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  • Gotno Gizmo
    started a topic Europe - More rewards for failure?

    Europe - More rewards for failure?

    Today the great and the good of the European Union have vacated their ivory towers to go to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for “Maintaining the peace throughout Europe”!
    These faceless bureaucrats, many of whom are not elected by Europe’s citizens, enjoy enormous salaries, extravagant expense accounts and enviable protected pension plans. The financial accounts of the European Parliament have remained irreconcilable for official audit for years, yet the EU administration demands more and more contributions from the member states coffers year on year, despite the fact that the major contributing countries are cutting back on government expenditure within their own borders.
    This prize giving is another example of rewards for failure akin to the massive cash payments given to the CEO’s of failing banks or other huge business collapses. These “leaders” attending this prize giving ceremony are overseeing the creation of the possible collapse of Western Europe as we know it. Every week somewhere within EU cities there are mass protest marches bordering on riots because of the austerity measures being imposed upon their municipal, health or education services. Their wages are being frozen whilst food and fuel costs continue to rise, and more of them (especially youth) cannot find employment, whilst social benefits are being cut.
    What contribution have these EU dignitaries done to reduce tension between the Walloons (French speaking) and the Flamands (Dutch speaking) in Belgium who tried for years to separate? What was the EU’s contribution to quell the killings between the bigoted factions of the Protestants and Catholics in the north of Ireland? How is it that the EU’s governance of Europe is so magnificent that, as I write, in Spain the Catalans in the south, and the Basques in the north seek separation from Spain? That in Britain the Scots are going to hold a referendum on independence from the rest of the United Kingdom. That the EU having created the common “Euro” currency failed to control it, by allowing participating states to run amok, so that the Germans now dislike Greeks for having to bail them out, whilst Greeks have goose step marched in Athens with swastikas, enraged that Germany is dictating their fiscal policy. The EU bureaucrats have also failed to control the pillage and parasitical ability of big multi-national corporations to remove their billions from within EU borders to tax free havens.
    Do you think that in view of the real and not imaginary matters above, the EU’s leadership contributes to the worthiness of being awarded a most prestigious prize for peace in Europe?

  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    European elections 2019: Brexit Party dominates as Tories and Labour suffer

    The Brexit Party was the clear winner in the UK's European elections, with the pro-EU Lib Dems coming second.:-

    Leave a comment:


  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    Oh dear, the EU clowns of Brussels are getting it wrong again!
    Once dominant in mobile telephone technology European companies Nokia and Ericsson have suffered from EU refusal to allow them to almagamate under fears of lack of competition resulting from them losing out to bigger global competitors. Now the clowns of Brussels refusing the merger of European Alstom and Siemens and thus their development and production of railway technology. The consequences of which is that competition from larger companies in the US and China are now becoming more sucessful in winning contracts to supply railway locomotives in Europe than those European companies.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-global-giants

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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    Lux Leaks Confession: Jean-Claude Juncker Admits He Made Major Mistake

    Speaking before a meeting of European leaders in Romania, Juncker, who previously served as prime minister of low-tax microstate Luxembourg for almost twenty years, said he was wrong not to have acted sooner.

    https://www.icij.org/investigations/...major-mistake/

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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    Quality of today's Politicians at an all time low.
    As readers may have noted from my previous posts, along with miliions of other Europeans, I am not enamoured with the politicians of the European Union. However, I am not impressed with the parliamentarians of my country the United Kingdom either. Indeed, I can't recall that at anytime in my 75 years has malcontent and loathing by the average man in the street to his ruling politicians been so apparent. This years May Day celebrations has seen a swathe of political protests accross Europe from Paris to St Petersberg. As the years go by in Europe we have seen a rise in capital transfer pass increasingly into the pockets of a concentrating number oiligarchic type mulit national corporates and hedge fund owners. Meanwhile the costs of all fuels, gas, electricity, petroleum along with foodstuffs results in lower living standards, particularly for the lesser skilled. Many can rightly say that in actual terms they now have less spending power than they had more than 10 years ago.

    The view that I and millions of us share is that the politicians have increasingly lost power. The huge wealth owning power that lies with these multi nationals, international banks and business oligarchs has increasingly diminished the power of individual state governments. Furthermore, I believe that the EU instead of using their greater power to resist these circumstances, that by creating free movement of goods and capital they have actually enhanced this situation.
    I'm concerned that unless the societal change that I have referred to is halted, along with signs of reversal, the political future will continue to be turbulent and if not remedied will produce variations of dysfunction and social disintegration.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...s-europe-paris

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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    More evidence that too many EU politicians really don't know what they are doing.

    MEPs accidentally vote wrong way on copyright law

    Shortly after vote on amendments, 13 MEPs asked for vote to be recorded differently
    Several MEPs have said they accidentally voted the wrong way on a key amendment of a new European copyright directive, meaning the most controversial aspects of the law might have been removed had they not erred.
    The directive, which passed 348 to 274 on Tuesday, brings sweeping changes to copyright legislation across Europe, and will have an effect on the internet comparable in scope to 2018s General Data Protection Regulation.
    But the most controversial aspects of the law are two provisions, originally known as articles 11 and 13 and referred to as the link tax and upload filter respectively by opponents.

    As passed, article 11 strengthens the copyright protections for news publishers against the re-use of their stories by internet companies, while article 13 greatly increases the responsibility internet companies have to prevent their platforms being used for copyright infringement.
    Before the final vote on the directive, MEPs had a vote on whether to allow one last batch of amendments. If that vote had passed, a separate vote on articles 11 and 13 would have been allowed, in which MEPs could potentially have voted to remove the controversial clauses from the final directive.
    The vote on whether to allow the batch of amendments failed by five votes, 312 to 317. But shortly after, in the European parliaments official voting record, 13 MEPs asked for their vote to be recorded differently: 10 said they meant to support it, two meant to oppose it, and one meant to not vote at all. If those were counted, the result would have gone the other way. Despite the updated record of votes, however, the initial result still stands.
    What do major copyright changes mean for internet freedom?
    Since no vote was held on the specific amendments, there is no way to know whether MEPs would have removed the controversial provisions if they had had the chance to. But opponents of the copyright directive, and of articles 11 and 13, are angered by the error. The vote they clicked on is the vote they got, wrote Mike Masnick, of the tech culture site TechDirt. It is frustrating beyond all belief that we ended up killing the open internet through tricking a bunch of MEPs by switching the voting order.

    Supporters argue that the laws even the playing field between large internet firms and traditional publishers, while opponents warn that the legislation risks creating an unfeasibly high barrier to publishing anything online, which will ultimately harm freedom of expression on the internet.

    Courtesy of the Guardian newspaper

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  • Hannia
    replied
    ATLANTIC COUNCIL John M. Roberts April 4, 2019
    Brexit Breaks Britains Parties

    Britains political structures are falling apart and, ironically, nothing illustrates this better than the fact that the leaders of its two biggest political parties are supposedly seeking to cooperate to deliver something that they once campaigned to oppose: Britains withdrawal from the European Union.

    Prime Minister Theresa May leads a Conservative Party whose members of parliament overwhelmingly oppose any Brexit deal she might be able to strike with opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. As for Corbyn, while most of his MPs might just support a May-Corbyn Brexit deal if it guaranteed continued membership of a customs union with the EU, a rump element remains fiercely opposed to any such outcome.

    And in the background are splits within both parties concerning the idea of a second referendum that would let the UK electorate determine the outcome of Britains three-year long attempt to leave the European Union.

    Curiously, while it is not possible to calculate just what will be the immediate outcome of the current Brexit imbroglio, it is already possible to gauge some of the longer-term consequences.

    The first is the revival of the power of Parliament to impose its will on a minority government, and particularly on a supposedly ruling party in which the toughest challenges to its most important policy have come from within its own ranks.

    This manifested itself on April 3 when the House of Commons approved, by just a single vote, a highly unusual bill that calls for an extension to the Brexit negotiating process with the European Commission and ensures that it is Parliament, not the Government, that has the ultimate right to determine just how long such an extension should last. This bill, which the Government fiercely opposed, has still to pass Britains upper house, the House of Lords, but its passage there should be assured.

    The second is that both the main political parties are so deeply split that whatever Brexit outcome finally emerges will force major changes in party policy that will likely result in major quits and resignations amongst both MPs and, more importantly, party members and voters. Under almost all circumstances, the Conservative Party will be steadily taken over by a wing of the party that really does want to have as little to do with the EU as possible.

    What the partys Remainer faction will do is far from clear. Since it includes many of its most experienced MPs, including a number of current and former government ministers, it is quite conceivable that they will simply retire from active party politics rather than constituting a pro-European faction in their own party or quitting altogether to join other parliamentary groupings, such as the new Independent Group.

    In Labour, much depends on the outcome of the May-Corbyn process. Corbyn is insisting that the UK should remain in a customs union with the EU, and he has broad support from his own MPs for this approach. But there is also broad support amongst Labour MPs for a confirmatory referendum on any Brexit agreement to which Labour might accede, and on this Corbyn is far more ambiguous. On the one hand, his party chairman, Ian Lavery, is ferociously against such an idea, reflecting the view of perhaps twenty or so MPs representing seats whose populations voted Leave in the 2016 referendum. On the other, Labours foreign affairs spokesman, Emily Thornberry, wrote to Labour MPs on April 3 saying that Corbyn should not conclude a deal with May unless it included a new referendum.

    Perhaps reflecting the fact that Labours party members, supporters, and voters overwhelmingly support staying in the European Union, Thornberry used some very blunt phrasing: Yes, any deal agreed by Parliament must be subject to a confirmatory public vote, and yes, the other option on the ballot must be Remain. Whats more, at least one senior Remainer in Mays cabinet, Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) Philip Hammond, has broken cover to declare publicly that a referendum is a credible option.

    The third is that by initially holding a referendum, and then squabbling over how to interpret the pro-Brexit victory in that referendum, politicians in general have lost ground. The 2016 popular vote to leave the EU was, in great part, a reflection by the disadvantaged of a division in the UK that has seen some regions prosper greatly in the last thirty years or so while others have seen little or no improvement in their standards.

    Those left behind were more persuaded by the emotional argument that it was time for Britain to take back control over its own affairs than by the Remainers calculations that Brexit would diminish Britains economic prospects with a knock-on impact on household living standards.

    And even though it is quite possible that the balance of opinion in the UK has changed, so that a second referendum could quite conceivably result in a call for Britain to remain within the EU, its reasonable to expect that the Leave losers this time would feel twice as aggrieved as the Remain losers three years ago. In effect, frustration over being left behind for so long would be compounded by the fact then when they did a find a way to raise their voice in 2016, three years later, the British establishment somehow found a way to ignore them.

    This would not necessarily reflect the reality of the tortured debates both between and within Britains political parties as to how they should respond to the 2016 referendum result and the ongoing debate concerning any post-Brexit relationship with the EU, but thats not the point. What counts is the sense of betrayal so many voters would feel if Britain remained in the EU.

    The first indication of the scale of any such backlash could come as early as May 23, since that is the date set for the next European parliamentary elections. Right now, it looks increasingly likely that a prolongation of Britains three-year effort to leave the EU will indeed result in the UK being forced to take part in this poll. And the election will be conducted on a proportional representation and list basis, which unlike the first-past-the-post system used in British general elections favors parties with tightly-focused or extreme views.

    There has been and will continue to be considerable speculation that May might seek to resolve the impasse by holding a general election. But at a time when the splits in the Conservatives appear to run deeper than those in Labour, such a development cannot be taken for granted. Moreover, the Conservative Party is currently very low on funds for fighting an election and, as a result of the Brexit tumult, it can no longer expect to receive as much cash from business as it usually does.

    So Britain and its political parties stumble on towards an unknown destination. The next few days should bring some clarity, not least concerning whether May and Corbyn will find it possible to achieve at least a minimum of cooperation. But the future of Britains membership of the European Union may yet come back to the people for a final decision. And, given the tumult in the political parties and popular frustration with how politicians have addressed the issue, who really knows just what they will decide? https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blog...tain-s-parties



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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    Eurosceptics 'on course to win more than a third of seats in EU Parliament'

    Anti-EU and Eurosceptic forces are set to make up a chunky bloc of the next European Parliament after Mays EU elections, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations:

    https://www.westmonster.com/euroscep...eu-parliament/

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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    European Union, a conduit for tax evasion, corruption and money laundering.
    The second-smallest EU state after Malta in terms of both size and population is a magnet for money. Working cheek by jowl, 137 banks from 28 countries do business here, and its investment funds manage assets worth 4.2 trillion almost four times Spains GDP:-

    https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/02/05...31_980045.html

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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    Trouble Ahead for the European Union?

    EU polls will determine the continents fate. With votes to be cast in four months, the danger is clear:-

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...s-eu-elections

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  • Hannia
    replied
    https://www.economist.com/sites/defa...126_wwd000.jpg
    KAL'S CARTOON The world this week THE ECONOMIST Jan 24th 2019

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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    More Abuse of EU Funding
    A Billionaire, a Coder and a Probe Into EU Funds:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-into-eu-funds

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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    The problems arising from EU's Free Movement of Labor

    Foreign posted workers are both exploited and blamed for undercutting wages. EU governments must crack down:-

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ted-workers-eu

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  • Hannia
    replied
    THE ECONOMIST Dec 22nd 2018 Bagehot
    The elite that failed
    Britains political crisis exposes the inadequacy of its leaders

    In the past year the British body politic has endured an astonishing list of maladies. The cabinet has lost a foreign secretary and two Brexit secretaries, not to mention lots of lesser fry. Parliament has voted to hold the government in contempt. The Conservative Party has held a vote of no confidence in the prime minister and left her badly wounded. And it is going to get worse. There is no parliamentary majority for any Brexit deal, and no way out of the impasse that wont break promisesand possibly heads.

    There are two popular explanations for this mayhem. One is that Europe was always destined to tear Britain apart, since too many Britons loathe the evolution of the common market into a European Union. A second is that Brexit has provided a catalyst for a long-simmering civil war between successful Britain (which is metropolitan and liberal) and left-behind Britain (which is provincial and conservative). Both explanations have merit. But there is also a third: that the countrys model of leadership is disintegrating. Britain is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise. This chumocracy has finally met its Waterloo.

    Consider the decision that unleashed the current disaster. David Cameron gambled the future of the country on a simple referendum51% and youre outwhereas other countries, confronted with less momentous decisions, opt for two-stage votes and super-majorities. He made the gamble only in order to see off a challenge from the Europhobic wing of his Tory party and the defection of voters to the uk Independence Party. He set great store by his ability to sell the eu at home and to win reforms in Brussels, despite the fact that he had spent much of his career grumbling about Europe and antagonising the eu bureaucracy (including removing Tory meps from their broad right-wing coalition). His resignation ignited a civil war between his former Oxford chums Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, whose mutual destruction paved the way for Theresa May. Mr Cameron then rewarded other pals for losing an unlosable referendum, with peerages, knighthoods and, in the case of Ed Llewellyn, his Eton mucker and chief of staff, a seat in the Lords and the ambassadorship to France.

    Or consider the current race for the Tory leadership that Mrs May launched last week when she was forced to promise her party that she would not lead it into the next election. The Tories are in turmoil not just because they are divided, but because the various candidates are inadequate. Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, lacks principle; Sajid Javid, the home secretary, lacks charisma; and Mr Johnson, the rights champion, is an embarrassment who this week declared that Britain shouldnt balk at leaving the eu without a deal, on the grounds that it might produce only a temporary shortage of Mars bars.

    Britains leadership crisis is rooted in the evolution of the old establishment into a new political class. This evolution has been widely hailed as a triumph of meritocracy over privilege, and professionalism over amateurism. In fact, the new political class has preserved many of the failures of the old establishment. It is introverted and self-regarding, sending its members straight from university to jobs in the Westminster village, where they marry others of their kind. It relies on bluff rather than expertise, selecting those trained in blaggers subjects like ppe and slippery professions like public relations and journalism (Mr Cameron worked in pr before going into politics, whereas Mr Gove and Mr Johnson, along with his brother, another Tory mp, were hacks).

    At the same time, the political class has abandoned one of the virtues of the old establishment. The old ruling class preserved a degree of gentlemanly self-restraint. Senior politicians left office to cultivate their gardens and open village fetes. The new political class, by contrast, is devoid of self-restraint, precisely because it thinks it owes its position to personal merit rather than the luck of birth. Thus meritocracy morphs into crony capitalism. Tony Blair has amassed a fortune since leaving office and George Osborne, Mr Camerons former chancellor of the exchequer, is following eagerly in his footsteps.

    The triumph of the new elite coincided with the erosion of other paths into the leadership class. The Labour Party traditionally recruited working-class talent through the trade unions and local government. Its 1945-51 government was successful in part because it boasted big figures like Ernest Bevin, who honed his leadership skills in the unions, and Herbert Morrison, who ran the London County Council. The Conservatives recruited from a broad range of constituencies, from the squirearchy to the armed forces and the business world (both Joe Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin came from highly successful Midlands-based companies).

    A national bluff, called
    There are some welcome signs that the political system is beginning to develop antibodies to the rule of the chumocracy. The Labour Party has broken with the Blairite habit of dropping metropolitan mps into regional constituencies and has begun promoting first-rate local talent such as Angela Rayner (who left school at 16 with no qualifications and a child on the way). The Tory party has succeeded in recruiting impressive former soldiers such as Tom Tugendhat, as well as members of ethnic minorities such as Mr Javid, the son of an immigrant bus driver. The creation of powerful local mayors is devolving decision-making from London and creating new avenues into the national political elite.

    Unfortunately, this self-correction comes too late. The failure of Britains political class not only opened the way to the Brexit vote. It also opened the way to the capture of the Labour Party by Jeremy Corbyn and his far-left clique. Many Britons despair that they face a choice between Brexit and chaos under the Tories and socialism and chaos under Labour. If next year goes as badly as this one, they may end up with both. https://www.economist.com/britain/20...te-that-failed


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  • Gotno Gizmo
    replied
    Jean Claude Juncker, drunk once again!

    Isn't it ironic that the EU, an overpriced, underperforming, inept, remote gang of career politicians, being superfluous and often damaging to the well being of its funding tax payers are lead by such a clown as @JunckerEU
    #EUexit now!

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/1...laude-drunker/

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