Strasbourg Commentary Plenary session 12th - 15th Dec 2011
Votes of note this week,-
Lopez report on the European Protection Order which now includes an extension of the terrible European Arrest Warrant. Up to now the EAW was limited, as far as we are concerned, to the arrest of British citizens and residents. Not any more. Under the banner of protection of women from violence an EU judge can order the arrest of foreigners in the UK and have them deported elsewhere. So a foreign judge will now have jurisdiction in the UK.
At least the parliament defeated an EU- Morocco fisheries agreement which would have severe consequences for Western Sahara which is virtually under Moroccon rule.
William Dartmouth's Oral amendment in the report on detention conditions was defeated. He wanted to ensure that, under the EAW, anyone taken to another EU country would be in a jail which came up to standards laid down by the Council of Europe. Being an oral amendment he delivered it at the appropriate point whereupon the President asks if any member objects. A minimum of 40 then standing deletes the amendment from the list and that is what happened. So at least 40 MEPs don't care about the state of jails in the EU.
Of course this week was over shadowed by the events of last week. While it would not be true to say that we Brits were reviled generally it is true that there was a great deal of unpleasantness in the house when this was debated on Tuesday morning. Barosso and Von Rompuy were as you would expect, the one arrogant and overbearing, the other menacing, both stating their determination to force measures through. Did you catch Verhofstadt on TV this week? He was on best behaviour then, you should see him in the House, see below. Actually, they had nothing new to offer to resolve the financial crisis, and anyway, its all our fault, our Banks and so on. So they concentrated on Cameron's veto.
To me Cameron's rejection was a perfect illustration of the EU. Under Lisbon any new Treaty must be agreed by way of unanimity, all 27 heads of state to agree. EU attitudes are clear now if not before. Am I right in saying that, to us, unanimity means that all 27 need to agree for a plan to go ahead, so it is open to anyone not to agree, in which case a re-think is called for. But to them unanimity means that all 27 will agree, whether or not they are in favour; you must do what the others want and no re-think about it, or else.
This is right in line with EU history. France and The Netherlands voted against the European Constitution. So the EU re-wrote it as the Lisbon Treaty, claiming that it was quite different, when it was not. They then took the precaution of 'persuading' France and The Netherlands not to put it to a referendum this time. Then, of course, came the Irish referendum on Lisbon, as required by their constitution, and their rejection, followed by a re-run to get the right result. And remember, exactly the same happened in Ireland with the Treaty of Nice several years ago, and earlier in Denmark over the Treaty of Maastricht.
So last Friday was just another day in the life of the EU. If Cameron still thinks he can speak to these people in a reasonable way, trying to get a plan together for the common good then he's a lot less bright than people thought. I never have had illusions about the attitude of the EU leadership. We go there partly trying to work for the UK but without sacrificing our objective in seeking our Independence. Our main object is to get in the media and put our case, your case, over to the public. About a month ago I got a call from the senior reporter on local Northampton newspaper over an EU issue (can't remember what). He was asking me,- "because you've got a good attendance record". Its all a question of credibility.
Some quotes from recent newspapers.
EURO MPs yesterday gave the go-ahead to spend £131million on offices – for themselves......
Despite the harsh austerity cuts being endured by citizens across Europe, the European Parliament’s all-powerful Budget Committee voted the package through.
It includes spending £118million to demolish and build a new office block near to their Brussels headquarters and to buy another, - all while we cut spending.
Tell that to the people on short time, people now on the dole, to pensioners seeing their hard-won pension funds depleted.
......and so to Cameron
Just to give a taste of the attitude,-
Euro in a tailspin (Daily Mail, p.4): "Former Belgian prime minister and Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt refused to speak English to deliver his speech on the summit, saying: "I shall speak my native language today because I don't think English is a very appropriate language to use" He added: "When you are invited to a table, it is either as a guest or you are part of the menu. That can happen. This selfish British strategy of protecting the City is one we cannot tolerate any longer" (James Chapman and Hugo Duncan)
I thought you might be interested in this new article ‘Exposed: the snobbery and intolerance of the EU elite’, written by sociologist Professor Frank Furedi and published today on spiked www.spiked-online.com
In the article, Furedi - professor of sociology at the University of Kent, England - argues that the hysterical reaction to David Cameron’s veto reveals the dark heart of pro-EU sentiment.
‘The venomous anger directed at Eurosceptics cannot simply be driven by the communications clerisy’s love affair with the European ideal. Rather, what is at issue here is the clerisy’s preference for the technocracy-dominated and cosmopolitan-influenced institutions of Brussels. From their standpoint, the main virtue of the EU is that its leaders and administrators speak the same language as the UK clerisy. They read from the same emotional and cultural script, which they believe to be superior to the script and values associated with national sovereignty. That is why it isn’t surprising that a BBC journalist can casually ask the Estonian prime minister to have a go at her own national leader. The UK-based communications clerisy has a greater affinity with the outlook of EU technocrats and political administrators than it does with the outlook of its own people.'
'Of course, Cameron may be isolated in the corridors of power in Brussels - but the clerisy is more than a little out of touch with popular sentiments in Britain. Indeed, their visceral castigation of Eurosceptics is actually a roundabout way of morally condemning what the old oligarchy used to call ‘the little people’. The main sin of Euroscepticism is that it has the potential for mobilising popular sentiment. And certainly, the anger of the cosmopolitan elite does not resonate with people getting on with their lives in Birmingham, Newcastle or Leeds. Those who want to expose the heinous Eurosceptic plot to undermine the EU should remember that opinion polls demonstrate that the majority of the UK electorate does not like the EU, and when the Mail on Sunday carried out a poll asking ‘was Cameron right to use the veto?’, 62 per cent of respondents said “yes”.’
And a final comment from me.
Are you aware that the principal founder of he EU, Jean Monnet, was never elected to public office?
With the EU godfathers having usurped the elected governments of Greece and Italy, replacing them with unelected EU propagandists, are you surprised at their attitude to he who is, after all,- and whatever one's personal politics are-, our Prime Minister?
Are you surprised that, over two or three years now, there has been open talk here of the, "Post Democratic Society".
A happy Christmas to all my readers, and......See you in 2012
Derek Clark MEP Strasbourg 15th Dec 2011