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Saturday, 4 August 2012

There are times ...

There are times when one can be embarrassed by some of the opinions one reads from supporters of certain anti-European parties. Most recently I have read statements that are so blatantly ill-informed and frankly xenophobic it has been difficult to believe they are being made by persons who claim to be educated and intelligent.

One of the most common is that "Europe" is a socialist mess, and the EU is all about "dragging the UK into socialism." Quite apart from the fact that the UK is one of 27 countries that make up the EU, to label the whole of Europe as "socialist" is to exhibit the worst kind of ill-informed ignorance. Living in Germany one quickly realises that the UK is far and away more 'socialist' at almost every level. The EU  may well be a 'socialist' experiment and ideal, but I think a more honest appraisal than any I have seen or heard in the UK Media would dispel at least some of that idea. My personal feeling is that it was and is a political experiment aimed at creating a cohesive economic and political 'power' to balance the current 'East/West' split that sees individual states in Europe treated as very junior partners to the USA.

That leads me to the next frequently aired opinion - that the whole EU project is a Franco-German attempt to recreate the Carolingian Empire. That view is frankly laughed at in Europe, and deservedly so. It also betrays the ignorance of those who try to read into the present something from the past. Yes, Charlemagne or Karl der Grosser was a Frankish 'Emperor' who united Europe, but certainly nothing like the current boundaries. Almost all the North German States, Denmark, Sweden and Norway were not a part of it, though they certainly traded with it and enjoyed certain 'protections' as part of treaties with him. Chancellor Mrs Merkel would be, I think, amused and scornful if anyone confrinted her with this one.

The latest and stupidest comment I've encountered on this score is that the "British" are not Europeans. Genetically, they are, despite the interpretation some now put on the findings of a book published in 2006 that argues the genetic lineage of the British predates the peoples who moved into Europe post the rising sea levels cutting off Britain from the rest of Europe. That is blatant tosh. It ignores completely the successive waves of tribes that followed before the Romans added legionaires from all over Europe and even the Levant, or the Vikings, the Angles, the Saxons, the Normans (who were also Jutes), the Gaels from Britanny and Northern Spain and all the various Flemings, French, Germans and others who have settled in the island since the Conquest.

I can understand people being anti the European Union in its present form. I don't like the way the Commission operates or the way Commissioners are appointed. I don't like the huge bureaucracy that infests Brussels and has tentacles in every other capital city and I don't like the way they try to regulate everything. But, unless you are terminally blind or so totally biased, it is patently obvious that everything Brussels suggests or directs, is immediately seized on by Whitehall, the largest bureaucracy in Europe other than the Commission, and gold plated as another way of guaranteeing the faceless wonders of Whitehall retain absolute control.

To see how they are doing this, you do have to step outside of the UK and the media misinformation there, to realise that the rest of Europe takes a far ore sensible and pragmatic approach - as is intended by Brussels. Yes, I am embarrassed by some of the hyperbole and outright misrepresentation indulged in by some in the UK, one commenter proud of the fact he'd never set foot anywhere outside of Britain. It is people like this, bigoted, biased and frankly ignorant that give the UK a bad name and make us a laughing stock everywhere.

Please, can we have some balance?


  1. How on earth can one be balanced with an entity like the EUSSR? Yes, I'm biased, but that's because I can see that the entire project is going the way of the old Soviet Union - collapsing by the weight of its own contradictions. It is corrupt, anti-democratic and completely unecessary. You say Whitehall gold-plates, but why on earth could we not enact our own regulations, etc. as a sovereign, independent nation? Why on earth did our politicians agree to allow all and sundry to plunder our seas? Or weaken our ability to decide who comes into the country? Of course, as you well know, much of the pish emanting from Brussels is pettifogging or not required. And they wonder why they can't get the economies growing! The euro is doomed, even you must see that, and these bastards will drag us all down with them! How much have they pissed down the drain so far, trying to 'rescue' it? They really want to do away with the nation state as we know it, and replace it with the United States of Europe. Now, as for the ECHR...

    Slim Jim

  2. Funny thing, Jim, the majority of those living in the rest of Europe don't see it as anything like the EUSSR. As to why Whitehall can't pass its own regulations, they do, by over dressing anything and everything from the EU. By blaming the EU, they avoid getting the stick they should get from you for doing it. A lot of the 'pish' is aimed at bringing the former Eastern Bloc countries into the 21st Century, and recognised as such by everyone else in Europe except Whitehallfor whom its a golden opportunity to impose more control and move closer the totally centralised and socialised state the Fabian Society has been working toward for over a century. In almost every aspect of UK life there is a greater degree of 'socialism' than almost everywhere else.

    As for the ECHR, well, I firmly believe that the UK's membership of that club was purely to enable Mrs Blair's Legal Practice to milk the Legal Aid system in Britain to the limits. Much of what is taken to it from the Uk is an abuse of the process and purpose for which it was set up and you know my view of the Human Rights Act - unnecessary, irrelevant and intended to remove far more 'rights' we enjoyed under Magna Carta, and the later Act of Parliament (17th Century) which enshrined our 'freedoms," than it gives.

    I do believe that all of Europe can benefit from greater co-operation and less parochialism, and I do agree that the edifice that is the EU Commission and Bureaucracy needs to be scrapped - but so does the entirity of Whitehall if we are to have real democracy.

  3. Does that mean we can agree that it would be better if 'Europe' was a free-trade area, rather than the political union that is being imposed on us? Of course, the process of undermining every established institution and practice in the UK is well underway, and that has to be the biggest failure of this coalition government, for not dealing with it in radical way. Sir Humphrey wasn't put up against the wall! Remember the recent letter I sent you a copy of? That process is quite advanced, and I do not believe it is a coincidence that our fortunes and standing are on a downward spiral. To oblivion. Cue the cries for a 'strong leader', but we have to be careful what we wish for, as there are many parallels between the 1930s and today's world, especially in Europe.

    Slim Jim