Peace prize for the EU?

The award of Nobel Peace Prize to the EU is a badly judged piece of European politics. Many of us western Europeans have worked hard for peace and democracy over the last half century, whether our countries were fully part, reluctantly part or no part of the EU. Norway and Switzerland have been no more warlike than EU members.

The peace has been kept in western Europe since 1945 because all major countries became peace loving democracies with no territorial ambitions against each other. This was reinforced by NATO, which kept our peace with the communist bloc to the east. If any institution deserved the peace prize in Europe it was NATO.

Meanwhile the modern EU is causing dissension between peoples and countries in Europe. Just look at the scenes confronting Mrs Merkel in Greece recently. The EU’s involvement in the Balkans was also contentious when that region was rent by wars.

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102 Comments

  1. Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Absurd, even worse than giving one to the TV evangelist Al Gore or Mr Obama. All these types of charities, trusts and organisations tend to go to the dogs, as they become controlled by totally the wrong people and suck up to governments.

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

      Given for “promoting” democracy! While it is actively suffocating and killing democracy and with Cameron’s full support.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Which, unelected, unwanted, bureaucrat, from the EU will collect this prize for promoting democracy?

      • Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        My vote for the job of collecting the award goes to Neil Kinnock

        • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

          Neil “We’re Alright”(rejected by the voters) Kinnock together with his absurd and annoying wife perhaps.

  2. Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    One has to ask what is going on? The EUSSR will use this accolade ruthlessly to demonstate that it alone has kept the peace in Europe for the past 60 years, get ready for the shedloads of propaganda that follows. Most contributors on this site know that this is far from the truth and all the EUSSR has done is stoke up further tensions between nation states. Look at Greece and Spain for example where being in the Euro is beginning to bite and there is serious rioting on the streets. Youth unemployment in Greece is now 65% and in Spain 50%. I am sure that these unimportant evemts are of no consequence as far as the EUSSR is concerned and unemployment is just something to tolerate until we have the european totalitarian superstate. I think it is extremely distrurbing that the Nobel Prize Committee have awarded this gong just now, maybe they hope that it will calm down countries where the population are beginning to revolt, I wonder. Baroness Ashton will now be able to go round the world proselytising that the EUSSR saved Europe from total destruction, what a dreadful thought, and gullable nations may actually believe her. Another thought I would love to know the political background of the individuals who were responsible for this award, I wonder if they have or have had any connection with the EUSSR?

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      “The Nobel Prize is of the elite’s most highly favoured, for the elite’s most highy favoured… pals in the establishment network conferring awards and plaudits on each other. If you doubt that, perhaps it is worth noting Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, is also Secretary General of the Council of Europe, with its stated aims ‘To achieve greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress.’ Clearly no conflict of interest there”

      Did you really doubt there was a connnection?

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, is also Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

      Need one say more?

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      The Nobel Peace Prize has been a farce for ages but giving it to the EU is a new low .

      That Ashton woman is (unpleasant etc-ed) Can’t believe HMG is going along with it all by closing British Embassies .

      Perhaps it’s meant to vindicate the forthcoming use of excessive force to suppress rebels , indefinite detention without trial , spurious arrest warrants etc ?

      How long have we been living under World Government ?

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Given that the people in Spain and Greece blame their own Governments for mismanaging the economy, not the EU, it’s clear who is at fault.

      • Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        But “uanime5”, the people of Greece (and Italy) have a Government imposed by Brussels!…

        Anyway, it is clear to anyone with a clue that the real peace in Europe (not the EEC/EC/EU, that is not “Europe”) was brought about by both the UN and NATO (and some might argue, the Walsall pact [1]) , there would be no former communist states for the EU to ensnare had both the UN and NATO not acted as they did. Prior to that curtain raising period between 1989 and 1992 the EC/EU were more worried about the CAP, Butter mountains and wine lakes, not world or even European peace.

        [1] the USSR didn’t want a European war any more than NATO did

        • Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          Warsaw Pact!……Walsall pact did make me chuckle though…. 🙂

          zorro

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            Having once lived near to the town of Walsall, I can confirm it is very pact, well overcrowded in fact.

            As Blob Dylan the well known typing error once said:-
            We are all just prawns in the game

  3. Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    People actually thought it was a joke for a brief minute. It’s an insult to all those who are fighting for freedom and democracy. Never in my whole life (and I was in a couple of warzones as a child), have I felt so totally crushed by a political regime. Never, have I felt so spied upon, lectured at and ripped off and bitter, as I do today.

    I’m curious Mr Redwood, If we are paying for these nuclear reactors in their entirety as (some) say, why won’t these be nationalised? I am not particularly fond of nationalisation being a REAL conservative but some things just shouldn’t be profit making unless it’s for reinvestment, it’s immoral, especially water.

    Reply: Why should the provision of water or energy be nationalised? There is no evidence that government owners make them safer or cheaper. Surely better the government sets the rules and others do the work.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      So you’re telling me these price hikes to satisfy shareholders is moral? Perhaps the British Government should stop taxing energy, after all, it’s hardly a luxury in this climate.

  4. Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait for the acceptance speech
    -should take cringe-making to a whole new level.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Now I can appreciate what Merkel was on about the other day with her remarks on
      the lines ‘we have had 50 yrs of peace ,and this doesn’t just happen .We must not take a continuation for granted’

      Let’s just get out of this dreadful organisation while we still have a chance.

      We’re probably sunk now but it seems to me [a life-long Conservative] that the only way out is to vote UKIP now in each and every election we can incl Police Commissioner/local council etc and at least contribute to a groundswell that even the PM might notice.

      • Posted October 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        One is tempted to say “If the Germans just stopped attacking people” but fear of a prosecution for something or other means I won’t.

        Reply Post 1945 democratic Germany has not been attacking poeple in the military sense.

  5. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Well said! Nobel Peace Prize has become a laughing stock. Obama, Al Gore and KISSINGER? It’s a total non-event now, like you say, completely political.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps it is the “Taking the Peace(sic) Prize.

  6. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s common purpose in action behind the scenes? ( CP) Just discovered this clandestine organisation.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Enjoy your research…….and look at its influence in government and civil service circles.

      zorro

  7. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Then there is ‘for democracy’

    However, look at the imposition over democratically elected governments of EU Tzars in Greece and Italy. Not democratic at all.

    I have no vote in EU policy either. Mind you I have no vote on an issue in the UK.

    MPs and Peers just dictate here.

  8. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    This is the problem with trying to award a prize in each category every year. I can’t think of any person or organisation who has earned a Peace Prize during the past year, and certainly not the EU, which has been unable to act as a coherent whole when it comes to any form of foreign policy.
    The Nobel Prize has simply become a joke, much like modern art.

  9. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    The award of Nobel Peace Prize to the EU is badly judged piece of European politics. Many of us western Europeans have worked hard for peace and democracy over the last half century, whether our countries were fully part, reluctantly part or no part of the EU. Norway and Switzerland have been no more warlike than EU members.

    The peace has been kept in western Europe since 1945 because all major countries became peace loving democracies with no territorial ambitions against each other. This was reinforced by NATO, which kept our peace with the communist bloc to the east. If any institution deserved the peace prize in Europe it was NATO.

    Meanwhile the modern EU is causing dissension between peoples and countries in Europe. (tut tut tut, shake head in exasperation! ) Just look at the scenes confronting Mrs Merkel in Greece recently.( wringing hands, more tut tut tut) The EU’s involvement in the Balkans was also contentious when that region was rent by wars. (shame, what a terrible thing, tut tut )
    Oh is that the post ?, it’s just that I am expecting a pension prediction for my nice comfortable seat. I probably won’t be too upset about that !

    Reply: Thanks for the irony. If you have better ideas on how I and like minded colleagues can secure changne when there is a federalist Parliament, please let me know.

  10. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    This is surely the travesty of all justices?

    Or, is it a sign (reward) that the EU is about to implode?

  11. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Out of all fairness the EU did initiate a ceasefire between Georgia and Russia and has played a big part in stabilising the Balkans. However the thought of the queen of mediocrity Cathy Ashton picking up the award is a bit stomach churning.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      The UN Protectorate of Kosova? Stability? What next? The UN Protectorate of Bradford?

  12. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    One always thinks that one has fully explored the depths of ridicule and absurdity, but somehow you always find out that you haven’t quite…
    I note that many have picked up on the riots in Spain and Greece to highlight the fact that the EU isn’t so peaceful, but am I right in thinking that closer to home there have been problems with certain French fisherman hurling bricks and stones at UK fishing boats (scallops I think) ?

  13. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    You couldn’t make it up; well, you can if you look a bit deeper. All Nobel prizes are nowadays political statements on behalf of the Norwegian government and Norway has a bit of a problem trying to hold down its currency; speculators keep buying it; same problem as the Swiss. Interpret this prize as a message to the EU, we would like to join now.

    The heady days of nine and a bit Kroner to the Euro have slumped to seven and a bit. Bad news if your customers are turning up at the Norwegian border with Euros. They have seen how the Germans have made a bundle out of tying down their currency, the Euro, to the indolent southern suncream and sangria party kids. Imagine how many Euro; Dollars and Yen it would cost to buy a Deutsche Mark’s worth of German exports now.

    Don’t laugh; but, the UK could join the Euro for exactly the opposite reason to Norway you know. 😉 .

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      No! We don’t want to join because it is best for us if our currency floats and its price is settled by the international currency markets. The status quo is ideal.

      When I look at a “former Communist” State, the first question I ask in determining whether it has accepted liberty is “Does its currency float freely?”.

  14. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Who will collect the award: President van Rompuy, Senhor Barroso, Herr Martin Schulz or the current heads of government collectively? I foresee much politicking.

    And what will the “European Union” do with the money?

    The EU could actually do something constructive for peace, such as setting up and endowing a retirement fund for African/Middle Eastern heads of Government who give up power voluntarily. Private contributions would follow.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      I do hope Cathy Ashton goes to collect it; I can’t wait for the acceptance speech. it’ll be better than ‘The Thick of It’. Satire really will be dead.

      When I heard this whole thing this morning I honestly thought it was a joke. I didn’t think they could top giving the prize to Al Gore for a dodgy PowerPoint presentation on a mythical problem, but they really have excelled themselves this time.

  15. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I whole-heartedly concur that the award of the Nobel Peace Prize is absurd european politics. Unfortunately it devalues the status of the prize generally. Who is going to accept the prize – one of the unelected commissioners? Will the money go to the EU budget?

    One small point however in your comment: two countries have had territorial claims on the UK in Western Europe; The Republic of Ireland (Northern Ireland) and Spain (Gibraltar.) It is a pity that the UK Government did not veto Spain’s application for EC membership until she dropped her claim on Gibraltar.

  16. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Peace prize? What??? How much was the Committee bribed with? It makes you wonder whether it’s been done on purpose to try and create the EU’s image as a benign mother hen, rather than the sucking leech that it really is. Talk about a set-up! I can’t wait to see the responses to this news in the blogs, and not just this blog either.

  17. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    According to the nobel prize commitee – “The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe,”

    The commitee are entitled to their opinion though perhaps it should be the Ig Nobel prize that is awarded for fomenting riots, the disruption of peace and prosperity and the dissolution of democracy in Europe.

  18. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Norway also awarded the peace prize to Kissinger or his work on the Vietnam Peace Accords, despite having instituted the secret 1969–1975 campaign ….. against infiltraiting NVA in Cambodia, the alleged U.S. involvement in Operation Condor—a mid-1970s campaign of (bad conduct-ed) coordinated among the intelligence and security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay—as well as (possible assistance to bad conduct-ed) under the Chilean junta.

    EU policies are creating massive divergent in wealth and poverty within the EU . The recent award demonstrates that Norway has never lost its sense of satire.

  19. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    “Peace for our time” was also primarily remembered for its ironic value. (ref wikipedia)

  20. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Load of rubbish-handful of people decide but won’t tell you why they make their decisions, or more important WHO has the INFLUENCE to DECIDE and what sweetners are used. The EU would not be an EU if it had not been for THE UK and America-TELL YOUR LEADER THE PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO BE ANY PART OF THE EU-We can go it alone, problem is we don’t have people with BALLS these days to make decisions-askin to the Saville business-Don’t say a word you may lose, cash, position, pension. we are not going down the plughole we are in the U BEND, all it needs is one PUSH and out comes anarchy.

  21. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Agreed. My jaw dropped in disbelief when I head this news on the radio!

    The issue of Greece and Germany is the antithesis of “Peace”.

  22. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Good point John, on the face of it and what little I know it seems absurd to award a prize like this to an institution – as you say peace in Europe has had nothing to do with the EU – the driver for this was NATO driven primarily by the US.

    The stuff that went on in the Balkans was concluded first by the UN then NATO, there were EU Monitors doing who knows what.

    If anything the EU is undemocratic, money hungry, controlling and corrupt – a horrible mix of ingredients that you would normally associate with banana republics on the brink of civil war.

    Add to that their flawed design of the EZ currency is leading us down a dangerous path that could lead to conflict and mass poverty – of course its not the EUs fault is it? Just like our banking/financial crisis had nothing to do with the labour party…..

    Who sits on this panel and do they give reasons for their decisions?

  23. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Sums up the moral corruption. A product of sick minds.

  24. Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    More evidence that the ‘minds of Europe’ are even further detatched from the common man ever. I live in hope that Giscard D’Estaing and the rest of his empire building cronies live to see it all fall apart. They’ll be celebrating tonight in their ivory towers.

  25. Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Pure politics and theatre as the EU president(s) express surprise. This is clearly meant as a message to the EU dissenters to say that the EU Political Project is here to stay whatever anyone thinks.
    Its also significant that Farrage is the only one to stand up and call it for what it is. No doubt Cameron and Clegg will bask in the glory.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. The EU juggernaut will continue. The political elite will not let anyone stop it. I laugh at the Tory Eusceptics who claim the Euro will fail, Greece will exit, etc. There is too much political vested interest to allow such events to happen. Just as he ridicules my prediction that BAE WILL be swallowed by the European defence industry, JR is denying the reality of government by the elite. I don’t believe the likes of JR are fake sceptics, but they are cowards for putting their own priviledges above principle and selfish for betraying our children and their future independence.

      Reply It is not cowardly to vote against 3 line whips and to make the case in Parliament over the EU, instead of opting out and asking to stand for a party that has so far guaranteed all its Westminster candidates a thrashing by the electors. If all Conservative Eurosceptics had done that there would be no Eurosceptic voice or vote in the Commons today. Try helping us to win for a change.

      • Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        The electors are moving in UKIP’s favour and moving even further away from David Cameron’s ‘compassionate’ Conservative party. I think Mr Redwood is being a little hasty in ruling out defection, I do think he should keep his options open….

        But attacking John Redwood as a ‘coward’ is unfair and wrong in my view – just because things haven’t been going the right way for the sceptic cause it’s unfair to single out one man that has done a lot more than most.
        He’s taken the view he can do more working within the party than outside – for my money he would be better outside as any true sceptics would still be willing to work with him but it’s his and his constituency association’s call.

        It’s not cowardly to stand up in parliament and tell the front bench to ‘get real’, or write 25,000 word books attacking the foundations of the Euro project. Read his books and speeches then decide. He could always do more to publicise his stance by being even more outspoken..but couldn’t we all ?.

        The real problem is that the electors were stupid enough to put Blair in for 13 years because they were seduced by the fake property bubble and welfare bribery. The sceptics were never going to be listened to then….

        I regularly write to my own constituency (Conservative) MP asking about the budget deficit etc. he then routinely fobs me off with a load of flannel such as ‘oh but we have delayed the increase on petrol duty’. Atleast JR sees the big picture, puts solutions forward and doesn’t go along with whatever line the whip’s office give him to take.

        • Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          The electors are moving in UKIP’s favour? We will see how far at the election. Not far I predict.

      • Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Its very very unfair of you to say that to our host Winston.
        A man of undoubted integrity who could easily earn huge sums in a city job but chooses to work hard as an MP for his country.

        Go after those MP’s who are pro EU, why dont you.
        UKIP will never get power, just like the SDP, a waste of a vote.
        Mr Redwood is right work from within the party to get change.

        • Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          With respect, I think you are missing the point: votes for the SDP were not wasted because it led to Labour abandoning the ‘hard left’ policies which caused Roy Jenkins et al to leave.

          It seems to me that if you want the Conserative Party to change policy on Europe then Mr Redwood and other Eurosceptic Tory MPs need to form a new party, sufficient in size to deny the Coalition a majority and thus bring about a General Election.

          Reply: 100 Conservative pro referendum MPs still face a majority of anti referendum MPs – please explain how the maths might work better, and how UKIP with zero MPs helps.

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            No “sjb”, sorry but you are missing the point, the SDP managed to get elected at the very first by-election they contested – what has UKIP managed in 18 years, and if the EU elections were carried out under FPTP then UKIP (along with other ‘protest’ groups) would have disbanded years ago. That is how the SDP were able to force changes within Labour, coupled to the fact that Labour had suffered two defeats -four election losses before they scraped Clause 4, unless a party is electable then there are no more risk than voters sitting on their hands.

            Whilst UKIP might be able to create waves, but swamp (defeat) nothing, in places like Brussels, back were it matters -London- all they are doing is allowing those who want ever closer ties with the EU a much clearer home-run, I really do have to ask who are the real Cowards, those who stand and fight or those who launch life boats just because the water has got a little choppy between dockside and harbour mouth?…

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            I would be delighted. The vote of confidence need not flow from an EU matter at all; you may recall it was a dispute about a Scottish referendum that led to a no confidence vote in the Labour government in March 1979.

            I agree UKIP does not help. But neither does staying in the Conservative Party: after 25 years as a Tory MP can you really say you are happy with your party’s EU policy?

            Having followed your blog for three years, it is clear that many contributors here want you to lead a Eurosceptic party.

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

            @sjb
            “it is clear that many contributors here want you to lead a Eurosceptic party.”

            Or join one that’s already established and gaining new members at about the same rate that the Tories are losing them.

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry

            Richard’s point was the SDP never achieved power, i.e. formed (or were part of) a government. My rejoinder was the millions of votes cast for the SDP were not wasted because Labour subsequently adopted policies closer to the SDP’s.

            Also, the SDP attracted people who had never joined a political party before and almost beat Labour to second place – in the share of the vote – in the 1983 General Election. I think part of their success may be attributed to being led by former heavyweight Cabinet ministers such as Roy Jenkins.

            Incidentally, the SDP lost the first by-election (Warrington, 1981) they contested.

          • Posted October 14, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            @Bob: Membership figures do not make a political party powerful, it is the number of Westminster MPs that are elected which does that [1], and in 18 years of trying how many MPs has UKIP managed to get elected -for that mater how many MPs have they poached?

            In 2015, vote UKIP, get Labour…

            [1] although it might make it a protest or Lobbying group, at the moment the Green Party is more powerful in UK politics than UKIP is

          • Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            @sjb: What do you not understand, UKIP can ‘t get elected (not once in 18 years, not even close), unlike the SDP. Those who voted for UKIP in 2010 might as well have sat on their hands, the result was the same and because they can’t achieve a political presence in the House of Commons no one is taking any notice of them at Westminster (more people now take notice of the Greens than UKIP…), stop trying to guild a lily!

      • Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        That is indeed the thing about UKIP. Despite claiming to be the party of patriots and of those with strong moral resolve they still cannot get around to doing what even the Greenies have done and actually get someone into the Commons. Who else apart from Farrage (who like still likes to (receive substantial public funding -ed) for his presence in the Euro parliament, £2million at the last count so far http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Farage) do they have who they can put on the telly with any sense of gravitas attached to them? Where is Kilroy these days?

        • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          @Nina Andreeva

          Nigel Farage sent an invitation to David Cameron for a public debate on the EU. Man to mouse.

          There’s been no reaction from Cameron; which shows how confident he is of his pro EU position.

          Farage would have wiped the floor with him.

          With Cameron in charge the Tories will be wiped out at the next election.

          • Posted October 14, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            @Bob: Yes Bob, and that was Mr Farage’s mistake, trying to make the 2010 election a single issue election. Had the request been for a debate along the lines of the other three leaders debates then UKIP might well have got their time at the TV podium. But UKIP didn’t want that as they knew that all three other parties would have wiped the floor with them because -and don’t forget this- Mr Farage wasn’t the UKIP leader at the time [1] so he was in no place to offer/ask for a leaders debate and even had UKIP been invited on to the three televised ‘Party Leaders Debates’ it wouldn’t have been Mr Farage at the podium…

            [1] having resigned the role so he could fight a constituency seat, funny that, I mean how Mr Cameron, Brown, Clegg, even Ms Lucas (the latter being a non sitting leader) manage to both lead their parties and fight a constituency seat.

  26. Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to fashionable people and PC organisations.

    Richard Nixon never came near winning the prize. The man who brought China in from the cold, negotiated a Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with Russia, withdrew most of America’s ground troops from Vietnam (he was evicted from office before he could complete the job), put America on nuclear alert when Russia threatened to send ground troops into Sinai, had the good sense to talk to de Gaulle, and the good sense not to meddle in Northern Ireland, never came near winning the prize.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Regarding the US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1968 Hubert Humphrey initially tried to get peace and the Paris Peace Accords were started. However during the 1968 election someone sabotaged Humphrey’s efforts by convincing the South Vietnamese to withdraw. Humphrey then lost the election, Nixon won, and Nixon then tried to get peace using different terms. This failed and the Vietnam war dragged on until 1973 when Nixon offered peace on the original terms Humphrey was offering.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Peace_Accords#Claimed_sabotage_of_negotiations_by_Nixon_campaign

      Also the USA only withdrew from Vietnam in 1975 because Congress refused to continue funding this war.

      • Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        1975 was after Nixon’s time. The steady withdrawal of American ground troops from Vietnam was ordered by President Nixon and had nothing to do with Congress.

        • Posted October 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          It had everything to do with Congress, Lindsay.

          On 19 June 1973 Congress prohibited US military involvement in Vietnam wef 15 March 1973. The Senate endorsed the legislation by such a wide margin that Nixon could not exercise the presidential veto.

          I wish Parliament had powers of appropriation: think of how many expensive govt IT projects and unwise schemes might never have seen the light of day.

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

            Beware the Ides of March 🙂 I should have written: “[…] wef 15 August 1973.”

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      How can any American President be awarded a peace prize? They and a few members of the congress are heavily in the pockets of the arms manufactures and their CEO’s, the 0.1% of the rich, who seem bent on persuading the American taxpayer to fund their industries by a series of foreign interventions and adventures instead of funding the infrastructure of the country. After the country is destroyed then other contractors such as security and building rebuild the country at more expense in the hope of turning the country into a favourable place for American corporations to do business. All the while the Average American getting taxed to pay for it all. Obama came in as the peace president and then just continued with more of the same.

      • Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        You wouldn’t give a peace prize to St Francis of Assisi or Mother Theresa, would you. Nor do pacifist states bring about peace on their own. States whose leaders have tremendous military power but have the wisdom to know when not to use it are an important part of the picture.

  27. Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    My hope is that Greece and Spain will in some way halt the dominance of Germany over Europe. Probably, in the end Britain will once again stand alone.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes, fellow Pleb, you are probably right.
      Britain has never been very good at “Europe” except in wars against aggression. You may remember that we set up Efta with our friends and then left them in the lurch by asking to join the EEC. We may end up again betraying our EU friends such as Denmark, Sweden and the Czech Republic because we see no alternative.

      At least, as long as we are inside, we should make sure that the EU is true to its peace-promoting origins and never has an army of its own. It is not needed, since we have Nato, so its sole purpose in practice would be to repress its own rebellious members.

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      We stood alone for less than 2 years. After that, Russia became our ally and bore the brunt of the war with Germany. We played our part by winning air supremacy. Together, Russia, the UK and its Commonwealth were well on the way to winning WW2 in Europe when America belatedly joined in.

      Our relationship with Russia is something we should work on a little harder in the present day.

  28. Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    John

    I know you won’t reply but the answer to a federalist parliament is join UKIP and start the fight back now. You and your colleagues will always be welcome in UKIP, I am contributing by the way as an individual, and it is my own individual opinion. You are wasting your time in a party which is always going to be pro europe-get out now! This contribution is for your consideration only. The facts speak for themselves there are about 100 conservative MP’s who would leave the EU tomorrow, the other 200 are basically wishy washy or flip flop and are only concerned about their own careers. I perfectly understand your present position and it will never be an easy decision and will require deep intellectual thought. But, do you as an individual really want to take this country into a totalitarian superstate, I’m sure you don’t.

    Reply: I can’t see what joining UKIP does for the cause if you are trying to get a Eurosceptic out of Parliament to join!

  29. Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    They must be short of entries this year. Dan Hannon’s book ‘A Doomed Marriage:Britain and Europe comprehensively demolishes the argument that Europe alone has brought about peace and stability.

  30. Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    The Nobel Peace Prize has been devalued, if not made an international laughing-stock today, what else can be said other than that both institutions (Nobel and EU) are fast becoming irrelevant to all but their respective bureaucrats. Disgusted. 🙁

  31. Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I think the reporters must have misheard.

    I can see how in could sound like the EU have Taken the Peace Prize.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      very good.

  32. Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Agreed: NATO was significant but without the US there would have been no NATO and no Europe.

    So the USA should receive the Peace Prize, except that it now has no value at all due to the awards to first to Obama and now the EU.

  33. Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    It symbolises just how out of touch they all are.

    Beyond parody, beyond satire.

    Can you imagine how hearing about this Nobel prize award will feel to an unemployed Spanish young person or an owner of an empty taverna in Greece.

  34. Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    No doubt this is run as a private trust and so these naive twits who run it can’t be kicked out and replaced. Hopefully there will be a change to the people who run it sooner so that the prize isn’t damaged beyond repair.

    Its quite sad that a valuable prize that highlighted the struggle of the individual against the establishment has now switched sides.

  35. Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    No, not April 1st.

    Democratic governments in Italy and Greece were, in effect, deposed by the EU. If its clients fail to win referenda, they carry until they get the right answer rather than accept that no means no. They apply a campaign of disinformation to discredit opponents.

    When Yugoslavia slipped into chaos and horror where was the EU and what good did it do?

    When has any people been told exactly was the EU elite is actually planning?

    The Nobel Peace Prize has gone to some strange people and bodies but this takes it to new lows. It can’t get any worse, can it?

  36. Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    You know, if they had actually awarded the prize to the little 14 year old girl in Pakistan who was shot by the Taleban for campaigning on education for girls, I would have applauded. I would not have been the only one and it would have sent a powerful message to those whose sole aim is to incite terror and fear in the world.

    How sad that real courage is not recognised these days.

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      That is a quite brilliant comparison. Well said indeed.

  37. Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    It’s amazing how many people are using this as an excuse to complain about how much they hate they EU and so few are able to name someone or something that was more deserving of the Noble Peace Prize than the EU.

    Reply: Try Nato, the German and French governments, the peoples of western Europe etc etc

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Dear Uanime5,
      You have a point. In many years, the Committee has decided not to award the prize. With violent conflict across the Middle East, civil war raging in Syria , tension between China and Japan, stalemate over Iran and more conflicts in Africa, this was perhaps best treated as such a year.
      It is possible that the EU was chosen as a “safe” option, perhaps because the founders of the 1951 European Coal and Steel Community to end a key source of conflict between France and Germany, and the founders of the 1956 Treaty of Rome, who did deserve the prize, were never honoured.
      If so, the Committee chose a bad year.
      Personally, I think it is daft to award a prize that was intended to go to a person or group of people to any such vast organisation.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      @uanime5

      Well at least the takeovers in Italy and Greece were achieved with barely a shot being fired (just a little tear gas perhaps).

      So quite peaceful I suppose.

      Well done EU!

  38. Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Where as there are many reasons to not like the way the EU is run or the UKs involvement in it, these are hardly a reason to knock the occasion when some of its acheivements have been recognised.

    The EU are as entitled to receive the Nobel Peace Prize as many of the the others who have been awarded it in the past. Have the good grace to congratulate them and leave it at that.

    Lets give up this foul British habit of knocking any award with which we don’t quite agree.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      “Lets give up this foul British habit of knocking any award with which we don’t quite agree.”

      Why? If we don’t agree with it we should say so. Nothing “foul” about it.

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      “Lets give up this foul British habit of knocking any award with which we don’t quite agree.”

      Yes. Be quiet citizen, remember section 5, careful you don’t offend me.

  39. Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Utterly, butterly off topic, I have just read that Mr Cable is asking companies with high or very high energy bills and carbon-trading debits to shape a proposed £250m compensation package designed to help reduce the impact of energy and climate change policies on the cost of their electricity.

    How mad is that? On the one hand the government is signing up to every lunatic scheme to stop the world melting down at some undetermined point in the future and on the other hand asking those most expensivley affected by their lunatic windmills and other schemes to dream up another scheme to offset the costs of doing so.

    I blame the EU, whose madcap schemes Mr Cameron and his followers are kow-towing up to. Yours as ever, in despair…..

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      @Martyn

      Perhaps they should be given a winter fuel payment, like the pensioners!

  40. Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    By coincidence, one week ago, before the peace price was known, a British Quaker wrote an article about the EU as a peace project or peace process, which I’ll reference herebelow. It could of course be argued that Quakers don’t know the first thing about peace, and that when the Quakers themselves received the Nobel peace price in 1947 it was another mistake, but I happen to be of a different opinion. (NB, QCEA is purely funded through private gifts):
    http://qceablog.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/europe-a-peace-project-or-a-peace-process/

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Richard Nixon came from a Quaker family. He didn’t win the Nobel peace price in spite of deserving it a lot more than the EU ever did.

  41. Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Peace Prize for the EU

    What a load of nonesense.

    Proof if any was needed that the power of the EU stretches further, and further, and further.

    Let us see what peace the EU brings when the financial system it has created, causes millions of people to live in poverty, and results in riots on the streets when it all eventually fails.

    This award is really nothing more than a sick joke.

    Next they will be awarding it to Tony Blair for peace attempts in the middle east.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Look out for next year Alan,the yet to be sainted Tony is my bet to be awarded the next peace prize.

  42. Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The probability is that Barroso or Van Rompuy, seeing the Eurozone falling to pieces around them, got on the phone to the Nobel Committee and asked for the prize to be awarded to the EU.

    It does not seem likely that this was a totally spontaneous decision without any prior discussion between the EU and the Nobel Committee.

    Given that the Nobel peace prize and the awarding committee have made an entirely predictable laughing stock of themselves, one has to question what pressures or inducements Brussels put on the Norwegian Government to make this happy event come about.

    No doubt we will find out in due course.

  43. Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Part of the Nobel citation refers to the EU role in Yugoslavia.
    The EU’s role there was to, to please Germant, “recognise” Croatian & Bosnian Moslems states which were run by (unpleasant people pursuing unpleasant policies-ed) – this is a matter of public record.

    They then supported every act of war against Yugoslavia up to and including the NATO occupation of Kosovom (and allowed or were unable to prevent massacres and violent conduct-ed)

    Basically the EU has been officially given a “peace” prize, at least in part, for making war and carrying out atrocities, some of them so obscene that I suspect Mr Redwood will feel they cannot even be mentioned in polite company 😉

    When Tom Lehrer said Kissenger geting this gong was “beyond satire” he clearly had no conception of of the satirical possibilities.

    Reply: I agree the EU’s conduct in former Yugoslavia was most worrying and featured in my interveiews on why the EU should not have this award.

  44. Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    With regard to peace in Europe I would think the hundreds of thousands of American Troops and armaments stationed there whatever people think, stopped the Russian Bear in it’s tracks.

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      @John Orchard

      The USSR was the external threat to the EU; the prize is for the sixty years of peace and reconciliation achieved among EU Member States such as former adversaries France & Germany.

  45. Posted October 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I think the European Twinning program has been very successful in building peace.
    http://www.twinning.org/en/page/the-european-union.html

    That’s why I worked so hard to develop a global twinning program for Britain.
    http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/programmes-and-funding/linking-programmes-worldwide/connecting-classrooms

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      How about citing a non EU sponsored organisation/website to prove your suggestion, of course the EU are going to claim that they have been successful!

      These Twinning programs pre-date the EU and possibly many countries membership of the EEC.

      • Posted October 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        I was surprised it seemed to be an EU thing. I hadn’t thought it was. Have you got any further information about the history Jerry?

        Can I take it you agree that twinnings and exchanges are good things?

    • Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Twinning – pure gesture politics.

      • Posted October 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Have you experienced the effect of having children from Jordan taking assemblies in your local comprehensive school Lindsay?
        http://mathseducationandallthat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/twinning-schools.html

        • Posted October 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Rebecca, I’m with you on the benefits of twinning, I first thought it to be just a load of jollies for Councillors, but done at school level it works to bring young people together like your Jordan example.
          It brings down levels of prejudice, encourages friendships between nations and in the end reduces agression and the possibilities of future wars.

          • Posted October 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

            Thank you Richard. I was very surprised by Lindsay’s comment.

            I think an award which brought attention to the benefits of twinning by focusing specifically on it in a way which accredited the aspects of it which were nothing to do with the EU might have been a good award. In my opinion building understanding directly between people is always of value.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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