View Full Version : Is this the Europe you want ?

1st Apr 2005, 16:39
Yesterday swing duty , 1230 start , at a central European ATC centre beginning with M and ending with T ( Treaty town ) in the very southern part of the Netherlands . Colleague leaves home in Germany and arrives , well on time for duty , at the (open) border where the Dutch border police are awaiting . He was stopped (open border) aah Mr ...... you have not paid a parking fine in the Netherlands . Colleague - yes it's paid . Police oh yeah ..... prove it . He had to go back home , make a print-out of his bank statement from his computer and then back to the border to prove his point , he was then allowed to go to work (arrives late)! This from the country which is going to save the planet by stopping us driving in our cars !!!!!!!!!!!
Warning to the UK - DON'T , DON'T , DON'T get involved any deeper with this giant , bureaucratic , socialist , petty , taxheavy , MESS . AND STAY OUT OF THE EURINE ! please . PASS THIS ON !!!!!!!!!!!!

1st Apr 2005, 17:12
Cue: Tony Draper........................

1st Apr 2005, 17:20
Aah... Flaps , you didn't let me down ! For info , I have a foreign wife of 20 years but this country has gone down the drain over the last 35 years . Nurse ..... the pills ! Anyway , over to Drapes .

1st Apr 2005, 17:23
Does Tones actually drive a car?

tony draper
1st Apr 2005, 17:24
Huh!!huh!! whats going on!! why did yer wake me up!!.
Oh Europe ,bollix to the EU, nuff said. right, see if I can get back to sleep,hmmmmmm.

1st Apr 2005, 17:33
OY ..... Drapes , ..... THIS IS IMPORTANT !

Evening Star
1st Apr 2005, 18:02
Why is this an issue with Europe? If we had a truly integrated Europe with open borders, man would not be stopped at border. It therefore seems to be a straightforward case of arrogant police with bad records. We do not need Europe for that, we do quite well enough in the UK already.:uhoh:

1st Apr 2005, 18:16
That's just why it's an issue with Europe ..... it's getting more like the former USSR every day . Believe me I'm in the middle of it ..... it's very important .

Onan the Clumsy
1st Apr 2005, 18:25
arrogant police with bad records Like that one that went "We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun..." :yuk:

1st Apr 2005, 18:32
don't even have the bloody sun and if we did it would be taxed - not good for the climate !!!!!

1st Apr 2005, 19:13
arrogant police with bad records

Like that one that went "We had joy we had fun we had seasons in the sun..."

No Onan, that one wasn't by The Police. They did do a bad record about Sue Lawly, though.

Sorry, what was the question again???

1st Apr 2005, 19:19

Be careful, the European Commission protects its interests ruthlessly.

1st Apr 2005, 19:28
This is less to do with European integration and more to do with a useless waste of time and money sometimes reffered to as the Dutch police force.

They are good at minor traffic offences but don't ask them to do anything difficult, like solve a crime or help with neo-nazi problem neighbours. Tossers :mad: :yuk:

1st Apr 2005, 19:34
......for being late at work!!!!!!!!!

How is't said in Dutch : "Panne de réveil" ?

1st Apr 2005, 19:51
"kapotte wekker" ;)

1st Apr 2005, 20:28
Bonjour madame.......Merci madame.

Lon More
2nd Apr 2005, 00:14
How long to go Zed?

It's great here on the outside.

Yah sucks, boo to the Belle Etage

2nd Apr 2005, 01:22
A lot of the EU effect is cool, like the open borders and convenience of common currency, and cheap labor from the East. The problem is the stifling tendency of Brussels to smother any kind of innovation with their rules.

If the French, who will be running the game, can't get excited and pass the constitutional referendum, more EU control is dead in the water, I would think.

The issue of states' rights and the surrender of sovereignty almost sunk the US federal structure and led to the Civil War. What happens when a nation wants to leave the EU? Will there be a Lincoln to hold it together?

2nd Apr 2005, 02:42
Lon.....three years and eight months and counting !

2nd Apr 2005, 06:07
THIS is precisely one of the many reasons why a majority of French voters are now saying NO in polls to this huge Constitution project, involving not only politic fundamentals but in the same text an economic policy which is feared to degrade employment and social values in Europe for years.....................

2nd Apr 2005, 06:59
European culture and people :ok: European Union as a super-state devised and ruled over by the bunch of thieving, corrupt PC bureaucrats and failed politicians we have sitting in Brussels and Strasbourg :yuk:. Not now, not ever and furthermore, don't mention it again! A casus belli if ever there was one.

Lon More
2nd Apr 2005, 09:45
Wingswinger for "European Union" substitute "Britain", and for "Brussel", "London" and you have what the Scots, Irish and Welsh have been complaining about for years

2nd Apr 2005, 10:41
Can someone wake Draper up please! This needs serious comment- we are all waiting! Was he out getting blasted last night? We need him here NOW!

2nd Apr 2005, 10:50
central European ATC centre beginning with M and ending with T ( Treaty town ) in the very southern part of the Netherlands

Could you not spell 'Maastricht'?

tony draper
2nd Apr 2005, 11:29
The only good thing to come out of Masstricht was the fossil Archaeopteryx,

Onan the Clumsy
2nd Apr 2005, 13:21
Wingswinger for "European Union" substitute "The North", and for "Brussel", "London" and you have what the decent hard working, fish and chip eating, clog wearing, flat hat wearing, whippet racing Northerners have been complaining about for years

2nd Apr 2005, 13:34
Lon More and Onan the Clumsy ,

Not all Scots, Welsh, Irish and Northerners. Far from it. And our blood has been well mixed over the centuries. We even speak the same language!

Lon More
2nd Apr 2005, 15:44
Wingswinger, go here (http://www.scotsindependent.org/features/scots/sayings.htm) and say that again

2nd Apr 2005, 18:03
Thanks, Lon More. No one I can recall during my childhood in Glasgow, schooling in Edinburgh or university years in Aberdeen actually spoke like that. Certainly none of my relatives did. English with a broad Scots accent - yes, with a smattering of old colloquiallisms but pure Scots - no. Like gaelic, real Lallans needs effort to keep it alive.

2nd Apr 2005, 18:43
Lon More

You said: For "European Union" substitute "Britain", and for "Brussel", "London" and you have what the Scots, Irish and Welsh have been complaining about for years.

I'm not sure that stands up. The Scots have been running Britain for some time (Blair, Brown etc.). They have proportionately more Westminster MPs than the English as well as a parliament of their own. Scottish MPs can vote at Westminster on all matters including exclusively English ones whereas English MPs don't have the same influence over all Scottish law. And the public expenditure per head of population is greater in Scotland than in England.

This post should not be seen as an anti-Scottish rant.

2nd Apr 2005, 19:50
Does anyone here actually want the EU? Come on, reveal yourselves!

Solid Rust Twotter
2nd Apr 2005, 19:54
Whether yer want it or not, Mr Swinger, yer Fuhrer is going to make sure you get it...

...Right between the eyes, to maintain the hotel lobby rules.:E

2nd Apr 2005, 20:10
The only good thing to come out of Masstricht was the fossil Archaeopteryx
....is that it? At this time of crisis and we all await a soundbite, you speak of Archaeaeoptrists? It's like the country is going to war, and we all desperately want to hear something from Smiling Tony to reassure ourselves, and he walks out of #10, and says into the mic 'flobberdob'. Panic in the streets.

What we want to know is what we are going to do about this Brussels balls up (all of it). They are going to kill our sausages (is that still happening?). Our bananas don't bend right the EEC way (left instead of right I suppose). We keep getting told we're doomed because we're not in this and not in that and not doing this, but somehow every year we get better and better off compared to the rest. So what we gonna do?

2nd Apr 2005, 22:46
Here are a few examples of the EU making a difference for consumers:

Timeshares - UK consumers are among the chief beneficiaries of the Timeshare Directive which ensures the provision of adequate information and a 10 day cooling-off period, during which advance payments are outlawed.

Product liability – thanks to EU regulation, consumers who are injured by defective products have the right to sue for compensation without having to prove the producer was negligent, provided that they can prove that the product was defective and the defect in the product caused the injury.

Air transport – liberalisation has meant that any airline can operate on any route in the EU. This meant an increase in the number of carriers from 119 in 1992 to a peak of 140 in 2000. The number of routes linking Single Market countries has risen by 46% since 1992 boosting choice to passengers. Fares at the lower end of the market fell by 41% between 1992 and 2000. In addition, if a passenger is denied a seat because the airline has overbooked, they can demand compensation and have the right to a refund or else a seat on the next appropriate flight – all thanks to the Single Market.

Cars - Recent changes to EU competition rules in respect of car distribution and servicing promise to deliver greater choice for consumers as to where they get their cars serviced and to provide for more effective competition between garages and the supply of spare parts.

Telephony - charges have fallen substantially – thanks to Internal Market legislation. On average, business users have been paying 30% less since 1992 and residential users are paying 16% less in call charges and subscriptions. Overall, the market increased by 30% between 1998 and 2002.

The way that the EU is run desperately needs to be cleaned up and the corruption is shocking. Parties like the Dutch Europe Transparant have my full backing (which I am sure will make a big difference ). The organisation of the EU is complicated and has not really been able to keep up with the expansion in the last few years. A complete overhaul of the system of the union is overdue.

On saying that, I personally have experienced the benefits of the liberalisation of the European labour market, minimal border controls and the single currency. All of which have made my life much simpler (and profitable).

Despite all the emotional rantings about losing "soveriengty" this is not something that I hear in countries like Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany.

By the way the bananas story is complete tosh. From the CNN Website (http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/06/08/eu.facts.myths/)

2nd Apr 2005, 23:46
But the issue of "sovereignty", which you threw out as an epithet, Flypuppy, is really what is at issue.

With the EU constitution implemented, you will be giving up the choices you now have regarding so much of your lives. The EU bent is one of a high level of socialism, untenable labor policy, oppressive taxation, governmental overbearance, and the sublimation of all the great cultures now independent within the EU mien. All of this buttressed by some sort of inate psychological need to equal and counter the US, even at the expense of common values and often, simple logic.

Good luck if you can pull it off. The world may turn out to be safer if you do, but I don't think it's going to work for any of us.

3rd Apr 2005, 00:24
What choices that we currently have will we be giving up BT?
Why is socialism bad?
Which labour policies are untenable?
Taxation will continue to be the responsibility of individual governments. The constitution will not redefine the EU as a tax raising authority.
The constitution specifically notes The Union shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.
That doesn't sound like sublimation or subdugation to me.

As for governmental overbearance, we only need to look at the US government's antics over the past couple of weeks for lessons on that.

In the not too distant future the US will have much more substantial counterbalance in the shape of China. Europe needs to get it's self together to be able to operate in the new globalised world. No individual European country will be able to survive outside of the EU trading bloc. It does make some sort of sense to provide the disparate countries contained within the EU a set of guidelines within which they can work.

At the risk of repeating myself, it is the European Parliament (with democratically elected representatives of the citizens of the EU)and the Council - made up of democratically elected Ministers of the member governments - that make decisions. Under the new Constitution, these Ministers will no longer be able to hide behind closed doors. they will have to make decisions in public and take responsibility for those decisions.

16 blades
3rd Apr 2005, 01:13
Ok, where do we start?
What choices that we currently have will we be giving up BT?
How about the ability to determine our own future, and our own laws (by electing representatives to a SOVEREIGN, NATIONAL parliament) for a kick-off? Or the ability to form and act upon our own foreign policy? Or our permanent seat on the UN Security Council? Or the ability to determine who crosses our borders? Or the right to determine our own business, employment and fiscal policy? Or the ability to set interest rates that benefit OUR economy?

You may argue that we have already lost some or all of the above, due to EU treaties and directives. But this can be sorted out in a flash with HM's signature on an Act of Parliament. By signing up to the constitution, we will lose all of the above, and much more, PERMANENTLY.

Why is socialism bad?
Socialism has not been successful anywhere it has been tried. It is based on a false premise; Namely that a persons fortune or misfortune are based not upon what they make of themselves, but what they are given. This is demonstrable [email protected], but that is a differnt debate. Why the hell should I be forced to pay, from my hard-earned livings, for someone who cannot be @rsed to take care of themselves?

Which labour policies are untenable?
How about the Working Time Directive, for a start? The idea of which is, by limiting the amount of work that any one person can do, there will be more jobs available, and less unemployment. Utter tosh! Explain why Germany, the once economic powerhouse of Europe, now has well in excess of 10% unemployment, and France is not too far behind?

The Universal Right to Strike, which would take us back decades and destroy hard-won reforms that helped to create the current prosperity that we (the UK) enjoy.

Taxation will continue to be the responsibility of individual governments.
...at least until the creeping extension of qualified majority voting removes the last remaining vetos. The EU 'core' have been pushing for tax harmonisation from the get-go.

Europe’s cultural heritage
Europe does not have a cultural heritage. Individual countries within Europe have their own, unique cultural heritage, sharing little in common with each other (how many times have European countries fought each other over the ages?)

Cultures do not mix and amalgamate. They may live side-by-side on the same piece of land, but they remain distinct, and often at odds with each other. Many, many conflicts have been precipitated by a short-sighted occupier (admittedly, usually us) forcing different cultures and ethnic groups to share power over an amalgamated territory (Former Yugoslavia, anyone? India / Pakistan? Most of the Middle East? USSR?)

No individual European country will be able to survive outside of the EU trading bloc
Really? How so? We seem to be doing quite nicely, thank you very much, despite being a net contributor to the EU. We'd be even BETTER off financially if we were completely outside it, saving some £500 million per annum, as well as the money we could save by abandoning costly EU red tape, directives, and employment 'laws'. We are doing considerably better than EVERY OTHER EU country precisely BECAUSE we are currently outside the 'eurozone', and still largely have control of our own economy and fiscal policy.

Are you suggesting that NO country would survive outside the EU bloc? Why would just 'european' countries not survive? what makes us different to non-EU countries, besides geographical location, which is largely irrelevant to the equation? Your assertion makes no sense, on any level, and is not supported by any evidence whatsoever, past or present.

The Union shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity
That certainly sounds like subjugation to me - what if i don't WANT to respect the French / Germans / Italians / <<insert nationality here>>> - You WILL become a cuddly-fluffy lefty, whether you like it or not, on pain of being dragged before the International Criminal Court on a charge of Xenophobia"

Like I said, scary.


henry crun
3rd Apr 2005, 03:14
Flypuppy: My country is, thank goodness, about as far away from the EU as it is possible to get, and we have most of the advantages you mention.

Bananas, why do you need a EU directive to accomplish the standard you talk of ?
All of our bananas are imported and if they are not of good enough quality to satisfy the consumer, they won't sell, end of story. Same applies to any imported fruit.

Timeshares: I have never been tempted to buy them but I understand regulations concerning cooling off periods apply.

Product liability: strict rules about this subject apply to virtually anything we buy. Goods must to be of merchantable quality and fit for purpose. If they fail that standard and the consumer complains, they get their money back or a replacement item. A ten day cooling off period on all door to door sales.

Air Transport: is deregulated and almost anyone can, and does, fly our skies.

Cars: the manufacturer decides who will sell their products.
Car owners can have their cars serviced whereever they like.

Telephones: the government got out of the business of running the phone system a long time back and now market forces prevail.
This has resulted in lower charges, competition, and greater choice.
There is still some work to be done over access to the main line system but it will happen before too long.

All this without the need to have an over arching regulatory body in another country telling the government what they can and cannot do.

It strikes me that you should be asking your government why they did not introduce these measures before being told to.

3rd Apr 2005, 05:44
We have some thread drift here, so, to get back to the point, which, apparently was the government sponsored law enforcement department of the Netherlands....

....these people actually had a word for for "soft sh*t" ... hence the English colloquialism "poppycock"....

... "quelle surprise"... as they parle in some EU quarters (sorry, 0.25's)

3rd Apr 2005, 07:26
No individual country will be able to survive outside the EU trading block

16 Blades might also have added " tell that to Norway and Switzerland". They are, I believe, the richest countries in Europe per capita. Neither is a member of the EU.

The UK is the 4th largest economy in the world (until California overtakes us or we overtake the stagnant Germany or Japan). It is a market of nearly 60 million fairly affluent people (although one G. brown is doing his best to alter that), London is the financial capital of the world (not Frankfurt, not Paris, not Rome and definitely not Brussels). The UK remains the only military power in Europe with the balls to do anything. Does anyone seriously imagine that if the UK left the EU it would somehow be out in the cold? It would be a rebirth.

The truth is that the EU needs the UK far more than the UK needs the EU.

3rd Apr 2005, 08:10
16 blades how can print:

"Europe doesn't have a cultural heritage" which , at first glance seems yours was somewhat alienated.

"Culture do not mix and amalgamate"

This makes me wonder about books and dictionnaries at your disposal: open one of them at any page, find a writer, a philosopher, a scientist, a painter, a musician from our continent who was not influenced by other countries, and this from Middle Age and beyond. THAT is "Culture". Isn't it?

Cultures are mixing, evolving, and this faster than ever now, for best or worst.

If you don't believe me, only try to make a list of French words you use at any moment............... We have same roots for 50% of our vocabulay, either from Latin or Greek or Germanic.

We are not living in this Aryan dreamland you seem to believe isn't dead.

3rd Apr 2005, 08:23
Cultures are mixing, evolving and this faster than ever now

Except Christianity and Islam. Therein lies a big problem.

3rd Apr 2005, 10:31
"Cultures are mixing, evolving, and this faster than ever now, for best or worst."

Most of us can find something of value in other cultures but we don't feel under an obligation to do so. We do, as you say, use a lot of French words in English although your own government has made strenuous unsuccessful efforts to prevent English words from creeping into the French language.

"The Union shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced."

That sounds like an order to me.

3rd Apr 2005, 13:17
But it's not only a matter of individual choice: the exchanges between our both languages have begun many centuries ago.

The language we speak now is the result of these exchanges......and is still under construction (evolution doesn't stop ). Many English speaking nations are wondering what their language is becoming.........Spanglish, Frenglish, not to speak about Indian-English.

When a new word is needed it is to be accepted..........but very often people who don't even know how to speak their language properly are abusively using foreign words when they don't understand clearly what they mean.........only to pretend they are up to date.

It happens inside the language itself: for a period of time one discover a new way to say something, propagated in the media for no other reason, and carrying no progress in itself.

Onan the Clumsy
3rd Apr 2005, 13:28
Hmm, not lived there for a while, but...

United Europe with straight bananas in 2005


Divided Eupope with death camps in 1945

3rd Apr 2005, 13:45
What about another possibility: a Europe of independent nations living and trading peacefully with each other in 2005? And remember that in 1945, the man with the moustache was trying to unite Europe.

Onan the Clumsy
3rd Apr 2005, 14:10
Good point. My post was a little glib.

Still though, I can't help imagining that eight or nine hundred years ago at a council inside a smoky tent a bearded robed large man saying something like "What, Mercia, unite with Anglia? I don't think so. Next you'll be suggesting York become as one with Lancaster.".

Then a few hundred years later (I'm not very good at history) the same scene with the man saying "The sassenachs?" ok, perhaps that one was a little different.

Like I said, I don't live there anymore, so my opinion should carry little weight, I just wonder if political boundaries naturally expand in relation to technology and communications.

Or to look at it another way...imagine what the US would be like if it were fifty independent countries.

3rd Apr 2005, 14:41
Onan , ok but forget not that everyone , bar the indians and that's another story , went to America to start a new life from about +/-200 years ago . In Europe the politicos are trying to standardise hundreds of years of culture , ideas , norms , etc. Work and trade together yes but one giant state of Europe NO!

Solid Rust Twotter
3rd Apr 2005, 20:15


3rd Apr 2005, 20:25
About proposed Constitution.

It has been said here (where debate has begun with polls showing 55% of NO on a steady base) that usually our national constitutions were written by Constituent Assemblies which had been ELECTED while the text proposed for Europe was the result of the discussions among DESIGNATED personnalities.

Doesn't seems very democratic. Does it?
Or Dubya will teach us.............

3rd Apr 2005, 20:41
Onan for what it is worth, the USA IS a federation of independent sovereign states - each state of the union has its own legislation, its own government... only specific issues that are considered to be of interest to all are managed, by mutual agreement by the Federal government :) If you start trying to negotiate contracts "across" the USA you soon learn this :) :ok:

16 blades
3rd Apr 2005, 21:31
Cultures may co-exist, sometimes even peacefully, but they certainly do not 'mix' to produce something entirely new. The cross-pollination of languages is NOT the same thing.

One only has to look to the US to see the reality of this - the world's biggest 'melting pot' has been boiling now for over 200 years, and is still no closer to universal unity. An awful lot of Americans do not refer to themselves as 'American' - they are 'Irish-American', 'African-American', 'Italian-American', 'Asian-American', etc. There are constant battles by activists to 'make life better' for 'my' people.

The simple fact is, no matter where people are, or whether they are 'making a new life' in some promised land, they STILL want to identify with their cultural or ethnic roots and seek out the company of their 'own' people. This is 'multiple cultureism', where people of different origins live side-by-side and (generally) get on with each other, as opposed to 'Multi-culturalism', which runs contrary to human nature and is nothing more than a socialist pipe-dream.

Forcing a common set of values and laws onto a disparate group of people against their (majority) wishes is a great folly. Wars are started that way.


3rd Apr 2005, 21:45
for what it is worth, the USA IS a federation of independent sovereign states Brockey, that is true at least when one examines things like the imposition (or lack thereof) of state income tax, or the rate of sales tax, or, well, heck most types of non-Federal taxation.

On the other hand, what ties the cousins' little political subdivisions together more than anything is the Federal dole for things like motorway construction -- the threat to withhold that wuz wot made all the states adopt the 21-year-old drinking age; some had been as low as 18 or 19 beforehand.

One is not sure how long Mr. Onan has lived in the former Republic of Texas, but p'raps he remembers that his current residence and neighbouring Louisiana were amongst the last to enact "open container laws" for drink driving -- again, due to the threat of the loss of Federal funds. :ooh:

Onan the Clumsy
3rd Apr 2005, 21:53
My understanding is that Texas still doesn't have an actual open container law. You can in fact have an open container if it belongs to a passenger. I think he can even drink from it en route, but I wouldn't swear to it.

BTW, the reason Arkansas (or substitute the state of your choice) raised the drinking age to 21 was because they wanted to keep alcohol out of high school :}

4th Apr 2005, 08:12
I think you are not talking really on the long term.

Whatever we can say about "particularism" in USA, we all agree it's a Nation.

Unity doesn't mean anonymity and forgetting of our roots.

If Icould compare, I would say creation of a nation is like a marriage, in which we bring our individuality good or bad, agree to avoid destructing conflicts ............and have to change sometimes only to keep it going on.
Our children are not our image in a mirror.

The present building of unity in Europe could take less time than for USA because it isn't based on conquest and war.............They have been fought for centuries untill a very recent past.

It isn't "forcing a common set of value" when majority approves it: it's Democracy and it doesn't prevent people to enjoy the rights of men and women they had before.

We have only to make sure Democracy is respected, and refuse to sing a song written for others!

4th Apr 2005, 10:20

You liken the creation of a nation to a marriage. But a marriage is usually entered into voluntarily by people who think they love each other. And even then a lot of them end in divorce. We in Europe don't love each other so it might be unwise to get married. We can save ourselves the cost of a divorce. The european marriage has a lot in common with many muslim marriages in GB. The woman (girl) is forced into it by threats of what might happen if she refuses.

If the constitution sets out the rules of the marriage, it's worth comparing it with the American constitution. The American founding fathers managed to write the rules on twelve sheets of paper. They didn't find it necessary to tell their fellow citizens how to scratch their @rses. The european version runs to more than five hundred pages. How on earth did they manage to dream up so many rules? Has your government given you a copy? Have you read it? My government is reluctant to give me a copy but they want me to vote for it.

Do us all a favour by voting Non on May 29.

4th Apr 2005, 10:37
Europe tried this before, the Holy Roman Empire. All fell apart in 1648 (the Peace of Westphalia).

Lon More
4th Apr 2005, 10:39
BTW, the reason Arkansas (or substitute the state of your choice) raised the drinking age to 21 was because they wanted to keep alcohol out of high school

Pity they can't do the same thing with guns.

4th Apr 2005, 11:27
Independent: French opposition to EU treaty intensifies

Hostility to the European Union constitution is hardening in France, despite increasingly desperate attempts by government and opposition leaders to rescue the collapsing "yes" vote before the referendum next month.

An opinion poll published yesterday showed that 55 per cent of French voters who had reached a decision were likely to reject the proposed new EU treaty in the vote on 29 May. Worryingly for the "yes" camp, the latest survey - the sixth in a row to predict a "no" vote - shows an erosion of support for the treaty on the centre-right and a hardening of attitudes on the left.

Senior political figures admit privately it may be impossible to turn around the extraordinary momentum gained by the no vote over the past three weeks. Efforts by the centre-right government last week to bribe public sector workers with an inflation-linked pay rise have had no immediate impact. Neither have dire warnings from President Jacques Chirac and others that a no would plunge European and French domestic politics into deep crisis......

tony draper
4th Apr 2005, 12:16
Good stuff, everything is falling into place. one's plan is coming along just fine.
EU the writing is on the wall (in 17 different languages of course) yer days are numbered.

4th Apr 2005, 12:33

I am all for more UK integration with Europe.



Onan the Clumsy
4th Apr 2005, 12:34
But a marriage is usually entered into voluntarily by people who think they love each other. :} :} :}

Two words come to mind: Lamb and Slaughter :{

4th Apr 2005, 12:35
Europe tried this before, the Holy Roman Empire. All fell apart in 1648 (the Peace of Westphalia). And the relevance of this?

4th Apr 2005, 12:51
That if there is an inevitability in Europe forming a closer union, there is an equal inevitability in it subsequently falling apart.

We just do things faster these days.... :E

4th Apr 2005, 13:11
No doubt in my mind the EU will eventually fail to achieve a seamless federal state with its own concensus foreign policy, common defense establishment, uniform tax and fiscal regime...the accoutrements of a single state sovereign. There's too much diversity of culture and national interests. But the contortions you will go through before reaching the inevitable denouement will entertain me for the rest of my life.

The best you can do is maintain free trade; preserve the common currency on a voluntary basis or perhaps maintain a dual currency structure within each nation by pegging pounds to the euro, for example; adjudicate disputes of commerce in a common court; allow free movement of capital and labor to where it finds its best application; and forget about allowing France and Germany to build coalitions of statists to run your lives.

4th Apr 2005, 13:42
Europe tried this before, the Holy Roman Empire. All fell apart in 1648 (the Peace of Westphalia).

Don't forget Napoleon and Hitler. They also wanted us to enjoy the benefits of a united Europe.

4th Apr 2005, 13:46
Dear all,

It always makes me chuckle when the Anti-Euro crowd use Napoleon and Hitler to justify their "little Englander" viewpoint.

I can almost hear them crying into their bitter "You cannot trust those Frenchies, look at Napoleon, and those Huns, look at Hitler"


BHR:) :) :)

4th Apr 2005, 13:52
My understanding is that Texas still doesn't have an actual open container law. You can in fact have an open container if it belongs to a passenger. I think he can even drink from it en route, but I wouldn't swear to it. Onan, that little loophole was closed up a few years back.

Texas Open Container Law (http://www.texassafetynetwork.org/issues/drinking_driving/open_container.php)

BTW, the reason Arkansas (or substitute the state of your choice) raised the drinking age to 21 was because they wanted to keep alcohol out of high school So how well has that worked? :E

Seriously, while that ostensibly may have been the intent (and to stave off an increasing number of drink-driving wrecks involving teens), it was nevertheless the carrot and stick of Federal roadbuilding funds that got all the states on the same page...

4th Apr 2005, 13:53
Ways eyes sees it:

EU = UK, but a bigger and newer version...

UK (read 'England') now knows what it feels like to be a 'smaller partner', i.e. the equivalent of a Scotland/Wales/Ireland, (Later just N.Ireland), within the UK. She (England), is therefore not liking it one bit! (One likes to be one's own boss, don't you know!). Most of what the EU does has already been pioneered in the UK and shown, (to a limited degree in places), to work:

Single Currency
Free Trade
Universal (for most part) taxation
etc. etc. etc.

In other words, standardisation of all sorts, whilst maintaining a degree of individuality in terms of social, cultural and economic factors across its member nations.

Perhaps what is happening in the UK can be seen as a model of a future EU. Power moving away from the centre, having been over-centralised for many years.

For those critics within the UK who would fear life in a 'superstate' whose goal it is to seek social, political and economic union of separate nations, NEWSFLASH - You already live in one! It's called the 'UK of GB & NI' and has been around in its current form for some 80+ years!

Perhaps the UK's problem is to be torn between Member # 25 of the EU, or State #51 of the US. Until it decides what side to come down on, expect more cramp in the [email protected]$ from sitting on the fence!


4th Apr 2005, 13:55

Fantastic post.

Well done.



4th Apr 2005, 14:00
The French head of state, who has held fire in the debate so far for tactical reasons, is to enter the campaign fray in a television debate with young people on Thursday evening. With his presidential legacy in jeopardy, he knows that he must deploy his formidable powers of persuasion to turn the tide and save a campaign that is taking on the flavour of a potential rout.

M Chirac will try to convey a solemn message: that history and the nation’s destiny call for a “yes” to a project that caps five decades of French leadership in Europe. Rejecting the constitution would humiliate France and wound the EU, making it less able to stand up to the forces of “American-led globalisation”, he will say.

Dominique Perben, the Justice Minister, put the Government’s killer-argument more bluntly last week: “We have finally obtained this ‘Europe à la Française’ that we have awaited for so long,” he said. “This constitutional treaty is an enlarged France."

4th Apr 2005, 14:18
Alrighty then ORAC, I expect the same relevance applies for the Oath of Claudius Civilus anno 69 BC?

Universal (for most part) taxation Most new EU partners loath the EU taxation, Poland and the Baltic States rejected a Franco-German proposal to harmonise corporate taxes. Low corporate tax and flat tax rates are a vital part of their economic growth. There's a direct conflict of interest between old and new economies in the EU.

A fact is that many new EU states, such as Poland, Lithuania arrive in the modern business era skipping many years of old western bureaucracy. Several of my customers in Eastern Europe only want their invoices by email in PDF form for instance..

Send Clowns
4th Apr 2005, 15:58

Fantastic post.

Well done.
So we have our new disagreement. Most of Tug's post was garbage from pro-EU propoganda.

The single currency in the UK dates from before the inception of currency as we know it - i.e. the transferable, negotiable promissary note from a major bank, abcked only byt he reputation of that bank. That is fundamentally different from trying to integrate a set of modern economies artificially with modern communications.

Free trade in the EU is exposed as a myth by the behaviour of the French in denying free trade in services, 70% of the economy of the region. The fact that they illegally embargo other goods such as British beef never helped either.

Taxation is nowhere near universal, hence we can keep VAT off children's clothes, boooks and food. Not off fuel by the way, exposing some of the dishonest propoganda of our pro-EU government, who make capital of the Conservative imposition of VAT on fuel which is now mandatory in the EU.

Can't talk about freedom of movement either while Spain still illegally restricts the border to Gibraltar, and prevents overflights by aircraft into or out of the Rock.

We know we are in a combined state made up of 4 nations, and most are happy with that, and we have benefited much from it. We have parts of our constitution in common, parts are different. Our cultures have developed in parallel, even where they differ. We have not benefitted in the same way from the EU, our culture is often at odds with that of our European neighbours, our aspirations different. We have economies that are fundamentally divergent and run in very different ways. Likewise we have legal systems that are incompatible.

Of course the "constitution" isn't even a constitution. It contanins many parts that are completely ambiguous, and many parts that incorporate (left-wing) political ideas rather than basic constitution.

Someone said "what's wrong with socialism". The problem is not socialism per se, although I think it is wrong that is a different debate. In this case I would have just as much of a problem with moderate right-wing political ideas being incorporated into a constitution. A constitution is a basic framework within which a nation is governed, not a way of enforcing ones views permanently.

4th Apr 2005, 20:10

I'm not completely sure what you mean by little Englander. If you mean someone who is content with his own national identity and who doesn't feel the need to be part of a European superstate, I plead guilty.

Nothing against the frenchies or the huns. Judging by your enthusiastic support for Tug3's posting, I think I have a much higher opinion of them than you have of the English.

And you won't hear me crying into my beer but you might hear me laughing loudly if the French do the right thing on 29 May.

4th Apr 2005, 21:51
My opinion is we don't speak same language about Europe.

My fundamentals are here:

First of all (this is for harpy) I think people on this continent love each other more than you think................because they have learned that hatred brings only murder, desolation and destruction in the so many wars that were led from East to West and North to South.

Europe is a necessity, and as such it will be built because peoples accept it.

In France, a majority of the electorate is now planning a NO to the Constitutionnal project (TAKE CARE a vast majority of French people is pro-Europe ).

Many inside the NO camp here only refuse this project because it is not promoting Democracy, because they can read a reactionnary economic project in most of its pages, and because it has not been written by an elected assembly and will be impossible to amend within many years.

I think too, that our NO (if polls don't mistake) will teach our policy makers they have to change their way:

More transparency, more Democracy and less kneeing in front of Finance tycoons.

5th Apr 2005, 06:53

I knew this "getting along" could not last. :) :) :)

Actually, I do not disagree with the issues you have raised however, I do not place as great an importance on them as you do. I am aware that the EU is not perfect. I only have to look at the industry I work in to see how the French and the Germans have screwed us. However, they did it because we let them. We need to be smarter than them not isolate ourselves.


"If you mean someone who is content with his own national identity"

I am happy that you feel this way. However, some of your countrymen go beyond contentment. I have had much experience of this both here and abroad.

"I think I have a much higher opinion of them than you have of the English."

As individuals, not true. their are Englishmen whom I respect just as much as anyone else. As a nation, true. I know it is not-PC but it is how I feel.

I am not looking to start a flame war with either you or SC, I am just letting you know how I feel.


:) :) :)

Send Clowns
5th Apr 2005, 08:51
Hahaha, I am happy to get along while disagreeing :D Some of my best friends are socialists, or even Europhiles.

At our entry into the EEC our being screwed was written into the terms of that entry. Some of them were written in at the last minute, illegally, and presented to the repulsive Ted Heath as a requirement. He recognised the poor terms but realised they were the only ones on which he could get entry in 1973, so he accepted because he was arrogant enough to want to be the one to bring us in.

The EEC was sold to the UK people as an economic collaboration. We don't want more than that, I can see no valid, current argument for more than that. For example the claims by those in the mainland that the EU has prevented war in Europe (NATO did that) and that it will do so for the future (widespread war in Europe is not even a remote prospect) are absurd.

GrandpereEurope is a necessity, and as such it will be built because peoples accept it.Why?

So many in France insist on this, I have never heard any of them even try to justify the assertion.

tony draper
5th Apr 2005, 08:57
I see Sunny Jim he who used the full power of Government to con us into staying in that thrice cursed cesspit organisation has passed to his reward, one hopes it involves sitting on a pointed impliment in the hands of the horned one and having his nether regions toasted.

5th Apr 2005, 19:56
So many people, AND NOT IN FRANCE ONLY, insist on it.....

You "don't want more than economic collaboration"..........

Don't you know this is a dangerous world, where our tiny countries can't expect to say their word, be heard and understood (not to say approved)........without POWER.

We need an independant Europe with a degree of integration high enough to allow this power to be built.

Without it we will be swallowed by superpowers (these existing now , or these to come soon.............).

At the moment Europe's economy is indeed growing, we need now to undertake Political and Defense achievment.

If we want to maintain and develop Democracy, Human Rights and Social Wellfare, we must unite.

Not at any price!
And this is precisely the default of Constitutionnal projects, undermining what it was supposed to promote.

tony draper
5th Apr 2005, 22:06
No Grandpa, all France wants is to be able to thrust out its chest and shout **** off!! at the USA, with a bigger gang behind it, or, which is much more likely,
standing in front of it.

16 blades
5th Apr 2005, 22:12
..And all Germany wants is our permanent seat on the UNSC, which it would get (or be able to influence) if this constitution ever sees the light of day.

You say Europe needs to band together to be powerful - why so? We are already powerful - worlds 4th largest economy, nukes, perm seat on UNSC - when we speak, other countries listen. Who the f88k listens to Germany nowadays? nobody. We would be giving up an awful lot. Hence we wont.

My ancestors fought and died to keep us out of French & German hands, and I would gladly follow in their footsteps.


6th Apr 2005, 07:55

Now now, you know the rules about putting words in other peoples mouths.

Let France speak for itself, you naughty boy.:p :p :p



tony draper
6th Apr 2005, 08:05
Now that Prince thingy has popped his clogs Chirac is prolly planning to invade, Monarco now that its safe to do so, apparent the prince was a very good shot,

Send Clowns
6th Apr 2005, 14:31

Why do we want power? What sort of power? If we want military, why is your country moving away from the only viable source, alliance with the USA, and trying to take the EU along? The only other source of power is to drastically increase defence spending so Europe has viable military forces it currently lacks. If you want economic power, why do we need any more than a common market? Why is your nation so determined to put policies in place in the EU that damage the European economy? Why do you think that an EU with these damaging policies can give such power?

The current superpower has shown no desire to "swallow up" Europe. You are just making this up, scaremongering as do many in pro-EU groups. Thatr superpower is perfectly happy to help defend Europe from swallowing up, has always proved so at much cost to itself, with the most common response being distain from (Old) Europe.

We have a free Europe, there is no viable external threat thereto.

Why do we "need now to undertake Political and Defense achievment"? There is no benefit I can see to the people of Europe to the former, the latter can only harm us as it weakens the NATO alliance, the most successful international organisation on the planet.If we want to maintain and develop Democracy, Human Rights and Social Wellfare, we must unite.Why must we unite for these aims?

Why then is the EU damaging democracy - it does not even fulfil its own entry criteria. If a nation with as little democratic control as the EU requested to join the EU then it would not be allowed.

Why is the European Convention on Human Rights doing so much damage, if you say human rights are such an essential European aim? Many rights are enshrined that are not true, universal human rights, and other rights are not enshrined so are denied to the population. The Convention also allows rights only to individuals, so these are upheld at the expense of a group or community.

We certainly don't wish to develop social welfare in the direction that the EU is trying to force, with French backing. If your nation does, why not do so alone, why does it have to be EU wide?

Grandpa, you are arguing by assertion and assumption. You are just chanting out campaign slogans, like you are programmed by the pro-EU propoganda. Unless you can back some of them up with reasoned arguments then your argument holds no water at all.

6th Apr 2005, 14:43
The current superpower has shown no desire to "swallow up" Europe. Neither does she has the monetary means...

EU's only force is and will be an economical force if they can overcome nationalist interests, which of course is an almost impossible task. Still... I think it's possible, 100 steps forward, 99 steps back.

6th Apr 2005, 16:09
Where did you learn any independant Nation left his Defense responsibility in others hand?

"no viable external threat thereto "
Today.....................What about tomorrow?
................Seat back and wait?

The current superpower has shown a desire to impose its policy, it has proven it can launch a "preemptive war" based on lies.

Don't you think this led people to think about future dangers?

If your desire is to allways say "YES, Master!" to the superpower, I agree you don't need any powerfull Europe.

You don't appreciate Human Rights! COPIED.

You don't appreciate Social Wellfare! It's up to you.

................Then, about your last paragraph..........I think it's perfectly relevant to your prose!

6th Apr 2005, 20:10
Quote: So many people, AND NOT IN FRANCE ONLY, insist on it.....

How many people? Have you been asked for your opinion? Do you know anyone who has been asked? Could it be just the ‘Euro-elite’ who are insisting on it?

The essence of democracy (at least the Anglo-Saxon variety) is that the people give power to the politicians for a period. When that period has expired, the politicians hand power back to the people who then decide which politicians will govern for the next few years. If the politicians intend to give some of that power away to another body such as the EU, the democratic principle requires that they first ask the people.

You might already know that the governments of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden have decided not to trouble their citizens by asking for their opinion on the constitution. They intend to hand back to their people less power than was entrusted to them.

If the EU were truly democratic it would be horrified at this arrogant behaviour. But of course the EU is not democratic. It’s pushed along by a minority with dreams of grandeur and they won’t willingly let a small matter like democratic accountability stand in their way. Sadly my own government would like to sign up to the constitution without asking us but they know they can’t get away with it.

Which brings us again to those two pioneers of European integration. I don’t suggest that the pygmies of the EU are as unpleasant as Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte, but they have a similar contempt for democracy and the end result of their efforts might be just as bad. And as with those two gentlemen, it’s pointless trying to reform them, far better to destroy them and then get on with our lives in peace.

So Grandpa, do us all a favour on 29 May.

Quote: Perhaps the UK's problem is to be torn between Member # 25 of the EU, or State #51 of the US. Until it decides what side to come down on, expect more cramp in the [email protected]$ from sitting on the fence!

If there’s any justice, the Eurocrats will feel a cramp in the [email protected] caused by the toecap of the electorate.

Dynamic Apathy
7th Apr 2005, 00:03
First thing to make clear...........I'm in the EEC camp, not the EU camp!!!

Remember the EEC. Nice idea to form a strong trading block and therefore a strong Europe without the need to give up sovereignty. Not this bloody EU Bol*ocks!!!

OK, let's admit that not everything coming out of the EU is bad, just like not everything in the UK is great. But let's consider just a few things:

I am married to a German, lived in Germany for many years and now have many friends and relatives there. Of all the Germans that I know, none of them like the Euro and all mourn the passing of the DM. And who forced them into the Euro without a vote.......A bloody pro-EU government.

Now take our friends and allies the Frogs. Trustworthy? Well, let's consider the Aerospace deal with the Indians for Jaguars. The ink was almost dry on the paper for 400 jag's, when our 'trustworthy friends, the French found the back door to the indian corridors of power and changed the deal to 200 Jag's and 200 Mirages.

Spain want the Rock, and we have it.........Legally. The rest we know.

Back to the French: Why are they not an active part of NATO? Probably because they don't like the USA.

Why are they not part of Eurofighter? Why is the helicopter industry in Europe so fragmented? The answer: Because in all cases the French wanted design and manufacturing leadership, and when they didn't get it they stamped their little froggy feet and went their own way. The are happy with Airbus! Why. Because they got their way.

Italian corruption is legion and well suited to the workings of the EU.

And when it comes to all the nitpicking stupid legislation which eminates from Brussels, who dreamed them all up, and who passed them through the EU Parliament? And did I have a chance to vote for these anonymous faces. No, only the UK MPE's who on the whole are failed MP's or failed friends of Tony (I frigging HATE Mandelson!!!! :} ).

In a nutshell, although we get the rather spurious honour to elect a Euro-Government every now and then, The combined weight of the Continental European votes outweigh the British vote. I'll be voting non to the constitution, if Blair actually gives us the vote, after he has of course sexed up the questions to make the EU constitution thing sound like a good idea.

Rant over.................

Send Clowns
7th Apr 2005, 08:48

We cannot go into Europe based on French paranoid delusions.

The US war was based on a direct regional threat. In Europe the US has shown itself willing to go in and stabilise the continent against the only internal threats we have had over the last 60 years. In the last case (the Balkans) the EU and its most prominent members had been either complacent, weak-willed and lacking in military capacity to do anything positive anyway, or one of the causes of the problems! The US came in and solved a problem that, to our eternal shame, we had not been able to significantly affect.

If a viable threat develops to Europe then we must build up to fight that. It does not, however, require any close political union. We have NATO as the perfect structure to face such threat. The EU has only ever weakened the defence of Europe, by challenging the NATO structure with its own embryonic multinational force. The existence of Belgium at the centre of the EU, and its previous horrifying defence policies (refusing even to sell amunition during Gulf War I, a war of liberation, and policy in the Balkans) condemn EU forces to the sidelines of international affairs. Further weakening is caused by he pathetic European armed forces. The only forces considered skilled by international standards apart from the French Foreign Legion are in Britain and the Netherlands. While US forces are no more competent, they are vastly more numerous and technologically superior. The nation spends more on defence than the next 11 countries combined.

Suggesting that the EU can have a viable defence policy within the next couple of decades just shows you know nothing about defence.

My field is maritime, and especially maritime aviation. I was taught history at Dartmouth Naval College. Do you realise that Europe has only one blue-water fleet, and that's marginal with political changes since 1997? It's not French, by the way, they do not have the support structure to operate worldwide, although they have a larger front-line fleet. The USA had 11 carrier battle groups, which are equivalent (greater in some situations) in power projection in 1997. I don't know the figure now, but defence spending has increased there.

7th Apr 2005, 15:08
Yes Harpy it's the people who have to answer!

In some countries THEIR national Constitution entitles representatives to act as delegates (they are supposed to represent them, are not they?)
In my beloved country we have a referendum on our planning, and I think it's very good, because facts are now discussed in public, not in office between lobbyist and administration personnel without any popular backing.

As for SD who still believes Defense doesn't need Political unity, and refuses to build anything because it could last tens of years, what can I answer?

What about Dynamic Apathy: does he wonder who are worst : French, Italian, Spaniards?
This attitude is somewhat childish and backward: in Europe we are not better or worse...............we came to understand we have to leave our passed wars and discriminations, and work hard to build a state which will protect us against outside dangers.

7th Apr 2005, 15:12
build a state which will protect us against outside dangers

Internally, of course, it is a case of keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer.... :E