Friday, 6 September 2019

So what has Europe ever done for us?

Ooh ooh I know, I know.  OK, go ahead, The European Union has brought peace and stability to the continent of Europe for the past 80 years.  Ok, apart from the peace and stability, what else has the EU done for us?  It has enabled us to trade freely with our closest neighbours and friends.  Ok, apart from peace and stability and a common market in which to trade, what else has Europe done for us?  It made us part of a group of powerful nations with similar ideology, democracy, justice and fairness for all.  So apart from peace and stability, free trade, and powerful allies, what else?  We and our families are free to travel, live and work in any EU country we wish and we are eternally grateful to all those wonderful foreign nurses when we go into hospital.  OK, apart from peace and stability, a common market, powerful allies, freedom to travel and wonderful foreign health workers, what has Europe ever done for us?

I could go on ad infinitum, but instead I shall recall an anecdote that I am sure must have stayed in mind for good reason.  I was watching BBC Question prior to the Referendum, and Yanis Varoufakis (Greek Economist) was on the Panel.  I have to admit I was immediately smitten, not just by his handsome face but by his intellect.  The question, even back then, was should we leave the EU.  He carefully explained that under no circumstances should we leave the EU under a Conservative government, but if we left under a Labour government, there could be many benefits.  It was the warning of allowing the tories to have control of the negotiations.

What I didn't add to my opening paragraph, was the higher European Court of Human Rights.  Without the protection of the ECHRs, tories and employers (mostly the same thing) are now free to overwork and exploit their employees to their heart's consent. Think how bad austerity has been for society's most vulnerable, and that was under the watchful eye of the ECHR.  If we are crashing out of the EU on the 31st October, everyone other than the top 1% will suffer and it is society's most vulnerable who will bear the brunt.  

It should be abundantly clear by now that what Boris Johnson has in mind isn't good for anyone.  A few billionaires will make further billions which they will never live long enough to spend, and the already crumbling UK will sink further into the abyss - eventually becoming so corrupt one of our former colonies will have to step in and restore order.  


  1. EU -> ECJ.
    CU (the Council of Europe) -> ECHR and ECtHR

    B Bob

  2. "Britain is leaving the EU, not Europe"

    "Even during depressingly unsuccessful Brexit negotiations — when Britain and the rest of Europe appeared to agree on little else — the two sides have worked closely on foreign policy issues.

    London has sided with Berlin and Paris — and not with the White House — on the Iran nuclear deal, climate change, free trade and in opposing the relocation of Western embassies to Jerusalem. London also backs its European partners’ position that governments should not be more polite to dictators than to democratic Western allies."

  3. "The European Union has brought peace and stability to the Continent for the past 80 years..."

    Really, really Ros, so NATO who the Americans have been paying in to for years on behalf of the EU countries who have not paid their dues had nothing to do with it? Where were you when Trump was invited to open the massively over spent new NATO building in Paris/Brussels when he said "I won't ask how much it cost". I suspect most of that money is part of the £billions we pay to the EU to be a "member", we pay a lot in but get little back, that that we do get back we're told by the EU how to spend it and if we don't spend it by a certain time or not how we're directed to spend it we get heavily fined, which has happened in the past.

    Trump also said that if the EU countries don't start paying their fair share he will stop subsidising them.

    The EU is now dominated by France and Germany, Germany were defeated in two World Wars, but they are now dominating the UK and other EU countries by the back door. We are minnows in a huge cesspit, if we don't get out soon we will be swallowed up whole and will have no escape.

    I think you should take you head out of the sand and look what's going on around you.

    I used to enjoy your blog but am getting p*ssed off with your ridiculous politics you seem to know nothing about.

    1. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to ask an 'ordinary person' how belonging to the EU impacts their life. For myself, I'm not particularly bothered what weights and sizes my fruit and vegetables come in. I am also very glad that there are higher courts than those run by the British establishment. Conservative governments, as we have now, are notoriously against Human Rights, probably because they are the biggest abusers of those rights. They have not flinched at targeting society's most vulnerable for the cruellest austerity cuts, even in the face of criticism from the United Nations. How will they behave once EU legislation is gone?

      To go off track slightly, when I first worked in London 40 years ago, I worked for solicitors who acted for the defendants in personal injury cases. At that that time accidents at work, particularly factories, were multiple, several times a week my boss would be called out to a 'fatality' or to a horrific life altering injury. Health and Safety, Rules and Regulations were not so rigid as they are now, and employers, as employers always do, put productivity above the health and safety of their workers.
      Fast forward 40 years and all the safeguards and basic human rights of ordinary workers can now be swept aside so that accidents at work will again become common place.

      My politics are not ridiculous because they do not agree with your own. To say I know nothing about politics is just wrong. Learning is my OCD, as I have stated many times. I do not write about subjects I know nothing about.

      Why are you siding with Trump (of all people) over NATO? Trump is a narcissistic sociopath who believes everyone hates him (with good cause) and everyone hates America (which they do not). His modus operandi is to play the victim, all the other countries are taking the pee out of us in order to make his supporters as paranoid as himself. He views the world with fear and hate and he wants you to come join him. I see you have.

      Do you honestly see the UK and yourself as 'minnows in a huge cesspit'? I have never felt that any European has treated me as though I am subservient to them, actually no-one does, they wouldn't dare. Maybe it's you who should change your attitude? One of the greatest joys in my life has been meeting people from different cultures and different backgrounds. I find it endlessly fascinating to learn and understand the differences. I don't fear aliens in any way, in fact I make a point of engaging in friendly conversation with immigrants I meet, to try to make up for all the ignorance and abuse they are subjected to. I want them to know they are welcome here and most of us despise Tommy Robinson et al. Your fear of being swallowed up whole may have more to do with your inner psyche than the current state of UK politics. Counselling perhaps?

      My (bloody gorgeous) blonde head is not buried in the sand my friend, it is pert and upright, a bit like a meerkat :) And on the politics, I am feeling the urge to up the ante, for the first time in so so long, a genuine socialist government is in sight.

      If you are a Bullingdon Boy yourself, fair dues, I would see why my dialogue would upset you, but if you are a 'regular guy', wake up and smell the coffee. Boris and Jacob are not your friends. They represent the top 1% and every conman and wideboy looking to make a (huge) fortune from the chaos that will ensue if there is no deal.

  4. I'm sorry Ross, but I think you've lost the plot, I've skim read your comment but will have to print it off so I can answer it properly.

    As for Boris being a Bullingdon Boy, he grew up in a dysfunctional family, but won a scholarship to study at Eton College, he then went on to do a 4 year course at Balliol College Oxford, so he didn't get there through money, he got there through studying. Just thought I would mention that.

    I went to a Secondary Modern School in the 1960s for your information but I have followed politics for a very long time and can see the wood from the trees, I don't need to wake up and smell the coffee, I don't trust Boris 100% and think he may try and keep May's treacherous WA deal without the backstop which will keep us half in and half out of the EU which Leavers did not vote for, but we will have to wait and see what he has got up his sleeve, otherwise it will be Nigel's Brexit Party.

    As for the EU, I definitely don't need Counselling, but I think people who want to stay in the EU and be subservient to an overseas power who will tell us what we can and can't do, how we should think and can't think, how much money we should send them every year and how it will be spent, not on us but the other 27 EU countries, really need the Counselling. They are not our friends and never have been.

    Yes, we can be friends with other European countries, I've visited many of them over the years, the people are very nice and their countries are beautiful and have much history, but we don't want to be ruled and dominated by an EU "elite", the EU isn't a country by the way, it is a Euro state, soon to become a Federalist State if they get their way which will merge all member states/countries into one when all individual countries will have to give up their flags, their governments, their anthems, their country's name to be recognised as an EU state, not an individual country.

    1. What a shame you didn't leave a name or initial, it is much easier to respond to someone personally. Regardless, I've skim read your comment, will go back and read it properly, but I have thus far gleaned that your biggest fear is loss of your British identity. That we will all 'merge' into one grey, mandarin collared two piece trouser suited mass, indistinguishable from each other. I partly share your fears on that, particularly with the gender issue, but that's for another day. Of course the threat isn't China (as yet), it is the fear that we may start cussing each other in German or French.

      I'm bemused by Nationalism 15:53, perhaps because I have no defined nationality of my own. I was born to a Scottish father and Irish mother in a boarding house in Brixton filled with neighbours of every nationality. Am I Scottish, Irish or English? I define myself as a Celt, because the blood in my veins is both Scottish and Irish, England was merely my place of birth.

      Fierce Nationalism, as history has shown, is one of the greatest threats to mankind. I tend to think that unless you are a King, Queen or Emperor, it is a tad absurd to think the country of your birth belongs to you. You might hold legal documents designating a parcel of land in your name, but you cannot take it with you. 'Look upon my Works, ye Mighty and Despair! Nothing besides remains*.

      These are very dangerous times 15:53. If we cut ties with Europe we will stand alone against Donald Trump. And Trump will turn on the UK, just as he has turned on everyone who has sucked up to him. We will no longer have the might of the European Union behind us, no powerful nations to say, 'hey we got your back'.

      The idea that we are ruled and dominated by an EU 'elite', is nonsense. Technically we are still in the EU, so how come they haven't stepped in and taken over? We are a democracy, we are ruled by a parliament elected by the people.

      The idea that all will have to give up their flags, their governments, their anthems etc, is nonsense - did it come from Farage? What will that do to the Olympics? football? all competitive sports? Did you think that through before you typed it? This dystopian future you describe is pure 'Star Trek', it will never happen in our lifetimes. Next you will tell us we are no longer allowed to say Happy Christmas.

      I may have asked before, but I will ask again, 15:53, how does belonging to the EU impact on your life? Quotes from Farage will be treated with the contempt they deserve.