Strasbourg Commentary Plenary Session 13th - 16th Feb 2012
There is only one topic of note this week, the Euro, but before that just two votes of note, illustrating the continued arrogance of these people.
On Tuesday a vote showing that it is not only Boston Fishermen who are at the mercy of the CFP, in its wider sense. The Haglund report was voted in by 628 - 22 which is about renewal of fishing agreements with yet another third world country, Guinea-Bissau. This will allow European fishing fleets to go on plundering the waters of this West African country. The fleets in question are those of Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and France. As always they will out-fish the locals andreduce fish stocks to dangerously low levels. By the way, on one of my recent visits to the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Agency to try to help Boston Fishermen I remarked that the shortage of fish in UK waters was due to over fishing, primarily by fleets from Spain and France. That went down very badly with the officials of EIFCA!
On Wednesday a vote on a report on Constitutional Affairs. This was to restrict the number of RCV votes on "Own Initiative" reports; the equivalent of a private members bill in the Commons. Little notice is taken of them. An RCV vote is one where we vote electronically. The point is that all RCVs are then on record and can be accessed from the Parliament website. Special interest groups do exactly that and can come on to us querying why we voted the way we did. Perfectly proper. But, this is probably the thin end of a wedge, where restricting the number of RCVs on own initiative reports could well extend to reports of much more importance; and a lack of transparency. I think British people have the right to know how I voted, especially on important issues.
But, already this week, we have seen the attitude of the new president, Martin Schultz, spreading down to Vice- Presidents. In his speech Stuart Agnew remarked that thepolicy in question was illegal and incoherent while the Commissioner was stupid, only to be corrected, can't call a Commissioner stupid, apparently.
On Wednesday afternoon we were treated to an address by Mario Monti the new, unelected, Premier of Italy, all 28 minutes of it. Totally boring, all the usual phrases, promises, but no real indication of actual action, except that we need discipline. Interestingly several lead speakers of the left were opposed to the "Troika" now running Greece and Italy and one actually said that ideology will destroy the EU! The EFD speaker was the co-chairman, Francisco Speroni. Be not surprised to hear that he was cut off when going beyond his allocated 2 minutes by a few seconds but that earlier speakers, who had more time in the first place, ran over by a minute or more. Schultz was in the chair.
Monti illustrated the EU leadership's arrogant attitude. Its more than arrogance of course, they are in denial, they just do not believe that they are unable to mend the economies of the poorer southern countries and preserve the Euro. Just keep throwing money at it and install dictators if the elected Premiers and Governments do not toe the line. Meanwhile you will all have seen some of the action from Athens last Sunday and will have been looking for Nigel to comment.
A while ago I received an email from one of our members complaining that he had seen a video clip by Dan Hannan, which was very good, but why did we not get something from Nigel? We have all done clips for TV, including me, and you may have seen them on U Tube, but they receive no coverage on national TV. This complainant does not seem to understand that we do not control the airwaves in this country. Foreign broadcasting is a different story. I did 5 minutes for an American radio show which was well received. I once made the front page of the leading Amsterdam newspaper. Even national leaders often go abroad to speak on Britain.
So please see below the links for Nigel's contribution to the debate on the Euro crisis. You will notice that these do not come from UK broadcasters but I hope you appreciate the stand that Nigel takes.
Derek Clark MEP Strasbourg 16 Feb 2012