Category Archives: EU
Apr 6, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Perfidious Albion¹ was a phrase much used by Napoléon Bonaparte, who would know the epithet as La Perfide Albion. There has been an enmity between Britain and France at least since the loss of the Angevin Empire by the English (or should that be the Norman invaders) and the 100 years war. It may even be the English insistence on calling themselves Anglo-Saxons, a term used by the French in a pejorative way.
I am sure that the French teach their history as proof of perfidious Albion, with the Fashoda Incident added for good measure. The Fashoda Incident was not taught when I was at school. If it was a mentioned at all would have been overshadowed by General Gordon and Churchill (that hero of the English right and enemy of the British left) participating in the last cavalry charge at the Battle of Omdurman.
The English view of the French is hardly helped by those other Anglo-Saxons during World War I saying, “Lafayette, nous voilà“. Those other Anglo-Saxons who consistently fail to acknowledge the French contribution to the American Revolution. Something the British (or should that be English) also choose to deliberately ignore, even when teaching Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown.
Perhaps, joyously received by the French and resentfully by the British (including the English), was General de Gaulle’s now famous “Non“ to the British application to join the EU. De Gaulle was probably right about one thing (see cartoon below) and that was the English thwarting of European dominance by France — except Charlemagne who may (contrary to popular belief) not have spoken french. The English at this time were real Anglo-Saxons and had their own problems which, had he chose to, Charlemagne could have probably resolved. There are many claims that de Gaulle was the prophet of Brexit ensuring the recognition of the Anglo-Saxon intentions to the EU and the perfidy of Albion was understood by all.
Mar 23, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Following a defeat (yet again) of Theresa May’s Brexit plan by the UK parliament, the following may be of interest. They are articles on Brexit provided by the USA (European Union), Al-Jazeera (European Union News), Germany (European Union), and a video (7min) providing a good description of how the EU actually works.
It’s impossible to discuss the European Union¹ (EU) without mentioning Brexit and I have written a lot about the EU — often with a somewhat cynical view about Brexit. It has been my assumption (wrongly as it turns out) that people knew what the EU was, what it had become and where it was heading! Where the EU is heading is a difficult question to answer and one that only provides hypothetical answers, especially when the question is asked in the context, “What is the EU?”. Read more of this post
Feb 2, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: My own views on Brexit are perhaps summed in a previous blog¹, what follows are yet more videos (no not on any psychosexual innuendos associated with Asparagus à la Brexit). Rather on my innate cynicism over whole Brexit affair that to my mind has more to do with political opportunism than democracy. In yet another previous blog² I claimed that any perceived democratic deficit was not simply Anglo-Saxon angst, the German constitutional court did not recognise the European parliament as a genuine legislature. It did not represent the will of a single European people, but was a representative body of member states³.
Unfortunately the United Kingdom has no written constitution, it is a simple democracy in which the ‘supremacy of parliament‘ prevails. While a democratic deficit may well exist in the form of the EU commission, this parliamentary supremacy represents a far greater democratic deficit for the United Kingdom. Peter
Jan 26, 2019Posted by on
This week on Facebook: In France tax inspectors claimed that the EU pensions of a married couple (Michel Bourges-Maunoury and Marie-Louise Heinz) should be taken into account in calculating their tax liability. The couple took their case to the Court of Justice, which ruled that income paid by the EU and subject to EU tax could not be taxed “either directly or indirectly by a member state”. It also ruled that recipients were exempt from declaring the amount to national tax authorities. Read more of this post
Dec 9, 2018Posted by on
This Sunday on Facebook: My ambivalence towards the EU remains unabated as do my feelings of the disparity held by those who would subscribe to a return of a British democracy, or those who would choose to remain in the EU (even assuming that a consensus on what either meant existed). I stand by the resolve that I hold, in that the decision to choose between two oligarchies is for voters other than myself to decide. I shall be 80 next year and will (perhaps) not live to witness the long term results of the chosen outcome. Read more of this post
Jan 27, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Mainly for the benefit of my children, I should like to point out that German reunification refers to that of 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall,which led to Tag der Deutschen Einheit. This is not the same as Bismarck’s German Unification of 1850 to 1871 nor is it the 1938 Anschluss. Read more of this post
Jan 20, 2018Posted by on
This week on Facebook: Having began the year on the topic of the EU I was attracted to an article published in Europe’s Journal of Psychology (EJOP) — Vol 1, No 4 (2005) with the title ‘The French Vision of Europe from Victor Hugo’s United States of Europe to the No to the Constitution’ from which this week’s extracts have been taken. The EJOP contribution by Michel Viegnes offers an insight into the French psyche and the influence that Victor Hugo continues to have on it.
This EJOP article is rather long, which I have made it more readable by breaking down the paragraphs, some editorial arrangements and adding a number of links. However, despite these modifications, the paper is still intended to represent the views as written by the author. Should you wish to read the published article in EJOP, a link to it is also included below. Read more of this post
Jan 19, 2018Posted by on
Finally, the French NO at the 2005 referendum that was a serious drawback for the construction of a real political Europe, if not a lethal strike. It brought together distinct political forces and even conflicting ones, in the shared fear that the identity of Europe (from the French perspective) would be subsumed in a world that is always growing more and more globalised. For those who said NO, whether they came from the right or the left, the constitutional model led to an American globalisation that is simultaneously fascinating and detested, religious and mercantile it is seen as the driving force of this internationalism. One where historical identities seem to be brought into a global culture that is consumerist and technological and in which, former powers of the old continent can no longer play a major role by themselves. Read more of this post
Jan 18, 2018Posted by on
It is startling to see that Hugo has a rather singular view on the European issue when compared with great authors and intellectuals of the 19th century. It is not until the next century and primarily not until the great catastrophe of the 1914/18 war that one could hear in France important figures giving their opinion on the European idea. Whether we should regret it or not, the perspectives on this are very dissimilar. Read more of this post