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Monday, September 21, 2009

How you are paying for the Irish 'yes' campaign

Apparently the Young European Federalists are launching yet another 'yes' campaign to urge Ireland to adopt the Lisbon Treaty.

They write:

“The absence of a strong No side demonstrates that there are no real arguments to reject this treaty.”

Or maybe it’s more to do with the fact that there’s no public money being pumped into the ‘No’ side. The YEF, on the other hand, enjoys funding from the EU Commission in order to promote European integration, as we pointed out in our December publication, 'The Hard Sell'.

The group received a rather sizeable €132,927 from the EU between January 2005 and October 2007.

But don't take our word for it - check out the YEF's own website, where they proudly show off their EU funding.

Turn up the sound and click here for an example of the sort of stuff this group is spending your money on to get you to support EU federalism (warning - it's possibly the cringiest thing on the internet).

As regards the Lisbon Treaty, they believe it "is crucial to put the EU back on track on the road to unification".

One proposal they've put forward recently is for a single EU Olympic Team, an idea they came up with when Britain was doing well winning medals last year in Beijing. After the idea was covered in the newspapers in the UK, Toni Giugliano , the Vice-President of the group issued this extraordinary statement. Here's an extract:

“It’s great to see that the British press have reacted so passionately to the proposed European Olympic Team, especially since this is the year that team GB finally showed the continent and the world that Britain is not only the heart disease, cancer and diabetes capital of the world, nor the couch potato Rupert Murdoch reading state that everyone makes it out to be. No! Brits really do love playing sports, and winning at them too!... It may be the case that team GB did better than usual in these Olympics. Perhaps they fed their athletes with Special K instead of the usual fried chips ‘n egg. Mmmm, they’re learning.”

Quite why taxpayers should be paying for this kind of amateur rubbish is beyond us.


Insideur said...

No one has yet explained satisfactorily to me why it should be in any way inappropriate for public money to be spent on a Yes campaign in an EU Member State.

Vast sums of public money have been spent on the negotiation of the Treaty; it would be odd to say the least for the governments and institutions who have such a stake in the success of those negotiations to suddenly stop promoting the result of their efforts.

The EU's budget is allocated by the Member States with a clear agenda - the promotion of EU integration. That's the job description of the European Commission.

Anonymous said...

The idea of an EU Olympic team has been (first?) suggested at the 2004 Olympics.

So no it has nothing to do with Great Britain doing well at the Olympics.

I think it's more the idea of beating USA and China in the medal table then anything else.

Anonymous said...

The EU Olympic team was mooted before the 1992 Barca games until almost all athletes told the Commission to take a running jump.

As for you - the apologist at the top - show me in the treaties where the EU is conferred the power to meddle in national (not MEP) elections. I'm all eyes.

Insideur said...

I don't like replying to sneering comments from anonymous readers, especially when they try to slap a label on me that they hope will discredit me, without taking the time to dig depper about what I actually think. I prefer to engage in civil and civilised discussion, respecting people's opinions as sincerely held and reflecting the sum of that person's intellectual process and experience.

But to address your point, I believe the Conservatives have said they, as HM Government, would campaign for a No vote in a future UK referendum on Lisbon if they get the opportunity.

Would you find it acceptable for anti-Lisbon parties (whether Conservatives, UKIP, or anyone else) to use, say, EP funds to campaign for a No vote?

Anonymous said...

This is in danger of turning into Paxman vs Michael Howard (redux):

Please show me in the treaties where the EU (eg the Commission) is conferred the power to meddle in *national* elections. I'm all eyes.

Insideur said...

Article 17 gives the Commission a very broad mandate. I can see nowhere in the Treaties where the Commission is prevented from lobbying for a new Treaty. Can you?

I've answered your question. Now will you answer mine?

Anonymous said...

Monsieur Insideur, you may enjoy this link.


Anonymous said...

Or this:


Insideur said...

Those articles repeat your allegations but they do not answer the question.

Anonymous said...

Lisbon letter to every paper in the country

Now is the time, for all good men and women, to come to the aid of their Country!

Within the next few weeks, we have coming, the most important vote of our lives. I will outline my main concerns in relation to this 2nd referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Insideur said...

Ok you can call me Jeremy. Ok if I call you Michael?