Luton says NO — 38 Comments

  1. The question for me Grandad is, why are you turning more and more against the EU every day?

    For what specific reasons? You say that they are poking their noses into every aspect of your lives? For the most part, I think this is a good thing. Environmental laws, competition, freedom of movement and capital, etc.

    It’s the bloody Irish politicians that I don’t trust. At all. Everything they do is incompentantly bad. And the fuckups of EU laws in Ireland (water charges for example) are a result of the Irish govt’s implementation of EU legislation. They take a simply written, clear and pretty understandable text from the EU and turn it into gobbledegook which is open to so many intrepretations that it’s not a surprise that things go badly.

    As for the UK… they are never happy with anything to do with the EU anyway, so their little mini-referendum means absolutely nothing. Empire mentality hang-overs, nothing more.

  2. 🙂 I see your country tracker thing says I’m in Luxembourg. Well, the servers are, but I’m in Belgium.

    Make of that what you will…

  3. AM – I am all for economic cooperation as I have said above. That is what I voted for in ’73 and I stick by that. But where did all this interference in legislation come from?

    I am developing a very strong cynicism towards the EU. Slowly but surely we are heading towards a United States of Europe, where the individual will have little or no say in the running of things. I know there are denials that this is the ultimate goal, but I don’t believe them.

    You quote the water charges, as an example. Why should Europe tell us how to implement water charges? Who is Europe to tell us how to run anything? This is an issue for the Irish government, elected by the Irish people.

    I see no problem with cross border cooperation in such matters as security and policing, but why should that be legislated? Why should there be a policy of Europe-wide legislation on anything?

    This is not a question of picking holes in individual examples. I am just totally against the principle of a centralisied government for all of Europe.

    Sorry about the flag. Try switching servers! 😉

  4. I agree with every word of your’s, Grandad.
    Being a Pole I’ve gone through all that in my life – centralised governing, that is. It just doesn’t work, it’s as simple as that.
    I wish I could vote here. I would add one to the no side.

  5. Thanks for your reply so quickly.
    Getting back to water charges. The EU legislation was concerned with commercial water charges as part of the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). This directive covered things from the cleanliness of waterways to ensuring that water resources are used efficiently.

    Part of this efficiency of water usage was to put water pricing on commercial activities (as industry, etc are the largest users of water). This makes perfect sense to me.

    Can you imagine the Irish government coming up with such a policy which looks to guaranteeing water supplies for the future? I can’t.

    So, with this water directive, the Irish politicians implemented the rules. This is the principle of subsidiarity. However, unsurprisingly, the boyos who did the Irish implementation (Dick Roach in this particular instance)made a hames of it.

    Regarding your point on centralised government. Maybe some people want to go that way, but the majority don’t. But decisions are not made unilaterally. Compromises are made. Deals done. It’s not a central dictatorship. The Commission proposes rules and laws. These are discussed in the European Parliament, and they can make amendments. This is then voted on in the Council of Ministers made up of the national governments. In no way, shape or form, are laws made up and stuffed down the throats of member-states.

    Why should there be a policy of EU wide legislation on anything? To make things more efficient. To allow for better trade and commerce. If something is made for one country, then it will still work, be accepted, etc in another EU country. This is what it all boils down to. To facilitate trade and commerce – even if it doesn’t necessarily look like it at the time.

  6. I’m not a big political girl, but I’ll give you a little example about everything that’s wrong with the EU. One of my best friends in the UK is a childminder, and a bloody good one too. She’s done it for years, very successfully, been registered, insured, regularly checked by the local council, blah blah. And then the EU brings in a new directive that says because she serves food to her little charges, she will have to register her kitchen as a food establishment – which means that her pet dog will no longer be allowed anywhere near the kitchen (bit of a problem as that’s where the back door is to let him out in the garden), plus she will, amongst other completely mental things, have to be able to produce records and evidence of what cleaning products she uses, and provide proof that every meal is tested with a temperature probe.

    Needless to say, the UK is down one childminder. Nice one Europe.

  7. Of course we’ll have another referendum, and it will be passed this time around.

    By hook or by crook they’ll get what they want.

  8. English Mum. This sounds suspiciously like the UK’s Health and Saftey body who have imposed this particular oddity.

    Yes, the EU is always blamed, but if blame is going to be assigned, then proof – in terms of directives or legislation is needed.

    Maybe, there is some EU rule about kitchens and preparing food, etc. But requiring lists of cleaning products, and all the other small nitty gritty details are down to the local implementation.

    Blame Elf’n’Safety. Not the EU.

  9. I’m not so sure it will be passed second time round again Maxi. I think people have caught on to the ‘Let’s vote again’ tactic.

    I really don’t think that there is any need for a central governing body for europe. I think it would further remove the individual from the democratic process. Sure, you may have a vote but if you have no representation, it won’t matter a damn!

    They should leave it at human rights issues, trade, economics and if the Dutch and Catalans can smoke dope without being prosecuted, I want to also.

  10. I’ve never liked the idea of one-size-fits-all government. I don’t know if I came by that logically, or if it came from being raised by the grandson of a Confederate Captain who lost a substantial property because he didn’t want his State subject to (and ignored by) a federal government anymore. It might be both.

    I’m going to a meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels on 3rd November; shall I pass along your sentiments? If I get there alive, that is…I’ll be travelling Ryanair. (Please send rosaries….)

  11. AM: Nope, I’m afraid it’s an EU regulation: eu 852/2004 article 6 (2). I know because she quoted it to me in an email. Sorry!

  12. Well, I completely agree that some of the EU directives are completely screwy, and don’t do much except alienate particular people. But there are a lot of other benificial things they do as well.

    Who partly funds our road construction? Who….

    OK, so maybe the roads is my only argument 🙁

  13. “Why should there be a policy of EU wide legislation on anything? To make things more efficient. To allow for better trade and commerce.”

    I’m sorry AM, but this is pure manipulation.
    In what way would trade and commerce be better than now?
    In what way would “things” be more efficient? This is a slogan, but the one which stays in the contrary to facts: never is central governing of a huge area more efficient.

    I’m totally for one European policy in terms of commerce laws, or Human Rights enforcement. But we already have that, why would we need more?

    Why aren’t the referendums carried all over Europe? Please answer at least this one question.
    Lisbon treaty is a European Constitution. It simply creates a new state. And by that, the law of this state would be above any ‘local’ laws, say French, German or Irish. Why oh why would such an important matter never be put for referendums?
    Thanks God for Ireland 🙂

  14. English Mum, thanks for the reference to the legislation.
    However, on reading through this quickly, and more specifically the guidence note here:

    it shows that this legislation is more to do with the production of food (in terms of slaughter, harvesting, etc). The guidence note does also specifially say that judgement should be used in the application of this law.

    The legislation itself can be found here:

    Having read article 6(2), it is clear (to me) that it refers to national law. So in this case, it is UK law and their ludicrous Health and Safety people who have implemented legislation more restrictive than the original EU law.

    Thed EU doesn’t want businesses to close down. It brings in laws which try to set common standards. But the governments screw them up, and then blame the EU for everything which comes after.

  15. Grandad: I tried to include links to the EU website with legislation references,but they seem to be blocked.

    Jedrzej. To answer your question. Why weren’t all countries asked to vote in a referendum. Because some countries do not have referendums. In Germany for example, referendums are forbidden in their constitution. In Belgium, if they have a referendum, it is legally non-binding. Other countries have similar attitudes and laws.

  16. AM
    At least 10 of EU countries do have leaglly binding referendums. We saw that when they were voting the EU constitution, when it was still called by its real name. It didn’t pass.

    “Hmm, they said ‘no’. What do we do? Ahh, I know, let’s not ask them anymore!”

  17. Jedrzej, For the referendums on the constitution a few years ago, France and the Netherlands had them, and it was rejected.

    Spain and Luxembourg approved it by referendum.

    Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland, and the UK have postponed their’s indefinitely.

    All the others have approved it in parliament.

    I’m not able to find a full list of countries in the EU who are allowed to have referendums, but from what I can find, this is the situation:
    Ireland: Referendums OK
    Italy: is forbidden to call a referendum regarding financial laws or laws relating to pardons or the ratification of international treaties
    the Netherlands: Generally no. There was a temporary law (2000-2005) brought in to facilitate the referendum on the constitutional treaty. This was the first referendum in 200 years.
    Romania: OK
    Sweden: OK
    UK: Questionable
    France: OK, but rare
    Spain: OK
    Luxembourg: OK

    So, yes, there are countries who can have legally binding referendums. But if they don’t have the tradition to have them on the approval of international treaties, then they can’t really be forced to have them.

    1 rule to fit all will never work. This is a point I made earlier about their always having to be compromise and negotiations.

    All I’m trying to do is to encourage people to read and find out for themselves information, and not rely on third party sources which will have twisted and manipulated the information to suit their own agenda.

    The EU isn’t perfect. But the Lisbon Treaty really was about trying to make it work better following the recent enlargements. The same with the Constitutional Treaty. It’s just unfortunate that people reacted strongly against the word constitution.

  18. AM: I don’t doubt the good intentions of the constitution and treaty creators. Don’t believe in conspiracies or anything of the kind. I believe, though, that hell is paved with good intentions.

    @”1 rule to fit all will never work. ”
    Hah! You shoot yourself in the foot! That’s the best argument against Lisbon Treaty.

    And I repeat: how are people supposed not to be suspicious, if something they voted ‘no’ is being forced on them by the backdoor under the different name?

    @”It’s just unfortunate that people reacted strongly against the word constitution.”
    I really don’t like this sentence. Maybe it’s not the word people reacted strongly to? Maybe it’s the fact, that – I repeat – it is a constitution:
    “A constitution is a system for government, that establishes the rules and principles of an autonomous political entity.”
    This means a new state. Maybe people just don’t want it, and not “are scarred of the word”?

  19. AM darling, you’re rather missing my point. The EU is producing the legislation. Whether individual countries have any leeway in how they are enforced is rather by the by, don’t you think?

    But I’m a cooker, not a fighter, and I really have no interest in having in-depth policy discussions. I love your sprouts, by the way x

  20. At an abstract geopolitical level I like the idea of a stong unified EU to act as a counterbalance to the other might wiedling blocs in the world today.

    On a personal level they can fuck right off if they think they are going to tell me waht shape a bannana should be or any other nonsensical regulation.

    As far as deomcracy is concerned, well it clearly doesn’t work and Grandad (or Maxi) should just be put in charge as supreme dictator (again at this juncture I’d like to re-iterate my interest in being shadowy chief of secret police once the transfer of power has been completed).

  21. I am with “AM in Brussels.” Makes alot of sense to me.” From what I have seen both Ireland and GB have benefited greatly from Europe since they “joined up.”
    I take your point about lack of control Grandad, but the fact is you really don’t have much of a say anyhoo.

  22. ‘Yukyukyuk, chuckle, s’nort, guffaw, tee hee hee’

    I love listening to the EU vs. Anti-EU discussions.
    You guys will be SO screwed if the Brussels g’ubmint
    gets its way.
    Isn’t “EU” french for Nanny State?

  23. AM…. me thinks thou protest too much. Typical of those who are now controlled to convince others that loosing your independence and freedoms for the greater good is the right direction and can validate all arguments with statistics and such. As an outsider looking inward be careful, the control you give up today is the freedom that you loose tomorrow, there’s no turning back until someone aggresses and then?????

  24. There seems to have been a bit of a debate in my absence?

    I have read through the comments carefully, and I’m afraid my attitude hasn’t changed.

    AM – You make many points but none of them really stand up to debate. For example, you say “If something is made for one country, then it will still work, be accepted, etc in another EU country“. That is a load of horsesh.. Two simple examples – driving on the left hand side of the road works extremely well both here and in the UK. Why hasn’t it been imposed on the rest of Europe [or vice versa]? It would make eminent sense, as all vehicles could then be manufactured to the same standard. Also, Ireland and the UK use three flat-pin 13 Amp electrical sockets, yet these are not to be found elsewhere. At the very least, if the EU were to do something sensible they would standardise sockets. Yet they concentrate on such items as water charges and hygiene which, frankly have fuck all to do with trade and commerce.

    What concerns me the most is the heavy handed way that Brussles is treating the whole business, and in particular the Lisbon Treaty affair. They knew that the treaty would fail if put to the vote and tried to slide it in by the back door. When Ireland dismissed it, their attitude is to try to force it trough by some other means. Is this democratic? We are being told what to do my Merkel, Sarkozy and others that I have never met and never voted for [or against]. Again this is not democracy.

    At present I am governed by a shower of corrupt half-wits, but they are my shower of corrupt half-wits, that were elected by my misguided people.

    I think Jedrzej sums up my arguments far more eloquently than I could hope to.

    TT – Ireland and the UK have benefited from Europe. But that was an economic benefit. As I have been saying all along, close economic ties make sense. You say that I don’t have much of a say? You have conceded my point. I don’t want a say in economic matters, but damned sure I want a say in how I am governed.

    The bottom line for me is that we are slowly but surely losing our independence, that we fought so long and hard for.

    It is all about power and control.

  25. Not at all, these debates are good for getting stuff of people’s chests if nothing else. I just get tired of hearing people complain and not doing anything about it. We complain year in year out about a government we say we never wanted, but yet we vote them in each term.

    They put us on a need to know basis and treat us like fools. The budget for example, it took a week of complaining to get the medical card thing somewhat changed, yet we take so much other stuff lying down.

    Then again, here I am complaining and doing nothing more about it, I guess that just makes me part of the problem.

  26. TT – True. Very true. 🙂

    Maxi – What can we do? I have never voted Fianna Fail in my life. Once in a moment of madness I voted PD, but that was when they had just launched and I didn’t realise they were Mini-FF. I have also voted Green in the past but NEVER again. [I’m running out of options here] So, having done my best at the ballot box, the only resort I have is to shout about the political shortcomings, in the vain and desperate hope that I may sway an opinion here or there. Daft, but it’s all I have left.

    Unless of course we are starting the revolution at last……. 😈

  27. There will have to be a revolution some time in the future.

    I’ve never voted Fianna Fail either, no one I know has, or so they say.

    They’re like drugs, everyone does them but don’t want to admit it.

  28. I think the revolution is starting. I believe there were a few Zimmer frames flying around town today? Never underestimate us oldies.

  29. I never have, nor ever will.

    I just hope more people will follow the example and stop taking shit.

    I wish a Zimmer frame or two had concussed that twat Enda “Not much of a better option” Kenny. I’m sick of hearing his voice.

  30. hmmmm, now Sarkozy “criticises” Ireland’s bank guarantee and “wants” to see “road-map” solution to the question of Irish ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by December!!! Be careful Ireland, the ring in the nose isn’t too far away!!! What to you think AM??

  31. Listen up eu-ites, get with the Canadian program. In our recent election which took six weeks, start to finish, unlike the lunatic goings on south of the border, we elected another minority government which gaurantees two things; close scrutiny and reining in when necessary of the assholes in power and more importantly nobody telling us what shape bananas must be. Exciting? no, comforting? oh yes.

  32. Paulo – All comments welcome! 😉

    Roosta – With all due respect, that is the daftest comment yet! Did I say we should follow Luton? What I am saying is that if Luton is indicative of the feeling in the UK, then we did the right thing to reject the treaty. Don’t forget – we voted before them…

Hosted by Curratech Blog Hosting