Daniel Hannan and the reigning-in of the EU


David Davis

Read DH’s latest blogpost here. Fine stuff, but as he says, it sadly won’t happen.

Sod it: I might as well put it up anyway:-

Daniel Hannan: EU is ‘in a democratic mess’

The European Union is an economic, demographic and democratic mess, writes Daniel Hannan.

 

Published: 11:42AM GMT 21 Nov 2009

Comments 103 | Comment on this article

“It’s all very well to criticise, Hannan, but what would you do if you were in Van Rompuy’s shoes?” So asked a euro-enthusiast friend when I had finished tearing into Thursday night’s stitch-up.

It’s a fair question, and it won’t quite do to answer that I wouldn’t be starting from here. The EU is in an economic mess: its share of world GDP will fall from 26 per cent to 15 per cent in 2025. It is in a demographic mess: 40 years of low birth rates have left it with a choice between depopulation and mass immigration. And it is in a democratic mess, with turnouts plummeting.

 

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So what would I do? Step one is easy: I’d abolish the Common Agricultural Policy, thereby giving a greater boost to Europe’s economies than any number of bail-outs and stimulus packages. Food prices would fall sharply: the average family would save more than £1,000 a year in grocery bills, with the greatest savings being made by those on the lowest incomes. Scrapping the CAP would also be the single greatest gift Europe could give the Third World. It would remove the main barrier to a full WTO agreement. Oh, and it would take a penny off income tax into the bargain.

With the CAP out of the way, it would be easy enough to dismantle the rest of the Common External Tariff. I’d phase out all structural, cohesion and social funds, releasing armies of consultants and contractors to more productive work. Ditto the staffs of dozens of euro-quangos: the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs, the European Food Safety Authority, the European Chemicals Authority, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions and so on.

Now the biggie: deregulation. According to the Commissioner for Enterprise, Gunther Verheugen, the benefits of the single market are worth around 180 billion euros a year, while the cost of complying with Brussels rules is 600 billion euros. In other words, by its own admission, the EU costs more than it’s worth. The solution? Heap the bonfire with pages of the acquits communautaire: the EU’s amassed regulations. Scrap the directives that tell us what hours we can work, what vitamins we can buy, how long we can sit on tractors, how loudly we can play our music. Return power to national governments or, better, to local authorities – or, best of all, to individual citizens.

I would confine the EU’s jurisdiction to matters of a clearly cross-border nature: tariff reduction, environmental pollution, mutual product recognition. The member states would retain control of everything else: agriculture and fisheries, foreign affairs and defence, immigration and criminal justice, and social and employment policy.

The European Commission could then be reduced to a small secretariat, answering to national ministers. The European Court of Justice could be replaced by a tribunal that would arbitrate trade disputes. The European Parliament could be scrapped altogether; instead, seconded national MPs might meet for a few days every month or two to keep an eye on the bureaucracy.

You will, of course, have spotted the flaw in my plan: it would put an awful lot of Eurocrats out of work. Which, sadly, is why it won’t happen. For, whatever the motives of its founders, the EU is now chiefly a racket: a massive mechanism to redistribute money to those lucky enough to be on the inside of the system.

Daniel Hannan is Conservative MEP for South East England. Read his Telegraph blog here

WTF is a “parenting official”?


Michale Winning, annoyed

Guess you can find out here. It’s not the lesbian-business I object to. If women want to pretend to shag each other then they can, it’s no business of mine it’s not.

But “parenting officials”? Boss says we should eat them, after a good barbecue, if he’s right about what certain people are up to, then we might have to.

The Resignation of Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, today


Polly Toynbee (guest writer) (yes, that one.)

‘On the day when I became prime minister, I promised I would try my utmost. I have indeed worked night and day in the midst of the storm that has engulfed the world economy. I believe I have helped save this country from a depression as bad or worse than the 1930s. I have contributed to the global rescue of banks whose domino collapse threatened a terrifying meltdown. I encouraged a global fiscal stimulus that learned Keynes’ lessons.

“Make no mistake, had David Cameron and George Osborne been in power to do what they proposed, the catastrophe doesn’t bear thinking about. With ATM machines within hours of shutting down, the Conservatives urged us to do nothing, spend nothing, laissez-faire and let it happen. Supermarket shelves would have emptied in a chaos of panic. To spend money then was to invest in saving us all, and the debts we incurred were a price well worth paying. Had we not spent that money, the cost of total collapse would have been unimaginably higher. We do indeed need to repay the money borrowed, but over time, with care, at a sustainable pace, without destroying the fabric of our much improved public services.

“Unemployment now is our greatest concern: we will not create another lost generation of young people. With extra apprenticeships and every effort, bending each department to the task, we will not let it happen again. Yet Cameron and Osborne are bent on doing just that, turning their ‘Broken Britain’ fallacy into a horrible reality. They tell us they would cut deeply, immediately, before recovery is established. We never forget the cruelty of Mrs Thatcher’s 1980s cuts, the social destruction and despair, the public squalor and the doubling of children in poverty – too many children are still poor today despite our best efforts.

“I cannot stand by and let the Conservatives do it again – same blueprint, same economic errors, multiplying social problems for years to come – and all for what? To pay down a sustainable deficit too far, too fast. Nothing learned, nothing changed – same ideology, same blind indifference to national wellbeing. Look at the harm their Europhobia is already inflicting on Britain’s role in Europe as they leave the mainstream for a ragbag party of neofascists, racists and wreckers. I cannot stand by and let William Hague take us to the European departure gate.

“Each of us has a part to play to stop that happening. I have done my utmost. I am proud of so much that Labour has done, money well spent after decades of neglect. Who would have thought we could all but abolish NHS waiting lists? I will spare you the litany of Labour achievements – just look all around us.

“But as I see the challenge ahead, I fear that my utmost will not be enough and I am not the best person to lead this party into the next election. Fairly or unfairly, the public have decided. If I am no longer an asset to my party in the battle to keep the Conservatives from power, then I know my duty is to stand aside and let someone else succeed. That is the greatest service I can offer. I hope I have been the right person to see the country through a crisis. But I fear I am no longer the best person to take Labour’s good case to the electorate.

“Our party is fortunate. In my cabinet I have an abundance of talent, younger and older, who would make Labour’s case well as next leader. The process of choosing the best one will not be divisive: we are remarkably united compared with any time in our past. On the contrary, I am confident that choosing a new leader will release all the dynamism in this party in the next stage of the long march for social justice: we are essentially a social democratic nation.

“Someone new will find it easier than I to talk honestly of mistakes we have made. Of course, in 12 long years any government gets things wrong. Sometimes a scapegoat is useful to draw the understandable anger people feel at how risk and greed in the banks caused so many to lose jobs, homes and pensions. I take the blame for failing to see the full danger building up in our financial sector – though goodness knows, we shared that mistake with every other country and economist. But had we followed the Conservatives’ persistent demands to deregulate everything, how much worse the crisis would have been. Even now the Conservatives would demolish the FSA – whose chair, Adair Turner, has spelled out what must be done to restrain greed and risk from now on.

“But if the case can be better put by others, I will not stand as an obstacle in the fight ahead. By stepping aside, I give this urgent warning to voters: however angry you are at what has happened, however alarmed you are by a national debt that was necessarily incurred to prevent worse disaster, do not inflict on yourselves and the nation a government ideologically intent on harming so many of the services you depend on.

“Ask yourselves what you value most in life. Most precious are those things we can only purchase together: health, education, safety in the streets, fine public spaces, parks, museums, sports grounds and beautiful public buildings. No shop sells anything we prize so highly. Don’t let all these good public things descend again into the petty squalor of the 1980s and 1990s for the sake of a few more pounds in your pocket. The small state is the squalid state, penny-pinching, mean-spirited and devoid of things that make a country proud.

“I am glad to have played my part in helping rebuild Britain’s public realm. But I know my limitations well enough to stand down at the right time to let one of my talented colleagues take up the baton and run with it to a victory at the next election.”

Afterwards they would say that nothing so became his leadership as the leaving of it. He would become something of a hero. The British detest their politicians until they are powerless, when the most unexpected previous figures of fun and hate turn overnight into national treasures. So it would be with Gordon Brown: the man who in the end confronted his demons and showed exceptional honesty and humility. He would restore some faith in politics by putting the success of his values before self-interest. Some would murmur that he only went before he was pushed, but most would say his Captain Oates walk earned him a chapter in that slim volume of modern British politicians with true courage.

Reprinted from the online edition of http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/25/gordon-brown-resignation-labour-conference

GramscoFabiaNazis are institutionally-not-funny, so they try terribly terribly terribly hard…


…to inject (what’s that?) “Razzmataz”…..er?

David Davis

I feel a caption competition coming on:-

He's had the jab...but I've had THREE!

He's had the jab...but I've had THREE!

It is not the function of Statesmen, while we are stuck with them up our arses, to inject “Razzmataz”. Not up our arses anyway, not like happy-laughing-boy on the left would.

It is their function to _Provide against Preventable Evils_ …and that is all, for the time being, until they are gone.

Labour Erith Thamesmead ballot box tampering: socialism rumbles on and what a surprise


UPDATE2:- This is what Iain Martin in the Barclay-Labourgraph thinks, and his COMMENT thread is highly illuminating. This woman, although _absolutely fabulous_ and “well-connected”, is no sort of person to be an MP, perhaps for years if not decades.

Actually, on looking at her (I never knew she existed until now) she’s rather plain and, well, sort of NewLab-Metro-looking. I’d rather have a drink with Keeley Hazell than this one, who might harangue me about world deprivation or something.

UPDATE1:- Guido has an interesting take on this one.

David Davis

Lovely day, isn’t it. Just when you thought the smeargate business would get more interesting, ZanuLieBorg tries to bury bad news with, er, more bad news but different, anything else would do.

China “mental patients” Public Security Bureau … Lily Kember can protest lots of stuff!


David Davis

One Lily Kember, (here’s more about her) a “third year” student of “Anthropology”, who helped to disrupt Stansted Airport yesterday, could have a shining career as a protester in China, about “treatment” of political dissidents.

I wonder if she’d like to go there , perhaps to stop some rather large open-cast coal mines being dug, say, in Manchuria? But she probably does not know where that is.

Tory Bear thinks she’s a bit of a prat. I’d send her to China, put a Duracell in her, wind her up, and see what she does there.

But she’s helped lots of people, like the poor woman who missed her father’s funeral and the Rosary for it.

Yep. Lily Kember is a remarkable woman, who really cares about the planet (not people though.)

No: “woman” is too dignifying a word for that congeries of atoms, not animated by any morality recognised by any but Al Gore. It probably watched “an inconvenient truth” and was smitten.

Destruction of words … to change the way children think


David Davis

Subj: [eurorealist] EDUCATION: THE ENEMY AT THE HELM
Date: 07/12/2008 17:20:48 GMT Standard Time
From: peter@pwwatson.co.uk
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/3569045/Words-associated-with-Christianity-and-British-history-taken-out-of-childrens-dictionary.html

TAKE THEIR CULTURE AND THEIR ROOTS AWAY AND YOU CAN BARCODE AND PROCESS THEM

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Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children’s dictionary

Words associated with Christianity, the monarchy and British history have been dropped from a leading dictionary for children.

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Westminster Abbey - Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary

Westminster Abbey may be one of Britain’s most famous landmarks, but the word abbey has been removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Photo: Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Oxford University Press has removed words like “aisle”, “bishop”, “chapel”, “empire” and “monarch” from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like “blog”, “broadband” and “celebrity”. Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled.

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.

But academics and head teachers said that the changes to the 10,000 word Junior Dictionary could mean that children lose touch with Britain’s heritage.

“We have a certain Christian narrative which has given meaning to us over the last 2,000 years. To say it is all relative and replaceable is questionable,” said Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment at Buckingham University. “The word selections are a very interesting reflection of the way childhood is going, moving away from our spiritual background and the natural world and towards the world that information technology creates for us.”

An analysis of the word choices made by the dictionary lexicographers has revealed that entries from “abbey” to “willow” have been axed. Instead, words such as “MP3 player”, “voicemail” and “attachment” have taken their place.

Lisa Saunders, a worried mother who has painstakingly compared entries from the junior dictionaries, aimed at children aged seven or over, dating from 1978, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, said she was “horrified” by the vast number of words that have been removed, most since 2003.

“The Christian faith still has a strong following,” she said. “To eradicate so many words associated with the Christianity will have a big effect on the numerous primary schools who use it.”

Ms Saunders realised words were being removed when she was helping her son with his homework and discovered that “moss” and “fern”, which were in editions up until 2003, were no longer listed.

“I decide to take a closer look and compare the new version to the other editions,” said the mother of four from Co Down, Northern Ireland. “I was completely horrified by the vast number of words which have been removed. We know that language moves on and we can’t be fuddy-duddy about it but you don’t cull hundreds of important words in order to get in a different set of ICT words.”

Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, a leading private school in Berkshire, said: “I am stunned that words like “saint”, “buttercup”, “heather” and “sycamore” have all gone and I grieve it.

“I think as well as being descriptive, the Oxford Junior Dictionary, has to be prescriptive too, suggesting not just words that are used but words that should be used. It has a duty to keep these words within usage, not merely pander to an audience. We are looking at the loss of words of great beauty. I would rather have “marzipan” and “mistletoe” then “MP3 player.”

Oxford University Press, which produces the junior edition, selects words with the aid of the Children’s Corpus, a list of about 50 million words made up of general language, words from children’s books and terms related to the school curriculum. Lexicographers consider word frequency when making additions and deletions.

Vineeta Gupta, the head of children’s dictionaries at Oxford University Press, said: “We are limited by how big the dictionary can be – little hands must be able to handle it – but we produce 17 children’s dictionaries with different selections and numbers of words.

“When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance. That was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed. We are also much more multicultural. People don’t go to Church as often as before. Our understanding of religion is within multiculturalism, which is why some words such as “Pentecost” or “Whitsun” would have been in 20 years ago but not now.”

She said children’s dictionaries were trailed in schools and advice taken from teachers. Many words are added to reflect the age-related school curriculum.

Words taken out:

Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe

Dwarf, elf, goblin

Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar

Coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade

adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren.

Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow

Words put in:

Blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, analogue

Celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, negotiate, interdependent, creep, citizenship, childhood, conflict, common sense, debate, EU, drought, brainy, boisterous, cautionary tale, bilingual, bungee jumping, committee, compulsory, cope, democratic, allergic, biodegradable, emotion, dyslexic, donate, endangered, Euro

Apparatus, food chain, incisor, square number, trapezium, alliteration, colloquial, idiom, curriculum, classify, chronological, block graph