Sunday, September 24, 2006

Europe - I Love It

European government still can’t understand why it’s not loved and why its constitution was rejected.

I listened to José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president on Thursday and even managed to ask him a direct question about red-tape and productivity and yet the commission is hell-bent on enlargement while conceding that the absorption of new member states, namely Rumania and Bulgaria, may not meet the more optimistic expectations. I was surprised to hear that Spain has already issued 800,000 permits already to transient migrants – mainly from Africa - and yet it’s starting to suffocate under a tide it can no longer control.

My own view is that Europe may yet collapse under the weight of its own institutions and while I spent three days on a fascinating project that was attempting to create the policy and predict the Europe of 2020, my own strap line might be “Inventing the future, caught in the past”.

Is it possible, I wonder, to run a continent by committee, because the results will always be a compromise, much like the common agricultural policy, that costs billions and is locked into its own very special form of opaque bureaucracy?

But what does Europe really mean to those of you reading this? I’m not certain even of what it means to me but I given the worrying predictions I heard last week, involving water, climate, crime and immigration by 2020, perhaps we should all move closer to Australia instead?


Anonymous said...

Is any government loved ?
And as for the CAP and the marvellous subsidies that we fatcat farmers get I can tell you that for 60 acres approx (a very small and now uneconomically sized farm) I received the princely sum of £468 this year under the single payment scheme.
As the land agent who tackled the enormous and timeconsuming task of trying to understand and filling out the 9 inch high stack of necesary paperwork charged me a reasonable £470 inc VAT I actually lost £2 on the subsidy this year.
So tell me what to do with the land?
Can't afford to grow anything.
Can't afford to keep animals of any type.
Diesel for the tractor now costs a fortune.
Need planning permission for almost anything else and the townies who have bought the neighbouring farm labourers cottages for £300,000 plus object to any activity going on which makes noise or smells, farming or other.
Thank goodness I kept my shotgun, many of us use it as a last resort these days - on ourselves.
And that ain't NO joke!

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree that Europe will collapse for a number of reasons not least the changing demographics in our closest neighbour. The problem with Europe is it that it is undemocratic and in the same way that communism collapsed I am believe the EU will go the same way.

Uncontrolled immigration will probably be the straw that breaks the camels back. For the trolls that lurk here and criticise the idea of immigration controls as somehow unecessary I recommend you spend some time at Dover arrivals and take a look at the kind of people that are coming to Britain.

When Romania and Bulgaria join we will be flooded with even more economically inactive people. I fail to see how allowing tens of thousands of dirt poor people to come to Britain to claim benefits is something positive in a country where we have millions of people on the dole already. As our population contines to get older who will foot the bill?
Oh and by the way perhaps some of you caught the BBC news item about Spains plan to regularise the immigration status of 500,000 illegal immigrants. Many of these are from Africa. Forced to leave because the Spanish fishing fleets have hoovered up all their fish and they can no longer survive. Since they tend to speak French or English it is unlikely they will remain in Spain. Once they have Spanish nationality they are free to move to any EU country without let or hindrance. Any guesses on where they are likely to come?

For the previous poster you have my sympathy. Doubtless some farmers with tens of thousands of acres have benefitted from the CAP but small farmers see no real gains from a tax that seems to handsomly reward waste.
Don't let the bastards grind you down!

Anonymous said...

Europe is for many, is the common ancestry, for the majority of the British people. Look at many British families, and examine from whom we are descended, and you'll find that most families have a mixture of Irish French Dutch German in them etc.

Our culture is largely made up from European influences, our law our freedoms. Unfortunately a large section of British media is however anti-European and will do whatever it has to feed, that insecure little Englander mentality.

Could we live for instance, without Betty Windsor, smiling back at us, from our currency, or postage stamps I could, but could you.

Could we move closer to Australia, of course we could, they are a well-balanced people, they have a chip on each shoulder, one for not being British and the other for not being American. Give me Europe any day!

Anonymous said...

I receive foreign students into my home the majority coming for two weeks but others coming for longer, they all come to lern English. Some do a final year at University: some continue through education and go onto University for a complete study course ending up with a master's degree. I have no objections to this.

My first Chineese student came to England two years ago. His Visa allowed him to work for a limited number of hours. Thsi student took up his right to work this subsidising his stay. He worked for a local supermarket as a cleaner (early morning) going to school 09:00 - 13:00 and in the afternoon/evenings/weekends he worked for a packaging company. He paid all contributions and tax. he did this for one year. Note I said one year.

For the last two years he has been at University in the Netherlands. He will return to do his finals at a U.K. University then return to China. He has been advised by the Retirement Pensions Forcasting Team that if he ritires at state pension age he will be entitled to a pension at today'sprice of £82.10.

How absurd the U.K. system is. No wonder the old age of today have to live on a minimum pension. Just think what it will be like when Romania and Bulgaria join and start flooding into the U.K. Can one see France or Germany and other countries doing this?

I just hope that they don't see this item on this site.

On another note. I symapthise with 10:47pm I believe the whole system is corrupt


Anonymous said...

Tony Flaig you have a strange grasp of English common law if you think it compares to or is somehow adopted from European law. As for British people being descended from Europeans. I grant you that we have had Saxons, Vikings Normans and other influences such as Hugenot. In the latter case these people fled religious persecution from Europe. How many countries in Europe have had a democracy for more than a century? Not too many. Romania and Bulgaria will be a step too far and bring the whole rotten edifice crashing down.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

As I said at last years' election, the EU is a profoundly undemocratic, vile monster and intent on destroying Europe's sovereign states and with it our freedom and democracy.

Regrettably, only a few hundred of the good and great of Finchley and Golders Green agreed with me.

The battle goes on!!