Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Preparing for 25 March...

Lord Kerr has an article in today's FT about what our response should be to Angela Merkel's proposals on 25 March. (He's more of a Europhile than I) He makes four suggestions. The European Council shouldn't change its president every six months, meaning that each of the 27 countries is at the helm every 14 years, as this makes dealings with other countries inefficient. The voting system should be fairer: under the Nice treaty Luxembourg and Malta have one vote per 100,000 citizens whereas the UK, France and Italy have one per 2m and Germany has one per 3m. The subsidiarity mechanism should be welcomed because it gives national parliaments a say and greater powers over the Brussels legislative process. (I cannot see any reason why English law should be subservient to European law) He thinks they should delete the principle of conferral which says that the EU may act only within the powers conferred to it by the member states and include a secession clause in order to remove worries about a European superstate. (Presumably, however, Germany would like to see a European superstate?) The outcome of the French election will be key: Sego wants more social provisions and has promised another referendum whereas Sarko would probably go along with Germany's proposals and thinks he can avoid having a second referendum.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winchester, I agree that the voting system could be fairer. But the system itself is broken. We have lost our veto on so many things that we can be swept along by people who have different values to ourselves. In that sense, I would have said that in many ways it makes sense for good old Luxembourg and the Maltesers to act as a brake on the Franco-German axis.

I agree also that the EU Law should not take precedent over English Law , Scottish Law, and the Westminster parliament. But that is I'm afraid not what we have signed up for. It would make EU laws 'optional' or 'advisory' in status. We might like that but it would mean that we were just a loose affiliation of nations whereas we have, sadly, signed up to be a united country of Europe.

I haven't read all the 'Constitution', but I did download it from the Guardian website a few years back, and was shocked to see that 'nations' were disappearing to be replaced by 'states'. Okay, they were conveniently labelled as 'nation states' so as not to scare the horses, but be in no doubt that our existence as a sovereign nation is under threat.

Although the truth is we have seceded so much of our sovereignty already that much of the damage is done. I don't think the answer is to join UKIP, any more than the answer to the threat of GM foods is to only buy organic foods from the farmers' markets. Once we go down the route of turning our back on the mainstream, the battle is lost.

Although I'm a grumpy old git, I'm still optimistic that Dave the Rave will see the danger of this stealth constitution. Also, I am not totally convinced that Germany is really in favour of this. They have seen the damage done to them by the loss of the D-Mark for the Euro, and the loss of VW jobs to Hungary.

The French example is, I'm afraid, a red herring, Whisperer. Whether they do or don't have a referendum, they will just do whatever the heck their Brussels paymasters tell 'em.

Let us all try and convince people how foolish this Constitution is - indeed how 'un-constitutional'..

12:56 pm  
Blogger Whispering Walls said...

Ah l'hareng rouge!

3:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic, but have been to see 'Venus' tonight. Absolutely tree-bloody-mendous. The triumvirate of Richard Griffiths, Leslie Phillips, and last, the fantastic Peter O'Toole just cannot be beaten as three curdmudgeonly grumpy old gits - men after my own heart.

Very amusing, sad and moving in parts and laugh out loud funny in others, I hereby order you to go and see this film - if you don't enjoy it, check your pulse, and if you are still alive I will gladly refund you the price of admission.

People do slate 'Hollywood films', but if making good films like 'Lost in Translation' is a stepping stone to getting great films like this made, which don't strictly appeal to the 16-24 demographic, then that is fine by me.

12:13 am  
Blogger Whispering Walls said...

I now have a list of three films to see. Shall do my best!

9:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of the three, do try and see 'Venus' if you are going with friends.

They may not be keen on the fact that 'Science of Sleep' is a foreign film [even if it is delightful, magical and whimsical], and they may object to 'Casablanca' if they know the plot and dialogue inside out. 'Venus' is a quintessentially 'British' [dare I say English?] film and you might cry with both laughter and sadness.

Happy St. David's Day to you and all the readers, by the way..

5:04 pm  
Blogger Whispering Walls said...

Happy St David's Day to you, my dear Welsh reader!

9:18 am  

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