Friday, 30 October 2009

Left v Right in EU roles debate

It seems to me the newspapers are missing something quite key to this whole EU President and High Representative for Foreign Policy debate, and it's this:

Many papers are reporting a Left v Right tussle and they're not wrong.

The European People's Party, the biggest grouping in the European Parliament, are centre right. It's been suggested by the Party of European Socialists that they get the Presidency role, which might seem very gracious and diplomatic as they have the most bods. But in fact it's largely because the Socialists are eyeing up the Foreign Porfolio. They have also, unsurprisingly, reiterated the need for the President to come from a smaller member country and to not be a show-stopper, and have increasingly cooled on Blair, who could actually be one of their big hitters.


Well if Blair was made President, the coveted Foreign Post would go to the centre right. A post that will actually end up wiedling more power than the Presidency and could be used to house a Socialist "evangelist" to continue the global bureaucratic conquest.

Obama, who let's not forget ended the American Republican rule, is said to want a strong Europe which can stand alongside China (Communist) Russia (Communist) and the USA (Democratic, i.e. left-wing) in a strong G4. Now is the time for Europe to be an international socialist player and push towards the global vision that underpins left wing politics and has seen Governments throughout the ages attempt political and ideological conquests abroad.

The idea of an ultra-united Europe is undeniably a left-wing vision. The whole concept of a consituted united Europe with increasing powers, and an increasing Global voice delivered by the new role of a Foreign Secretary, is akin to the development of the USSR, but without the tanks and Stalin. Adding more and more countries into a mix where money is collected centrally and then redistributed amongst everyone is Marxism, in the ideological sense. In order to push forward this vision what they need is the Foreign Post, which will look after the diplomatic service, European Foreign and Security Policy and also cover the vice presidency. Simply getting the Presidential role would leave all these goodies to the central right, who are by nature somewhat more warey of the European Dream.

But of course, if the EPP do get to play President, the Socialists don't want him to have much power or international significance, so a relative unknown is surely the best bet.

But why not Blair and why all of a sudden are they ogling Miliband with such interest?

David is I'd imagine fundamentally a die-hard Marxist. Son of the late Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband, he even penned a book back in 1994 entitled Reinventing the Left. If anyone can be religiously committed to promoting a Socialist Ideology in Europe and abroad, it is him

Similarly, the Current President of the EC, Barroso, was one of the leaders of the underground Maoist MRPP (Reorganising Movement of the Proletariat Party) later PCTP Communist Party of the Portuguese Workers/Revolutionary Movement of the Portuguese Proletariat.

Angela Merkel was as a student member of the official, Socialist-led youth movement Free German Youth and it's believed she grew up in Communist East Germany with a father who had strong ties to the Communist rule.
No suprise then that right-wing Sarkozy initially pushed Blair, as did centre right Berlusconi. Blair's shift to the right when his party came into power in order to appease conservative Britian and his later alliance with Republican George Bush disenchanted anyone who saw him as a strong socialist.

So it goes like this.
In the last European Elections the shift moved clearly to the right. The centre right party has the most members. The voting public of various European countries democratically elected them. In Britain it seems inevitable once again that poltics are shifting to the right. But despite public mood being more centre right, it is the Socialists, the marxists and the left wingers who at the end of the day will seize power and wield it by whatever means possible. Mind you, stripping people of their voice and collecting countries like trump cards have always been the main flavours of left wing politics throughout history. Why should The United European Socialist Republic should be any different?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Power Shower

While people in the UK are still reeling about MP's expenses it might be worth contextualising our grumbles about the frivolous and greedy use of taxpayer's money with what's been going on over the Channel.

Yes, I'm of course going to refer to Sarkozy's Power Shower.

The French President's impulse spending would make flipping a caravan with a castle look somewhat modest. Reports that Sarkozy spent a quarter of a million pounds of taxpayer's money on a shower he didn't even use have been spreading across the continent. Quite frankly I didn't imagine you could even buy a shower worth that much. Reports have described it as having in-built massagers and surround

During France's 6 month term as EU leaders, Sarkozy spent a whopping £160m in expenses. Now every Government likes to put on a bit of a show when the circus comes to town. And every time a new member state takes on the role of being leader for 6 months, the EU kindly tops up National funds to help afford all the summits, and the dinners, and the conferences, and the tours. So how come in 1995, France managed on only £12m, which works out as less than 10% of Sarko's Presidential Ents Bill.

It's even been reported that the French Premier gets out of bed for nobody. On one occasion Sarko cancelled an entire EU event he was set to host in Evian because he wanted to sleep in his own bed in Paris. Hundreds of disgruntled journalists, delegates and EU officials had to be sent home, grumbling and braying for even more cash to come out of the Presidential Bill by way of compensation.

For a Mediterranean Union Summit at The Grand Palace in Paris, Sarko summoned more than five hundred workers a day to spruce up the venue, with another 300 more doing the night shift. Perhaps the Grand Palace was somewhat of a misnomer to Sarko, who's shopping list also included 194,900 euros for potted plants, 653,703 euros for air con and 301,208 euros for a conference podium (with built in booster pedestal, one would imagine). The end of summit dinner itslef cost a staggering 1,010,256 euros -- more than 5,000 euros per head. 90 grand was even forked out for a red carpet.

Monday, 26 October 2009


It could have been the title of a horror movie, or at least a Sun headline, were it released at the same time as Blair's media driven fall from favour. But now the storm has calmed it seems somehow, despite everything, he could be back in charge, via the backdoor! Where have we seen this before? Oh that's right, Gordon Brown.

If someone had said after Blair's departure that Britain would effectively become a part of a "United States of Europe" with Tony Blair as President, you could imagine the backlash. But, in the words of former French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing (2007) "Public opinion will be led - without knowing it - to adopt the policies we would never dare present to them directly. All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden or disguised in some way."

In the UK I think the average person doesn't really have a concrete idea as to what extent the EU already controls us. They certainly don't have a concrete idea of what The Lisbon Treaty would mean, as quite deliberately, nobody has ever told them. If they were told, however, that over time the Treaty would allow the bureaucratic creation of a superstate, they may start to protest. That in effect it would eventually render the law making autonomy of each country akin to that of an individual state in America. That "Europe's nations should be guided towards a super state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation."

It seems in recent times, the voice of Euroscepticism in the media has become suspiciously quiet. All the front page potential of the Lisbon Treaty saga has instead been squandered in comment columns. No doubt it is in the current Government's interests to play down any sort of Euroscepticism. As for the EU it's pretty much essential to get this wrapped up before our General Election, after which a Conservative Government could bring back that very British trend of Euroscepticism. Winston Churchill, who coined the term "The United States of Europe" in a famous speech in 1946 at The University of Zurich said of it "We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed."

I think to this day Brits maintain that island mentality.
So what could be done to encourage us to get on board? Well as suggested above, stripping us of our voice, keeping the public in ignorance and allowing the slow, invisible take-over of the EU are already ploys being employed in Brussels. But they think they have another trick up their sleeves.

There's been a lot of discussion this weekend as to why Blair should be in charge. Well one clear incentive is the hope that as a recognisable figure, parachuting Blair into top dog position would put an end to the British tendency to ask "What's in it for us?" But why would anyone in Britain feel like that when back on 20th April 2004 Blair himself promised us a Referendum, and five year's later he's the one in line to run the show?!

How do we give the British people a chance to choose, when what we are trying to battle is a 21st Century Iron Curtain?

Friday, 23 October 2009

The TrEUth about Immigration

Yet again it's at the forefront of topical discussion. Well it's always been at the forefront of our discussion, yet like every other relevent political discourse, it has often been marginalised and the parties that comment on the issue are marginalised themselves. There has developed this tendency in recent years to confuse criticising immigration with a xenophobic attack. Even though at the moment everyone is blaming uncontrolled immigration in recent years for the rise in popularity of the BNP. Well instead of banging on about it, shouldn't we instead finally be acting on it?

(Even if we try to avoid the EU's common immigration policy the Lisbon Treaty will see that we relinquish any say on the matter.)

The EU decided that the allocation of asylum seekers is to be based on the population of each member state. Great. This means Britain will have to take on proportionately more immigrants than other countries because we already have a very large population. Well Britain’s already oversized population is to a large part due to immigration to date.

This is a country that already has the same population as France, despite geographically being four times smaller. In effect - we are four times more crowded.

Rather than allowing us to state the bleedin' obvious – that we are speeding headlong towards extreme over-capacity – this fact will now used as the main reason for us to have to take in more! It's like distributing food based on what your BMI is. Undernourished people would get a grain of rice, whereas those who are morbidly obese would get platefuls. The word is "nonsensical".

Britain is known all over the world. Our pop music, the English language, films, TV programmes and The Premier League. This makes us a highly desirable country to live in. You probably don't hear many people with aspirations of fleeing their countries saying "I know, I'll try to get to Lithuania" or "I hear Bulgaria would be a great place to live". Now I'm not saying these countries are unpopular or people wouldn't want to live there. It's more basic than that. They are not very well known.

Open border policy in Europe disregards the 1951 Convention of Refugees that states someone must claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in. Funny then that lots seem to end up in the UK as if there is an Armada of ships queing outside our ports.

We have also received European migrants in their thousands and no doubt are set to receive even more as the EU considers more membership applications.

Sadly the immigration debate has now become related to matters of acceptance and to state the simple fact that the country is full to bursting is often translated into xenophobia.

Britain had good reasons to be one of only two EU members not to sign the 1990 Schengen Convention. (Some interesting arguments are laid out by Civitas)

We are an island, and by sheer logic, we have a limited capacity.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

A Long Day's Journey Into Night and Bunny Boiling

This morning I got into Parliament at 8:00am (GMT+1) which is pretty normal. The days are long and it's quite an intense week. After four days in Strasbourg I'll be glad to get home. MEPs from France and Belgium probably don't appreciate how fortunate they are to face a much smaller commute. It'll be more like Friday morning before I actually arrive back via the wonders of the TGV and Eurostar. At least travelling by train I can get on with a bit of work in relatively comfortable surroundings, make phone calls if need be, kick back and try to relax as the landscape rushes past. Not only would regular air travel do nothing for my carbon footprint, I am sure it would do nothing for the soul either.

Train travel should be the obvious choice for getting from A to B. The first railways were laid in India in 1853. Now the trains transport 18 million people across the subcontinent a day. At the turn of the last century the Trans-Siberian railway was constructed. This amazing feat of engineering, almost six thousand miles long, cost Russia as much as Soviet involvement in WWI, and opened up travel for the first time for many people, from East to West and vice versa, without having to forego everyday comforts. A century on and the rail network in the UK is still lagging so incredibly far behind. Especially when you consider the MagLev in Shanghai, the Bullet in Japan...

"Come on guys it's home time"

I must admit I do think it's a ridiculous situation that everyone ups and leaves for Strasbourg one week a month. It's absolutely nuts when the hottest topic for discussion is climate change, and the key players are trying to thrash out sensible, achievable targets and objectives, when every three weeks, a huge chunk of EU staff all migrate South to Strasbourg by road, rail and air. It's a case of "do as I say" rather than "do as I do" when it comes to the EU. When I close my office door later today it will remain closed for a month - and the whole Parliament building will be evacuated, waiting for the next mass migration. You just could not make this up. It's a given that the MEPs travel from across the continent anyway, why make things even more complicated than they already are?

And on the subject of Carbon Footprints, I came across an EU funded initiative that may make our nation of animal lovers recoil. Stockholm is annually faced with a huge explosion in the population of rabbits. Many are the offspring of the domestic bunny which have over time escaped into the city and bred, well, like rabbits. Now they are said to be destroying the city's parks. Last year six thousand were culled. But what happened to the bodies? Not given to Felix or Whiskas, I assure you. This year the bodies are being frozen and transported one hundred and fifty miles to a Biofuel plant in Karlskoga, where they are boiled down and turned into central heating for the city's residents. That certainly puts a new take on the term bunny boiler!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Baa Baa Barroso!

We are used to the witty exchange of banter flying across the Chamber in Westminster. Whether the heckling is highbrow, or the humour deliciously lowbrow, the energy in the House of Commons is the envy of many political institutions globally.

Not surprising then that the EC thought they could liven up Plenary in Strasbourg by adopting President's Question Time, modeled on PM's Questions in The Commons. Afterall, the European Parliament is a huge, overly bureaucratic, political quagmire of an organisation.

So during Jose's first QT, I saw the opportunity to throw at him a question that matters greatly to my Welsh constituents.

The Subject: EID (Electronic Sheep Tagging)

Basically the EC want to introduce a system whereby farmers microchip every single sheep in a flock to trace their every movement. The proposal was cooked up after the last foot and mouth crisis, but has met with fierce opposition.
It's now due to be pushed through in January 2010, despite the fact that the equipment doesn't work
(only a 75% success rate, with malfunctioning especially common in cold and wet conditions - hardly ideal for Welsh Mountain Sheep Farmers )
It's going to cost our farmers lots of time and money when the industry is already battling recession, and will expose Welsh farmers to penalties if they do not comply with the system (or when the system fails them.)

So I ask Barroso about why the EC is so adamant about pushing through the legislation in the New Year.
I drew comparison with the issue of immigration in the UK.
( Take a look at today's revelation by the ONS that our population could soar to 71.6m by 2033, with more than two thirds of that rise due to immigration. )

It would be bizarre if the UK knew the exact whereabouts of every single sheep in the land when we hardly know who is coming to live in here and where they're planning to go.

Sadly Barroso missed the point, and didn't like my supposed comparison of humans and sheep.

Monday, 19 October 2009

We don't want to live on hand-outs, but neither do we want to cough up for yours!

With more and more countries queuing up to enjoy handouts from the EU, what will happen to Wales?

It's hardly worth my while mentioning I am a Eurosceptic. You may have guessed that already as a UKIP MEP.

But being a Member of the European Parliament isn't about jumping on the gravy train to prove a point. I represent a choice made by the voters who elected me into this role - and I want to protect their interests and the interests of Wales.

We are a member state of this overpriced private members club, whether we like it or not.

The UK remains one of the largest net contributors to the EU - meaning we pay more in than we get out.

Well at least at the moment Wales benefits from EU funding. (It ticks the right boxes).

Under the current programme, drawn up in 07 and in place until 2013, Wales is entitled to a total 1.9 billion pounds. The money is intended to be spent on developing sustainable economic growth and creating jobs.

West Wales and the Valleys actually receive the highest level of support under the current structural funds, which sounds great, for sure. But the region suffers protracted economic problems, and one function of the EU is to support such places with grants and funds, in return for that huge membership fee!

Many people regard the UK as a wealthy place to live. Many of our European counterparts would be shocked to see the struggle faced by some of our communities riddled with poverty and unemployment.

Merthyr Tydfil, a former coal and steel producing hotspot, was once the fastest growing town in the world. Last year it was named the UK’s worst long-term benefits blackspot. It is estimated some 30 per cent of the town’s working-age population rely on handouts to survive. In March this year, the town’s Hoover Factory closed, seeing another 337 lose their jobs for good, with no viable local alternative.

The Valleys have been all but destroyed by the closure of big industries which at one point were the backbone solid, hardworking communities. Today, the mines are closed. The factories that grew up in their place are outsourcing work overseas. The communities that thrived on this employment have not just lost their jobs and their income, but also all sense of purpose and belonging.

These are also sparsely populated areas, far away from major cities. For many children born here, their fate is predetermined.

With more and more countries queuing up to join the EU, this much needed support (which still doesn't even approach an amount that would balance the books) will no doubt go to newer member countries with well documented histories of economic struggle. Countries like Slovenia and Romania added to the list of net beneficiaries - those who get more out than they pay in. With applications being considered for Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania this list will only get longer, tipping the scales even further - and leaving us to pick up the bill.

Europe’s richest countries like Iceland and Norway have given the Union a wide berth, knowing they would merely be paying in to fund their poorer neighbours.

Wales cannot afford to pay if nothing is being paid back out.