chip on each shoulder' and a 'plank in each eye' - - it is generally regarded as the excuse to end all excuses for neighbours of England: I.e. 'I'm Welsh/Scots/Irish **take your pick**! My life is awful, dreadful, horrible **usually all 3**! There is only one thing to do about it! BLAME THE ENGLISH!' Ah, I love the the sound & smell of unadulterated cant in the morning! WHOOPS! There goes another 'CELTIC' APOCALYPSE! Wed 19 Jan 2011 12:13:35 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=73#comment172 @161 Bryn_Teilo"Clearly you are an expert with greater resources at your disposal than the UN to evaluate the living standards of its members. I will take more note of the HDI than I will your subjective opinion any day."All the resources at the UN`s disposal don`t change the fact that the HDI, as a mean value, does not measure inequalities within a nation, for instance.It gives no data about economic contestability of a country or the actual quality of a life, which is only measured by quantity.Asian friends who visited Europe multiple times and/or actually lived here for some time would laugh if I told them that Spain or Italy are ranked above Great Britain. Wed 19 Jan 2011 11:59:54 GMT+1 burtine http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=72#comment171 @ 155, one-step-behindYep, lots of deja vu on this site... Nevertheless, trying to silence people who's view is not shared by you by simply referring their comments to the mods so it is not visible, is a pretty Stalinist tactic... Well done, I hope you are proud of yourself and your values regarding freedom of speech etc...So, let me repeat, just to make sure you got it right: Yes, it is my firm and strong conviction that the two incidences Gavin described (2 people asking him whether he was British at the mere suggestion of a democratic process...) did not take place...But it's ok, it makes nice reading, just as Marcus Aurelius always made nice reading.(now, mods, let's see whether you again accept this comment first, and then remove it again later because some behind guy complaints...) Wed 19 Jan 2011 11:49:28 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=72#comment170 # 161 Bryn_TeiloYour views are typical of a very small minority of the Welsh who see nothing of value to the Welsh in the union and who blame the English for everything.For a more balanced view of the relationship between Wales and England, I suggest you and any others interested in the subject should read the BBC link belowhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/religion/sites/timeline/pages/religion_in_wales_6.shtmlI should of course first remind you that the Acts of Union of 1535-42, which you complained about, were passed in the reign of Henry VIII, the son of the Welsh born Henry VII. It is also important to note that the Acts of Union were passed at the same time that Henry VIII split from the Church of Rome and dissolved the monasteries. The closure of the monasteries caused little protest in Wales and gave the Welsh gentry the opportunity to increase their estates. They were hampered however by archaic Welsh property law dating back to the tenth century king, Hywel Dda.You wrote An effect of this language clause was to lay the foundation for creating a thoroughly Anglicised ruling class of landed gentry in Wales, which would have many consequences. It was what the Welsh landed gentry wanted, and it brought many benefits to the people of Wales which you ignored! As the BBC linked explained, Many Welsh nobles petitioned for the right to literally become 'English' and be governed by English law. Such tendencies coincided with the wider Tudor concerns of enforcing administrative uniformity throughout the kingdom in the face of possible threats from anti Reformation forces on the continent.These were the underlying currents leading to the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1542 which abolished the remaining Marcher Lordships and incorporated Wales into England. Wales was given representation in Parliament, with the Welsh granted equal rights with the English, and what was left of original Welsh law was abolished. One side effect was that English was made the sole 'official' language throughout Wales. Despite making English the official language of Wales, the Tudors greatly helped the preservation of the Welsh language by approving the translation of the Bible into Welsh by passing an Act of Parliament in 1563. The New Testament and the Common Prayer Book were translated by 1567 and the complete Bible by 1588.It was probable that the Welsh language would have deteriorated into a collection of dialects and eventually died without the translation of the Bible into Welsh. You, of course, didn’t mention the translation of the Bible into Welsh because it did not fit in with your narrow anti- English agenda. That translation would never have happened if Wales had remained catholic and governed by archaic medieval Welsh laws unsuited for a changing world. To sum up, the Tudors swept aside archaic Welsh law, gave the Welsh equal rights with the English under the law and representation in Parliament, and made English the official language. At the same time they ensured the preservation of the Welsh language and ensured Wales became a protestant nation within the union by sanctioning the translation of the Bible into Welsh. This arrangement has worked well over the centuries for the mutual benefit of the people of England and Wales, who both retain their separate identities within the union. Wed 19 Jan 2011 11:39:43 GMT+1 PickledPete http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=71#comment169 156. At 08:28am on 19 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:President Barack Obama and his family received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from world leaders in 2009, the US has revealed.Among the top givers was Saudi King Abdullah, with nearly $190,000 (£119,000) in gifts to the Obamas.[...]Queen Elizabeth II gave the Obamas a framed photograph of herself and Prince Philip valued at $775. [BBC News]And our British cousins want Mr. Obama to be impartial? :-)))++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++And Obama gave our last PM a DVD which didn't work outside the US - value $0. And he still expects UK troops to fight US wars?(Two can play your silly games)BTW, I recall your many scathing comments about the Airbus A380, but I see that the Boeing Dreamliner aircraft has been delayed into service yet again. American engineering eh? ;-) Wed 19 Jan 2011 11:18:16 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=71#comment168 165. At 10:44am on 19 Jan 2011, you wrote:This comment has been referred for further consideration. ExplainYeah, PLEASE DO 'EXPLAIN' Moderators - - as my #165 QUOTES what You've already PUBLISHED by DurstTigerMann at #148!!!!!!!????????????????????Why not admit Moderation is about as accurate as an EU-Budget!? Wed 19 Jan 2011 11:15:35 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=71#comment167 166. At 10:49am on 19 Jan 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:#161Bryn;So what you are actually saying is that the Welsh language is now fully in control of the Welsh Assembly and Wales can be a fully mono or bilingual country if it wishes? But you still intend to look backwards 500 years and continue your abuse of "the English"?It reminds me of the MelGibsonites north of the border and their cries of "freeeeedom", whilst 2 consecutive Scottish PM's and 2 consecutive Scottish Chancellors, with their associated over-representation of Cabinet ministers and disproportionately large funding, lord it over the rest of us from Westminster...whilst the "overbearing" and "bullying" English have no democratic representation whatsover. Breathtaking arrogance indeed margarethoward!"Succinct, wholly accurate & totally obvious, C_C.Therefore no chance the 'celts' from the fringe will even understand never mind accept a word of it! Wed 19 Jan 2011 11:12:19 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=70#comment166 Re #145. At 10:12pm on 18 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote:#134 cool_brush_work wrote: "..Clearly your knowledge of Wales is as thin as you infer is my knowledge of the European Union..."I left this for last Bryn_T as by Your account of life You'll be used to being near the back in a very long queue! Tonyrefail, Rhondda!Ring any bells?Hate to burst Your indignant bubble of the exploitated boyo: Among my many failings is an English Dad whose Grandfather was born, bred & mined the pit there - - I've got 'Jones' blood in me & a dozen relatives still in the vicinity - - now, as they say, be a good chap & jog on! Wed 19 Jan 2011 10:52:15 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=70#comment165 #161Bryn;So what you are actually saying is that the Welsh language is now fully in control of the Welsh Assembly and Wales can be a fully mono or bilingual country if it wishes? But you still intend to look backwards 500 years and continue your abuse of "the English"?It reminds me of the MelGibsonites north of the border and their cries of "freeeeedom", whilst 2 consecutive Scottish PM's and 2 consecutive Scottish Chancellors, with their associated over-representation of Cabinet ministers and disproportionately large funding, lord it over the rest of us from Westminster...whilst the "overbearing" and "bullying" English have no democratic representation whatsover. Breathtaking arrogance indeed margarethoward! Wed 19 Jan 2011 10:49:46 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=69#comment164 This post has been Removed Wed 19 Jan 2011 10:44:17 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=69#comment163 162. At 09:29am on 19 Jan 2011, powermeerkat wrote:Re #140CBW: please, corect me if I'm wrong but scores of English posters to HYS have pointed out that both most recent British prime ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, were actually Scottish.And whom have they been considered by a general English population?Yes, it's all true, Powermeerkat. Showing that inate sense of 'fair-play', a disproportionate willingness to 'forgive & forget' as well as a 'political' credulity that almost 'beggars-belief' the huge majority of English Citizens gave assent to 1 Scottish PM & were powerless in the annointing of another!Elected 3 times by popular Vote as head of New Lab & therefore PM of the UK, Anthony Blair Esq. was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and as if that were not damning enough his mother was Irish! The English supported Blair in droves twice, but by the 3rd GE he & his Party relied on the Voting pattern of those North of the border to stay in Office.'Jock' Brown Esq., the economic-social disaster brought up in the Church of Scotland despite advice to the contrary (by every English Citizen of any political nouse at all) was given the nod by New Lab MPs to be PM. As soon as this very dull (in every sense) appointment to No.10 was put to Public test the 'Jock' who had battered Pensioners, deprived Armed Forces, encouraged an Economic meltdown & called honest Citizens 'bigots' was rightly ousted at the Polls.Yes, the 'Celtic Fringe' has much to answer for - - but, as I say, we English are preter-naturally gentle on our neighbours - - seeing, experiencing & knowing as England does their many little foibles & quirks, e.g. an inability to recall 52,000,000 English pay Tax to keep the 11,000,000 safe, fed & warm in their cots!Cheers. Wed 19 Jan 2011 10:35:48 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=68#comment162 #161Plaid Cymru - 3 seats, 11% of the vote, 4th place.If independence is what you want, you are going to have to do better than that. Wed 19 Jan 2011 10:21:30 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=68#comment161 Re #140CBW: please, corect me if I'm wrong but scores of English posters to HYS have pointed out that both most recent British prime ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, were actually Scottish.And whom have they been considered by a general English population? Wed 19 Jan 2011 09:29:11 GMT+1 Bryn_Teilo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=68#comment160 #148 DurstigerMann:Clearly you are an expert with greater resources at your disposal than the UN to evaluate the living standards of its members. I will take more note of the HDI than I will your subjective opinion any day.#149 busby2Brown claimed to have abolished boom and bust. Sterling wasn’t retained as a ‘get out of jail card’. It hasn’t got us out ‘of the jail’ – yet. QE is very likely to recommence. If it doesn’t work the UK will have the IMF dictating terms without any EU assistance. There will be even more savage cuts on top of the devaluation of Sterling and inflation which has and is taking place, so the British public will be paying twice for the UK government’s short-sighted policies. Osborne’s cuts aren’t lowering the UK’s £4.3 trillion debt, simply reducing the rate of its increase. Instead of cutting pensions etc, the UK government has already slashed the value of all our salaries, wages, pensions and savings. Those cuts are less visible but they are real, nonetheless. Its sleight of hand, that’s all. Pensioners will pay the price, they might get the same state pension, but it will buy much less in the shops or at the petrol station. It’s just as much of a cut if not more so. In any case the UK has the worst level of state pension in the EU.You write: '...perhaps you can explain why the English did not suppress the use of the Welsh language over the centuries? We had centuries of opportunity to erase the culture and language of Wales and give Wales a totally English culture and language if we had wanted to.'Again, you are someone who knows nothing about the history of Wales, its language and its culture. Try reading the prelude to the Acts of Union of 1535-42 (passed by the English Parliament).The first section of the 1535 Act states: "the people of the same dominion have and do daily use a speche nothing like ne consonant to the naturall mother tonge used within this Realme" and then declares the intention "utterly to extirpe alle and singular sinister usages and customs" belonging to Wales.Section 20 of the 1535 Act makes English the only language of the law courts and that those who used Welsh would not be appointed to any public office in Wales:'Also be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Justices, Commissioners, Sheriffs, Coroners, Escheators, Stewards, and their Lieutenants, and all other Officers and Ministers of the Law, shall proclaim and keep the Sessions Courts, Hundreds, Leets, Sheriffs Courts, and all other Courts in the English Tongue;(2) and all Oaths of Officers, Juries and Inquests, and all other Affidavits, Verdicts and Wagers of Law, to be given and done in the English Tongue;(3) and also that from henceforth no Person or Persons that use the Welsh Speech or Language, shall have or enjoy any manner Office or Fees within this Realm of England, Wales, or other the King's Dominion, upon Pain of forfeiting the same Offices or Fees, unless he or they use and exercise the English Speech or Language.'An effect of this language clause was to lay the foundation for creating a thoroughly Anglicised ruling class of landed gentry in Wales, which would have many consequences.The parts of the 1535 Act relating to language were definitively repealed only in 1993, by the Welsh Language Act of that year. Power to legislate on the Welsh Language was only devolved to the Welsh Assembly last year. The Welsh Language declined from being spoken by 50% of the population in 1901 to 21% of the population in 2001. The Language is not out of danger even yet.Your views are typical of those who believe they live in a superior and patronising culture that all should readily embrace, based on nothing other than ignorance. In Wales the history of England was taught ad nauseam. One wonders how much of the history of Wales you were taught. Wed 19 Jan 2011 09:28:59 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=67#comment159 Re: 157charlie, pres. Obama has already sent you back Churchill's bust which used to decorate White House's Oval Office before Barack Hussein has become our Commander-in-Chief.P.S. It must be real tough over there if an extra 775 dollars would make a difference. Wed 19 Jan 2011 09:11:37 GMT+1 taxpayer2010 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=67#comment158 I have no wish to be ruled in any way by Europe. I also object to the money wasted on this project. Let's go back to complete independence, whatever the cost - which I suspect will be lower than the current costs of toying with Europe.I hope the Europe project crashes and burns and results in fully independent states once again. Wed 19 Jan 2011 09:08:16 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=66#comment157 Re #153 MAC report.Alice, there is no point to beat a DOA [dead on arrival] horse, which MAC 'report' really is.It's sad, but when the chief of Russian diplomacy, min. Lavrov claims that MAC (a phoney body) is an "international organization" and as such impartial, one has to laugh unvoluntarily.And besides: none of the 2 key very simple questions has been answered:1. If weather (or any other) conditions at Severny precluded safe landing - why wasn't the airport closed?[a routine decision made by airports' towers everywhere under such circumstances.]2. Why were the airport's controllers clearly unaware of the REAL position and altitude of plane with the top Polish government delegation?[I'll skip an unanswered question about a presence, role, let alone identity of a FSB officer present at the tower]P.S. It's quite likely that the chairwoman of MAC may be sued in international court by the widow of the chief of the Polish Airforce for a disgusting slanderous claim made re her late husband. Wed 19 Jan 2011 09:03:57 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=66#comment156 #156powermeerkat;Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan. 500 deaths, $20bn, uncalculable cost of loss of reputation.Can we get that photo back? Wed 19 Jan 2011 08:45:30 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=65#comment155 President Barack Obama and his family received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from world leaders in 2009, the US has revealed.Among the top givers was Saudi King Abdullah, with nearly $190,000 (£119,000) in gifts to the Obamas.[...]Queen Elizabeth II gave the Obamas a framed photograph of herself and Prince Philip valued at $775. [BBC News]And our British cousins want Mr. Obama to be impartial? :-))) Wed 19 Jan 2011 08:28:43 GMT+1 one step beyond http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=65#comment154 Re 152, Burtine.I have a sense of deja vu here. You again repeat the accusation that Gavin is lying. A journalist's integrity is essential, to accuse one of lying is a very serious allegation. You have no evidence what so ever to back this claim up. Again you should withdraw it Wed 19 Jan 2011 07:19:46 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=65#comment153 On topic:The EP will today pass a bill that will make a lot easier for patients from one member country to get treatment in another. It will in other words increase the integration on the health care field - a most essential field.The bill will also transfer money from rich to less rich countries on market terms, since this will be the direction of the patients: Less rich countries cannot pay for the treatment by the neighbours.Thirdly: It will have an influence, a most needed influence, on the localisation of doctors as a consequence of what I just mentioned about the travelling of patients.This bill is an important step forward. Wed 19 Jan 2011 06:53:49 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=64#comment152 quietoak @141,Thank you. If/when I get closer to the eh, property re-shaping ;o) - I will run extensive intensive? consultation here :o) I mean, asking for orientation.Cash was nearly unavoidable here in apartments' buying/selling just 7 years ago, don't know yet how it is now, will ask around. So far I bought a flat once and sold a flat once, and both times it was done in cash, in dollars. With hysterical scares every time if so many banknotes are actually real and not false (or how many of them are :o)__________Overall in these monetary discussions I am kind of disappointed :o), someone please tell me quickly that it is possible to live well by those Western modes ;o) and not do it on huge credit as a country.To live well by borrowing is not a kind of a er? economic achievement to boast about.Though must say it is an achievement, to be able to borrow - also an art ;o)Tell me if this your capitalism leads to making ends meet ever :o)))))Because a Russian here looses kind of :o)))) ideals and development direction ideas ;o)))))________powermeer check up MAK published today full transcripts of talks in ground control er shed :o). Microphone, telephone, ans radio exchange. With Moscow, KGB, and all parties involved. Without omissions and any holes, and half of what the controllers said there is unprintable o) but is printede. Since Poland insisted so much. I hope, as min, after Poland reads it, we will finally close up "liquid helium artificial fog" - for one can't swear so genuinely and in three storied expressions :o) as that control tower did to the meteo station seeing the thickening fog against the beautiful forecast, as well I think the prevailing ideas re "telescopic birch tree" :o)))) (can be protracted :o) fits sizes S-M-L-XXL :o))) of sly technical Russians :o))))). The way the controller expresses himself seeing security crossing, just crossing across , walking, the runway, when it has to be clear, in his vocal opinion, of any er say things for approaching three planes for landing, leaves no doubt of his intention to have it done proper. Anyway. Wed 19 Jan 2011 03:37:55 GMT+1 burtine http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=64#comment151 This post has been Removed Wed 19 Jan 2011 02:23:00 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=63#comment150 #149 Busby2--- are you defending Colonialism ?"If England had been as nasty to the Welsh as you suggest over the centuries, perhaps you can explain how it is that Wales is still a nation within the UK ----"Tell that to the Irish and comment on the Scottish Clearances.-- at least you do not question the desire of the other Colonies to reject the ´tending loving care´ of Britain.You believe British state pension is large enough to cut ?????? Wed 19 Jan 2011 00:48:54 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=63#comment149 #147 MHI think it is just ignorance and the unwillingness to learn --typical of ´the island of the uninformed´ Wed 19 Jan 2011 00:16:31 GMT+1 busby2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=62#comment148 145. At 10:12pm on 18 Jan 2011, Bryn_Teilo wrote: It is the weak and the poor in the UK who will pay the price for failure to join the Eurozone, in that it allowed Gordon Brown to devalue Sterling by printing money to protect the economy from total collapse. That was more by accident than design. It was an unforeseen consequence of the decision to retain Sterling. The wealthy will hardly be touched by the policy. Good grief! Don't you understand it is PRECISELY because we are not in the Eurozone that we not in as big an economic mess as the PIIGS? Those countries have the millstone of the Euro around their neck and have had to slash Govt expenditure far harder than we have had to. They have cut, not frozen, pensions in Ireland, for example. We, on the other hand, have been able to devalue sterling to make out exports more competitive and at the same time we have been able to maintain our credit ratings and low cost of borrowings. Keeping sterling was our "get out of jail card"!I suggest that you go away and study the impact of the credit crunch on Ireland and look at the devastating effect it has had on the Irish economy and compare their performance to ours since the crunch. Even we are helping Ireland out with a loan! You only have to look at the large numbers of Irish emigrating to realise what a terrible mistake Ireland made when they joined the euro zone. Sadly, it appears that you would have wanted Wales to make the same catastrophic mistake as Ireland, if Wales had been independent and not part of the UK.If England had been as nasty to the Welsh as you suggest over the centuries, perhaps you can explain how it is that Wales is still a nation within the UK and doesn't have the same status as, say, Yorkshire or East Anglia? And perhaps you can explain why the English did not suppress the use of the Welsh language over the centuries? We had centuries of opportunity to erase the culture and language of Wales and give Wales a totally English culture and language if we had wanted to. For an example of what could have happened in Wales you only have to look at the fate of Brittany and its total absorption into France. Today, Breton is the only living Celtic language that is not recognized as an official or regional language. The French State refuses to change the second article of the Constitution (added in 1994), which states that “the language of the Republic is French”. Wed 19 Jan 2011 00:10:48 GMT+1 DurstigerMann http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=62#comment147 @145 Bryn_Teilo"As for comparisons with other developed countries in Europe and elsewhere, you could look at a UN Human Development Report of November 2010. The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare.In Europe, only the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Malta, Estonia. Cyprus, Hungary, Poland and Portugal rank lower than the UK among countries for which statistics are available. Most of these countries with lower rankings improved as compared to 2007, whereas the UK dipped. The UK has dropped five ranking places."The HDI is one big hoax. The USA are ranked 4th, Greece, Spain and Italy are ranked above GB and on one level with Germany and Austria.Are you kidding me?You can even see the vast difference in actual economic power and prosperity by taking the train from Italy to Austria, Switzerland or Germany. Great Britain has way better economic data and prospects, higher literacy and only a slightly lower life expectancy than Italy.Let alone Spain or Greece.Pay those countries a visit for a change and you will see that there exist big differences in wealth even amongst 1st world countries. Tue 18 Jan 2011 23:31:56 GMT+1 margaret howard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=62#comment146 146 QOT"Unlike the Germans who for centuries have developed an attitude of obedience as the cornerstone of German national identity"I think he confuses stoicism with obedience. Tue 18 Jan 2011 22:57:33 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=61#comment145 #105 Menedamus"Unlike the Germans who for centuries have developed an attitude of obedience as the cornerstone of German national identity"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhBe1229Jp4http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIXXDXtlWfM Tue 18 Jan 2011 22:18:46 GMT+1 Bryn_Teilo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=61#comment144 #134 cool_brush_work wrote: ‘IMO it is a tad harsh blaming all Wales' ills on 'little Englanders'’ Don’t put words in my mouth. Read my comment, it doesn’t blame all of Wales’ ills on ‘little Englanders’.. Although from the level of your sensitivity, it appears that you’re very likely one of them.Clearly your knowledge of Wales is as thin as you infer is my knowledge of the European Union. Since 1998 Wales has had a pathetically weak administrative Assembly, with no legislative powers to speak of, let alone fiscal or monetary powers to address the structural problems facing it after centuries of London government and exploitation.Wales has twice qualified for EU Objective One funding on the basis that it (that’s most of Wales) was one of Europe’s poorest regions.The UK’s infrastructure is in a mess, particularly its roads and railways. The latter, scarcely an improvement on the 19th century. Wales has not one mile of electrified track and only one motorway which stops at Swansea, and even then a toll has to be paid to get into Wales. On most standards of healthcare the NHS is not performing as well as its European counterparts. The UK’s manufacturing base has declined significantly and the UK’s economy is heavily dependent on the service sector. Wales' even more so.As for comparisons with other developed countries in Europe and elsewhere, you could look at a UN Human Development Report of November 2010. The Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standards of living for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare. In Europe, only the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, Malta, Estonia. Cyprus, Hungary, Poland and Portugal rank lower than the UK among countries for which statistics are available. Most of these countries with lower rankings improved as compared to 2007, whereas the UK dipped. The UK has dropped five ranking places.As to ‘clearly there’s money being made’, it might be true of London and the south east of England, but for Wales and many parts of the north it’s a very different story. The ‘Great Wen’ of London has sucked the life-blood out of many parts of these islands.The EU has its faults, and is in need of reform. The UK even more so – it has a sham democracy. It has been a half-hearted member of the EU/Common Market since it joined. Vested interests here have ensured that Euroscepticism is given a platform in the media and press. It is the weak and the poor in the UK who will pay the price for failure to join the Eurozone, in that it allowed Gordon Brown to devalue Sterling by printing money to protect the economy from total collapse. That was more by accident than design. It was an unforeseen consequence of the decision to retain Sterling. The wealthy will hardly be touched by the policy. No doubt, further quantitative easing will be required soon, and Cameron and the well-heeled Tory Cabinet will give the green light for it. It’s a desperate measure and a dangerous strategy, as inflation is becoming a serious problem, and the government and BoE have no weapons for dealing with this type of inflation as increasing interest rates won’t be of much assistance. They’re between a rock and a hard place. If QE fails, and confidence drains away from the UK’s ability to pay its way in the bond market, then the UK won’t have anywhere to turn except the IMF. #135 Well said! Tue 18 Jan 2011 22:12:19 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=60#comment143 As far as comment 64 by QOT is concerned I have no intention of responding to someone who appears to be semi literate and whose knowledge of the art of debate makes rambling Sid Rumpole look like Socrates. Supporters such as this person must make intelligent supporters of the EU despair. I suggest that those who wish to engage in a reasoned discussion just ignore QOT and his ilk, who reduce every issue to the level of a school yard shouting contest."not least because we have such a large fifth column operating within this country - namely the political class."This is really FUN !---who ? who ? who ? Tue 18 Jan 2011 21:46:53 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=60#comment142 I see that Collin Bullen is attempting to disguise his presence as a ´Run of the mill´ anti-EU contributor.Must I post my questions again ? Tue 18 Jan 2011 21:34:59 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=60#comment141 #100 Roosta80"I, for one, am British and will never, under any circumstances, be European."-- Unless someone pulls the plug ! Tue 18 Jan 2011 21:21:56 GMT+1 quietoaktree http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=59#comment140 #94 WAAWhatever you do, DO NOT use cash for the transactions. Have you no banks you can trust and open accounts with them in dollars or Euros ?How long do you want to keep the bought currency? --if you only intend to keep for a few months it is not worth the risk to speculate. Bank notes are always sold at ´criminal prices´When I travel I usually take travelers cheques -they are usually at a fairer exchange- rate and cost 1% more and are insured against loss and theft. American Express or other American or European banks may have them in Russia --your local bank may help ? --give AE a call for exchange rates and costs.Any switch to another currency will cost money ---TWICE if you re-convert. Tue 18 Jan 2011 21:09:59 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=59#comment139 Re #135. At 7:20pm on 18 Jan 2011, margaret howard wrote:"..And that goes for all of us in the so-called Celtic fringe. Hundreds of years of exploitation by an overbearing bigger bullying neighbour...The hypocrisy is breathtaking."Fragrant as ever!Rustically delusional, 'it tweren't us guv, it twer them over there...!'Comically self-indulgent, "..the Celtic fringe...!" As in no Welsh, Cornish, Scottish or Irish ever set their course for and partook of the heady heathen brew of 'Yonder England'.Thanks Margaret, that paragraph from Your #135 is surely an all-time great for spectacular literary special effects - - "goes for all of us" - - honestly, it just cracked me up! Tue 18 Jan 2011 20:22:12 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=58#comment138 #135margarethoward;"And that goes for all of us in the so-called Celtic fringe"East Anglia is in the "celtic fringe" now is it? Tue 18 Jan 2011 20:12:43 GMT+1 champagne_charlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=58#comment137 Average voter turnout at EU elections since 1979 (EU-wide %)63 61 58.5 56.8 49.4 45.5 43 Forgive me if I'm not impressed. Tue 18 Jan 2011 20:11:08 GMT+1 Why exactly http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=57#comment136 Gavin, in my view there is no stage on which an integration debate can take place for ordinary people. The decisions are made elsewhere and the people are just left to moan about the outcome. I do feel though that the people feel stronger than ever about the boundless European experiment. It is leading to a loss of nationhood and sovereignty that will standardise, normalise and reduce our cultures to a euro "sameness" that will ultimately bring people onto the steets. Perhaps those who think they control our futures should better respect our personal sovereignty? Remember no one ever voted for this outcome! Tue 18 Jan 2011 20:01:00 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2011/01/europe_and_democracy.html?page=57#comment135 Re #133. At 6:50pm on 18 Jan 2011, Mathiasen wrote:Please provide information on the Ballot Paper You appear to be claiming familiarity with that requested the Consent or otherwise by Citizens to a EUropean Union?That is not a EUropean Parliament Election ballot slip - - which is for the sole purpose of returning Members to the EP.Neither is it a National Parliament Election ballot slip - - which is for the sole purpose of returning Members to the NP.No, I mean the real thing: A Ballot Paper that by Your #133 content You are alleging provides Citizens with a choice/voice on the EU.Thus Your, "..."millions of EU haters" are not able to combine their political viewpoints with their voting. Well, perhaps... It doesn't speak for their political understanding, if it really is the case." Is a blatant non sequitur. Tue 18 Jan 2011 19:45:58 GMT+1