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Thursday, October 23, 2008


An FCO press release this morning confirms our new Europe Minister Caroline Flint intends to carry on in a long line of politicians telling us we should accept the EU institutions and all their problems because... we have European friends, take European holidays and eat European food.

She told an audience at the University of Leeds:

"Britain is an island nation, but our instinct is international - we shop at European fashion shops, we eat at pizzerias, we holiday on the Mediterranean. So why do people distrust the European Union and feel distant from its institutions?"

"If the EU didn't exist, in the last few weeks we would have wanted to create it."



Anonymous said...

I live near Chinatown. Is China in the EU? There are Brazilians in my (English) football team. Is Brazil in the EU? Etc etc.

Open Europe blog team said...

Yes. I like Chinese food, so obviously I shouldn't distrust the Chinese government.

Tony Waring said...

How inane can you get. To think that this woman actually represents constituents. To think that they would vote her into parliament. Her inanity beggars belief.

mikeh said...

Flint comes a close second to Eddie Izzard in the 'most fatuous reasons to support the EU' contest. He seems to think the EU is a good idea if you "like people" and "are a human being". Gah!

Don't these people realise how stupid they sound?

Open Europe blog team said...

Ha - don't forget the Independent's '50 reasons to love the European Union'

Reason no. 47: "British restaurants now much more cosmopolitan"


Charles Efford said...

Personally I feel distant from the EU and distrust it because:

• It is undemocratic and takes power on the sly without the permission of the citizens of the member states.

• It claims me as a citizen without my express permission. I deny that the EU can do this. Britain is a member of the: UN, NATO, WTO and the Council of Europe, without these organisations claiming me as a citizen. I do not trust an organisation that acts so arrogantly. European citizenship should be abolished.

• The EU behaves as if it has some divine right, a higher purpose beyond the will of the people. It ignores referenda it does not like and deters member governments from holding them. Any referendum held in Britain would be decisively lost, yet our government drags us deeper into Europe every day.

• The EU has all the characteristics of a secular religion. The articles of faith are that European unity is a virtuous endeavour and the EU is the instrument to achieve it. Its disciples make assertions without evidence and claim the right to override the wishes of others in promoting their faith. The European Commission behaves like the Vatican in the middle ages, ensuring that all member governments adhere to the articles of the faith. The people are irrelevant and if they do not worship the faith, they are to be ignored and patronised until they see the error of their ways.

• The supporters of the EU have been promising to make a case for Britain in Europe for decades, yet they have consistently failed to do so. This is because they do not have one. They know that their claims would be decisively repudiated. Whatever the EU does would be better done for Britain by the British government. We would have freer trade now if we had never joined.

• The very structure of the EU is wrong. The EU gives executive power to bureaucrats and has realised the dreams of bureaucrats everywhere to rule without democratic interference. This is morally wrong. In promoting the power of the EU these bureaucrats promote their own power and influence at the expense of the people who are increasingly treated as silent serfs.

• The EU is a vehicle for the self image and grand delusions of senior politicians and bureaucrats. It exists to benefit them. The people are irrelevant and are simply parasitized to pay for it all.

• The EU is the ultimate bureaucratic parasite, which exists for it own sake to provide lucrative careers for its operators.

• It is humiliating to obey the edicts of the alien bureaucracy and to hear every day about a new law arising from Brussels. It feels as though we are an occupied country that has surrendered without a war.

The British government should accept that the British people do not share the European dream and start serving us instead of Brussels. It should ask us what we want and then do as they are told.

Brian Ross said...

What a splendid comment by Charles Efford - every word of which I would happily endorse. My wife and I regularly take our caravan to France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. We have friends in each od these countries, and in Spain, Italy, and Denmark. However, this is all by choice! Like Mr Efford, I never chose to be part of a bureaucratic monster and, as he so eloquently writes, I am not given the choice as to whether or not I remain in my enforced state.
I am happy to give a hearty "Yes" to Europe, but long to see the UK come out of the (so-called!!) European Union. By the way, not one of my European friends want their respective countries to be part of "the Union". As far as I can make out, only self-serving politicians, and the aforementioned bureaucrats, actually do want it!!

Tom Trust said...

Do we just get the politicians we deserve? How many people who oppose EU membership and rule from abroad still vote Lib/Lab/Con in a General Election?

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you allow a few politicians to decide to hand over the government of our country to one unelected brit, and 26 unelected foreigners, although under the democratically rejected constitution which is being forced upon us there won't be a british member at all for long periods of time.

I don't have a problem with those people who live on the continent of europe, but I don't want them to decide how I live my life, with their lowest common denominator one size fits all legislation, or the corruption and democratic deficientcy which the eu engenders, and the politicians love so much.

Alan Lockley said...

As has been stated by Brian Ross, the comments by Charles Efford really do hit the mark. I agree 100% with everything Mr Efford says. If, as we were promised, there had been a reforendum held in this country, I feel even more sure we would be in the same position as the Irish now are as we would have rejected the Lisbon Treaty. I paraphrase a remark made by a theologian, namely; The EU exists to alleviate the fears it creates. I enjoy foriegn travel whenever possible and also foriegn foods but that does not make me Indian, Italian or any other nationality. Whatever our nationality, we have many good things to offer the wider worldwide community but not every nationality wants or needs everything that other countries offer. It is up to the individual to choose what he/she wants or needs from other cultures. Caroline Flint seems to be forgetting that a lot of foreign investment has been made because we were NOT as deeply involved with all things EU.

Anonymous said...

I read in yesterday's papers that hardly any MPs turn up for debates in the House of Commons as they feel it is pointless, so many of our laws and regulations coming, as they do, from Europe.

I make no apologies for banging on about Europe as, to my mind it is demonstrated that the last point is true. I would be most interested to know how I, as a member of the British and European electorate, am able to remove from office those who are responsible for making the laws in Europe - namely the European Commission and NOT the European Parliament. Nobody I have asked has given me the answer. Since the European Commission has done everything in its power, most successfully it seems, to ensure that it retains the sole power of law-making within the EU, the European Parliament is, de facto, nothing more than an extraordinarily expensive rubber stamp. Logically, therefore, the electorate is effectively disenfranchised. If I am wildly wrong in my thinking, or just pig-ignorant, I should be much relieved and delighted to hear others' thoughts on the subject.

Bluebell 615 said...

Caroline flint asks the ?, why do people distrust the European Union? I distrust the Union because the Union is a corrupt Third world oganisation, manned by second hand failed national politicians, who exercise power WITHOUT being accountable to the Electorate.That makes the Union an unelected, UNDEMOCRATIC Dictatorship, and is thus ANTI DEMOCRATIC. I voted for a customs union of sovergien nations, not the UNITED STATES of EUROPE.In the name of democracy defend our freedom to hold politicians to account every five years through the ballot box. disband the European union and all it's apparatus. NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION THROUGH DIRECTLY ELECTED OFFICIALS.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps people would grow to like the EU if they were more accountable in spending taxpayers money and they were willing to sign off their accounts which they have been unable to do so for 10 years.Why don't the EU open a weblink so people can express their views.Would they dare??

yme said...

I agreee totally with the comments of Charles Efford but would take issue with Brian Ross over his comments about the politicians. They aren't all self serving, I'm quite sure that the more dedicated communists amongst them are totally dedicated to the cause of the erosion of democracy in Europe and all points South and East who will fall within their grasp, to be replaced by their idea of how things should be run.

Anonymous said...

Great comments that I agree with. But I have one thing to say: Caroline Flint was appointed in this job because she is a self-serving bully - with a track record of being a bully .. even poor Dimbleby has difficulty keeping her in line on Question Time! The gov couldn't have someone in the position who has a rational and even approach given that it is the EU (non-rational and uneven). If anyone knows any stories of how this terrible person has been defeated at any time please share - it's good to know how to defeat these creatures that just shout, talk over you and snort in distain whilst handing over your civil liberties.

Anonymous said...

With regard to comments by yme it seems to me that we have a near communist government in control of the EU. We the proletariat don't get a vote, the governing elite don't have to face an electorate and they all have their greedy snouts in the trough.

Anonymous said...

"we shop at European fashion shops, we eat at pizzerias, we holiday on the Mediterranean. So why do people distrust the European Union and feel distant from its institutions?"
Because we like the first three and the the European people but distrust the politicians who run the Union as a well paid hobbie and are not accountable to any of the taxpayers of the EU.

Old Fellow said...

I agree with most of the comments. I do not want some corrupt official at the other end of Europe deciding they know better than I do at living my life. I have had many a stay in all parts of Europe and like most of the people I have met.
I don't see that I should be governed by a set of unelected self serving chiselers whose finances are such that the auditers have refused to sign off their accounts for several years.
I commend the Irish for saying 'No', but in fantasy Euroland 'no' can be made to mean anything, so it looks like the Irish are to be bullied into having referendum after referendum until the EU gets the answer it wants. I wish the British pariament had the same integrity as the Irish government, but I won't hold my breath.
One thing I can never understand, when our buffoons take us into Euro fantasyland, exactly what will they do in Westminster? Sit there and count their expences?

John Hannaford said...

Caroline Flint's inane remark is on a par with the type of thinking you might expect from the blinkered policians and bureaucrats who appear to regard EU membership as an axiomatic benefit. The sooner we can recruit individuals who have previously been in a 'real' job of work in both the UK & the EU, the more likely it will be that we hear some sensible, rational responses to the multitude of problems that face Europe and the world.
John Hannaford