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www Ironies

Friday, June 27, 2003

I recently wrote a piece on Jean Claude Trichet and annoyingly could not find my copy of Bernard Connolly's book The Rotten Heart of Europe. A reader has very kindly provided the information I sought

" Spotting this in Ironies I looked up my copy and there are 29 entries
indeed !  These include 'avoidance of criticism', 'paranoia about
Anglo-Saxon conspiracies', 'scepticism about competence of (Trichet)' ,
sweetheart deals'   and many more!"

Thanks, Christina, much appreciated

posted by Martin at 6/27/2003 12:13:00 PM

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Euro support falls to 21 per cent

That figure is from an ICM poll published in today's Guardian

The poll also shows that the government's "not yet" statement on the single currency has proved disastrous for the pro-euro camp, and support for joining the eurozone has fallen to its lowest level since March 2001. According to the monthly ICM/Goldman Sachs tracker poll, support for the euro fell by nine percentage points to only 21%, after the statement by Mr Blair and the chancellor, Gordon Brown

posted by Martin at 6/24/2003 08:51:00 PM

Other Reading

We will be travelling during the next week and posts may become somewhat intermittent.

To compensate we have added a new link, which if followed will lead to an absolute treasure trove of items regarding the EU and its ever growing control over its member states. It is EU Facts Figures and Phantasies edited by Christina Speight........Dip In! (The Link to the site on the left hand bar will be permanent.)

posted by Martin at 6/24/2003 06:20:00 PM

Edward Heath

An interesting letter quoted from today's Daily Telegraph

Re: Politician's ploys
Date: 24 June 2003

Sir - Your report (report, Jun 23) about Sir Edward Heath's secret pro-
Europe propaganda appals me. People wrote to him when he was Lord Privy
Seal expressing concern at any loss of sovereignty.

They were assured there would be no loss of sovereignty - I know,
because I typed the letters. I suppose he was convinced he knew best
what was good for this country - so, for him, the end justified the
means. But no wonder politicians are neither respected nor trusted.

Barbara Bence, Kingsbridge, Devon

posted by Martin at 6/24/2003 06:14:00 PM

Monday, June 23, 2003


One week ago we commented on an attempt by the EU to censor Blogs.

As was only to be expected this huge impingement on the democratic rights and individual liberty of every single one of 300 soon to be 400 plus million European citizens received, as far as I have been able to determine, zero negative coverage in the traditional media, once the self-styled fourth estate of, what can now only jokingly be described as 'the Realm' .

For some effort to be made in the protection of our freedoms, we have to once again look out across the Atlantic this time to the Washington Times Euro censorship.

That newspaper, (whose superlative representative Tony Blankley on the not to be missed weekly The Mclaughlin Group ) which has headed the queue (line) of probables to be the next permanent link on this page, has now clearly earnt its inclusion.

posted by Martin at 6/23/2003 02:40:00 PM

Constitutional Power Shift

There is an extremely well researched and highly significant article in today's Financial Times by Richard Baldwin and Mika Widgen. I was delighted to find having read it first in the print edition, that the editor has for once not restricted its web circulation to the subsription pages, and I can therefore usefully give the link: Europe's voting reform will shift power balance

Almost a first that I have seen in reports on Giscard's Constitution the article opens by stressing the awesome change these proposal really represent:-

The European Union's draft constitution proposes radical reforms of the EU's institutions - more sweeping than those in the Single European Act and the Maastricht and Nice Treaties combined. Many reforms have been debated but little attention has been paid to the most critical: the reform of EU decision-making procedures.

This lack of scrutiny is astounding. ......

The area that the authors explore is the shift in voting weights for qualified majority voting on which they have determined the following startling implications:-

The increased decision-making efficiency stems from reform of majority voting in the Council of Ministers. Instead of the Nice Treaty's complex system, the Council would pass EU laws when half the members, representing at least 60 per cent of the EU population, vote for it. This would make it easier to achieve a winning majority in the Council. Under the Nice rules, only about 2 per cent of all conceivable coalitions constitute a qualified majority. Under the Constitution's rules, over a fifth of all coalitions will achieve that goal.

Other commentators on the subject of this change have tended to discuss the matter in terms of a shift of power from the smaller to the larger countries. Here the conclusion is that the gain in power will flow mostly to the commission and European Parliament at the expense of the Council or in real terms the nation states. Almost exactly what the British Government have been fighting to avoid.

The consequences from a eurosceptical viewpoint are much more optimistic, the authors concluding:-

The new rules are good for Europe but they have complex implications. Once EU leaders begin to appreciate these, they are likely to reject the draft constitution, or at least many of its proposals.

posted by Martin at 6/23/2003 11:12:00 AM

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Has Tony gone bonkers?

An interesting article that explores the above supposition is to be found in the Sunday Herald

posted by Martin at 6/22/2003 06:32:00 PM

European Parliament Emasculates Politics

We have been examining the decision taken last week in the European Parliament for political parties, as represented in that mockery of a democratic institution, to award themselves Eight point Four million Euros of taxpayers money every year from now unto eternity for their own sole benefit.

The justification for this latest dipping of their hands into our pockets comes only towards the end of the document and is stated as follows:-

Need for Community intervention

Article 191 mandates the legislator to regulate the statute and financing of European political parties. The aim of this Regulation is create a stable, transparent and legitimate framework for the financing of European political parties. There is a clear need to provide partial financing of parties from the Community budget to enable them to meet the objectives assigned by the Treaty and to do so in a way which will meet the criticism levelled at the existing financing through the budgets of the political groups by the Court of Auditors.

In other words, and in plain English, they have been so criticised by the Court of Auditors for the manner in which they have been helping themselves to our money in the past, that the only way to continue is to self-legitimise the theft.

There is no justification whatsoever for European political parties and certainly no reason for them to be taxpayer financed. The only reason for such finance being that individual donors would be unlikely to step forward. (Being the weak and corrupt individuals most of them seem they might probably claim that without taxpayers funding they could fall prey to corruption by powerful lobby interests. Lacking the moral fibre to stiffen their backbones and resist such pessures is clearly not an option for these weak-willed people or such an argument would not be deployed. Scrapping the parliament altogther would be a much better course of action saving many millions extra and ending the pretence that there is the slightest hint of any democracy within the EU).

To continue with the new regulation, however, in the explanatory memorandum we are told the following:-

The Commission considers that it would be inappropriate to establish intrusive or over prescriptive political requirements for the registration of European political parties, but considers it essential to lay down minimum standards of democratic conduct for such parties.
Accordingly, Article 2 (dealing with the definition of a party) and Article 3 (dealing with registration) lay down that to be registered by the European Parliament a party must:
– have participated or declared their intention to participate in elections to the European Parliament;
– have clearly defined bodies responsible for financial management;
– ensure that the statute and activities of the European political party respect the basic purposes of the Union with regard to freedom, democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law.

Could it not be argued that the “basic purpose of the Union” as set out in the present draft constitution:-

Article 1.1 : Establishment of the Union

Section 1. Reflecting the will of the citizens and States of Europe to build a common future, this Constitution establishes the European Union, on which the member states confer the competence to obtain objectives they have in common.

With that in mind, might it not be a real possibility that parties NOT supporting European integration will be excluded from Registration, starved of EU finance and thus unable to compete against the opposing fat subsidised Federalist Political Conglomerations called Registered European Political Parties; among whom will of course be the European Socialists, the European Peoples Party taking in Britain's supposed eurosceptic Tories and the Greens, all of whom rushed to make press announcements extolling the virtues of this prime example of daylight robbery. Given that is all clearly the case it must be obvious that this is more than just your usual Brussels caper of ripping off the general public; it is actually an anti-democratic ploy to ensure the MEP gravy train can continue to run indefinitely for those dedicated to the destruction for all the decent values the peoples of Europe once held dear.

I quote below some further pieces from the new regulation. I believe Parliament reduced the minimum 5 per cent figure down to 3 per cent, but can’t be sure as their link to the regulation repeatedly draws an error warning (surprise, surprise!)

Random quotes for those still interested:-

“The award of Community financing must be reserved for parties that are reasonably representative, either in the European Parliament or in a number of Member States. In this context, the reference in Article 5 of the Regulation to regional parliaments should be interpreted in each Member State in the light of its internal constitutional principles. The following criteria are proposed: elected members in the European Parliament or national or
regional Parliaments in at least of third of the Member States, or to have obtained at least five (now maybe 3) percent of the votes at the most recent European elections in at least one third of the Member States of the Community. The parties must also commit themselves not to accept certain kinds of donations defined in Article 5(d).
Parties would then be eligible for financing from the Union budget in compliance with Article 191 and at the same time with the subsidiary principle. This financing is not intended to replace the autonomous financing of the European parties which must represent at least 25% of the budget of each party.
The distribution between parties eligible for financing is based on objective factors. Each party would receive a flat-rate basic grant plus a second component based on the number of elected representatives in the European Parliament. The two components would account for 15% and 85% of the appropriations respectively.”


“(4) Financing should be given solely to parties that are sufficiently representative at European level so as to avoid financing purely national parties, or parties to which financing has been refused at national level on the grounds that they do not respect democratic principles. This financing should not replace autonomous financing of the parties.


“Article 3
2. The statute shall contain a programme setting out the objectives of the political party or of the alliance of political parties, and shall define in particular the bodies responsible for political and financial management as well as the bodies or natural persons holding, in each of the Member States concerned, the power of legal representation, in particular for the purposes of the acquisition or disposal of movable or immovable property and of being a party to legal proceedings.
The statute and activities of the political party or of the alliance of political parties must respect the principles of freedom and democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law.”

1. At the request of one quarter of its members, representing at least three political groups in the European Parliament, the European Parliament shall verify, by a majority of its members, that the condition laid down in Article 3 (2), second sentence, continues to be satisfied by a European political party. Before carrying out such verification the European Parliament shall hear the representatives of the European political party concerned and ask a committee of independent eminent persons to give an opinion on the subject within a reasonable time.
If the European Parliament finds, by a majority of its members, that the condition is no longer satisfied, the statute of the European political party in question shall be removed from the register.


...declare its sources of finance by providing a list specifying the donors and the donations given by each donor, with the exception of donations not exceeding EUR 100;
It shall not accept
– (a) anonymous donations,
– (b) donations from the budgets of political groups in the European
– (c) donations from legal bodies in which the State holding exceeds 50%
of their capital,
– (d) donations exceeding EUR 5 000 per year and per donor from any
natural or legal person other than the legal bodies referred to in point (c)
the previous indent and without prejudice to the third subparagraph.
Donations from a political party forming part of the European political party shall be admissible.”


Absolutely amazing is it not? What about the little gimmick slipped in to let 49.99 per cent state owned companies make donations, and then in the very next line exclude them from the EUR 5000 per year limit that applies to every other entity. I am no lawyer but isn’t that exclusion only there to serve that very purpose?

Read it all for yourselves Parliamentary Political Party Pillaging Proposal

posted by Martin at 6/22/2003 12:02:00 PM

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Giscard's Constitution

For those without the time to read the whole thing The Economist has done a pretty good job of exploring some of the main areas. Click the link and if you wish to print it takes six pages.

posted by Martin at 6/21/2003 08:49:00 AM

Prodi's "Great Leap Forward" for the EU

The deeply flawed constitution as proposed by Valery Giscard d'Estaing, received widespread approval from the Heads of Government gathered at Porto Carras near Thessaloniki in Greece yesterday. According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Toby Helm reporting in this morning's Daily Telegraph the consensus was that it represented a gigantic step in integration, while its mid-wife VGdE said it was a great leap forward. What a contrast from the stated British position put forward by Peter Hain and backed by the Prime Minister that it is all merely a tidying up exercise.

An accompanying article in the same newspaper describes how Blair left the meeting early and how his love affair with all things EU might finally be coming to an end.

The Guardian and The Independent consider the whole subject of the summit barely worthy of comment. Is it perhaps, because even they are beginning to recognise they're earlier enthusiasm and distortion of the truth about the EU was misguided? Certainly there must be acres of newsprint from both those newspapers now proved totally wrong by the provisional, all too soon to be final, terms of the draft constitution. As Blair himself said, while clearly sounding increasingly desperate the document was a basis for further negotiations but insisted that Britain would not accept the erosion of the veto over defence, tax, foreign policy or border controls. "What we want is a Europe of nations, not a federal super-state." How many are still prepared to believe those words, it appears that Blair has already conceded these other items as described in the first article :-

The text creates a full-time European president, foreign minister, and public prosecutor, as well as a finance chief for the euro-zone.

It doubles the powers of the European parliament, and prohibits national parliaments from legislating in most areas - including justice, social policy, economic cohesion, energy, transport, and the environment - unless Brussels chooses not to act.

It gives the EU "legal personality" with sole authority to negotiate most treaties, and incorporates the Charter of Fundamental Rights under the full jurisdiction of the European Court. The European Commission takes the lead role in justice policy and economic management.

NB Doubling the power of the European Parliament might sound like a step towards greater democracy but on 19th June 2003 the MEPs voted to become paid creatures of the EU corporate state by accepting vast sums of money for their political parties provided such parties met certain rigid requirements regarding pan-europeanism AND furthermore would be subject to the approval of other such parties, a complete denial of everything most people would understand from the term "free and open democracy"

The anti-democratic garrotte slowly tightens around the necks of the people of Europe as they blithely follow their lives wrongy assuming their often visibly corrupt rulers can be trusted to guard their liberties.

posted by Martin at 6/21/2003 07:28:00 AM

Friday, June 20, 2003

Welcome back Mark Steyn

I knew something had been missing recently, but couldn't quite place what it was. Checking this week's Spectator I now know. Mark Steyn has been visiting Iraq and his brilliant use of the English language has therefore been sadly missed (sorry about the old man of the mountains Mark!). Never mind he is back with a report from that apparently reasonably happily occupied land....which concludes In Iraq, the Americans and British are muddling through; in the Congo, ‘international law’, as represented by the French and the UN, is failing big time. That’s my view and it happens to fit my prejudices. But it also fits the facts.

posted by Martin at 6/20/2003 07:13:00 PM

Euroland Strikes

While France has been getting most attention for the recent industrial disputes connected with the governments proposal to extend the years worked before reaching pensionable age for public sector employees, those in Eastern Germany seem to be causing more severe problems for the Euroland economy.Volkswagen according to this article in The Miami Herald is now in danger of losing production in the old West due to strikes in the former East, thus joining BMW in this position.

Volkswagen also recently reported substantial cuts in its European dealership network according to Bloomberg.

These things always seem to come in threes and for VW the final item is the dispute over the blocking twenty per cent shareholding of the state of Lower Saxony EU Rules

In a wider context with the Growth and Stability pact guidelines clearly being breached by the two largest Euroland countries, and present tax proposals being tabled that can only worsen those breaches, the Euro is looking less and less a safe haven compared to other currencies. I haven't seen any press speculation regarding how the collapse of the Euro, however unlikely that might now seem, might actually come about, but surely the first signs of unsustainabilty are beginning to appear on the horizon. Greece has apparently been able to defer confirmation of Jean-Claude Trichet's confirmation as next ECB Head until the first Italian EU summit, very wise let Italy carry the stigma of appointing the man most likely to see the demise of yet one more European monteary co-operative venture.

posted by Martin at 6/20/2003 05:00:00 PM

Where to file the Constitution

The lead article in this week's edition of The Economist has the perfect suggestion as to what to do with Giscard's Convention

That magazine's conclusion Everything that is crucial it gets wrong

posted by Martin at 6/20/2003 01:53:00 PM

Government Propaganda

In an article with the title A Free Country Stephen Robinson describes in today's Daily Telegraph how the Home Office tried to manafacture statistics showing public opinion being supportive of entitlement (ie read ID) cards....

But the Home Office had not counted on nine enterprising young people who work in the IT sector and who, in their spare time, run an unfunded website that encourages their peers to take part in such national debates. They posted a form on their site - www.stand.org.uk. This was not a petition, just a mechanism for readers to participate in the consultation procedure. They were gratified that more than 5,000 people used their service, of whom 4,856 were against the scheme.

The same ploy has now been used to try and demonstrate support for referenda in favour of Regional Assemblies. If we wish our country to stay free we must mount as many independent demonstrations of the public's true feelings as we possibly can.

This poll being run by the newspaper Northumberland Today was showing an incredible 100 per cent against Regional Assemblies when we voted.

posted by Martin at 6/20/2003 11:40:00 AM

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Eurobarometer Poll

The EU has issued their initial report on the regular six monthly soundings of EU public opinion, this one taken in March/April 2003.

In the summary the UK comes bottom in 6 out of the 11 subjects polled Well Done Everyone!

Lowest score for we Brits 'Support for the Euro' 24 per cent down a hefty 4 pct in six months
next lowest 'EU to take Defence decisions' 26 per cent up 6 (The Iraq war was in full flow)
then 'Trust in Commission' 29 per cent down 2
fourth lowest 'Membership a Good Thing' 30 down 1
fifth ''Common Fgn Policy' 37 down 1 (but still way too high
and sixth subject 'Common Defence' 47 down 1 (but way to go)

The biggest growth in negative feelings was regarding EU enlargement where only 36 per cent of Britons are now in favour a fall of 6 points.

The full 42 pages are available in PDF format from the Europa website, which one of these days I will get around to having linked from this page! (Maybe!)

posted by Martin at 6/19/2003 05:48:00 PM

Lord Chancellorship re-visited

A visit to samizdata today led me to an article by Sean Gabb on the abolition of the Lord Chancellor. His comments on the ethos of New Labour seem particularly apt:-
The general problem is that the New Labour turn of mind is frankly contemptuous of the past. Mr Blair's "forces of conservatism" speech in 1999 was an accurate expression of how these people regard the English past. They want a New Britain, and regard all that is left of old England as an embarrassment to be cleared away as soon as possible. Some New Labour people, I accept, have the fairest intentions. I have eaten with these people. They often have more sympathy for libertarian concerns than Conservatives have ever had. But many of their seniors are malevolent. They have no liking for liberties whether ancient or modern. They want a politically correct police state and a corporatised economy. Ordinary people are to have the appearance of freedom, but little of its substance, and the world is to be made safe for an elite of politicians, big businessmen and their pet intellectuals. What joins these different factions is their contempt of the past. And this is fatal to the benevolent strain within New Labour. By ripping up every old association on which they can lay hands, our masters are turning a nation into a frightened mob. They may be doing to us what the revolutionary governments did to France after 1789. And, while the men of 1789 had some excuse for not understanding the consequences of their remodelling, their modern successors have no excuse.

posted by Martin at 6/19/2003 09:38:00 AM

Lies start to flow from Thessaloniki

As the EU summit gets underway in Greece the untruthful and distorted reporting begins. As I type this entry Robin Oakley European Editor for CNN International reports live from Porto Carras along the lines that the European Union will be discussing a new constitution as they are presently working with one designed for six countries while the EU will soon have 25 members, maybe more and constitutional changes will therefore become necessary.

UNTRUE The earlier forms of what has today become the Europan Union have never had a constitution. They have always operated under Treaty Agreements. To imply otherwise is to totally distort what is now happening in the EU, which is nothing less than the creation of a Federal, Non-Democratic Superstate with the provisional name of the Union of European States. That is why a constitution is only NOW necessary.

posted by Martin at 6/19/2003 08:47:00 AM

Jean-Claude Trichet

I imagine it was a surprise to few that the next head of the European Central Bank was acquitted by a French court in the Credit Lyonnaise fraud case. Especially when recalling the absolute determination shown by France to displace Wim Duisenberg halfway through his first term. The Times in an article reporting on Gordon Brown's Mansion House speech of yesterday evening, reminds us of those events :-

Quote... For while we can be sure of a smooth handover from Sir Edward to the doughty Mervyn King, the impending handover from Wim Duisenberg to Jean-Claude Trichet will lack a certain, shall we say, élan.

M Trichet has been acquitted over charges in the Crédit Lyonnais affair but his future tenure in Frankfurt will inevitably carry the taint both of this scandal and the unseemly Franco-German stitch-up which paved the way for this change at the top, halfway through the treaty-prescribed term for an ECB President.

In the gilded splendour of the Mansion House, even with plenty of European bankers for company, Britain’s entry into the euro seemed a very long way away.

I recall, if I am not mistaken, that Trichet figured prominently in Bernard Connolly's excellent book "The Rotten Heart of Europe" which covered in deatil the collapse and failure of earlier attempts at common European monetary schemes. (Now to whom did I lend that precious tome?)

The newspaper article is worth reading for an insight into the knots the Chancellor of the Exchequer is now tying himself over the Euro.

posted by Martin at 6/19/2003 07:25:00 AM

Patten Boasts of exceeding budget

From the EU Propoganda Pages of the Guardian Unlimited Chris Patten one time Tory Chairman who lost his own seat, last Governer of Hong Kong who was unable to properly perform the only real function of his term of office, namely maintaining a stiff upper lip as the flag came down and worst of all EU Commissioner over the corpse of the RUC extols the joys of overspending taxpayers' money in the Balkans:-

Quote The EU has invested a tremendous amount in the stabilisation and development of the western Balkans. We agreed a six-year programme of €4.6bn for 2000-06, and may end up exceeding even that.Unquote

posted by Martin at 6/19/2003 06:54:00 AM

The EU's Franco/German Leaders

A couple of items from this morning's Daily Telegraph caught my eye the first reports on the halt in publication ordered by the French authorities of a book that apparently claims France is institutionally corrupt.

The second raises the question as to whether Germans are too lazy, which reports on that country's economics minister's criticisms of his countrymen.

As these two countries are very much at the heart of Euroland it raises the question as to how much justification there can really be for the recent surge in the value of the Euro against the Dollar. Where Germans apparently clock up 43 days of hoilday the typical US worker gets only two weeks holiday per year and far fewer than the 13 days public holidays the Germans expect.

posted by Martin at 6/19/2003 06:34:00 AM

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

A view from the Alps

What do the Swiss see this morning, looking out from their peaceful, democratic and harmoniously multilingual country towards the ever
growing European Union, that almost completely surrounds them.

To the West in the capital city of France the next nominated head of the European Central Bank, surely one of the most critical posts in the ever expanding conglomeration of once proud nations, Jean-Claude Trichet appears in court to learn the result of the inquiries into his role in
the massive fraud and mismanagement of funds at Credit LyonnaiseTrichet awaits fraud verdict

To the North the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi had been named as knowing about misappropriation of funds at Eurostat his name having been mentioned in yesterday's FT, his Vice-President and Administration Commissioner Neil Kinnock, Budget Commissioner Michaele Schreyer, and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes had appeared at a public hearing at Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee on 17 June, and stated repeatedly that they had not received any suspicious information prior to the publication of reports on the alleged fraud by OLAF, the EU's anti-fraud unit. However, they
did concede that there appeared to be problems "far more significant" than previously thought.Euractiv Report

While to the south, as reported by Swiss Info the Prime Minister of Italy and in 13 days time the President of the entire European Union for the next six months appeared in court to defend himself from corruption charges.

To the East countries newly liberated from the oppression of totalitarian communism seem anxious to join this ever less democratic
and increasingly scandal-ridden international grouping.

Envy the Swiss, who with their rights to referenda on all major issues, have the sense to remain separate from this European Union.

Why Britain remains a member is an increasingly baffling ongoing mystery. Anybody know a Eurofederalsit even prepared to try an answer?

posted by Martin at 6/18/2003 10:32:00 AM

David Heathcote-Amory

In an article with the title The proposed constitution fundamentally changes the union the Conservative MP of the title who was a representative on Valery Giscard d'Estaing's convention, also discusses the implications of the constitution. Among his concluding paragraphs he makes the following point:-

Those who have argued passionately for this constitution and those who have struggled against it can at least unite in recognising its scale and importance. It must be decided by a vote of the people as a whole. Most other member states are planning to hold referendums next year.

If the Government is sure that the outcome will be good for Britain, let it have the confidence to put its arguments to the people. After all, it was supposed to be all about democracy and creating a Europe "closer to its citizens".

I refer readers to my comments on the Preamble to this draft Constitution. While the body of the Agreement contains all the unpleasant facts, the tone and full implications can be mostly quickly gathered from this Preamble which makes the intentions of its framers absolutely crystal clear. One wonders if Blair has read it!

The absence of press comment on the startling opening to this document, which as far as I know was only first published this weekend, is beginning to make me wonder if it is being deliberately obscured.

posted by Martin at 6/18/2003 08:22:00 AM

A real constitution would clip Blair's Wings

Two outstanding articles from the Opinion pages of today's Daily Telegraph. The first by Janet Daley After hearing Jack Straw on yesterday's Today programme comparing the absence of a referendum on Maastricht with the situation today regarding the proposed constitution she says:-

A constitution is nothing less than the foundation and raison d'être of a state. Growing up in America, a nation of displaced people whose only common bond is their adherence to the principles enshrined in their Constitution, one learns to revere the document as the ultimate authority for all political action.

To say that something is "unconstitutional" is to put it beyond the pale of legality and political morality. So far as I can tell, Tony Blair seems to think that "constitutional" change simply means an abandoning of some historically given arrangement: an administrative alteration of a fundamental kind.

Coming from a country that has never had a written document as the basis and justification for government, he seems to have no sense at all of the immutable nature of this project he is undertaking: that a constitution, properly understood, invents (or re-invents) a nation.

I commend the entire article.

posted by Martin at 6/18/2003 08:03:00 AM

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Prodi fingered in new EU Corruption Scandal

I read this first thing this morning, but am only now able to provide a link for non-FT readers. It was headline news in the European print edition and quite righty so.

The report begins "Romano Prodi and three senior European commissioners will on Tuesday be drawn into the biggest financial scandal since the last Commission was forced to resign in disgrace in 1999".

Read the rest from this link
Prodi drawn into 'looting scandal at Eurostat

Also mentioned are Neil Kinnock, survivor from the sacked Santer Commission and and Pedro Solbes monetary affairs commissioner. Enquiries will be underway in the European Parliament today, we will try and get what details we can before this too is swept under some Brussels carpet or other. Marta Andreasen former Chief Accountant and courageous whistle blower gets a brief mention in the report.

posted by Martin at 6/17/2003 05:11:00 PM

Monday, June 16, 2003

EU moves against Blogs

According to this post on Samizdata made by its editor Perry de Havilland today, the EU is now worried about the impact of Blogs on their future plans for a dictatorial and censored Europe.

posted by Martin at 6/16/2003 07:33:00 PM

Prescott Announces Referenda on Assemblies

The Deputy PM has just announced that there will be three referenda in the North of England in the Autumn of next year regarding Regional Assemblies. The regions involved are the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Sky News

The new Battle of Britain therefore begins!

The European Constitutional Document that destroys our democracy and sacrifices our remaining sovereignty, apparently remains too trivial a matter for the Prime Minister to consider worthy of such democratic treatment. The timing of this announcement on top of the botched announcement of the EU ordered scrapping of the Lord Chancellor's office is mind boggling in its sheer effrontery.

posted by Martin at 6/16/2003 04:14:00 PM

Referendum Call on Constitution

EU Observer reports on a call made in Brussels last Friday for a referendum on the proposed consitution to be held concurrently across Europe in 2004.

The article ends with these depressing words:-

Denmark and Ireland will definitely have a referendum on the Constitution.

An active debate on the issue has already started in Finland, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany.

However it is unlikely that referenda will take place in some countries due to legal and political constraints.Some governments are also wary that current public opinion would not be sufficient to carry a vote in their favour.

In other words these governments KNOW their electorates wont accept this dreadful document and have therefore DETERMINED they be deprived of the chance of expressing their views. So much for any further pretence of Democracy

posted by Martin at 6/16/2003 12:21:00 PM

EU Joint Foreign Policy Difficulties

The Financial Times reports today that Jack Straw Britain's Foreign Secretary is uneasy about the role of the new foreign affairs supremo proposed in the final version of the just published constitution:-

The UK has more outstanding concerns than any other EU member state over the draft agreement, which was unveiled by Valéry Giscard d'Estaing on Friday. Though comfortable with the idea of combining the separate foreign policy roles of Javier Solana and Chris Patten, it is uneasy about the description of the new occupant as Europe's "foreign minister".

Elsewhere in the same newspaper is a report of the Italian Prime Minister breaking ranks with his European counterparts by refusing to visit Yasser Arafat on his recent Middle East visit, this has apparently incensed other European diplomats according to the report.

Maybe it would be a good idea to keep two (or more) Foreign Policy super eurocrats for the longer term, thus having a spokesman and representative for each of the EU's various foreign policies!

posted by Martin at 6/16/2003 12:07:00 PM

Sunday, June 15, 2003

A Political Preamble

I posted, yesterday, the full Preamble to the proposed constitution and promised some comments.

The whole thing is best quickly read and to my mind immediately dismissed as a contradictory mish mash of conflicting, woolly-minded but far from harmless concepts aimed at superficially pleasing all readers. For me it achieves the opposite, a service in a way, as it is so awful that the body of the agreement can justifiably be instantly dismissed on the construct of the introduction alone.

Those seeking a deeper look into the difficulties it will present might care to consider the following more detailed critique.

The first sentence quotes in Greek on Democracy. Clearly having got that problematic concept out of the way right at the beginning, they then felt justified in never seriously considering the matter again!

Conscious that Europe is a continent that has brought forth civilisation; that its inhabitants, arriving in successive waves since the first ages of mankind, have gradually developed the values underlying humanism: equality of persons, freedom, respect for reason,

arriving in successive waves since the first ages of mankind’

As far as I know , as a non-anthropologist, this is not proven or accepted fact. What place does it therefore have in a constitutional preamble?

Apparently, the framers of the Constitution have absolute proof that mankind originated on another continent, presumably Africa which I understand is considered the current most likely candidate.

I understood that some still believe the origins of mankind can be traced elsewhere, or indeed that mankind’s roots or origins might possibly stretch back to a time before the present continents either split or re-formed, thus making us all in some way aboriginal to some part of each continent.

No such uncertainties for the founding fathers of the new Europe. We must, presumably for political purposes and the suppression of any nationalistic tendencies, be all considered as immigrants in our particular corner of the continent (or islands off such Continent I presume!)

gradually developed the values underlying humanism

Humanism, thus holds pride of place as the first mentioned philosophical outlook for the new Europeans. It is principally defined in English as ‘the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity; the rejection of religion in favour of the belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts’.

The underlying concepts of the US Constitution summed up in the rather vague term ‘pursuit of happiness’ are presumably what the drafters are shooting to attain with this clause while avoiding the continuing argument as to what might properly constitute “happiness’ in such a context.

Drawing inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, which, always present in its heritage, has embedded within the life of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law,

religious and humanist

Given the definition of humanism quoted above, this statement clearly is a nonsense. Humanism denies religion, so inspiration cannot possibly be drawn from two conflicting, therefore self-cancelling ideologies.

It is known Giscard d'Estaing flew off to the Vatican City while preparing this document, and while the Pope might be content with the way spiritual matters seem to have been dismissed, I imagine others will find greater difficulties with the elevation of humanism (itself with some religious connotations) above other religions?

Believing that reunited Europe intends to continue along this path of civilisation, progress and prosperity, for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived; that it wishes to remain a continent open to culture, learning, and social progress; and that it wishes to deepen the democratic and transparent nature of its public life, and to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world,


Most of the above paragraph is essentially a long “We all love Motherhood” statement and therefore cannot be sensibly argued against. The concept of ‘solidarity’ is an entirely different matter.

Solidarity has only recently (if at all) become a commonplace in English but is clearly defined as "unity of interests, sympathies, etc., as among members of the same class".

It is thus a politically charged word promoting the concept of equality. Used as it is in the context above it implies that the objectives listed beforehand can best be achieved by the means of solidarity. This is contrary to the economic ideas of Adam Smith and the natural laws of market places, in which I, and I presume many other Europeans still choose to believe. (The collapse of the Soviet Union proved the concept of solidarity as defined in English leads to economic ruin. Its inclusion in this paragraph proves the constitution's framers have learnt nothing from that debacle and glaringly reveals their agenda!)

This whole paragraph thus becomes a blatantly political statement with undertones of Marxist concepts and suggestions of a drive towards world egalitarianism.

Convinced that, while remaining proud of their own national identities and history, the peoples of Europe are determined to transcend their ancient divisions, and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny,

united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny

I do not choose to make this a personal ambition, others might and they should be free to express that desire in a referendum just as I should be allowed to say NO.

Convinced that, thus "united in its diversity", Europe offers them the best chance of pursuing with due regard for the rights of each individual and in awareness of their responsibilities towards future generations and the Earth, the great venture which makes of it , a special area of human hope,

Europe offers them the best chance of pursuing

I further do not believe that Europe offers me the best hope of pursuing anything at all as it presently non-democratically exists, nor as it will become under this even less democratic constitution. Consequently I do not see the present EU as a special area of human hope. On the contrary I am fearful for the future not just of myself but of all Europeans and more importantly my children and other generations to come. This EU fills me with dread!

Grateful to the members of the European Convention for having prepared this Constitution on behalf of the citizens and States of Europe,


There are many emotions I feel towards those who drafted this document. Gratitude, especially as they were overpaid, expense accounted and self-aggrandized for the work, is certainly not one of them.

All the people of Europe should have a chance to simultaneously pronounce by once-off referendum on this document!.

posted by Martin at 6/15/2003 03:39:00 PM

Stolen DNA

This is an interesting report suggesting it will soon be made illegal to make unauthorised DNA tests.

The two cases quoted as justification, one involving a plot to steal a sample of Prince Harry's hair from his brush at Eton the other regarding the Bing case, hardly seem justification for such draconian and unjust legislation.

The main purpose for obtaining DNA samples without consent, are as the article points out, when fathers seek to establish whether they are truly the biological parent of their partners child. If they are not, then the fathers are victims of, at least deceit, and more usually a sophisticated confidence trick involving the extraction of money under false pretences. Why should all parties be denied the chance of establishing the truth cheaply, quickly and incontrovertibly.

The argument that the subject should provide consent does not hold water as the trick is only being perpetrated for as long as the subject is a minor and, therefore, normally mainly under the influence of the mother, who in such cases can hardly be considered an impartial party.


(If what I understand about eye-colour is correct, it would make as much sense to prohibit brown eyed fathers with brown eyed wives the right to look at their blue-eyed child and draw appropriate conclusions).

posted by Martin at 6/15/2003 08:31:00 AM

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Preamble to the Constitution

Enough of the likes of Peter Hain. Let us examine the dreadful details of the Constitution at which he has supposedly been representing Britain's interests. The Text of the Preamble is as follows:-

Our Constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number. Thucydides II,37

Conscious that Europe is a continent that has brought forth civilisation; that its inhabitants, arriving in successive waves since the first ages of mankind, have gradually developed the values underlying humanism: equality of persons, freedom, respect for reason,

Drawing inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, which, always present in its heritage, has embedded within the life of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law,

Believing that reunited Europe intends to continue along this path of civilisation, progress and prosperity, for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived; that it wishes to remain a continent open to culture, learning, and social progress; and that it wishes to deepen the democratic and transparent nature of its public life, and to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world,

Convinced that, while remaining proud of their own national identities and history, the peoples of Europe are determined to transcend their ancient divisions, and, united ever more closely, to forge a common destiny,

Convinced that, thus "united in its diversity", Europe offers them the best chance of pursuing, with due regard for the rights of each individual and in awareness of their responsibilities towards future generations and the Earth, the great venture which makes of it a special area of human hope,

Grateful to the members of the European Convention for having prepared this Constitution on behalf of the citizens and States of Europe,

[Who, having exchanged their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:]

posted by Martin at 6/14/2003 08:20:00 AM

Peter Hain

An item and profile on Peter Hain in today's Daily Telegraph gives us the following quotes from the new Leader of the House. On the way the reshuffle was handled and the division of responsibilities over Wales he says:-

"this whole issue could have been communicated far more effectively from Downing Street" - but he insists he is "crystal clear" about what he is doing.

"I will continue as Welsh Secretary. I will do less of the ceremonial side - opening factories and visiting schools - but I will answer questions . . . People find change unsettling, but we are a radical, reforming government and we are going to stay that way."

Then later towards the end we have this quote:-

"If you'd told me 10 years ago that I'd be in this position, I'd have said: 'Dream on' . . . I've always been a doer in my political life. I've never been interested in rhetoric or posturing, so to have the privilege to actually do something is fantastic."

How quickly things change, it was only yesterday that we quoted him using this fine piece of rhetorical posturing:-

"But I just want to reassure everybody that I will continue with my ambition of creating a world-class Wales."

So now we know building a world class Wales is accomplished by answering questions. No wonder he thinks the Convention is purely a tidying-up exercise, he has failed to even begin to grasp the underlying fundamentals, too busy no doubt getting married, working on his boxes and ensuring he might not appear to be posturing. Hain is indeed a fitting symbol of this administration.

If you follow the link below to read the full piece on Hain, do take the chance to also read the Tom Utley's article in today's paper. His description of Tony Blair as a "jet setting piece of Eurotrash" and the comparative qualities of Cadbury Cream Egg McFlurries and Gin and Tonic are but two of the gems of the piece.


posted by Martin at 6/14/2003 07:15:00 AM

Friday, June 13, 2003

The EU Fails Again?

According to a report in today's The Guardian another EU venture, triumphantly hailed as a first just a few days ago now looks like going the way of all else the EU touches, namely towards ignominious failure. There follows an extract from the article which can be read in full from the link below: One week after the first French troops arrived the first rapid reaction intervention by the EU alone is in danger of being a toothless failure, observers say. If it is not allowed to leave Bunia it will hardly see the slaughter in the province, much less stop it. If unable to intervene in fighting it will not prevent the civilian massacres that invariably follow.

EU soldiers in the Congo find their hands are tied

This should not have happened, a full report on the reality of the situation in and around Bunia was fully available and known well before the mission was dispatched. This report of the siuation facing UN peacekeepers already in the area appeared in the 11th June edition of the Miami Herald, and makes disturbing reading, below is a small extract:-

But the United Nations, handcuffed by its own rules and bureaucracy, never sent a chopper. On May 18, 10 days after the two peacekeepers made their first distress call, the United Nations finally flew some armed peacekeepers to Mongbwalu.

They found the mutilated bodies of Maj. Safwat al Oran, 37, of Jordan, and Capt. Siddon Davis Banda, 29, of Malawi.

Their decomposed corpses had been tossed into a canal and covered with dirt, according to those who saw the bodies. They were shot in the eyes. Their stomachs were split open and their hearts and livers were missing. One man's brain was gone.

The murders laid bare the challenge of bringing peace to one of the world's complex and resilient wars and exposed the limits of the United Nation's efforts to do so.

Congo observers slaughtered after unanswered pleas

Later reports from the same newspaper are also well worth deep consideration!

What is not answered, nor even clarified, is why the mainly French troops (ostensibly EU as that french speaking country's troops are not popular in the former Belgian colony of the Congo) seem to have been sent in with a mission statment that appears bound to repeat the errors made by the United Nations?

posted by Martin at 6/13/2003 03:33:00 PM

Chirac and Schroeder Stitch-Up Europe and Africa

Read the article, no further comment is necessary!

FT Editorial 13th June 2003 'A contemptible deal'

posted by Martin at 6/13/2003 02:53:00 PM

Comments at the Convention's Conclusion

While we await the final version of Giscard's Constitutional Convention to be published the following are a few extracts from Reuters report:-

Key changes would include the appointment of a long-term president of the European Council for up to five years, replacing the current rotating presidency, under which each member state takes the helm for six months.

The draft also proposes an EU foreign minister and a slimmed-down European Commission of 15 full members, based on the principle of strict rotation to ensure equality of all states. The Commission is the EU's executive body.

Peter Hain said "The outcome is a foundation for a modern, more democratic Europe, better anchored to its nation states and more accountable to its citizens," then continuing "It will help us to run a more efficient, effective Union after 10 more countries join next year."

the draft should extend decision-making by majority vote to many new areas, notably in justice and home affairs.

Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio declared: "Despite many people's skepticism, we have managed to do what we said we would do. The convention is a success...This text is a legal revolution without precedent in relations among states.

"It's the end of 19th century diplomacy when things were signed behind closed doors. We have opened up to citizens."

"Opened up to citizens", my foot. We await the final version with impatience and the following IGC with the greatest trepidation. Will the growing economic deprivations of the peoples of Euroland be the only hope in avoiding this growing non-democratic nightmare?

EU Forum Winds up Work on Draft Constitution from Reuters

posted by Martin at 6/13/2003 02:18:00 PM

A Friday 13th Glance at Euroland

As the stench of tear gas drifts through the streets of Paris, Jaques Chirac pleads in the 'pink city' of Toulouse for his countrymen and women to support reform.

In Italy the voters get a chance to vote on a reform that only begins to impact upon the rigidities of the labour markets.

Meantime, in Brussels, Donald Rumsfeld makes the perfectly sensible point that senior US political figures cannot continue to visit Brussels if they face potential arrest on trumped up legal challenges which are of no concern to Belgium. (One such affected is Secretary of State Colin Powell). This plain common sense is treated as insulting and controversial in parts of the European media.

Elsewhere the Constitutional Convention is due to wind up its deliberations, with even its members not having the gall to suggest it represents any extension of democracy and accountability which we were told was to be its prime purpose. A last minute clause is apparently being inserted to give some element of direct democracy, let's see if that survives the day let alone the subsequent arm wrestling within the Council.

In Germany the English language version of German State broadcaster summarises economic and busines matters for today's web page as follows:-

'ECB slashes 2003 growth forecast; German exports fall in April; Franco-German deal seen on EU farm aid'.

Deutsche Welle Business Briefs

For Great Britain the burning question of the day should surely be: Why do we continue in this totally insane club?????!!!!! (other than for boosting the egos and future career prospects of our leaders)

posted by Martin at 6/13/2003 10:59:00 AM

Where is Wales after the Reshuffle?

According to the BBC there is considerable confusion over who is now responsible for Wales following yesterday's cabinet reshuffle.

Hain denies Welsh Secretary Axe

I particularly like this direct quote from Hain, new Leader of the House of Commons, Britain's disastrous representative on Giscard d'Estaing's dreadful convention and still apparently Secretary of State (or maybe only Minister) for Wales:-

"But I just want to reassure everybody that I will continue with my ambition of creating a world-class Wales."

What a fatuous load of claptrap. How can a country let alone and more precisely a "principality" be world class.

I believed a contributor to the Financial Times FTForum discussion pages, with the pseudonym 'shafted', was being a little bit harsh on Hain when he described him as follows yesterday:-

We must have a referendum if only as a way to refute the lies of the ex Liberal,ex convict,ex anti Euro,ex married,ex Kenyan,ex S.African,ex Minister for Europe,ex naturally tanned, Minister for Toadying/Tidying up. Has this surrender monkey ever read what he pronounces on? Free men don't change nationalities, at least not without giving consent. They have NO MANDATE to do that which they seek to do. If they succeed it will be more than cricket pitches(absurd juvenile behaviour)that get dug up.

Apparently Hain is getting married this weekend so we should go easy on him, let us hope he quickly starts a family and decides to follow the excellent example set by Alan Millburn and thereafter decides to resign and spend more time with them. Britain will not survive the continuation of this Government in office for very much longer!

posted by Martin at 6/13/2003 10:11:00 AM

Blair's Coup d'etat

A second consecutive excellent Leading Article from the Daily Telegraph (yesterday's DT Leader 12th June having been an outstanding piece on the scandal of the expensive farce of the regional assemblies and devolved parliaments) where Tony Blair is brutalised for his high-handed disregard for the conventions of Britain;s constitution:-

The Prime Minister has, in fact, carried out a coup d'état by stealth. By proposing to scrap the Lord Chancellorship without prior consultation with the judiciary, peers or the Opposition, Mr Blair shows his contempt for the rule of law, as it has evolved in Britain over the past thousand years and more. This is not merely another ministerial office that is Mr Blair's to do with as he pleases. It is woven into the seamless robe of constitutional custom and practice, which may easily unravel unless change is accomplished gradually and by common consent.

The truth behind this change is then revealed in the immediately following sentence:-

Only last April, Lord Irvine defended his office before a Commons select committee against demands from the European Union that a politician should not also sit as a judge. DT Leader 13th June

In other words it is the European Union that requires this change, just as it is Brussels that requires our adoption of the Regional Assemblies and the expenditure of vast amounts of taxpayers money to maintain them for which the return will be zero.

posted by Martin at 6/13/2003 07:33:00 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Deflation in the Eurozone by Wim Duisenberg

"We are convinced that we don't have to prepare ourselves for deflation because we don't see deflation coming. That is what I have said loud and clear. Within a monetary union, deflation is not a meaningful concept when applied to individual regions."
The Guardian 5th June 2003

During his speech, Duisenberg also clarified that the ECB aims at maintaining the inflation rate "below", but "close to" 2pc over the medium term. He said this clarification underlines the ECB's commitment to provide a "sufficient safety margin to guard against the risks of deflation".
Business World 12th June 2003

What a Difference a Week Made!

Glad we failed those five tests then?

posted by Martin at 6/12/2003 05:00:00 PM

European MEPs Quiz Shell/BP on improper payments

Below is a link to a report from the BBC on our hypocritical, ineffectual MEPs, lifting their snouts from their troughs to quiz multinational oil companies about improper payments to third world countries.....Hoping to gain some pointers for themselves I imagine!


posted by Martin at 6/12/2003 04:44:00 PM

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Hugo Young Grants the Eurorealists a Victory

Well they seem few and far between as the ghastly superstate marches onwards, so I guess we should be grateful for such victories, however small they seem The Guardian

posted by Martin at 6/10/2003 05:20:00 PM

Brainwashing for a European Superstate

In today's London Daily Telegraph Adam Nicolson argues in favour of the European Superstate and in so doing says the following:-

Visionaries on the Continent have been serious about the deepest integration for decades. Take, as one small but significant example, the Socrates-Erasmus programme, by which students from any state in the EU can go for a year to study for free in any other, as long as a student from the receiving country sends one back in return.

It is the most efficient of mechanisms: one of our local authorities pays for a year's education of a Spanish student, say, in Edinburgh; Barcelona city council pays for a year's education of some lucky Scottish boy over there.

Socrates-Erasmus, the Renaissance ideal of a single European intellectual culture, the mutual fertilising of the European mind: that might sound ludicrously idealistic. But there's a cannier thought at work.

What deeper form of European integration could there be than teenagers from opposite ends of Europe living, eating and, who knows, sleeping with each other; marrying, having children who are half Dutch, half English, or half Swedish, half Spanish, creating a single Europe at the deepest genetic level, leaving all talk of currencies and institutions flailing in its wake?

Strangely I have been forced to take a close look at this programme over the last couple of weeks and a disturbing picture emerges.

Take the course offered at Durham University for example. Up to this year European Studies under the above programme has been run at its Stockton on Tees campus and required very mediocre A level achievements to qualify. From the next academic year the course will be available on the Durham Campus and while one A grade at A level is now expected it clearly lacks the rigour of other Durham degree courses. A look at the syllabus confirms that the course mainly consists of EU sponsored propaganda dissemination Durham's European Studies Course

One wonders why it has been decided to move the location of the course from Stockton to Durham and what incentives might have been offered this venerable university by the EU.

Across Europe, Socrates teachings as distorted by Plato are thus being put into effect to groom a new elitist pre-programmed managing class
for the emerging Superstae. Managing rather than ruling? Indeed, not the actual elite itself as one would presume, the truly academic or brighter student would quickly becoming restless under the syllabus set out in the Socrates-Erasmus programme.

Adam Nicolson should think again. Perhaps he might also explain what exactly he means by the statement "creating a single Europe at the deepest genetic level" bearing in mind we Europeans have few genetic dissimilarities, your average Englishman being genetically closer to a Fresian than he is to a Celt. Next step compulsory breeding programmes one assumes and all in the name of a Superstate Europe to achieve just what? The dream of world domination all over again? Saying 'you suck' to the USA what is the pathetic little dream these fanatics are so desperate to achieve? What is the point of a European Superstate? Answers please!

posted by Martin at 6/10/2003 03:36:00 PM

Monday, June 09, 2003

Blair starts Canvassing

Gordon Brown had hardly completed his Commons statement, in which he advised that only one out of the famous five tests for Britain to join the Euro had been met, before the Prime Minister started his attempts to mitigate any damages his chances, of becoming the first European President under Giscard's Convention proposals, might have suffered by making round-robin telephone calls to his EU colleagues This report is taken from the Guardian

"Mr Blair was expected to have spoken to nine world leaders about the euro decision.

These included the French president, Jacques Chirac, and prime minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin; the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder; the Irish taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and the Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, whose nations are all current euro members.

Mr Blair was also speaking to prime minister Costas Simitis, of euro member Greece, which currently holds the presidency of the European Council; prime minister Goran Persson of Sweden, which is due to hold a referendum on whether to join the euro in September, and the Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi."

Why the Japanese PM, search me!

The Euro is a Stepping Stone across the Styx......but not by any means the first!

posted by Martin at 6/09/2003 08:58:00 PM

The Gibraltarians Show the Way

Unofficial Referendum Blocks Sovereignty Grab

Denis Macshane, Britain's Minister for Europe, has admitted in a series of interviews with Spanish papers that sharing Gibraltar's sovereignty with Spain could not now happen within his lifetime, following the recent referendum which the Government had first indicated it would ignore.

The Foreign Office had criticised the holding of the poll last November, and we can now see why. Not even this most centralised and autocratic government for centuries can force through their policies in the face of vast majorities of ordinary people having clearly stated their opposition, even when the means of polling such opinion have not been officially sanctioned.

A National Referendum on the European Convention must now proceed without delay. The terms of the final document get clearer by the day and as David Heathcote Amory so correctly summarised last week every European institution, the Commission, the Council and the Parliament all gain powers at the expense of the ordinary citizen and their National Parliaments.

As for the Euro, which will be the subject of much discussion during the course of today, as Gordon Brown's assessment of his ridiculous tests are finally presented to Parliament. Always remember this....for Great Britain The Euro is a Stepping Stone across the Styx

posted by Martin at 6/09/2003 09:50:00 AM

Saturday, June 07, 2003

Divide and ConquerThe new US policy towards the EU

Will all British-Atlanticists give three half-hearted (as belated) cheers.

The following excellent article is taken from The Sprout which website I have yet to find to properly explore, so regrettably must post it in full, though it is indeed worth every precious word.... AT LONG, LONG LAST:-

The Sprout is published by SPROUT MEDIA LIMITED. Copyright 2003. All rights

This from

An astonishing thing has just happened in international relations and
nobody noticed. America set over forty years of its own foreign policy
towards Europe on its head, in the presence of a swathe of the great and
the good, and there was hardly a peep. A statement made by US State
Department Policy Planning Director Richard Haas, in one of his final acts
as a spokesman of the Bush administration, hints that America has converted
to an Imperialist model: divide and rule.

On the 19th of May, at a meeting of the Atlantic Partnership in London he
made it clear that America no longer gave wholehearted support for a United
Europe. Famously Kissinger had stated that Europe did not exist, because he
could not reach it on a single telephone number. When questioned by as to
whether America still wished to deal with a single foreign minister, Haas
said recently, "I would rather deal with five countries that are willing to
deal with us seriously". There is no way that he could have made that
statement without explicit approval of his superiors, and there are very
few people in the world who count as his superiors.

This is new, despite Mr Rumsfield's soundbites about 'New' and 'Old'
Europe, the State Department has never been so explicit in it's rejection
of what had hitherto been one of its most consistent policies.

The US's support for the concept of a single political entity in Europe has
been a given for the project since the dust settled on the broken continent
in the 1940s. The Russians refused to join in the Marshall Aid plan in
1948, starting the cold war and the US saw in the fledgling European
Movement an opportunity to strengthen Europe against the Soviet threat.
They were persuaded by Joseph Rettinger (also founder of the shadowy
Bilderberg group) to back the Hague Conference of May 1948 which launched
the European Movement.. Churchill had been to the States to drum up support
earlier in that year. This support continued As was shown in Der Speigel
(1997/08/11) the Committee on United Europe was established to provide
covert funding. This organized and paid for Chancellor Adenauer's plea for
European unification made in New York in 1953, financed hundreds of
pro-European-unity conferences and twice saved the European movement, of
which Adenauer was honorary president, from bankruptcy. All this was
directed by the later head of the CIA, Allan Dulles.

The support for the European Movement was as ever directed by what America
saw as its imperative national interest. They believed that a united Europe
would be able to rearm and protect itself from the threat of Soviet Russia.
According to the EM's own documents the funding, just between 1947 and 1953
amounted to almost £8 million (¬13 million) in today's money. This under
the counter funding lasted for 17 years funding until well after the
signing of the Treaty of Rome.

Though the money stopped the political support continued, the most recent
example in a speech given almost exactly a year ago by President Bush in
Berlin where he said.
"When Europe grows in unity, Europe and America grow in security. When you
integrate your markets and share a currency in the European Union, you are
creating the conditions for security and common purpose. In all these
steps, Americans do not see the rise of a rival, we see the end of old

That political support is now over, and Europe must get used to it. America
has been shaken from its hegemonic complacency by the actions of some
European leaders over Iraq and trade and finally has begun to see the EU as
a threat as well as an ally. Though Haas denied that there was a policy
towards the EU of 'divide and rule'. He claimed that the divisions and
differences which emerged within the EU over Iraq were organic. Simply, if
there is no agreement amongst the European allies on how to respond to
future security threats the USA will look for 'Europeans we can work with'.

This is music to the ears of British Atlantisists. At a time when Europe is
putting the final touches on a Constitution doubling in size and rejecting
American leadership in global security policy one of the main stumbling
blocks to their ambitions has been removed. Previously, any attempt to talk
about the possibilities of a North Atlantic Free Trade Association (NAFTA)
have been put down by the American governments unstinting support of the
European ideal so graphically stated by Bush in Berlin. Today with America
taking an à la carte approach to building 'coalitions of the willing' this
is no longer the case. June's G7 meeting in France will be wreathed in
smiles for the media but there is not the will to kiss and make up.

As late as last November Charles Kupchan was able to write in the Atlantic
Monthly that, "America remains largely oblivious to the challenges posed by
a rising Europe. Policymakers in Washington tend to view the EU as at best
an impressive trade bloc, and at worst a collection of feckless allies that
regularly complain about America's heavy hand even as they do little to
bear the burdens of common defense". Today that complacency has been blown
away and has been replaced with a level of pitying contempt. The approach
of George Will in his syndicated column is emblematic of the new realities
emerging in America, "France illustrates Europe's feckless desire to have
geopolitical weight without paying the price, particularly in military
muscle, for such weight. Even if Europe were ever to summon the will to
wield real power, its fading economic vigor would preclude doing so".

A United Europe is a threat to America's global ambitions, that much is
certain, but not everybody in Europe shares a single view, this sea change
in American understanding has serious ramifications both for itself and for
the future of Europe itself. Things that are said cannot be unsaid, things
that are done cannot be undone. America is demolishing its buttress, has
the European church got the will to stand on its own?

The Sprout is published by SPROUT MEDIA LIMITED. Copyright 2003. All rights

posted by Martin at 6/07/2003 05:44:00 PM

Friday, June 06, 2003

Newropeans Website

posted by Martin at 6/06/2003 08:24:00 AM

Today's EU Observer carries an interesting report on the Neweuropeans Democracy Marathon Crisis from which the following is a quote:-

Major political crises could start in Europe
"Referenda on the Constitution are inevitable or their absence would create major political turmoil", warns the letter to the Convention members.

A Constitutional project that fails to prove that citizen's fears, in terms of democracy, are groundless will generate strong opposition and a major political crises could start in Europe.

posted by Martin at 6/06/2003 08:18:00 AM

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Backdoor Euroisation

What exactly is going on with the French led, so called EU peacekeeping mission to the Congo.

Reports started to emerge yesterday that EU ambassadors were to approve the mission, which had previously been declared as a normal UN operation, with Britain supplying some SAS support.

It now appears it is being hailed as a full-blown EU troop deployment, with British servicemen apparently involved under French command.

This afternoon Tny Blair fielded questions in Parliament about the Iraq involvement and WMD. This seems far more sinister, but of course our Westminster MP's seem silent on the matter. BBC Report

posted by Martin at 6/04/2003 05:43:00 PM
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