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No Referendum on EU "Treaty"

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posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 09:03 AM
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With the "New EU Treaty" again in the news, it's time to ask if this is really just a treaty, or if it's a re-vamped version of the failed EU constitution.

There is, according to William Hague, "near unanimity" that the treaty is "simply the substance of the constitution, repackaged"


Constitution 'abandoned'

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Monday the concept of a constitution had been "abandoned" and the government did not see the need for a referendum.

He added: "I think it is a good treaty for Europe and for Britain because it takes forward institutional reform in a sensible way and undermines the arguments of those saying that there is a superstate around the corner.
"It is evident that that is not the case."

But UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage told the BBC "there is little doubt it's the old EU constitution that has come forward".

Europe Minister Jim Murphy told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We wouldn't sign up to any treaty that transferred in any significant way, any UK sovereignty to the European Union."

When it was put to him that others said there had only been cosmetic changes to the old constitution, he said: "The UK has signed up to a UK version of the European treaty. We've got a series of opt-outs - on justice and home affairs for example."
news.bbc.co.uk...


Personally, I am not in favour of any type of "treaty" or constitution which gives more power to the unelected eurocrats.

Corruption is rife on a massive scale, simply because these people are accountable to no-one.

It's now simply a money making scheme for politicians who failed to cut it in their own country - like Mandelson and Kinnock.

If we are going to have any treaties with the rest of Europe, then there should also be accountability.
Billions of ordinary peoples money is wasted and frittered away in corrupt outmoded practices, food mountains, wine lakes etc etc.

If politicians want an integrated Europe, then it should be a democratic process.




posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 10:48 AM
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This is just the tory party retreating back to their old 'kiss of death' hobby-horse.
They just can't help themselves.

The new agreement is not something that is 'worth' a referendum; in very large part it is merely the adjustment to the 'mechanical arrangements' of the old treaties and agreements given that the original 6 founding member states are now today's 27 member states.

Actually the EU is not 'rife' with corruption either
(the only reason the auditors keep on refusing to sign off their reports is that the EU - and by that I mean the member state Govs - keep on refusing to adopt practices they have previously recommended.
This is solely because the member state national Govs - not the EU - wish to keep things as they are because it is in their national interest to do so).

The EU is entirely the creation of the member states, the decisions are taken by the member Gov Minister & Prime Ministers & Presidents or their nominees (acting as Commissioners) or the directly elected EU Parliament.

The fact that the directly elected EU Parliament has little in the way of real power is again solely because the member state national Govs want it that way so that a conflict is much less likely to arise and needless questions over democratic legitimacy are avoided.

[edit on 25-7-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 11:01 AM
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Just a couple of links regarding eu corruption:

www.indymedia.org.uk...

news.bbc.co.uk...

www.americanthinker.com...

If you are an anti tory europhile, then thats your business and your politics, but please don't try and tell me that the EU is not rife with corruption - that's just plain silly.
www.abovepolitics.com...

Even fervently pro-european organisations don't deny the fact - and it is a fact.

EU subsidies are one of the biggest scams of all time - as are EU ministers and civil servants expenses.

The EU for the most part is full of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, who seek only to line their own pockets at our expense.


RUTH LEA - GLOBAL VISION

It is now clear that Reform Treaty is in all but name the Constitutional Treaty. It is a treaty of supreme significance.

When the new treaty is enforced, assuming that it will be, the EU will have all the powers to complete a true European political and economic union. And the road to European integration, which started back in the early 1950s with the European Coal and Steel Community, will be all but complete


[edit on 25/7/2007 by budski]



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 11:24 AM
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we are argue about the substance of the EU treaty for a very long time, but the question here is "No Referedum". There was one in 1975 to continue with membership of the then EEC, a manifest commitment of the Wilson Labour Government.

Should the referendum be broaded and give the people of the United Kingdom the vote of of continuing membership of the EU. It was good enough in 1975 so why not 32 years later?

Our political culture is not one of referendum, so we are unlikely to get one in reality.

And moving slighty for thread but still within the EU theme (hope you do not mind budski??)

You would like to think that any UK government would not give up major parts of our decision making to Europe. If more and more decisions are made at the EU level, then why would be need some a large parliament in the UK in the longer term? Do we really think our leaders are stupid enough to do themselves out of the gravy train in the longer term??

And if the EU parliment is so ineffective, they would do we continue to allow our representives to fund it. I do not think we can have both worlds. National and European Government. I can not see a balance working as Europe is very diverse.

Is is time for a real debate on moving to a European super state or a looser organisation based on a trade body (like the EEC was)?



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 11:57 AM
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I'm firmly of the belief that any fundamental changes to the UK within Europe need a referendum - a few years ago it was reported that the eu president of the time (can't remember his name) was opposed to any referendum because the people who were voting (i.e. european citizens) were not able to understand what the constitution was or what it would mean.
The astounding arrogance of this, to me, typifies the attitude of these people towards the voters - europe is becoming less and less of a democracy and more of a dictatorship - except it's a dictatorship in the form of a hydra.

Peter Mandelson is a classic example - a corrupt bigot who should have been locked up - but instead, he gets given a career on the european gravy train - UNELECTED!

So now we have have a fraudster partly in charge of our affairs - wonderful place is europe.

I'd favour looser ties in europe and stronger economic ties with the US.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by budski
Just a couple of links regarding eu corruption


- I see lots of people there throwing the term "corrupt" and "corruption" about but very very little substancial evidence to back the claim up.

Like I said the biggest thing the anti side have got is the refusal of the auditors to sign off the accounts......and that is wholly because the member state Govs want it that way and have refused to implement the recommendations the auditors have repeatedly made.


Originally posted by budski
Of you are an anti tory europhile, then thats your business and your politics, but please don't try and tell me that the EU is not rife with corruption - that's just plain silly.
www.abovepolitics.com...

Even fervently pro-european organisations don't deny the fact - and it is a fact.


- It's not a matter of "fact" at all.

It's a matter of the actual reality and the scale of the matter.

No one in their right mind could or would claim there is absolutely no fraud or corruption at all
(but then that applies to any system of Gov anywhere at any time on human history).

The point is that rather than corruption being widespread and a major factor in the EU it is in fact minimal and nothing like the 'problem' some want to pretend that it is.


According to the Commission, frauds accounted for €323 million in 2005. Although a significant amount, this is a little over 0.3% of the budget[61]

www.publications.parliament.uk...


EU subsidies are one of the biggest scams of all time - as are EU ministers and civil servants expenses.


- Hang on, there's no such thing as an "EU Minister".

There are only Ministers from the various constituent Govs.


The EU for the most part is full of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, who seek only to line their own pockets at our expense.


- Well that's the slogan out of the way......now, what sort of bureaucracy do you imagine might be required in a body comprising 27 sovereign member states and almost 500 million people?


RUTH LEA - GLOBAL VISION


- Hmmmm, Ruth Lea, eh?

An interesting if completely predictable opinion, nothing more.

BTW if you're going to throw the term corrupt around against Peter Mandelson (a nominee appointed to the EU by the sovereign member state that is the UK) then let's see you evidence for his corrupt behaviour.

Mandelson did not do anything actually "corrupt".
He did 2 stupid things which didn;t look good.
But that is all.
If you're going to try and pretend he did something actually "corrupt" then lets see the evidence of it......and whilst you're at it you can then explain why he was not arrested and made to stand trial for this "corruption".


[originally posted by Freedom ERP
It was good enough in 1975 so why not 32 years later?


- Because it is a wholly unnecessary waste of time.

The anti-EU crowd can delude themselves as much as they like over this but they would lose.

We did all of that in 2001. The 'save the £' general election.

There is not one serious good reason (and I mean specific issue(s) rather than the usual vague claims......and please don't bother cut & pasting the old criticisms cos despite the claims this agreement is not the same as the old formal treaty) to have a referendum on this issue.

.....and let's be honest the real problem the anti-EU crowd have with this is the EU not the treaty or new agreement.

But if it comes to it & they want & get another 'in or out' referendum then fine, I look forward to them being thrashed, again.

As each year goes by this whole anti-EU 'message' just looks more and more out-of-date and ridiculous.
If they couldn't pull it off in 2001 with their scare-stories and exaggerated nonsense they have absolutely zero chance now.

But seriously, if the anti-side really think there's a mood for pulling out they are just fooling themselves.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 01:48 PM
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ok, first off, the mandelson issue

At the very least, the loans (including a misleading mortgage application) the involvement with the hinduja's and the pressbullying when he was found out, the formula one scandal and many others show, at the very least a lack of judgement - at worst, he was behaving this way because he thought he was untouchable.

The bullying of immigration officials to "speed up" his boyfriends citizenship (no mention of the fact that the b/f was here illegally) shows a monstrous arrogance.

I would say that a lot of what mandelson did in office could easily be classified as corrupt - and Blairs nepotism and cronyism for his best pal, does not make him a properly appointed official - it makes him a manipulative man who made friends with the right people.

We're also not talking about every government on earth, we're talking about the current one in the UK - an exceedingly corrupt government responsible for massive nepotism and an amount of sleazy dealings that beggars belief.

As for "only" 323 million euros - you are having a laugh aren't you? that's a massive figure by any standards - and if that's not corruption, then I'd hate to think what is.

I'm not anti euro - I'm pro democracy - and the treatment of the electorate is abominable.

The whole pro-euro stance is always a defensive one - "there's no need for a referendum" etc etc
Well I'm sorry, but if the majority of the populace want a referendum, then by any definition of democracy, there is a need for one.

I wouldn't advocate pulling out, but I don't believe in this kind of government by stealth either.

Contrary to what these arrogant people think, there is an understanding of the issues at stake - 3 of the biggest being democracy, sovereignty and the right to self determination, rather than the stealth dictatorship we are seeing evolve - with the electorate powerless to prevent it.



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by budski
ok, first off, the mandelson issue


- So basically you can't point to any actual "corruption" then.

Just a rehash of some highly questionable tabloid tales with no-one actually doing anything illegal or in fact "corrupt" by any serious definition.

In fact what the Mandelson 'scandal' showed (like all of the post 1997 so-called scandals) is that whenever there has been the mere possibility of actual scandal (which is not the same as actual and genuine "corruption") the people at the centre of it have resigned.
The all-party Parliamentary conduct committee (set up by this Gov) have then investigated the matter(s) and no actual charges - in stark contrast to the last tory Gov - have ever been laid at a Ministerial member of this Gov since they came in in 1997.

You be sure to let us all know if any Minister from this Gov ends up like the Ministers of the last tory Gov and are ever made to stand trial, are convicted by a Jury of their peers and are sentenced to serve lengthy terms in jail now tho, won't you?


Originally posted by budskiAs for "only" 323 million euros - you are having a laugh aren't you?


- No, I think you are.

€323 million = £226 million...... and that is a mere 0.3% of the entire EU budget of £75.3 billion.

By any serious standard that is a very low level of (properly audited) fraud.....especially given the nature of the 27 Sovereign nation collective that the EU is.


Originally posted by budski
that's a massive figure by any standards


- On it's own it is......but being realistic and set against the total budget it is a tiny amount.

You'll find the same House of Lords committee had this to say about how this amount compares.....


By comparison to the United Kingdom this is a very low rate.

www.publications.parliament.uk...


Originally posted by budski
and if that's not corruption, then I'd hate to think what is.


- Well that kind of talk only works if you're going to insist on trying to gauge this by wholly unrealistic absolutist terms.

If you're going to pretend that any Gov anywhere can ever eradicate all & any kind of fraud or waste entirely...... then ok, yeah, it's a lot of money and it shouldn't be happening.

But you didn't begin this from that POV.....you began this by trying to claim "Corruption is rife on a massive scale" when clearly @ only 0.3% of the total budget it is not.


Originally posted by budskiI'm not anti euro - I'm pro democracy - and the treatment of the electorate is abominable.


- Frankly I find those who insist that our decisions should be taken on the basis of a tabloid campaign (for that is what many referendums amount to these days) is "abominable".


Originally posted by budski
The whole pro-euro stance is always a defensive one - "there's no need for a referendum" etc etc


- A fair recognition of 'need' is not in the least bit "defensive".
It a sound policy that looks after the public's money and interests.

You're very much mistake if you seriously think the pro-EU side has the least bit of apprehension about these contests.


Originally posted by budski
Well I'm sorry, but if the majority of the populace want a referendum, then by any definition of democracy, there is a need for one.


- ......and what 'proof' is there of that?

You see for all the anti-EU obsessions of the tory party, their supporters and their mates in the tory press I see absolutely zero sign of the general public actually being moved on this issue at all.

Last time anyone checked it was about flat last in the ranking of the important issues facing the people today.

......and that pertinent little factoid really chews up the anti-EU obsessives.


Europe, in contrast had dropped from being an important issue for 24% of the electorate in 2001 to one that only 5% saw fit to mention in 2005.

news.bbc.co.uk...

'The people' will have their say as per normal, come the next general election......all this referendum stuff is really just about the anti-EU crowd recognising they stand little or no hope of seeing a tory win so they delude themselves that the general British public are as hostile to the EU & Europe as they so clearly still are.

TBH I really hope they keep it up and their mates in the Daily Mail, Express & Telegraph in particular run a campaign on this for the next couple of years without stopping.......

......cos like I said if ever there is a 'kiss of death' issue that bores the wider public rigid it is the anti-EU crowd droning on and on and on (for decades) about how any minute now! the EU are set to take everything over and eat our first born.



[edit on 25-7-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 11:13 PM
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When Europe is most democratic it’s an individuals say diluted 25 times. This is because there are 25 members.
And if voting rights are based on a countries millions you’re say is still diluted when you bear in mind the U.K has only 60 millions compared with the EU’s 490
www.optimumpopulation.org...

This is chiefly why I do not agree that European Government should be making decisions over individual citizens lives, and why I believe the national parliaments powers should be as widespread over it’s own citizens as possible.

The British last voted to join Europe as a free trade club; and this is where the goodness of Europe rests. All other attempts to grant powers to European government at the expense of national democracy can only lead to dilution of democracy, greater voter apathy (as we already see in the EU elections). Therefore not only does it deliver less democratically empowered government, but in the long term paves the way for further less democratically empowered government.

I support the principle of referendums, especially over major issues, like any treaty that will reduce the peoples direct democratic say over the powers of they’re national government.
Once more I believe it’s unwanted that so many of our politicians wish to deny our people a referendum (governing the future powers of the United Kingdom).
And because it’s unwanted, and because it’s a fact, I think it may itself represent a problem with our current system of government.



posted on Jul, 26 2007 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
This is chiefly why I do not agree that European Government should be making decisions over individual citizens lives


- There is no such thing as the "European Government".

The decisions, laws and rules agreed have all either been directly initiated by the Sovereign nation states by decisions made by their Ministers, Prime Ministers & Presidents and/or their nominees in the Commission (all of which are subject to approval and agreement by the heads of the national Gov) or are the logical outcome of agree positions taken previously.

Law does not come from the EU in the manner suggested.
All 'European law' and the final agreed proposals are then finally enacted (after discussion and possible amendment) by those Sovereign nation Govs in their national Parliaments.

Whether by direct veto (which in many instances of policy the individual Sovereign nation states still hold and jealously guard) or in the instance of the 'opt outs' that the UK recently agreed in the proposals referred to at the start of this thread the idea that alien laws are imposed upon us is just a fantasy regularly pushed by the anti-EU crowd.


Originally posted by Liberal1984
The British last voted to join Europe as a free trade club


- This is at best another complete myth and at worse an outright lie.

(Often, quite laughably, pushed by those who weren't even there at the time to know either way)

I have posted some of the publicity material (sent to every British home at the time of the referendum) here previously which shows that the UK Gov was quite open about the EEC (The 'European Economic Community' as it was then, commonly referred to as 'the common market') being much more than a simple economic entity.

In fact it is simply quite ludicrous for anyone in the least bit informed to seriously imagine the European Union was anything but a highly political body right from the start.

The goals of the European community, in all it's forms over the years, have always been far more than simply mere economic goals and quite rightly so, 'Europe' is about a hell of a lot more than simply making life easier for business and commerce.

Anyone who examines the publicity leaflets or the discussion programs of the time will find them full of the anti crowd claiming that a 'USE' was coming and it was a bad thing.

You'll also find the more euro-phobic types claiming a 'USE' would be a great thing and a perfectly desirable and welcome evolution of what we were going to be entering into.

Andrew Neil (ex editor of the Sunday Tome) famously, for instance, wrote a book at the time about the coming 'USE'.

The idea that people didn't really know what they were voting on or for is simply pure revisionism of the worst order.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 05:19 AM
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The EEC have people voted on in 1975 is a very different organisation to the EU today.

In essence, the EEC was more about free or freer trade within the member countries, and less about harmonising regulations across members.

we get the change to vote on a Government and what they want to do at least once every 5 years, and yes, you could say if we all disagree with membership of the Eu or want to reduce the influence and power of the EU on our lives, we should vote for a party that has this as part of its manifesto.

When I vote, I vote on a wide range of issues that are important to me, and I have to make choices. And to be realistic, any party is going to be elected based on a single platform so how can we influence Government and its direction on the EU.

I fear we can not, and have to go along with what a very small number of people think is good for us.

So why not just have a referendum on continued membership of the EU. Yes, there will be a cost to the country. Other Europe countries have been happy to bear the cost more than once.

We are at a major crossroads with our relationship with the EU, and what is so wrong with the whole country just sitting back for a few weeks and taking stock? We do this on our private lifes, business does it but it seems it is not good enough for the people.

Of course, the question that was on the referendum would be the subject of great debate.

I for one, would welcome the opportunity to exercise by vote on continued membership of the EU.

It begs the question, are the Government concerned at the result of a referendum on the EU treaty?

[edit on 27-7-2007 by Freedom ERP]

[edit on 27-7-2007 by Freedom ERP]



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 06:55 AM
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Did try to add this as an edit in my last post. Have created a podcast on this thread at Podcast

[edit on 27-7-2007 by Freedom ERP]



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by Freedom ERP
The EEC have people voted on in 1975 is a very different organisation to the EU today.


- Whilst that is technically true it is still avoiding and failing to address the central issue.

The EEC/EU has always been a political entity right from day 1 of it starting.

It's actual central goal (of ensuring there was never again the possibility of a pan-European war) really doesn't get much more 'political' than that.

This mythical idea that it was once originally only about assisting trade between the European countries and that it somehow got diverted into the political areas is simply false and is absolutely not true.
In fact it's a pure invention by the anti side to revise the history and true events so as to try to con a new generations
(ironically generations that now know little or nothing about a Europe regularly at war with itself, such has been the success of the EU in it's central political aim).

But I will say this much, by all means, if a further drubbing is what it'll take to shut the anti-EU crew up for another 30 years then OK,
I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that if the 'in or out' question is put to the British people they will reject that self-harming, narrow & inward looking foolishness once again.

The general public refused to go for it (despite the tory party howling at the moon and making their best 'if you vote Labour the sky will fall in' claims) in 2001.

In fact, rather laughably, Hague's version of the tory party had to back off from that 'message' (even before the vote itself) cos even they were getting the message of just how great a disaster their trying to make the EU and that ludicrous 'save the £' theme the central point of their campaign was amongst the wider public.

That's the only reason why we're not having the referendums, they aren't necessary and the money, disruption, time and effort that would be spent to achieve effectively little more than to give unnecessary attention so as to only humiliate the 15-20% 'rump' of UK opinion simple isn't worth the candle.

(that figure is a guesstimate based on the 31% or so Hague got in the belief that they can't all have been raving Euro-hating loons
)

We already know the score, if you're anti-EU and think the country should get out right away then vote UKIP if it's so vital an issue to you.

If it's not such a consuming issue to you then vote for the 'wait and see and assess things as they come along' approach; Labour will be 'constructively critical' but generally more receptive to the EU.

Although it's far from assured - and the noises lately suggest they've learnt little and many of their party are as absurdly anti as they ever were - but the present tory party might be practical and pragmatic too but with a generally hostile & negative attitude to the EU.

If you're especially pro-EU then the LibDems seem to be the most pro of our parties.

No-one can say they don't have a genuine 'out' choice or reasonably well understood clear choices generally when it comes to our general election.

Cue election win number 4 for Labour within the next 2 years.


[edit on 27-7-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 07:45 AM
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There's an awful lot of propaganda floating around on this issue - from both sides, and whilst I am not a particularly anti euro person, one thing disturbs me.

The governments which are actively pushing this are predominantly the left/socialist governments - other countries are on board for what they can get out of it.

Pro euro fanatics always trot out the same arguments, but this is tantamount to saying what was said about the electorate not understanding the issues.

I am starting to believe that this is an attempt to introduce "soft communism" in the european states - and whilst the idea may be admirable in theory, we've seen before that when communism is introduced, it rapidly deteriorates into a controlling elite, with the common man having less and less of a say in how his affairs are run.

I've said it before in this thread, and I'll say it again - this is not democracy, this is dictatorship by stealth.

If they want a truly democratic decision, then a europe wide referendum is the only way.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 08:21 AM
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Telling the truth about the political nature of the EU and how that has always been a central part of it's nature is not "propaganda".

Pointing out the truth about how the EU works and how decisions are taken between the Sovereign nation states' democratically elected political leadships and their nominees (& to a lesser degree the EU Parliament) is not "propaganda".

.....and pointing out the ineffective and tiny size of the British anti-EU 'rump' generally and come general election time is not "propaganda" either.



Originally posted by budski
Pro euro fanatics always trot out the same arguments


- Naaa, what we always get is at some point the referring to "fanatics" if you happen to be in the least bit pro-EU.


Originally posted by budski
this is tantamount to saying what was said about the electorate not understanding the issues.


- Au contraire.

In fact it is the anti-EU crowd that pull this trick at every general election.

They claim that 'Europe' is the single most fundamental issue out there
and yet at general election time they are repeatedly reduced to indulging in the most amusing squirming to try and explain away how come the general public just refuses to agree (and more importantly vote) in line with their outlook.


Originally posted by budski
I am starting to believe that this is an attempt to introduce "soft communism" in the european states


- OK, go ahead, let's hear exactly how "communist" (soft or otherwise) you imagine the EU states to be (and why).

I'm all ears for hearing how this one works
(particularly in view of the fact that even the recent ex-communist states are all heading for mixed economies where the private sector holds the greater share of economic activity).

In fact you'd be pushed to find greater 'anti-communists' than the most recent ex-communist states.


Originally posted by budski
I've said it before in this thread, and I'll say it again - this is not democracy, this is dictatorship by stealth.


- .....and I've said it before and I'll say this again, that kind of comment is little more than a well-worn empty slogan.

There's not a single serious & substantive instance of 'our democracy' being destroyed by the EU, in fact from 'rights' to living standards the EU has done nothing but assist the rise in our living standards and individual rights.

.....and once again the fact is just passed over & ignored that the EU does not act independently.
The EU is directed by the Ministers, Prime Ministers and Presidents of the constituent Sovereign nation states and their nominees in the Commission, we also have the directly elected EU Parliament too.


Originally posted by budski
If they want a truly democratic decision, then a europe wide referendum is the only way.


- No.

You can talk this up as much as you like and make all sorts of lofty sounding speeches on the matter but we're simply not going to waste the vast amount of money, time and effort dancing to the tune of the tiny rump of UK opinion
(and if you really think there is a great deal of similar anti-EU sentiment out there in the EU then that is frankly just delusional.....the people of Europe may have their criticisms but they are not anti-EU by any stretch of the imagination).
It's as simple as that.

'Europe' and the 'EU' just are not the consuming issues to the wider British general public - and we know this from poll after poll after general election after general election.

In fact this sort of government by referendum is simply the dream every political loser (that can't win a regular election) clings to, beloved by totalitarian types everywhere.
We're a Parliementary democracy (interesting how that's one British tradition the anti-EU crowd can't wait to toss away) and ought to remain so.


[edit on 27-7-2007 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 09:52 AM
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OK, "soft" communism - as opposed to the old style soviet communism.

Soft communism is an idea I came up with to describe the redistribution of wealth throughout the EC.

It pertains to subsidies to bring the level of the poorer countries economies more in line with the economies of the wealthier nations.

A very good case study for this is Ireland - for years, one of the poorest nations in Europe they now have the vaunted Celtic Tiger Economy, where the GDP has doubled in the decade since the mid nineties, mostly due to the flood of european money, with a large balance of payments surplus, and budget surplus.

Of course another reason is the FDI, but this can be directly attributed to Irish involvement in Europe.


EEC funding was akin "to a mini-Marshall plan to help the Irish economy out of recession," Sweeney notes (page 79). These funds were dependent on economic development programmes in which the Irish bourgeoisie was to guarantee a "stable" and "cohesive" environment for international investment.

The formation of the Single European Market has played a key role in the growth of FDI flows into Ireland. The European Union (EU) accounted for 42 percent of global FDI flows in 1994, while FDI flows between member states trebled between 1983 and 1994
www.wsws.org...


And so we can see this redistribution of wealth - other subsidies also play a part, and this is one of the parts of EC policy that is open to extreme abuse.

Now I'm not saying that this is a bad idea - the UK has a lot to answer for in how it gained its wealth, and it should be redistributed to help other countries come into line.

The problem is, that without very stringent policing and control of the system of redistribution, it is open to wide scale abuse - particularly in more corrupt countries (such as Italy) and those countries interested only in grabbing as much as they can for little in return (such as France).

In order for the EC to properly work in this "soft communism" all member states need to be pulling in the same direction regardless of their own national interest - and this is something that I cannot see happening for for the foreseeable future.



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 04:15 PM
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budski mate I'm all for debate and discussion on this but to describe the free and democratic European Govs cooperating under international treaty and freely giving regional aid to other free and democratic European Govs as a form of 'communism' is strange in the extreme.

Is all international aid a form of 'communism' or is it only when capitalist European economies do it?

One might also look a little further than Ireland.

The policy has been an outstanding success in Portugal, Greece, Spain and even parts of the UK (tho for years the then tory Gov was especially shy of acknowledging this).

Not only does this policy help lift living standards in the countries on the receiving end but they in turn become valuable international trading partners to the benefit of the more wealthy countries within the EU - and one might add to the wider international community generally too.

Not one economy in the EU has a public sector that takes over 50% of the economic activity available
(which is the actual & real definition of a socialist economy)
nevermind anything even remotely approaching a command economy (which is typical of real & actual communist regimes).

Come on, don't be silly



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 05:49 PM
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Well, this is exactly what I'm saying about "soft" communism.

And yes, aid is a form of communism - one of the basic tenets of communism was to help ALL people and ensure a decent standard of living - this is not soviet communism I'm talking about, but communism in it's purest form - which is pretty much unworkable.
definition:

An economic or political system based on the sharing of all work and property by the whole community.
or
is a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people."
or
Communism is an economic system in which all the means of production are government controlled
or


so as you can see, there are many forms of communism, soft communism is just a different version.

Communism was about giving the wealth (in every sense of the word) of the nation back to the people, in theory. It was not about the soviet/chinese/n.korean model of alleged communism.

"Soft" communism is about redistributing the wealth fairly to all member countries, and thereby improving the lives of the many, rather than just the social/business/government elite.

Lets face it - and I can't remember the exact stats - 5% of the people should not control 90% of the wealth.

Now don't get me wrong, I believe in capitalism, but on a rather more responsible basis than we currently see.

[edit on 27/7/2007 by budski]



posted on Jul, 28 2007 @ 06:15 AM
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Originally posted by budski
Well, this is exactly what I'm saying about "soft" communism.

And yes, aid is a form of communism - one of the basic tenets of communism was to help ALL people and ensure a decent standard of living - this is not soviet communism I'm talking about, but communism in it's purest form - which is pretty much unworkable.


- Ensuring "a decent standard of living" is hardly something exclusive, unique or fundamental to communism alone.
You might as well say ensuring 'the people' have enough to eat each day is a communist aim.
That's just absurd.

A common set of minimum standards is not a full equality between all men/people (which is the unworkable aim of true communism).

You can apply the label 'communism' to anything you like but that does not make it so.

The cooperation and mutual assistance that has been a central feature of the EEC/EU has absolutely not been about 'making the nations or peoples of Europe equal'.

In fact as we can see in the UK today the spread of inequality in our societies is possibly at it's highest in centuries.

The regional aid practiced within most capitalist countries (including the UK and in slightly different form the USA too) to one degree or another is not 'communism' and neither is the regional assistance practiced by the EU.

Simply because a small element of 'wealth redistribution' exists in out society (which again applies to almost every modern economy) does not make our 'system' communist.

No more than trying to draw a similar parallel just because a taxation system is a feature of the communist state or that the communist state might have an army.

It's a completely bogus comparison.

'Europe' has agreed some common minimum standards but we do not have common taxation and incomes policies, nor do we have common welfare policies.

'Europe' may be about many things but trying to pretend that it is 'kind of' or 'a bit like' a 'communist state is just ridiculous.



posted on Jul, 29 2007 @ 09:11 AM
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Do I think that the British Public should have a say on the EU Constitution? Yes we should have say on this, after all it is going to affect us as well as other in the EU.

Why is the Government in the UK so scared not to have one?

They are voted into office by us to represent us, not to write us off when we ask for a referendum. Its a no wonder voters do not trust politicians nowadays, they say they are going to do one things. Once they are voted into office, they do the opposite...

The E.U. does not rule me.......



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