Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by old_cloudpuncher, Aug 5, 2007.
The heart of the site is the forum area, including:
See today's Sunday Telegraph:
Since the Telegraph (and by extention the Sunday Telegraph) has a predilection for stating falsehoods, why should we take anything they have to say with anything but a pinch of salt?
Nice one Sven the Oracle of all that is Liarbour and EU. Cannot prove anything wrong so you slander the messenger.
Glad to see that you still follow the lessons taught by Campbell and his ilk. I wonder if Broon the theif was hoping that the latest outbreak of foot and mouth would have been good enough to have buried this inconvenient truth?
What proof have You that the Telegraph article truthfully depicts what is in the treaty? They have a track record of stating that which is not true, what proof do we actually have that they are accurate now?
Oh, and for the record I question all articles that pontificate without producing supportive evidence - right and left
I thought we held to tenet 'Innocent until proven guilty' - clearly not in Sven's case, and certainly not in much of the European Soviet Union.
I believe more of what I read in the Daily Telegraph than I hear on Brown's 'mouthpiece' and propaganda arm the BBC.
Going slightly off thread, but Booker also made some points about the disbandment of the Regional Assemblies.
Coming back from Twickenham yesterday I was unfortunate enough to find myself in the same carriage as a couple of dykeish females (they hadn't been to Twickers as that male-dominated event, where selection is based on talent and ability, would not have fitted with their New European Order where selection is based purely on ethnicity, sexual preference,or inability) of a certain age who it transpired worked somewhere within that august body called the Welsh Assembly. One was Welsh and the other a Canadian with some kind of 'British citizenship'.
Couldn't escape their dreary dialogue as they regaled each other with tales of the joys of translating vitally important documents into long-extinct Welsh dialects, and how exciting it had been to work, with Saatchi, on media projects extolling the virtues of the Principality (contradiction in terms), and how they saw themselves as model Europeans.
It depressed me terribly for a short time but soon cheered up as we hit the pubs around Waterloo and returned to a world of relative normality.
So they haven't been 'proven guilty then Lsquared?
Perhaps You might want to comment on the moritorium on jumps - or even todays effort on the Grays Lane campaign. This last was probably just a case of lazy journalism, but did none the less contain a falsehood.
Put it this way, I'm inclined to believe the Telegraph than anything that comes out of No.10.
The Telegraph are hardly likely to quote a non-existent document but I have yet to see the governmemt publicise what is actually in it. Are we not entitled to be told what is in it ASAP instead of having to wait for the press to draw the bits out like teeth.
I asked my pertys Defence spokesman about the ban on Para jumps and He got the reply from written questions which stated catagorically that there had never been any plans to ban them.
As to the treaty - we will see it when it is published, if it hasn't been. If it has, just phone the publications dept and order it.
You know, it is possible to get off your backside and read the draft treaty yourself, instead of pontificating about how wrong the Telegraph is. The draft (in English) was published on Tuesday, in the Council of the European Union site. See here.
Unlike you, we have actually read the thing and do our research. To save you the trouble, here is part of the report on which Booker's article is based. The references are there for you to check yourself, if you can be ARRSED. Or perhaps you prefer your comfortable state of ignorance?
1. The supreme government
An important thing to avoid in assessing this treaty is getting bogged down in the detail getting lost in the nitty gritty of EU law can led one to missing the bigger picture.
The big picture is, in fact, hidden in plain sight, in the very first line of the preamble, which states: Recalling the historic importance of the ending of the division of the European continent
This is, in fact, the equivalent of towards ever closer union
introduced in this form in the Nice Treaty, and not there by accident. It highlights the fundamental aim of the reform treaty and all those that preceded it political integration.
It cannot be emphasised enough that that is the primary purpose of EU treaties. They may aim to accomplish other things (such as streamlining the text) but that is always their primary purpose, no less than in this reform treaty.
Now, for there to be a political union and that is the ultimate objective of the European Union it must have a government which must have supreme authority over all the governments of the member states. Its development started with the Treaty of Rome, amplified by case law from the ECJ (which established the supremacy of community law), and it continues apace in this treaty, bringing the government close to the finished state.
This is to be seen in a new Article 9 of the treaty where the Unions institutions are set out. And it is here that the genius of the original draftsmen must be acknowledged, in their use of and anodyne term institutions. Although linguistically correct, the more precise term would be government. The moment you use that word, everything falls into place.
Turning to this new Article 9 then, we see the follows, with amendments (in italics and square brackets) to make the text more precise:
1. The Union shall have an institutional [governmental] framework which shall aim to promote its values, advance its objectives, serve its interests, those of its citizens and those of the Member States, and ensure the consistency, effectiveness and continuity of its policies and actions. The Union's institutions [government] shall be:
the European Parliament
the European Council
the European Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission"),
the Court of Justice of the European Union
the European Central Bank,
the Court of Auditors.
2. Each institution [The government] shall act within the limits of the powers conferred on it in the Treaties, and in conformity with the procedures and conditions set out in them. The institutions [government] shall practise mutual sincere cooperation.
By comparison with the previous treaty (Article 7 TEU), we see two additions, the European Council and the European Central Bank, both of which existed in previous treaties but now become fully-fledged institutions i.e., part of the government of the Union.
The key change, though, is the addition of the European Council. The significance of this is very straightforward.
In short, the European Council, which comprises the heads of states and governments of the member states, cease to represent their own member state interests and become absorbed into a tier of the EU government, bound by its laws and obliged to further the aims and objectives of the Union.
This is actually set out in the first part of the paragraph, which states that it (and the rest of the government) shall aim to promote its (the Unions) values, advance its objectives, serve its interests, those of its citizens and those of the Member States
It is no coincidence that that, in the pecking order, the Union comes first, the citizens second and the member states third and last. That states the priorities and the order of preference. And, by this means, our heads of states and governments become subservient to the European Union.
The same, incidentally, applies to the Council (of ministers). Currently, the Commission website tells us that:
each minister in the Council is answerable to his or her national parliament and to the citizens that parliament represents. This ensures the democratic legitimacy of the Councils decisions.
This is only theoretically the case but, under the new treaty, it can no longer be so, even in theory. As members of the EUs government, each minister is bound by treaty to promote its (the Unions) values, advance its objectives, serve its interests
before those of their citizens and own states. They no longer represent their states, but the European Union.
As we observed earlier, anyone who is looking for a change in the fundamental relationship between the European Union and the member states should start here, with Article 9.
By bringing the European Council into the maw of the EU (together with the full-time president (who is also a member of the European Council and thus bound by the same aims and objectives), and making both European Council and council of ministers, the EU is that much closer to creating a supreme government of Europe, through which to rule us all.
All it needs now is an elected president (which will surely come if this treaty is not stopped) and they will be there.
2. A binary treaty
Part of the game in analysing EU draft treaties is to go through the text to count up all the additional powers (competences in Euro-speak) that the Union is seeking to award itself, coming up with a satisfying round number to spice up the debate and, hopefully, grab the odd headline or two.
In this new so-called reform treaty, however, the colleagues have excelled themselves, secreting into the text an amendment which gives them powers to do just about anything. For a nice round number of additional powers, therefore, perhaps we should settle for infinity.
Now, such is the skill of the colleagues (and you have to give them that they are supremely skilled in mounting their power grabs), the hit does not come in one simple little statement, but comes with the combination of two widely separated amendments to existing articles.
This is akin to the hi-tech binary nerve gas weapons two chemicals which, on their own, are relatively harmless but, when combined, become deadly.
The first of the two Articles in question is Article 308, the so-called catch-all article which allows the EU to make laws where there is no specific power to take action. This has already been abused but, within the context of existing treaties, there are at least some limitations, the text being confined (in theory) to the operation of the common market. This is the text:
If action by the Community should prove necessary to attain, in the course of the operation of the common market, one of the objectives of the Community, and this Treaty has not provided the necessary powers, the Council shall, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, take the appropriate measures.
Now look at the new, amended text:
If action by the Union should prove necessary, within the framework of the policies defined by the Treaties, to attain one of the objectives set out by the Treaties, and the Treaties have not provided the necessary powers, the Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, shall adopt the appropriate measures.
The most obvious difference, of course, is the removal of the operation of the common market caveat, giving the Article universal application across the whole field of Union activity. That is bad enough, but the real power of this binary weapon is not spelled out. To give it its force, you must pick up the phrasing,
to attain one of the objectives. The Article gives the Union carte blanche to make laws to attain any of its objectives.
To find the objectives, one has to go right to the front of the new treaty document and look at Article 3 the two articles could hardly be more widely separated. But, again, to appreciate the extent of the power grab, one again has to contrast the existing with the new. The existing article (currently numbered Article 2) reads as follows:
The Union shall set itself the following objectives:
- to promote economic and social progress and a high level of employment and to achieve balanced and sustainable development, in particular through the creation of an area without internal frontiers, through the strengthening of economic and social cohesion and through the establishment of economic and monetary union, ultimately including a single currency in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty,
- to assert its identity on the international scene, in particular through the implementation of a common foreign and security policy including the progressive framing of a common defence policy, which might lead to a common defence, in accordance with the provisions of Article 17,
- to strengthen the protection of the rights and interests of the nationals of its Member States through the introduction of a citizenship of the Union,
- to maintain and develop the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is assured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime,
- to maintain in full the acquis communautaire and build on it with a view to considering to what extent the policies and forms of cooperation introduced by this Treaty may need to be revised with the aim of ensuring the effectiveness of the mechanisms and the institutions of the Community.
Now look at the new list of objectives:
1. The Union's aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples.
2. The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime.
3. The Union shall establish an internal market. It shall work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment.
It shall promote scientific and technological advance.
It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child.
It shall promote economic, social and territorial cohesion, and solidarity among Member States.
It shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe's cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.
4. The Union shall establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro.
5. In its relations with the wider world, the Union shall uphold and promote its values and interests and contribute to the protection of its citizens. It shall contribute to peace, security, the sustainable development of the Earth, solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, free and fair trade, eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child, as well as to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.
6. The Union shall pursue its objectives by appropriate means commensurate with the competences which are conferred upon it in the Treaties."
At this point, of course, the eyes glaze over this is redolent of the high-flown rhetoric that typifies community documents and one moves on rapidly to study the more substantive pieces (or not at all). But, far from rhetoric, this is a shopping list for new powers, beautifully dressed up as mother and apple pie aspirations.
For instance, the Union is required to contribute to the sustainable development of the Earth. What that actually means is anyones guess but, given the inventiveness of commission officials, it can mean anything you want. And if there is no power written into the treaty to allow the specific action? No problem Article 308.
Then, the Union shall take measures aiming at full employment and social progress. What does social progress mean? Well, given the inventiveness of commission officials
And if there is no power written into the treaty to allow the specific action? No problem Article 308.
And, how do you interpret the requirement to promote scientific and technological advance? Well, given the inventiveness of commission officials
And if there is no power written into the treaty to allow the specific action? No problem Article 308.
How about upholding and promoting the strict observance and the development of international law? If anything was a blank cheque, that certainly is. Effectively, the EU can decide to implement any number of provisions promulgated via international law. And if there is no specific power in the treaties? No problem Article 308.
That is the effect of the binary treaty. Mix and match the articles and you can achieve things that no single article will allow. And the beauty of it all is that the effect of single articles is never wholly apparent, keeping the full extent of the power grab under the radar.
If you want more, try http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com
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I'm afraid that on Tuesday I had something a little more pressing, and from Thursday onwards I was recovering from it.
I will see if I can fit the treaty in inbetween my unusually busy schedule
That is good of you Sven. We await your judgement with bated breath.
PS. What on earth is the European Soviet Union doing with a 'COURT OF AUDITORS' ?
Pointless organization as it is never listened to nor are its reports acted upon. We cannot have auditors disturbing the porkers at the trough can we ? 'Windbag' Kinnock (intellectual level marginally in advance of Prescott's) ordered an auditor to sort the mess of accounts. When she reported the total, criminal shambles - she was sacked!!!
The European Soviet Union exists to provide the wherewithal for failed politicos (Kinnock, Patten (kicked out by electors of Bath and appointed to run Hong Kong!), Mandelson) and armies of bureaucrats a stupendous opportunity to obtain large sums of tax-payers money. It provides a miniscule top layer of advantage and wealth whilst the majority, who pay for this minority, remain unrewarded. (An historical precedent: Soviet Union).
It is corrupt from top to bottom and this corruption is growing at an unprecedented rate as newly joined countries 'catch up' - or at least their ruling elite do.
It should be disbanded with immediate effect and, if necessary, a trading organization (what the traitor Heath told us it was) set up instead.
Sven is the Master Artful Dodger and in doing so shows himself to be a true Ferrous Cranus Now lets see whether he rises to the challenge laid down by Richard or continue to be shown as a Tireless Rebutter I fully expect him to spend the next hour reading all the different types on that sight and choosing one or two to label me with. Most unimaginitive.
The European ruling elite has been pulling the wool over the eyes of Europeans for decades. It is sad that all governments since 1973 including that slug Heath have continued to sign away our soveriegnty for very little gain. They have contimually used the cucumber slicing method to erode the superiority of Parliament.
I was born in 1973 but I have never had a chance to vote in a referendum with regards to our membership let alone how much power we cede to what has now become the EU and is slowly becoming a federal Europe. Membership of the club is vastly expensive and we would be much better off out and conduct our business in the same way that the Swiss or Norwegians do. This treaty is no more than a backdoor to a constitution, even other EU governments say that the treaty is virtually unchanged from the DEMORCRATICALLY rejected constitution but as usual our spineless government are going to once again let it slide.
My parents voted for EEC membership NOT an EU superstate. Why can't they have the chance to vote again and why can't I have the chance to vote for the first time?
If I can I will read the Treaty, but I can make no promises. I have to catch up on a shitload of Lib Dem stuff and so will be fairly well tied up for several weeks. If the thread is still about then I will reply to Mr North but I somehow doubt it will be.
Separate names with a comma.