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The UK: In or Out of Europe?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by porcus_volans View Post

    I'm not sure that the demise of the Scottish fishing industry is entirely down to European policy - historical overfishing and Spanish disregard for rules haven't helped - but I do believe that Britain would be better able to influence that policy if it were fully committed to the EU.
    True PV.

    My analogy was as porous as the liverpool back four at the minute!

    I'll be getting my coat!!
    "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

    Hunter S Thompson


    • #62
      British fishery waters have always been underprotected.The Gubbermint in Wetminster has never paid enough attention. I remember Russian factory ships on R&R, off Shetland, back at the beginning of the Eighties. Big enough to play volley ball on the decks and to do a bit of canning, too, if I remember.

      But, where I was brought up, our inshore fleet's traditional fisheries in the Irish Sea, were fished out by the mid-Seventies. Remember that 'Cod War', with Iceland, back then? Iceland knew the importance of preserving their territories, they'd just watched the Newfoundland cod industry collapse (relatively speaking).

      A proper, EU wide, fisheries protection agreement, is probably a necessity, if we're not going to end up eating little more than farmed fish and watching the giant jellyfish rise from the depths to eat the poisonous, nitrate feeding. red algae.


      • #63
        Originally posted by thingfish View Post
        My analogy was as porous as the liverpool back four at the minute!

        I'll be getting my coat!!
        You've heard of jumpers for goalposts. We've got Coates in our back four!


        • #64
          Originally posted by L'Etranger View Post
          The underlying message of this could be read as being pro European Union equals being "quite heavily to the left". From a Continental point of view I have to reject this notion. It is well-known fact that the fathers of a united Europe, namely De Gaulle, Adenauer, Schumann, Mr Churchill (!) and others were entirely opposed to anything that smelled of Social Democrats or Labour. The current High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, Mrs Ashton, has a Labour background, but is not seriously perceived as Leftist by the majority of the members. Europe is not about being left or right, but about avoiding a take-over by any extreme.

          It may well be, however, that the European Union is perceived as a leftist in Britain which I understand is very much shmoozed up by certain interest groups in the US who loath to "lose" their cousins to ("leftist") Europe with would weaken her influence over here. Indeed, on European breakfast tables you often find products that are non-Kellogs, very worrying. And there are excellent shampoos made here, plus we sometimes dare say "no" to one or the other invasion - which admittedly takes a lot of courage for a little country ...

          We mustn't discount what amount of propaganda against Europe is being generated in US think-tanks. A "balkanized" Europe and a weakened common currency opposed to the dollar is very much what infuential circles there want. I wouldn't wonder if the current crisis of the Euro wasn't - in part - due to machinations from further West. And if I'm right then the same interests will do all to munition the anti-European forces in UK and their media with every conceivable fodder ...
          I think we should have clarity that though Churchill was in favour of United States of Europe, he did not envisage the UK as part of it as at that point we still had an Empire; but had to liquidate it to pay our war debts. Keynes went to the USA shortly after the War finished and expected to get a discount from a war time ally. Instead, he was ambushed and it is only nearly 50 years later that the UK paid this off.

          Baroness Ashton the least able or capable candidate.

          Let us remember it was the Labour party in the 70s that did have a referendum about the Common Market - not a full blown active bureaucracy. Tony Benn and Enoch Powell sharing the Anti platform, probably did for the NO vote.

          It was commented recently that each nation sees the EU as a reflection of itself. Probably the reason why Germany expected most of the other countries as being fiscally prudent and hardworking like themselves. Now it looks like the Germans will be left holding the biggest IOU's in Europe and get approbation heaped on them by being compared to the Nazis.

          Yes, I know that there are part of our UK media who still roll out these cliches, but forget a lot of things that the Germans have done for us. The early part of the 20th century was a massive change in UK policy.

          The UK has more in common with the USA from its shared roots and history. The dismantling of the UK institutions and breakup of the United Kingdom to be subsumed into European models is something that I have not been asked about and want it stopped.
          Papa was a Rolling Stone......


          • #65
            I will not repeat what i told about Europe as a necessity and the need to reform it. If interested you can refer to my earlier post of some days ago.

            Matter is that every " big " european country sees europe as a way to promote his interests.

            UK is a free exchange and financial country. It fights for free exchange and freedom for private financial institutions. UK never chosse between USA and Europe.

            Germany is an industrial country which see Europe as a market. For Germany free exchange of goods is a premium. And to stay competititve in the word competion it crunches the income level of most of its worker. Incidentally what he loses on the european market, he earns otherwhere but would not be adverse to some european protection.

            In fact, Germany is destroying the industries of other european countries and is happy with it.

            In fact, as the treties fix trules they are mostly happy with, german and UK governements

            And France ?

            France uses Europe to help his agricultue die and become an industrial ressource. In 50 years 90 % af peasants have disappeared.

            But one you must understand is that french elites don't give a dam about France. France is the only country in which pupils don't learn the national anthem.

            Most french political leaders want to change France in another country, right wing dreaming odf a free trade country, on what they believe to be the anglo-saxon model, left dreaming of the swedish model of the sixties.

            And french leaders are to lazy or inept to fight for a democratic functionnal Europe.

            The solution is not to be in or out of europe, to change the politics but to change the rule in a way allowing people to democratically choose which policy they want at a given time.

            Now one big matter are the lobbies. thousands of lobbyists work in Brussels to promote their interests and the most performant are the lobbies of the great industrial and financial groups.

            To understand what's happening, it is a key factor..... Pharmacical and chemical industries are agood exemple. One is killing bees with pollution and OGM, but the lobies and the free traders forbid every true progress.

            In an interesting way, Fishery is a counter exemple as lobbies are less strong. The european commision has been fighting for years for fishing quotas and has met a strong opposition of national governements and fishers who explain that fish is not disapeeaing.

            Very incidentally, fish raising in farms is an ecological disaster......


            • #66



              • #67
                Brussels's harmonisation of VAT on hot food within the last UK's budget led to Great Pasty Revolt

                You could see queues of people stock piling cheaper pasties, sausage rolls and pies. Well no you could as they were after petrol instead, but the idea is hilarious.
                Papa was a Rolling Stone......


                • #68
                  I've never felt remotely British, and why should I? The UK is nothing more than a political union - pretty much what the EU is, or seems to be heading for. In that sense, I don't see any further need for the UK at all even if it was useful in the past - and that is highly debatable (and I mean that in the sense that there were pros and cons). So I'm British in precisely the same sense that I'm European - a fact of geography and politics. But what I am is a Scot.

                  The Scottish fishing industry wasn't really destroyed by European policy or even by any lack of attention by the UK government. But it was severely undermined by deals the UK government did in the 1970s to get a better deal for grain farmers at the expense of fishing. And, from a UK perspective, it was the right kind of tradeoff to go for, since that type of farming was far more important to the UK economy as a whole than fishing. For Scotland however, it was disastrous - and that's the price you pay for being a small part of a larger union. The things that are unique and important to you will not matter a whit to the larger entity. So I don't blame the Europeans and I don't blame the English - the fault lies with the Scots for neglecting our responsibilities.

                  Which is why I've always found the SNP's pro-European stance to be highly illogical. It's not based on anything rational, it's more a reaction to being labelled as xenophobic and insular. If any group is in a position to be aware of the dangers inherent in these kinds of union, it's them.

                  The line I used to hear peddled within the SNP was that while the UK was entirely dominated by England, in terms of political representation, to the extent that the words "English" and "British" are used interchangeably (and we all know that's true), Europe was going to be different - with so many countries involved, no one nation would be able to dominate policy to its own benefit and deals between all countries would have to be reached, to the benefit of all.

                  Sounds good, doesn't it? Anyone still believe it?


                  • #69
                    Oh you never know Robin!
                    Having a more than slightly delusional "glass half full" bent about me i still hold on to the dying embers of hope for the european union.
                    I also have never ever felt remotely 'British' and have always felt that its a tag thats been forced on me from birth.
                    Just doesn't feel right
                    Never has.
                    Never will.
                    "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

                    Hunter S Thompson


                    • #70
                      Aye, it would be nice if it worked, but the signs are not good.

                      It's not democratic - we elect MEPs but the important decisions are taken in secret by national governments, with all the usual bullying, arm-twisting and bribery, and we have no say in it (even when the Irish got a chance to make their wishes known, it was "Sorry - wrong answer. Do it again and get it right this time!").

                      And, critically, we're not even interested in what goes on in Europe. We're quick to whine when we hear that Europe is trying to interfere with the shape of bananas but we have no desire to have any involvement, other than whining.

                      The example of the Scottish fishing industry illustrates my main problem with being a small part of a large centralist Union. As with the UK, so with Europe. Jim Sillars once remarked that you either exercise power over yourself or someone else exercises power over you. And that should be abundantly clear, particularly to people in Greece and Italy where not only does being in the Euro tie their hands so they can do nothing about the situation they're in, they also had non-elected bankers forced on them, whose loyalties lie with the ECB and Goldman Sachs rather than the people they are supposed to represent, to make sure they don't even try. (Consider the phrase "Worse than Berlusconi")

                      Looking back through this thread I also noticed some stuff about immigration. My feelings are that humanity will never get anywhere until we allow people the freedom to live anywhere they choose. Apart from anything else, we don't have the right to control immigration. "We got here first, so get out of here and go back where you came from" is about the size of it. OK, so send all the Anglo-Saxons back to Denmark or Germany, we're going to need the room when we get our people back from the Americas. Come to think of it, we should probably all go back to Africa...

                      Controlling the movement of people just perpetuates inequaliy - of course free movement could make the richest countries poorer, at least at first (*), but that only gives us purely selfish reasons to stop it. If that's what you want, fair enough, just don't pretend there's any moral justification for it - only greed and/or racism.

                      (* Actually, I don't even buy that. People generally want to go where there's work needing done. That just gets the work done.)


                      • #71
                        The fault lines are opening up all over Europe.

                        I can't see the German tax payer bailing out southern europe, even if they were a tiny bit response for being too successful.

                        I still feel British, but this diminished some what at a Wales vs. England rugby match.
                        Papa was a Rolling Stone......