The EU’s Ancien Regime stumbles on

First they came for the hedge fund managers. They had to be regulated, stopped from short selling, and taxed until they went offshore. They were uniquely to blame for the collapse.
Then they came for the investment bankers. They had to be bankrupted, subsidised, vilified and regulated. They were the crash.
Then they came for the elected politicians. They had to be condemned for their salaries and expenses.
Then they came for the elected governments. The Irish, Portuguese, UK, Spanish and Greek governments all were dismissed.
Then they came for the rich stars.A hypocritical comedian was dragged through the mire, a foul mouthed footballer was fined, many well heeled stars faced tax enquiries.
Then they came for the journalists. They were exposed for phone tapping and bribing.
Then they came for anyone with any income or wealth, and taxed them some more.

The EU is happy for others to take the heat, accept the blame, and pay the bills. They have not come for the EU Commissioners, the European Court of Justice or the European Central Bank. These bodies all claim they need more money and more power to right the wrongs and sort out the mess. They float above the crashing economies, the growing dole queues in Spain, Greece and Portugal, and the squeezed living standards. They turn a blind eye to the anger in the ballot boxes, and the trouble on the streets.

Are they blameless as they think? Who is responsbile for the mess of the Euro? Who is responsible for spending too much public money that taxpayers cannot afford to pay for? Who designed the austerity policies which many EU voters now dislike? Who created the rigid regulations that help deliver dear energy and badly working labour markets? Who watches as Asia out competes Europe?

Will the peoples of Europe ever think some of this is to do with their EU government? The modern EU is not of course embarked on violent repressions of freedom and voice, but it is failing to respond to the cries for help from many people in many countries.

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180 Comments

  1. Royce Bright
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    John
    Clear and concise, what is more important is Cameron being paid by the EU to force us in by the backdoor. He says he might give us a referendum after the next election. The problem is he wont get elected. Labour will get in and they will never give us a referendum. It’s therefore no coincidence that blair got rid of the treason laws.

    At some stage when anarchy breaks out in Europe and in the UK, these quislings need to be brought to justice. They all need to be paraded down the street in chains so we can pelt them with rotten eggs.

    • Bob
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      @Royce Bright
      “He says he might give us a referendum after the next election. “

      He has no intention of any such thing. It was purely an attempt to shoot UKIP’s fox. The man is shameless.

      I was very disappointed that my own MP (IDS) did not defy the Cameron’s three line whip in last October’s referendum vote. That quite possibly would have shot Cameron’s fox, even if it cost IDS his job.

      Fortunately, we had a glimpse of the way the Tories view the voter when Andrew Mitchell voiced his true opinions about the lower classes in a fit of pique, so you can imagine how much trust they would put in us to give them the right answer in a referendum.

      Remember the adage “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”.

      Although I have to say, Cameron never fooled me once, I guess you develop a gut feeling about people when you’ve been around long enough.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        @Bob: “He [Mr Cameron] has no intention of any such thing.

        You know that?
        You have read his mind?
        You have spoken with him?
        You have access to Tory party documents?

        • Jon burgess
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          No Jerry, we just have the experience of seeing him say one thing in opposition and do the opposite when he was in power. I take it you’d trust him if he gave you a cast iron guarantee? More fool you.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

            @Jon: Well “Mr UKIP” guaranteed to have MPs in Westminster by 2010, the big breakthrough we were promised, so by your own rhetoric you should be seeking another party and slagging off UKIP by now!

        • Single Acts
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          This is an oddly provocative metaphor from JR when you consider how the ancien regime finished.

        • Bob
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          Jerry,

          Have you ever heard the fable of the frog and the scorpion?

      • Boudicca
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        CAMERON HINTS AT A REFERENDUM

        Good morning Great Britain, it’s Cameron here
        There’s a few things we need to get straight
        I’m the Prime Minister, I call the shots
        You’re the plebs – and I’m not your best mate.

        You may not have given me a majority
        But that didn’t prevent me from winning
        I got what I wanted, a coalition with Clegg
        I aimed for that, from the beginning.

        If I’d won, I’d be forced into Conservative mode
        By the Right – the EU-Sceptic faction
        I had to avoid that to keep us inside
        The LibDems are my self-protection.

        I promised a Referendum on Lisbon
        And it bumped up my polling no end
        But I had no intention of keeping my word
        Cynical, but I had to pretend.

        I’m a big fan of Europe; I love the EU
        And I don’t see why you should decide
        You just pay the taxes, but I make the rules
        And I say we must stay inside.

        But it’s starting to look like I’ll lose in ‘15
        The EU is driving you mad
        UKIP is growing, my polling is down
        And from my point of view, that is bad.

        So I MAY let you have a Referendum
        Several years down the line
        But only if you re-elect me of course
        And the promise – well it’s made of Cast-Iron.

        You won’t get a chance to vote OUT of course
        But I MAY let you vote to remain
        And that’s the result I will get – there’s no doubt.
        Any question will be carefully framed.

        And just in case you think you can ditch me and switch
        To the Mayor; and get a real choice
        I think you should know that he’s EU-phile like me
        As Tories, we speak with one voice

        You may prefer BoJo, he’s funnier than me
        And he doesn’t appear like a snob
        But the fact is he’s not quite as nice as he seems
        In fact, he’s a bit of a….
        If you think my pledges are worth jack ….
        Well BoJo’s are just as deceiptful
        He might make you laugh while he’s breaking his word
        But that’s because you are just Sheeple.

        You’re easily conned; we’ve done it for years
        And we’ll carry on all the time that you vote
        For the LibLabCON and the Establishment
        It’s YOUR FAULT that you’re in this boat.

        Call Me Dave signing off – I’ve got plenty to do
        There’s von Rumpy to call and Barroso
        I haven’t received my Orders this week
        So I’m not sure what my ‘government’ should do.

        Like it or not we are in the EU
        Now shut-up; go away; toodle-pip
        This may be YOUR country, but we make the rules …………..

        UNLESS YOU ALL VOTE FOR UKIP.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Indeed

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Cameron is currently trying to sell BAE to France and Germany so the UK will not have a strategic weapons contractor/developer and he has reportedly asked the US if this is okay. Another step forward to the pan EU defence force and further integration.

          Share holders to BAE, vote NO.

        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

          Would this be an issue if our position in the EU had been as pre-eminent as Germany’s. If not then ask yourself why – why has our establishment screwed things up so badly.

          They ask yourself if they would do any better for this country if we were not in the EU.

          I don’t believe voting UKIP will change this, the problem is far deeper than that.

          BTW I’d be interested to know if the UKIP MEPs renounced all claims to the EU pension?

          • Bob
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            UKIP or Labour – It’s your choice

          • Bob
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

            My comment above was supposed to contain a link, but it somehow disappeared prior to publication Mr Redwood.

            Anyway, you can see it on YouTube under: “UKIP or Labour – It’s your choice”

            Compare and contrast New Labour and UKIP on the Rio Summit.

          • David Price
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            @Bob
            vote UKIP, get Labour.
            vote Labour, get Labour.

            either maybe with a sprinkling of Libdems.

            How is that a choice?

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Cameron did not say he would give the UK a referendum after the next election. Watch the interview again and listen carefully to his weasel words. He is referring to an in or in EU referendum ie do you want to be part of the EU or the EU federation state, nothing about coming out of the EU. This is the careful use of language to deceive the public by his greater command of the language to ordinary people (including some dim Tory MPs).

      Cameron is driving the UK over the EU cliff. He uses weasel words to keep his Eurosceptic MPs quiet (read his letter to a back bencher published by Guido Fawkes). They might accept the prospect of jam tomorrow through naked ambition ie that if Tories won an election they could get in Government if they keep quiet- they let their ambition override their intelligence.

      Good articles by Christopher Booker in the DT. It highlights, once more, the follies of the EU and extends/supports what JR says here. Coal fired power stations produced 50%of the UK’s energy last Wednesday when wind farms produced 1.3% according to the DT today. EU targets will require Osborne to impose heavy taxes that the Uk will pay for their energy to continue the green agenda lunacy of the EU and Lib Dems.

      The question to JR and other Tory MPs is: what is Cameron doing about the EU taking over countries to become a superstate? The record to date in office reflects he is a disaster at achievement in curtailing the ambitions of the EU. Quite the reverse he is helping the cause and continuing to make the UK a beneficial crisis so there is no option but to join the EU superstate. A lot of talk without substance and at at massive cost to the UK taxpayer. Energy is going to cost us all a fortune because of Osborne going along with the EU directive.

      Reply:I see no sign of a possible promise of a referendum sometime next Parliament keeping Tory MPs quiet on the topic.

      • Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        At this stage in the game why do you remain loyal to Cast Iron? Your defection might cost you a few years at Parliment; but your silence on the outright perfidy of Cast Iron will echo through eternity.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          There’s only one way that works and that is to challenge for the leadership. And Europe is the issue on which to do it. Eurosceptics have to use the levers of power that are actually available. John Redwood is leadership material, which is a good start.

        • stred
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

          If John resigned, he would currently be less of a problem to DC.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Indeed electricity prices to double it seems due to Osborne’s insane energy policies hundreds of thousands of jobs to go too I would expect.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/9575598/George-Osbornes-CO2-tax-will-double-UK-electricity-bills.html

        Personally I see no escape from the EU trap unless Cameron unfortunately falls under a bus. Even then there are plenty more Trojan Horses in the party to replace him and to support any replacement, the Libdems and then Labour in 2015 if not before? In his losing of the election, even against the absurd sitting duck Brown, he, helped by the BBC, many in the state sector the other collaborators has now doomed the nation to a future as an undemocratic region of an undemocratic socialist empire. The chance of any escape is minimal I suspect.

        • Single Acts
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Not Trojan horses, Pierre Lavals.

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            Indeed I was, perhaps, trying to be too polite.

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

          Everyone to vote UKIP so the main parties are stifled with their EU ideology. Start with local elections next year, European elections in 2014, when the Lisbon Treaty comes into full effect and then the general election in 2015.

      • Boudicca
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Correct. He will offer us a ‘choice’ between being

        a) In the EU Federation of Nations
        b) In the EU’s Outer Tier

        Out will not be an option. And when the sheeple vote for (b) he will claim that he has been given a mandate (consent) for the UK to remain trapped in the EU in perpetuity. Then – gradually – piece by piece, any powers that may have been repatriated will be transferred back to Brussels until we are in the Federation with no possibility of another Referendum to stop it.

        We are being stitched up – again – by an Establishment that is determined to get and keep us in the EU. Our only hope of stopping it is to stop voting for the Establishment Parties.

      • uanime5
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Coal produces 27.7% of the UK’s power, it hasn’t produced 50% since the 1960’s.

        http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/coal/coal.aspx

        • lifelogic
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 2:32 am | Permalink

          He is referring to a particular time, last Wednesday. Do you not read before you comment upon something?

          • uanime5
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            Unless the amount of power generated by coal was nearly double last Wednesday then he’s obviously wrong. Perhaps you should have read what I wrote.

        • Single Acts
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:00 am | Permalink

          I believe the point was to suggest on cold but still days, wind farms are not reliable sources of power whereas coal, oil, gas or nuclear energy generation is largely unaffected by the presence or absence of wind.

    • Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Traitors Gate & hang them high!

    • uanime5
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Surely ratifying EU treaties in Parliament is taking the UK into the EU by the front door rather than the back door.

  2. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    We could of course blame Mrs. Thatcher and Mr. Reagan for their policies. We could blame Mr Kohl for not demanding political union ahead of the Euro, and let’s not forget Mr. Heath (EU) and throw in John Major (Maastricht) for good measure, whole books have been written about “guilty men”, but is that what your Conservative Party Conference 2012 would want to focus on? Isn’t it better to focus on competing recipes to get out of the mess? Calling people to turn against EU, ECB and EJC didn’t work in the Netherlands because it wouldn’t solve our problems. Will it solve the UK’s problems? I doubt it.

    Reply Mrs Thatcher and President Reagan followed lower tax supply side policies which promoted good growth, rising real incomes and rising wealth for many. The policies being followed by the current EU and Euroland country governments do the opposite.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      John,
      You are wasting your time with Peter you should know by now that he thinks the EU can do no wrong. He lives in a fantasy EU utopian world.

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      How do these continentals dare to believe that Thatcher and Reagan policies also contributed towards the emergence of an uncontrollable financial sector which holds democracies and people to ransom?
      Who would you consider more powerful: the democratically instituted UK government or the global financial sector?

      Reply: Reagan and Thatcher had n othing to do with the build up of excessive debts and deficits by Euro area states, nothing to do with the weaknesses of state financed and state influenced Euro area banks, nothing to do with the huge imbalances in the Euro system which the single currency generates.

      • zorro
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I agree with John….Really, it was Mr Clinton when getting rid of Glass Steagall that sounded the death knell. From this moment on, that is when debt started to balloon and the risky lending debts and CDO type packaging thereof really took off. Of course, New Labour followed the trend, and Gordon assured us that he had abolished boom and bust and his ‘golden rule’ would assure financial stability no matter what dangerously loose monetary policy was being followed to stoke up unsustainable asset prices.

        zorro

        • forthurst
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Did you see Max Keiser episode 347? Quite apart from banksters using depositors’ money to feed their gambling addictions, there is the whole issue of the abuse of markets to generate profits at the expense of legitimate market participants by banksters and their clients. Are there any markets left where this is not occuring? Are there any markets where the rules have been set to prevent gross conflicts of interest? When last did a legitimate market participant trade in a market where the price reflected the demand for the stock, other than by pure chance?

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          In fairness to Mr Clinton, he got rid of Glass Steagall because the UK didn’t have such a restriction under Blair/Brown and New York was losing business to London.

      • Sebastian Weetabix
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. It was Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall. So if anyone is to blame for unleashing the banksters it is a lefty democrat.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          Did Prs. Clinton also force the bankers to lend?

          • Mark W
            Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            Errr yes. Clinton did force bankers to lend. He beefed up Jimmy Carter’s Red Lines policy forcing mortgage lending to what we now refer to as sub prime. Obviously the political right wing has a tendency to assume most voters have high intelligence and therefore never argue their case. The left figured out years ago to treat people as stupid and keep repeating short simple messages. If Thatcher and Reagan had been responsible for Red Lines we’d have heard nothing else.

            To JR’s original point, the EU like most leftists are so convinced of their own righteous superiority intellectually and morally they’d never think that they are in anyway responsible. Obviously thick right wingers who hopelessly play the left’s game will use terms like nasty party to disown a proud past. The left are the true nasty party, holding inspiration and hope under their crushing heel to keep a client voter base.

          • APL
            Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Did Prs. Clinton also force the bankers to lend?”

            Actually, yes.

            And it wasn’t so long ago in this country we has all sorts of Labour politicians, yammering and squarking for the banks to lend to people who couldn’t afford finance.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

            @MarkW: “the EU like most leftists are so convinced of their own righteous superiority intellectually and morally they’d never think that they are in anyway responsible.

            That has got to be the classic case of the pot calling the kettle black! Now were have I heard comments such as “you turn if you want to, the Lady is not for turning” and “the natural party of government” before? I know it wasn’t at a Lib (or SDP) conference, nor a Labour conference…

            @APL: It wasn’t so many years ago that the Tories were doing much the same (Blair just more or less carried on with the same policies, to his shame), this is why so many people in the 1980s and early 1990s were either left in a negative equality trap, unable to afford the repayments and unable to sell the property, often ending in the bank/lender repossessing the property.

          • APL
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “this is why so many people in the 1980s and early 1990s were either left in a negative equality trap, ”

            Yea, I know, that was me. And I’m getting that unpleasant feeling of deja vu.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

          Surely George W Bush also bears some responsibility for not doing anything to stop this problem and at times encouraging it.

          • Single Acts
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:02 am | Permalink

            Yes certainly, GWB and Clinton can share responsibility here.

            It’s almost like the current leadership of the establishment parties are just illusions of choice to keep people in line, where as really none is on offer.

          • Jerry
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            @Single Acts: More likely a Hobson’s choice, do something and cause the banking crisis or not do anything and just hope that the banking crisis doesn’t happen on your watch.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        @Mr Redwood: Some WSJ blogs clearly point at “The Thatcher-Reagan ‘revolution’ as an original culprit and one can hold a different opinion. It would be a serious mistake though to even suggest that the sovereign debt crisis was just happening in the eurozone. The problem with the eurozone is not to have created more economical and political union earlier.

        • Single Acts
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink

          Whilst I understand what you say, the Western states are all going down the same road, some have just reached the end of it more quickly. Union wouldn’t solve that fundamental.

      • outsider
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 4:32 am | Permalink

        Dear Peter van Leeuwen,
        The financial bubble was not inflated by any politicians but originally by Alan Greenspan and the US Federal Reserve Board, specifically what Wall Street called the Greenspan put (option), the confidence that if banks got into trouble, the Fed would bail them out. That is what happened after the dot-com crash, leading to a recovery based on credit expansion and asset prices rather than output. Given the known manic proclivities of investment bankers, it was the central bankers wot done it.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 8:54 am | Permalink

          @Outsider: I could go along with that, but isn’t it a task of democracies and their governments to keep some control over e.g. the financial sector. It may take decades to regain some democratic control over the global financial sector, which, in my view now is much more powerful than national governments. Of course it doesn’t really help to look for culprits, what is needed is the best recipe to regain some control without harming our economies. Action at G20 level would be best, but I don’t mind the EU or the eurozone moving ahead already, if done in a prudent manner.

          • David Price
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            You want people who are incapable of controlling their own spending and borrowing, and not doing acceptable audits in the case of the EU, to be in charge of the money supply?

    • Bob
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      There are plenty of people, like myself who would love to see an integrated Europe where people are free to travel between countries and trade freely without tariff or other barriers.

      The problem is that the EU Commission like the BBC is run by Fabians who are gradually chipping away at the foundations of our democracy, and part of this process is to eliminate self reliant and independently minded people who do not submit to state control.

      It has been said that the EU is not so much undemocratic, as anti-democratic, as can be demonstrated by the fact that we did not have any say in the appointment of our President who very few people had even heard of before his rise to his current exalted position, and the same can be said for our High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who had never won an elected office in her life.
      In reality, the reason that such non-entities have been installed in such potentially powerful positions is to act as place holders who, when the time is ripe can be replaced by more potent characters who will indeed exert their power, by which time there will be nothing the citizenry can do about it, except take to the streets, Arab Spring style, but remember, due to our strict gun controls, the government have all the weapons.

      The bottom line is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and if the UK has already fallen, then who will come to Europe’s rescue this time?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        @Bob: You may want to have a better look at your own democracy: Under the UK system of disproportional representation (FPTP), you may or may not have ended up with the MP you voted for, who in turn may or may not have wanted to have Cameron as prime-minister, who in turn elected Herman van Rompuy to be the guy to preside of European Council meetings (without holding very much power by the way).
        The Netherlands like most countries have sent someone who had often won elected office to the Commission, the UK chose not to, so if that is such a principle matter to you please blame the Britons, not the EU.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          Tell us about Jacques Santier, what his credentials were, how he was appointed and how he conducted himself as head of the EC. Tell us how a two time reject like Neil Kinnock landed himself a plum job in the Commission and how he conducted himself in office. Tell us about how Europe’s accounts haven’t been signed off for 20 years and how the EC’s accounting practices so disgusted a British accountant working there that she is now a leading member of UKIP.

          Tell us about the connection between any of the above and democracy.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

            @Lindsay McDougall: As youwish Lindsay, I will tell you about Santer and co, they were effectively removed, which was my point to make. How would I dare judge one of your countrymen (Kinnock), as I certainly don’t want to offend you! I will though judge Marta Andreasen, I think she’s very good and must be far the best UKIP MEP. The accounts not having been signed of for about 20 years are really due to member states instead of the EC. So if you hate most member states for this misconduct I would understand. The Netherlands and a few other members now take written responsibility for the proper disbursement of funds. It should be made compulsory for all EU members. The eurosceptic rant about these accounts without telling the full story is sillyness, meant for the average gullible Brit. I prefer the real story.
            Tell me what, in your story was not connected to democracy. I always thought that the UK considered itself a democracy, be it one that could be improved.

          • zorro
            Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            Peter, is that why Marta was sacked…?

            zorro

      • uanime5
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Give that each member of the EU Commission is chosen by the leader of their respective country and has to be approved of by the EU Parliament the only way the EU Commission could “chip away at the foundations of democracy” is with the consent of every EU country.

        Which EU president are you taking about? At present there’s three of them.

        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

          Are you familiar with that beacon of meritocracy, objective voting and democracy called the Eurovision Song Contest?

          • Jerry
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            Which, just to make clear to our international readers, has nothing what so ever to do with the EU, although it does the EBU, which doesn’t just comprise of European countries (to confuse everyone even further…).

          • David Price
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

            @ Jerry – thanks for clarifying for everyone. My point was that any game can be rigged and frequently is when any degree of national interest is involved, even though it can appear completely fair to the casual observer.

            Jeux Sans Frontier was much more fun.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      But a lot of our problems are a direct consequence of our membership of the EU. We are uncompetitive with the rest of the world because of all the EU’s regulations and employment rights. The regulations cost the UK’s businesses and institutions £9 billion to implement annually on top of the £11 billion NET payment we can’t afford to build foreign infrastructure and farmers. We learn today we are forced to give about another £2 billion to EU foreign aid for non poor Country projects! We have lost 400,000 fishing industry jobs whilst we have 6.5 million economically inactive as 3000,000 Eastern Europeans are here taking the low paid starter jobs (Please read the Romanian Taxi driver story on this blog earlier this week). The English people have had enough and there will be direct action if our politicians do not act on what WE want not what THEY want. The Czech President summed up his views on Mr Cameron by describing him as two faced Europhile whilst on the Continent and Eurosceptic at home. Action, not words is what we need.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Only America has employment laws more lax than Britain’s and how do you Explain Germanys economy when they have very strict employment laws? This idea that you can pay nothing and hire and fore at will with no health and safety is going to boost the economy only exists in the minds of right wing (people-ed).

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Complete drivel, just look at the facts not your strange imagined World which bears not relations to the real one.

          • uanime5
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            According to the OECD only the USA and Canada have more lax employment laws that the UK. So Bazman is right and you are wrong.

            You’re right wing fantasies that the UK has strict employment laws and that strict employment laws are bad for a country’s economy have been shown time and time again to be false.

          • lifelogic
            Posted October 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

            Other countries are worse but the UK rules and tribunal system are appalling, wasting vast amounts of people time and money and encouraging huge inefficiency and poor staff behaviour. I do not agree with the report that you quote. It does not even help employees.

        • Mark W
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          Germany has a grammar school system.

        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 5:12 am | Permalink

          Germany always puts Germany first

          • David Price
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 5:34 am | Permalink

            … just like most other successful countries who put their interests first. We on the other hand apear to have international socialist lemmings in our civil service if the results are anything to go by.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        We do plenty to screw ourselves up too…

        The hype from the trendy thinkanistas telling us how wonderful the nhs is, while 99% of patients in the waiting rooms are complaining about how terrible the service is, the corruption of beds 3 feet apart for the masses but private rooms if you happen to know somebody, to say nothing of the non treatment of easily and cheaply avoidable deaths, and we continue to throw money at it while all the evidence shows the systems in Belgium, new Zealand, Australia and so on provide much better care for all parts of society.

        I despair at the way the NHS is some kind of national religion while the patients still have no choice and service is sub 3rd world

        Then we have the state education system costs us all a fortune and the same sink schools from 30 and 40 years ago are still sink schools now, really its not rocket science how to sort these places out, and the corruption again where the best places are all kept for those who can claim the right religion at the right time (and leniency being shown for those with the right contacts and extra strict rules being applied to the plebs) and so on

        We have failed the blooming easy task of making it pay to work for those likely to be on bottom quartile wages

        We have state housing which costs us all way to much, incentives the wrong behaviours, and keeps the likely native workforce away from the areas with potential jobs

        We have saving heavily penalised while those who have over borrowed fantasy amounts to buy houses have been sheltered from the normal market corrections by the government pulling strings

        We have failed to embrace a proper meritocracy with a thousand and one anti discrimination rules and regulations but not one that protects our native working class accents from abuse by the public school crowd, and indeed positive discrimination in our public sector which is legalised discrimination against white males

        We fail to protect our national intellectual property which is the only thing that’s makes us worth our place in the world

        We give money away by the bucket to folk any rational examination would realise are our economic enemies

        We are led by people who have never done a days work in the free market economy and have no concept of how to generate wealth

        Madness

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction: Please google for “Blenheim Palace Speech 2012” and read how the Polish foreign minister makes firewood of most of the myths you are citing here. Take it from this right-wing Lady Thatcher fan from the country that the UK hoped to have as its ally. Don’t just read about the lecture (it is very poorly blogged about on the Tory website, read the lecture itself (only 6 pages)

        • outsider
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 3:13 am | Permalink

          Dear Peter van Leeuwen,
          I have not read the Blenheim Palace speech but did read Mr Sikorski’s Berlin speech, which I thought was very fine and argued the best case for a Federal Europe that I have yet come across. But we have to remember that Mr Sikorski was also a member of the Bullingdon Club in the same era as Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Johnson (B) and may also be better at promoting himself than promoting the interests of the (in his case Polish) people. Still, the man has style and one should, of course, judge the speech on its content .

          By the way, it always seems odd that people who (live riotously-ed) should become more popular with both the Establishment and the masses than people like Mr Redwood, who I believe spent much of his time at Oxford in more elevated pursuits such as scholarly study. As so often across Europe, people get the leaders they deserve. Perhaps the Bullingdon boys, including Mr Sikorski, understand better that, if you want to grab the glittering prizes it is best to support a prevailing orthodoxy.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

            @Outsider: You obviously know Mr Sikorski better than I do.
            We can indeed blame ourselves for getting th leaders we deserve, although . . . . I occasionally see ministers being selected purely on merit. In the Netherlands, being “elected” as an MP is not a requirement for being asked to fulfil a minister post in government and e.g. our last/current minister of finance (de Jager – a CDA party member but no MP) has become so popular for his work that many would like to keep him on, even now that his party will not be in the next government.

        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

          I read it, he needs to work on the myths as, for example, I don’t think the coffee grounds issue is anywhere near as serious as the EAW and loss of habeas corpus, trial by jury or peers etc.

          As per usual with EU posturing it is full of threats, so much for it being an agent for peaceful co-operation. Even more interesting is the allusion to WTO rules being flouted, so much for the rule of law.

          And before you make the usual claim of xenophobia, I think a Europe of free trade and movement is a fine idea, I just don’t agree with the totalitarian EU and the Euro being the engine.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            @David Price:
            You may want to read the OpenEurope lobby group, which sketched out a future UK membership terms (to be negotiatied), different from Switzerland, from Norway, from Turkey, or from Canada/Brazil (WTO).
            With regard to EAW, Poland would be a bad advocate as it has certainly overused it, and yes, your judicial system is different from ours (I’ve seen just enough American films and series to really hate jury trials and much prefer a judge applying a written civil code, but I’ve grown up in such a society, so you may call me biased).

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      It’s property bubbles that are unconrolled mass hysteria – US, UK, Dubai, Bahrain and now China. The US and UK are capitalist, Dubai and Bahrain are plutocracies pretending to be capitalist, and the Chinese are theoretically communists pretending to be capitalist. As CEO of Dubai, Sheikh Mahtoum would have been sacked under any other system. Bahrain was lucky; Dubai acted as a warning before things got out of control. In China, some property is selling and some isn’t, but the State won’t necessarily take any notice of market signals.

      I was working in Dubai in 2008/09 when the crash came. At one moment, Dubai had 15% of the world’s tower cranes in operation and the roads were chock full of trucks bring aggregates from the northern emirates. One month later, there was still the same number of tower cranes but 90% of them were still. All of the parastatal companies has collapsed into one such company – Nakhiel. And Sheikh Maktoum had the gall to say that, since it wasn’t officially part of the Dubai state, it didn’t have to pay its debts on time or in full.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      We can all get out of the mess steadily. The PIIGS (and eventually France) can leave the Euro one by one. We can agree that ‘ever closer Union’ applies only to countries that remain the the Euro zone, so that other member states may repeal any of the treaties made after the Single Market was negotiated in 1986.

      And for the UK, the beauty of it is that we don’t need a referendum to do so, because none of the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon treaties were endorsed by referenda in the first place. All we have to do is to say what we are going to do in the 2015 manifesto – and to deselect candidates that won’t sign up.

    • stred
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Itis true that most of the daftest policies are purely UK generated. Also, that continental policies are ignored where inconvenient. How to get this over to the UK voter, who can’t see between the lines.

  3. lifelogic
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    In my experience, the peoples of Europe do indeed think most of this is to do with their EU government and their national governments for allowing it? The electoral and partly system however largely prevents them doing anything much about it. They also have many politician, like Cameron, who campaign on a Eurosceptic basis (for party leadership and at the election) and then utterly betray the voters and MPs by doing the complete opposite.

    Perhaps the most offensive thing of all is the politicians who say they “do not think it is in our national interest to become a greater Switzerland out side the UK” but cannot even tell us why they take this absurd view. They just avoid the issue as much as they can or just lie.

    The ones who do believe in the EU are probably either conned by the (EU bought) “BBC think” constantly dripped on the nation as propaganda or just like their holiday home in Tuscany and, some how, illogically, imagine the EU helps with this in some touchy feely way or other I assume.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      I read, in the telegraph, that Alan Duncan, the minister of state for aid, said the Department for International Development (DfID) was “forced to give” British taxpayers’ money to the EU and was powerless over how it was spent. Just £1.4B it seems forced by whom?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        By Parliament, ultimately.

        Since 1972 Parliament has incorporated successive EEC/EC/EU treaties into our national constitutional law, and it has approved laws springing from those treaties, and back in 1688 Parliament insisted that ministers must always obey the law as made by Parliament; so if a minister says that he is forced to do something through EU laws or decisions then ultimately Parliament is responsible for that being the case, and the remedy lies in the hands of Parliament.

        • Mark W
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          That is true. We can leave the EU if we wish. Parliament only has to vote on it. Even before the last EU treaty included succession. We certainly aren’t like South Carolina in November 1860.

  4. Mike G
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    JR

    Did I click the right link? I could have sworn I was reading Dan Hannan or Nigel Farage.

    MG

  5. Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Who delegated them all these powers and still refuse to acknowledge that anything is amiss or do anything about gaining their repatriation?

    Can you please not take these arguments to your colleagues in the Conservative Party who continue to give their support to this Coalition Government, which from your own arguments above is destroying the economic well-being of our country and the Continent within which it must seek to survive.

  6. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    An excellent effort this morning, all 110% true and as you say, but there is the one aspect that you do not emphasize, viz the shear tediousness of the depth of control of minutiae in our lives–they think they should be able to control EVERYTHING and for that, and the resultant huge and expensive bureaucracies and sky scrapers, I curse them. They can stuff their ideas of identity between Finland and Sicily and all the rest. Bent bananas may have been a false alarm but it summed up the whole mess. The idea that the EU is uniquely essential and should be the only entity careering on with its already hardly believable and increasing expense is risible. Of course forget Cameron with his “hint” of what might happen some time in the future–even if we could rely on him and we of course cannot very doubtful he will be around after the next election and good riddance. Immediate abrogation is what we want and if they don’t like it and will not ease the way out do it anyway and tell them to get used to it.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Where you refer to the dismissal of the UK government I think you mean the Italian government. Not that it seems to make much difference given the lap dog attitude of the present coalition.

  8. Nick
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    They have just done the same as you. They have spent like mad and hidden their debts off the books.

  9. Nick
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Will the peoples of Europe ever think some of this is to do with their EU government?

    ===========

    You passed the laws.

    When can we do without you?

    • Jerry
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      How many votes do you think Mr Redwood has when he passes through the Lobby! Parliament pass the laws, I hope you are not suggesting that the UK should do without a Parliament….

  10. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    John

    I agree with your latest posting and a reply you gave a correspondent re. the Reagan/Thatcher era but isn’t it time to play another record? Surely it’s clear by now that you are preaching to the converted. Most readers want a referendum on continued membership of the EU and the majority of readers would vote for withdrawal as would I, so why persist with this tiresome topic on an almost daily basis?

    Iran is enriching uranium to develop nuclear weapons. Obama is dithering (which has characterised his presidency) and Israel has declared that time is running out before miltary action must be taken. Surely this is a topic worthy of attention rather than another rant against the EU about which your readers already seem to be in agreement.

    Reply I will do a piece soon about the US economy. I do not have anything original or helpful to say about Iran and how the US should respond to that. It is not a problem which the UK government can resolve.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Glenn, I don’t want a referendum. We should leave like we joined. Depart then hold a referendum, if there’s demand for one, two or three years after independence. A referendum would be badly skewed with the three main parties, big business and mainstream media pushing for staying in. Quit first and see the benefits. Remember the ERM, all the end of the world panic? Followed by err years of growth even Gordon Brown took nearly a decade to wreck.

  11. peter geany
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    John I would love to say you are entirely right, and you are as far as it goes. But those MP’s over the years in our House of Commons must share the blame. With one or two exception you have all rolled over and let it happen to the point you are powerless to stop it. For 90 years now this has been going on in Britain. The time has come to claim back our country. We don’t want the dubious distinction of 100 years of this particular deceit.

  12. David Price
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Paster Martin Niemöller’s observation can be applied almost everywhere, nationally and at the EU. Why do people who start persecuting and bullying others never expect it to happen to them or that things might get out of their control?

    Your last line should be the first by the way, the private sector taxpayer has been persecuted much longer than those dear people in the finance industry and others in your list.

  13. Bazman
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    My silly post about building a super yacht we taken up by an MP it seems. I swear I did not read this story first about Liberal Democrat MP Sir Nick Harvey saying funds for a new fleet of nuclear submarines would be better spent relocating BAE’s Barrow workforce to the Bahamas,
    “We could give them all a couple of million quid and send them to the Bahamas for the rest of their lives and the world would be a much better place, and we would have saved a lot of money.” He is supposed to have said. Personally I would go to work for free, but my wife won’t let me.

  14. Alte Fritz
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Careful!

    Rumour has it that a directive will shortly make criticism of the EU Commission its officers employees and supporters a criminal offence punishable by unheard of horrors.

    Reply That’s why I wrote this before that happens

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      If they pass that then anyone, at all involved, in passing it deserves far, far worse than mere criticism.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Such as blowing the Barleymont building to Kingdom come. I’m a humane person; we’ll do it at night.

        Reply: This site would favour its sale for more productive uses, for the sake of taxpayers and a less violent outcome.

    • Trevor Butler
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Any British government stupid enough to allow that sort of law through would be faced with a level of civil disobedience unheard of – Even law abiding grandfathers like myself would ‘show them the finger’!

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        We already have similar absurd laws banning the criticism of judges, sensibly not invoked very often.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Two fingers, if you’re English.

        Or Welsh, for that matter, as many of the archers were Welsh.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      Check date, not 1st April yet!…

      So, does anyone care to cite a reference for this “anti criticism” directive?

      • uanime5
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        Along with how it’s compatible with article 10 (Freedom of Expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      This can’t be true. A law against critism. (etc)

      • Alte Fritz
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        It says something about what we expect from the EU when my somewhat feeble joke could appear serious!

        • Mark W
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. I certainly fell for it.

  15. JimF
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    “They” are closer to you than they are to us.

    The fact is that you continue in a gang which lays back and accepts the -let’s say- “They-bang”… At this stage is it better to be in the gang and arguing on the sidelines that they should stop “banging” rather than join another albeit smaller gang to at least try to stop them?

    It has to be the latter…

    Reply It did not work for Mr Knapman or Mr Spink, former Tory MPs, What impact are they having now?

    • forthurst
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think eurosceptic MPs should be encouraged to leave the conservative party; it’s the europhiles like Cameron and his (questionable-ed) collection of backers who believe they can purchase the destiny of the British nation, correspondingly like their opposite numbers in the USA, who are the interlopers; they are the ones to vote against from within the party and attack from the outside by voting for alternative eurosceptic candidates at elections.

      • Jon burgess
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Not really sure what it is you are saying here – keep voting for eurosceptic Tories and vote for eurosceptic candidates where there is a europhile Tory? Personally I’d rather vote for an anti-EU party, not just a eurosceptic candidate from a pro EU party, like our host here.

        • forthurst
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          You’re entitled to vote how you wish; however, I see little point in voting against an MP whose voting record would have corresponded with your own preferences, which ever party he belonged to.

          • Jon Burgess
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

            I wouldn’t have voted in favour of Maastrict, unlike our host. I don’t disagree in principle for not standing against anti-EU MP’s, but Tory party policy is to remain in the EU, something that I oppose.

            Reply I opposed Maastricht vigorously in Cabinet, and did in the end resign over the Euro issue from cabinet when I felt I could make no more progress from within.

    • Mark W
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Ref Reply.

      I regret that I disagree with you on UKIP. I accept that whilst you are a member of the Conservative Party you must remain loyal to it electorally. However you shouldn’t assume that people like myself with a sitting Conservative MP who is pro EU and a glorified social democrat who calculated that the Tory Party would suit his years in political activity, is fooled into believing that UKIP is an organised party.

      I voted UKIP in Euro elections as I thought it’d push the Tory high command into action. They are wise to this. It will take large defections in a general election to either swing your party, split your party or destroy it to leave space for a new one. I believe that UKIP with its central theme of quitting EU has a good message to send with a high proportion of national support. I doubt they’ll win a single seat. They are a one man show with a history of stupidity, ie Kilroy, disorder and factional splitting. I know that my actions and many like me will be electing Labour by the back door. I truly regret this but I do not believe a majority Tory government would do anything to withdraw from the EU. It’s a big gamble to assume that a further period of opposition would aid an anti EU revival in the centre right, but a Cameron victory would bolster the view that his move to the left is “wot won it”.

      I am still convinced that Thatcher was really removed because she realised too late what the then EEC was all about. It’s a big shame that the members for Enfield Southgate and Hitchin & Harpenden didn’t back you when that chance came.

  16. merlin
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    The EUSSR is a totalitarian regime and there is NO democracy in it at all. The very idea that it is possible to negotiate with it is naive in the extreme, the individuals who instigated it and now run it are basically communists. I have said this before but just to repeat it once more:-
    1) Conservatives pro EU
    2) Labour pro EU
    3) Liberal pro EU

    All 3 party leaders are europhiles, so it doesn’t matter who you vote for the Uk will eventually be subsumed into this dreadful totalitarian regime. That is why the UK must get out ASAP through an IN/OUT referndum.
    One final point as far as I’m concerned I am English having been born in England but apparently I’m supposed to be European but this has absolutley no meaning to me whatsoever, I was born English and will die English, I personally do not recognise this European tag. I am a freeborn Englishman and my freedoms have been won in the past by my own great and successful country not by a foreign regime that originally as individual countries was a sworn enemy. I don’t remember being consulted about my nationality when we joined this totalitarian regime, I swear allegiance to my queen and country and no-one else. Euroland as a far as I’m concerned is a foreign country and an unfriendly power grabbing regime and should be treated as as such.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

    • Jon burgess
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      It is indeed a shame that our host voted in favour of a treaty that made our sovereign a citizen of the EU, just like anyone else. The same treaty that compelled our sovereign to break her coronation oath. The same treaty that brought about the creation of the Euro. Was the price of your support the promise of ministerial rank, Mr Redwood?

      Reply: I voted against Rome (in the referendum),advised against the Single European Act as Chief Policy Adviser, argued against Maastricht around the Cabinet table, and voted against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon.

      • Jon Burgess
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        But why vote in favour of Maastrict when push came to shove? In light of your otherwise consistent voting record it makes no sense to me. You could have joined Bill Cash and defied the whips, but you chose not to. Only you know why.

        Reply: I stayed inside the Cabinet to voice the views of Eurosceptics, and accepted assurances that we would never go into the main point of Maastricht, the Euro. When these assuarnces were watered down I resigned from the Cabinet and fought to opt out of the whole Euro Maastricht package.

        • Jon Burgess
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          So you were lied to in order to get your support? That in a nutshell tells us all we need to know about your party, Mr Redwood – not to be trusted.

  17. Acorn
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Ancien Regime, crikey! Well I am definitely not of the Clergy, nor the Nobility so, I must be part of the Third Estate. What we now call the 99%.

    Its the politicians fault. You delegate stuff that is too hot to handle to Quangos so you don’t get the blame when it goes wrong. You leave complex and complicated matters to the corporate lobby – the 1% – to implement with the civil service; because you are frightened of scaring the plebs away from your bit of the ballot box; and you go on television offering only bread and circuses and that all shall have prises.

    So is there any wonder that the technocrats and their corporate masters have taken over the show in Europe; just as they have in the US and UK. If the United States of Europe Incorporated, gets taken over by a private equity group …………. (Actually that’s not a bad idea, who needs politicians anyway, the future is not Nations but Corporations.) 😉 .

    • sm
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      If you viewed the leveraging of the banking system and financialization of the economy as an instrument which could then used to extract funds from the state citizens directly. Then yes its a bit like a leveraged buyout but with a twist, the buyer being forced or having the appearance of being blackmailed.

      A lesson on how to capture a state.

  18. NickW
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The writing is now on the wall.

    The European Government is not a Parliamentary democracy and its leaders cannot be dismissed at the ballot box.

    There is no proper Parliamentary Opposition and there is therefore no mechanism for alternative policies to be even discussed, let alone implemented; either as a result of a functional Parliament or a result of a Government being dismissed by the electorate and replaced by new faces with new policies.

    Brussels is many miles and many borders away from Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal and there is no possible way that demonstrating crowds can intrude on the deliberations of the Eurocrats.

    By any measure, by any standards, those responsible for the Government of Europe have shown themselves to be implaccably arrogant, incompetent beyond belief and incapable of admitting error. Their policies are a disastrous failure.

    At the best, Europe is going to be condemned to the same fate as the Soviet Union, poverty, global impotence and personal misery. At the worst, Europe will go back to the time when the secret police came knocking on your door at three in the morning.

    Our current Prime Minister is part of the problem; he belongs to the cadre of National politicians who grovel at the feet of the cardboard dictators, who put their careers before their people and betray the trust their electorate placed in them to defend their country against danger.

    The swivel eyed lunatics are not those who support UKIP, they are those who cannot see the danger ahead of us, and those who are wholly indifferent to the suffering and misery in Southern Europe CAUSED by the European Government.

    Please continue to speak the voice of reason Mr Redwood, we understand that those who reply with insults testify only to their stupidity.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      The members of the European Council are the elected leaders of the EU member states, so they can be dismissed at the ballot box; as can all members of the European Parliament.

      There is Parliamentary opposition in the European Parliament and any MEP can provide an alternative policy.

      You do realise that people from Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Portugal can elect MEPs who oppose the EU and send them to the European Parliament to oppose anything they don’t like.

      But don’t let facts get in the way of your rant.

      • lifelogic
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 2:51 am | Permalink

        The democratic control you refer to is so weak as to be worthless, just a veneer for appearance. There is not even a real Demos, with the same language and issues and interests. How can you have a Democracy, given this, even if they wanted one?

      • outsider
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 3:21 am | Permalink

        Dear Uanime5,
        If you really think that is how the European Parliament operates, I do not think you can have watched many of its its debates. Available online via BBC Democracy Live, courtesy of EU funding. Very educational. Not quite like what your textbook says.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    “The EU’s Ancien Regime” – other than dictatorship – a good description. When shall we see our version of 1789?

  20. Sue
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    “Will the peoples of Europe ever think some of this is to do with their EU government?”

    The people know it’s to do with the EU government but just like the British government, their politicians are ignoring them too.

    So, I actually don’t blame the EU at all…. I blame this government for not standing up to the EU. How much of a spine does it take to just say NO!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      More spine than that possessed by the great majority of MPs, who are supposed to hold the government to account on our behalf but repeatedly fail to do so.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    How about this for a referendum question?

    “Under the present treaties of the European Union the United Kingdom is committed to a process of “ever closer union” with the other countries in the European Union.

    Do you wish the United Kingdom to continue further with this process of “ever closer union”?”

    Put that question into a Bill with a set date in October 2015 for the referendum to be held, also write in that further referendums will be held at five yearly intervals for as long as we remain bound by the commitment to “ever closer union”, sort out the details of the referendums in terms of electorate – restricted to those eligible to vote in UK parliamentary elections, of course – and the procedures and expenses, etc etc.

    Then add an entrenchment clause like Clause 4 in this Bill:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmbills/048/2010048.pdf

    to stop untrustworthy politicians voting to repeal or amend it.

    If Cameron did that and got the Bill passed into law then he would greatly enhance his chances of winning the next election in the spring of 2015, and even if he didn’t win the election we would still have the referendum in the autumn.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, Denis, but that question wouldn’t satisfy me nor do I think it would do anything at all to enhance Cameron’s chances of winning the next election. Cameron wouldn’t mind that kind of question though; anything that keeps us under EU control would be fine with him.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Well, which way would you vote?

        For or against a continuation of the process of “ever closer union”?

        Because if the result was “no” there would be implications, which is why I doubt that Cameron would like that question as much as I would.

        • Brian Tomkinson
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          I would vote ‘No’, as I did in 1975, but I think the result wouldn’t be the one I desire which is to leave the EU. It would be used as a device to say that we had been given a vote without ever giving us the chance to vote for leaving.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

            Better to get a “no” to more “ever closer union” by pulling in votes from the “stay in but go no further” school of thought, than to get a “yes” to staying in the EU because too many of them swung the other way. And as I say if the answer to that question was “no” then there would be implications, because a government would find it difficult to remain a party to a treaty which mandated a process of “ever closer union” if the people had been asked in a referendum and they’d told the government that they didn’t want it.

  22. NickW
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Here is a description of how the policy responses of the US Government to the Great Depression were to a great extent responsible for prolonging and deepening it.

    Spot the similarities with European policy initiatives past and present.

    The Liberal led coalition has all the right policies to destroy our economy in the same way. The role of excessive Government spending and punitive taxation is especially noteworthy.

  23. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Off topic and back to our Romanian taxi driver if I may, please.

    As other readers pointed out the Romanian is advantaged by the exchange rate which enables him to house his family in Romania on these wages. Of course he’s happy.

    I infered from your post that – for example – an unemployed man form the north should be expected to do the same and move to London, live in digs, and send his money back home to enable his family to live.

    As readers rightly point out housing costs are so high in Britain that this wage would be inadequate. Successive housing booms (encouraged by both parties) have made it so that not just Daddy but now Mummy should go out to work to afford housing – it’s now proposed that Granny should start forking out for the family housing too !

    These booms have affected housing in areas of high unemployment too attesting to the fact that the welfare system has helped to fuel it.

    My main point is this. Politicians are able to claim housing and travel allowances for the time that they live in London thus avoiding the worst effects of their own policies. Neither they, nor their children, I expect to find themselves doing taxi driver type work on minimum wages whilst funding their own lodging expenses.

    You say that you have ‘dealt with the issue of immigration in another post’. Immigration affects every issue in this country from education, health care, water, energy, transport, crime and housing costs.

    Therefore this subject should feature in most of your posts for this reason.

    Population levels (and the economic output of that population in terms of skill and educational levels) must surely form the bedrock of nearly every policy and comment.

    Reply: I did not make recommendations to someone from the North in my post. I was seekign your comments on the situation. I will not make every post about immigration. We will return to the topic, as this story invited you to do.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      “… they would not expect to find themselves doing taxi driver type work …”

      (correction for end of sixth para)

  24. Norman
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Like others have said I think a lot of us do get it. It’s a pity so many choose to stay at home to show their disdain of the tories and Labour instead of voting for protest parties. Just need to look at membership numbers to see how we get how useless the current crop at the top are.

    At some point reality will have to be confronted and centralised big government come to an end. Voluntarily or compulsory is the only question left to be answered.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Re Protest votes. Whilst many do indeed sit on their hands in protest, they do so because they are intelligent enough to understand that the last thing we need as a country is the sort of coalition mess that other european countries have, better to go in the wrong direction that to go nowhere because it takes four years just to decide which party is to make sure the tea has been ordered from the Downing Street kitchen! How many years has Belgium been without an effective government?…

      • David Price
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        You appear to be assuming that a very active and extensive government is a good thing. According to Business Insider despite having no government for 15 months the Belgian economy had outperformed the largest economies in the EU in 2011 Q4.

        Better the government does nothing than does things wrongly.

        • Jerry
          Posted October 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

          Not at all, I just want a functioning government…

  25. Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Since the MP’s expenses scandal, I have lost all faith in the majority of our MPs who seem solely interested in their own personal future. Thus, a large majority are all in favour of the EU, and its expansion of powers, because that opens up the opportunity of more jobs which they can fill without having to bother about being elected or anything tedious like that. By pulling out of the EU and providing “smaller government”, we would leave all those who studied PPE at university without jobs.
    I predict that Cameron will not offer a plain straightforward IN/OUT referendum, and that Labour will get in at the next election because UKIP will take too many of the Tory votes.

  26. Pete the Bike
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I’ve got my (posters,marching boots and radical songs-ed), when are the buses leaving for Brussels?

  27. Freeborn John
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I have asked people in Ireland why they don’t make this association. Only coherent reply I ever got is that only one party there (SF) make this point and the media are all pro-EU. I think a tame press in many Eu member states is a big factor. In most of these countries the papers are (unlike Uk newspapers) regional and therefore enjoy a kind of local monopoly with no need to differentiate themselves from other newspapers. State subsidies for newspapers in numerous companies is also a factor which encouraged them to act like the state broadcasters (RTE, etc.) and sing a BBC-like pro-EU tune which their national politicians are happy for the voters to hear. The root cause ultimately though is the same as in the UK with national politicians liking the EU because it’s weakens the electorates ability to hold them to account or reverse their policies through the ballot box. I suspect Cameron, Milliband and Co. would not object to a tame press either and the declining business case for a printed press may help deliver it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      “… national politicians liking the EU because it’s weakens the electorates ability to hold them to account or reverse their policies through the ballot box.”

      Yes, and some of them think that the spread of universal suffrage has been a damn nuisance and that the EU provides a way to neutralise its worst effects.

  28. Posted September 30, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like Gove to me.

  29. Pleb
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    With a Europe that is nearly overrun, only England stands against the tyranny.
    1939.

  30. Marlin
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I have previously stated that this entity,Euroland is now a totalitarian institution, and I have just learned that to criticise it will be a punishable offence, well, that confirms to me that the EUSSR has now arrived and we are not free to express our views about it. The next stage will probably be the European (thought police-ed) and eventually political prisoners. Yes, I know it sounds dramatic, but it just shows how freedom is slowly being eroded. For me Euroland is becoming an enemy of Great Britain and free British people should be aware of this.

    • zorro
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Do any of you have the links to this interesting development?

      zorro

  31. Robert Taggart
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Agreed Johnny, but, even your ‘leader’ be only talking about seeking ‘fresh consent’ from us plebs regarding the EU !

  32. Normandee
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that your method of stopping this High St. Bank robbery, is to shout loudly and politely from the other side of the road. It’s taking place in full daylight, the robbers don’t appear to be in a hurry, and why should they, the police are on their side and the people paid to prevent this are all standing behind a low barrier on the pavement opposite, they all know what is happening but don’t lift a finger, apart from shouting “I say old chap can’t do that you know” and when the crooks have all gone with our money and freedom, they will follow up with “I told you so, I knew this would happen blah blah blah”.

  33. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Lots of it is the EU’s responsibility. It amazes me that there is not even more Euroscepticism in this country.

    I do like your rhetoric. It’s the sort of style that would become a man contesting the Conservative Party leadership in the Autumn of 2013.

  34. john harmsen
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The EU is nothing but the USSR revisited. All talk about it should now stop and we
    must simply secede from this dreadful and anti-democratic superstate forthwith.

  35. stan francis
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    But Cameron is not looking at coming out of the EU-EVER, he’s doing deals to STAY IN?

  36. forthurst
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    The people are powerless to get the politicians to run the country properly because the politicians are powerless to act against those externalities to whom they deliberately ceded that power, or so they say.

    In yorkshire, under the last labour government, the police, the crown prosecution service, local MPs of whom one had been home secretary, were ‘poweless’ to prevent English girls, allegedly, as young as ten, being gang raped by men for money who were not English; neither were the social services able to assist (etc). Were the girls ever in fear?

    Meanwhile, in London on a tram, an Englishwoman acted abusively towards a carriage of strangers of foreign appearance and, as a result, her children were taken from her, she was refused bail (for her own safety: isn’t it pleasing when authority acts to protect members of the gentler sex, for a change, ho hum?) and after almost a year, no date has been set for a trial (for putting her unappreciative audience in ‘fear’).

    There is never a power vacuum; there are always those ready and willing to usurp proper authority when those to whom it has been entrusted refuse to exercise it with propriety, on behalf of those by whom it was conceded. Whoever is running the country now are not those who have the best interests of our nation or of the English people as their objective.

    English people can be extradited to the USA or to Europe whether an English judge would agree they had any case to answer under English law or not. No, the Home Office can’t do anything about that either. Nobody can act in the interests of this country because no one holding those interests has that authority.

  37. Fedz
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Well put John!

  38. Derek Emery
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    The EU is incompetent in every field – economics, science, technology, finance, and markets etc but wields power which guarantees economic failure for Europe. Its own finances have never passed audit which demonstrates not only incompetence but the total lack of accountability that this can continue year in year out. The reason is that all major EU decisions are based on left liberal politics and never on economics or competitiveness.
    Failure is 100% guaranteed.

    The only real interest of the EU is continually increasing its unaccountable central powers can only be at the expense of loss of democratic accountability.

    The ERM was a failure but the Eurozone was invented based on similar principles. Economists knew the EZ was totally flawed as it had to guarantee a permanent surplus for Germany. This meant each country had to be responsible for its own debt which then meant these have to run increasing deficits with Germany.

    Germany for many years has had high investment behind jobs (tens of thousands of Euros) so it can compete with the much lower wages in the rest of the world for the same skill levels. There is no way the PIIGS will ever be able to match this investment so they will always have lower productivity.

    Prior to the EZ floating currencies allowed each country to continually slowly devalue against the Mark . This allowed them to stay in work as their salaries and pensions were incrementally devalued matching their lower productivity without causing any civil unrest.

    Locked to the same currency as Germany the only way of achieving this now is to have wages and pensions continually reduced by unelected EU enforcers as the public will not vote for this – although it has the same overall effect as devaluation.

    The EU is now seen as as a negative force imposing reducing lifestyles which in turn must lead to a lack of belief in the EU as an institution. Just getting unit labour costs down to German levels will not be enough.

    The PIIGS do not have the industrial infrastructure and investment that Germany has behind jobs giving high productivity. Therefore the PIIGS are in a situation of having to compete with similarly skilled labour with low investment behind it as in the rest of the world. This means wages need to be a lot lower than German wages to get work.

    The EU may enforce a Eurozone on the PIIGS but at what loss to its own political credibility?

    China now has a big program of robotization to both increase productivity and quality. This will put still more pressure on jobs in the EU, and especially more so in the PIIGS. Inevitably more jobs must be lost to the rest of the world due to the huge wage disparities.

    The PIIGS are now locked in long term poverty as they cannot devalue to restore competitiveness and are reliant on some form of transfer union to keep even worse poverty at bay. This can never amount to more than charity and can never be enough to get growth.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Your post is complete nonsense.

      France, Spain, and Italy wouldn’t have supported the EU if its only purpose was to enrich Germany.

      Germany doesn’t compete with low wage countries which make products as cheaply as possible. It competes by offering high quality products and technological innovation. They do this through high level of education and well managed companies, something the PIIGS could easily copy.

      The EU isn’t seen as a negative force by the majority of people in the EU. That’s why pro-EU politicians keep getting elected.

      You do realise that due to the different climate of the PIIGS they can compete in areas that Germany isn’t able to compete in.

      Finally constantly devaluing hasn’t helped the UK and it definitely won’t help the PIIGS.

  39. Jon
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    They came and are coming for the pension funds.

    Gordon Brown swiped 6 bn a year from them. I note that Ed Milliband is due to have this subject as one of his main targets. The EU are also targeting them. There is a reason for this..

    What Gordon Brown and Ed Milliband today see is a £1.5 trillion pound pot to raid from the rich as they see it. The EU see a 9 trillion pound pot to raid.

    What I see are people with small pots of £20,000 to £40,000 and they are in the run down to retirement where £40,000 will generate a pension of £2000 a year.

    Collectively Labour and the EU see it as a vast pot to plunder to get them out of spending cuts or to accuse these people of being wealthy predators. They will paint the industry of retirement and savings as toxic and needing their tax and spend solution.

    Its not a big pot of pension fund monies, its sadly way below what it needs to be but they are after it all the same. Just with Gordon Brown’s tax of £6 bn a year it can’t realistically be reversed. In the end, the wealthy with access to advice, the masses not as that has been removed by politicians for them, will invest offshore. They will plunder whats left even more as the revenues reduce. Department funding will be allocated for this money so taxes will not be a reversed but increased.

    What these people see is a big pot of money, what they don’t see are the individuals who’s money it is and they are looking at a frugal retirement in too many cases.

  40. Posted September 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    You only have to read Marta Andreason’s book, “Brussels Laid Bare” to find how the EU can find the extra money that it needs to promote itself! Blocking all of the corruption and sleaze that goes on should be their current priority. I am sure that if the general electorate were aware of all of this the likes of Kinnockio et al would not sleep comfortably in their beds.

  41. wab
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, ever the comedian. But I’m not sure equating the “persecution” of hedge fund managers, bankers and MPs (etc.) with the persecution of non-Aryans by the Nazis makes for comedy.

    And have these hedge fund managers, bankers and MPs (etc.) been persecuted in any way? I haven’t noticed any of these people in penury recently, or in prison. Indeed, the only group of people who have suffered no financial hardship because of the global financial crisis are exactly these poor “persecuted” souls. Yet they whine endlessly that people are being “mean” to them, boo hoo. What can you say about bankers, who did such a bad job that the government had to bail them out, and then they still expect to get their bonuses (rather than be put in prison). MPs still have their gold-plated pensions and their gold-plated expense accounts. Hedge fund managers still don’t pay much tax. Such persecution.

    If a small amount of negative media reporting is considered “persecution” then the Eurocrats (including “the EU Commissioners, the European Court of Justice or the European Central Bank”) have been just as “persecuted” by large sections of the British media, including Mr Redwood (who complains about the EU several times a week), the Torygraph, the usual tabloid suspects, etc.

    It seems the Little Englanders are happy to dish the dirt but cannot take it in return.

    • Trevor Butler
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      I think the phrase “Little Englanders” more accurately describes all the EU lovers who think that this country cannot make its way in the world outside of the “club” – I, for one, cannot wait for the day we ditch all those ‘Europeans’ and start doing things ‘our’ way again without interference from some foreigner in Brussels.

    • Credible
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you wab.

      John, This is a silly and distasteful article.

      You should meet a few more ordinary people who are struggling. Those who can no longer pay their mortgage or find another job or pay their fuel bills. There are even some in your consituency.
      Then maybe the ‘persecution’ of the very rich may come a bit more into perspective.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Mr wab, I’m sure that Mr Redwood can protest for himself, but, observing your comment late in the day on a Sunday when he might justifiably be relaxing, I can’t but help pointing out that you have used quotation marks on several occasions around words which are found only in your comment. “Persecution” is an example.

      I hope that this was a minor syntactical or typographical error, as, nowhere, can I see in Mr Redwood’s post the word ‘Persecution’ or any others that you have attributed to him. It would appear that he is making a point by reasonably borrowing a narrative formula which demonstrates the process whereby those who stand idly by during wrongdoing are effectively complicit in that wrongdoing.

      Less charitably, I might suggest that, in your haze of paranoia and ‘specialdom’, you have been unable to appreciate that the last sentence ends “…and taxed them some more”.

      I don’t know when you will pay your taxes, but I do know that you will eventually be bankrupted and, or, imprisoned if you do not pay them.
      ………………………………………..

      Mr Redwood, as the full extent of popular unrest remains to be seen and felt in southern Europe, presumably it therefore also remains to be seen whether or not the modern EU, by necessity, will be “embarked on violent repressions of freedom and voice”.

    • peter davies
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Mr Wab

      I think you need to get your facts straight rather than playing with words and try to grasp the point of what Mr Redwood is saying. He is merely pointing out that the architects of the Euro for one thing HAVE NEVER BEEN held to account like many others who were the source of the financial crisis which is a very good point.

      The same in the UK should go for our own politicians and regulators. I would love to know what the great leader BROWN and his cronies in the treasury really knew about what was going to and who they shouted down when they flagged huge issues.

      On the subject of the EU, putting a number of countries into a single straight jacket suited only for Germany where they cannot compete globally is proving dire for many people, all because of this absurd ambition to turn Europe into one country under a group cloudy completely unaccountable mainly commissioners.

      Had the UK joined the EURO, we would have been just like Greece or Ireland now.

      I really do fear for the future because there are only so many cans that can be kicked down the road with bailouts, etc – when you hear of relatively large countries like Spain and Italy struggling affecting real peoples lives surely the game has to be up with the EZ.

      Many need to hit reverse now, revert, devalue and recover in a couple of years otherwise I fear there are many years of austerity to come.

    • Bazman
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      They were punished by having their seven figure bonuses cut to six. Is that not persecution? They seem to think so.

  42. Lady Carole
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Clear ,Consice and bang on as usual ,well said Mr Redwood

  43. WitteringsfromWitney
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    “Then they came for the elected governments. The Irish, Portuguese, UK, Spanish and Greek governments all were dismissed.”

    Really? Last time I looked we still had your leader at the head of a government comprised of the crud from your party and that of the Liberal Democrats.

    And who allowed all this to happen? Who has sat on their hands while all about that which you complain has happened?

    And still you believe that your ilk are the only ones who should govern us?

    It my not happen in my lifetime, it may not happen in yours – but one thing is certain, the political class will be taught a lesson and it will be one they will most definitely not like! Trust me……….. (as you of the political class are always asking us!)

    Reply: The UK government was dismissed in 2010

    • uanime5
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      How exactly is a democratic election 5 years after the previous election a dismissal? By law Labour had to call an election because a political party can’t remain in power for more than 5 years.

      • outsider
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 3:27 am | Permalink

        You are right, uanime5, but you will have noticed that the constitution has just been changed so that they can almost never be voted out in less than five years.

    • A David H
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      JR Can you explain how the UK government was dismissed in 2010, please? It feels as though there is something that you would like to tell us. Perhaps we need to know.

      Reply: By the General Election

  44. Alan Radfield
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    The purpose of the EU is to provide nice jobs, pensions and priviledges for the Euro elites. They are working right now to secure those advantages for a generation against the little people of the EU countries. They have a lot more power than we do, and they will use it, ruthlessly.

    • Credible
      Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      The purpose of the UK government is to provide nice non-exec positions, new revenue sources and priviledges for wealthy donors.

  45. Nina Andreeva
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I am sure that these people who suffer from EU persecution mania are actually plants to discredit those of us who actually criticise the EUs democratic deficit. Who voted for Cathy Ashton? Who would vote for Cathy Ashton for anything?

    These people need to get out of the UK a bit more and see just how free things are in the heart of the beast. Once you get out of the tunnel you can put your passport away until you want to get back in the UK. While the only place I have been to with a comparable number of CCTV cameras to an average UK city centre is around the old STASI HQ in Berlin, though unlike their British counterparts they were taken out of service in 1989

    • lifelogic
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink

      Who would vote for Cathy Ashton for anything? No one sensible – but our leaders clearly did.

  46. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Nice quote there from Pastor Niemoeller.
    OK You are quite right.
    But how do they get away with it? Why aren’t the ghastly Commission pilloried by the Spanish? Why do the Greeks blame the Germans? Why do the Labour blame the Conservatives, and the Conservatives blame the LibDems? Why do the BBC blame everyone but the Commission?
    Why?

    PS Only asking.

  47. uanime5
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Who dismissed the Irish, Portuguese, UK, and Spanish governments? I can only recall temporary administrator being brought into Greece and Italy because their governments’ high level of mismanagement.

    Given that it’s not the function of the EU Commissioners, the European Court of Justice, or the European Central Bank to run the economies of Ireland, Spain, Greece, and Portugal this may explain why they’re doing nothing.

    If there was any anger at the ballot boxes it would have been reflected in the new Parliaments from the 2011 election in Ireland, the 2011 election in Spain, the 2012 elections in Greece, or the 2011 election in Portugal. As these countries want to remain in the EU and the euro it seems that the electorate doesn’t blame the EU for the long standing problems in their countries.

    Regarding who made the austerity projects some were made by the EU in exchange for bailouts, such as those in Greece; while other where implemented by the national government, such as austerity in the UK and every EU country that hasn’t needed to borrow money from the EU.

    Regarding who watches Asia outcompete Europe the answer is anyone watching Japan, which is currently the only Asian country that is comparable with the EU or USA. Even the BRICS countries China and India have a far lower standard of living than most EU countries and their main competitive advantage is being able to do things cheaply, rather than product innovation.

    • outsider
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 3:53 am | Permalink

      Electors make their own choices, that is true uanime5. I do not know whether you think they were wise to vote in some of those countries for 25 per cent unemployment and a decade of hardship and misery.

      If you look at those elections, however, you will notice that in each case all the traditional establishment parties were singing the same tune, in this case the euro-tune. That is something very familiar to us in the UK, not just over EU issues. For instance, all three main UK parties favour QE. Even if you agree with QE (or our policy in Afghanistan) you might expect that one party might demur. The prevailing establishment view is very powerful, often meaning that there is little media questioning of it.

      I think that the Greeks did actually vote against the EU bailout in their first election but the protest was split between several parties of left and right. The Establishment was saved by a stability mechanism in the Greek Constitution that gives an extra 50 seats to the party with the biggest single vote (equivalent to an extra 100 in the UK House of Commons). So a second election was called, followed by a coalition of the two establishment parties that had been at each others throats for the previous 30 years.

      That’s how things work.

      • uanime5
        Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        I believe the Greeks weren’t opposed so much to the bailout as the austerity that they had to implement in exchange for the bailout.

  48. merlin
    Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    @ uanime5

    Are you happy about the possibility that if you criticise the EU you will be punished and criminalised?

    You are defending a totalitarian regime, you seriuosly need to use your intellect and think about what you write because before too long innocent people will be arrested for opposing this communist inspired entity.

    But I suspect that your response will probably be to continue to support the EUSSR which you unfortunately think is democratic, nothing could be further from the truth. The EU is the USSR all over again, but you are not able to understand this because this is how you want europe to be governed anyway. You like the state to control your actions and your thinking.

    • uanime5
      Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      You do realise that the part about it being a crime to criticise the EU was a joke. Since the EU doesn’t have a police for they can’t be able to arrest anyone.

  49. Backwoodsman
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately the EU is NOT a sclerotic Ancien Regime,but an active,agressive,new and evolving regime,like (authoritarian regimes of left and right in the last century-ed),anxious to produce fundamental culture change in nation states,and in dissenting or recalcitrant individuals.So far it has only ruined lives,without actually resorting to killing.It is very early though,and there has been little effective resistance.Possibly however, the options for marginalization,manipulation,and mind control are now so sophisticated that such crudities may be unnecessary.Rather re-education ,couched in benign PR terms.
    There are already those who think managers and technocrats are the answer to the the perceived weakness of democracy and its politicians,and the perceived failure of capitalism and its corporate cronies.They will happily be the foot soldiers of a new Euro-federal order,above the infelicities of the democratic process,and the narrow vision of the ‘plebs'(generously defined as all who are not ‘on message’).

  50. Barbara Stevens
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Mr R we all know what you express in this blog is true, the point is why does the Conservative party allow Cameron to continue to give powers away. This idea he will repatriate powers is so untrue, and everyone knows its impossible if the other 26 don’t agree. They won’t discuss or allow it we all know that. So why is it Tory MPs, allow MPs to carry on has they do. We have people like yourself and a few others fighting our corner, but we need all of you to fight for this country before its to late. Indeed we have heard from the unelected boffin, Barrosio? who thinks they will soon have his communist dream of a united europe, without any votes being cast. Its time to act now, and if Cameron refuses to stop this onslaught then he too should be removed. They won’t give second chances so neither should we, and we are nearing the time when something will have to be done and faced up to. We want out, we want a referendum NOW, not in the next government, and Cameron should be told so to his face. If he cannot give us that then he should be removed.

    Reply: There are now around 100 Conservatives prepared to vote for less EU. The reason we cannot achieve more than we do is we have nowhere near a majority in the Commons. I have no idea why this Coalition government has not taken a tougher line – maybe Lib dem influence. I do think we can make them exercise the Criminal Justice opt out, which Labour/Lib dems would not use.

  51. Bob
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    @Mr Redwood
    “Will the peoples of Europe ever think some of this is to do with their EU government? “

    As you often remind us, the EU isn’t an issue on the doorstep at election time.
    The latest plot of Eastenders or the current sporting event is usually what plays with the bulk of the population.

  52. David Langley
    Posted October 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    The thing is we just do not have to do a thing, apart from not paying the EU any money and also not paying the IMF any money until Lagarde admits she wont use it to bail out the Euro.
    Stop opening the EU regulations envelope and ditch the EU regulations currently in force which is a labour of love.
    Sit back and wait for the screams.

  53. David Langley
    Posted October 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article about the Euro finances in the Telegraph today, very believable and seems true considering the facts being exposed daily about the train crash the Euro is becoming. I am also concerned about the way the markets are behaving when a bit of supposedly good news about bond prices etc are released.
    I hope the government is ready to close down the market con men/stock exchange when the brown stuff hits the fan, when the crash arrives. Its needs to be kept closed until sanity and rationality comes back. We then maintain prices and wages until the Euro zone countries have settled back into their currencies. No profiteering and piracy, we help not hinder those countries trying to get back on their feet. Our weak government and spineless regulators will need strict watching I suggest people like yourself are promoted immediately
    as National financial supervisors for the duration of what will be a financial emergency, and posted to appropriate hands on positions. I trust the draft regulations are already written and waiting for Parliament to approve in emergency session.
    This government may be thrown out by then, a coalition of some kind will be in place I suspect but cream rises to the top. Lets hope our country votes for sanity and real financial sense next time.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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