Category Archives: EU

EU — IN or OUT!


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

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MEPs pensions & payoffs!


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

It’s Quite OK to Walk Away:


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

European United States


This week on Facebook:  I decided to post the articles from a special series by National Public Radio (npr) with the title of: Midlife Crisis — State Of The European Union (presented in an audio format and an included transcript).

We will have these great United States of Europe, that are the crown of the old world just as the United States of America are the crown of the new one. We will have … a country without frontiers, a budget without parasitism, a commerce without duties  … youth without barracks … justice without scaffold … truth without dogma. Victor Hugo — Peace Congress, Lugano, 1872

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German Reunification


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 AnschlussRead more of this post

Victor Hugo, Europe United, “Mais Non”


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

Mais Non!


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

United States of Europe


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

Liberté Égalité Fraternité


For Hugo, the single guarantee of inviolable peace was the normal state of work, that is the exchange, the offer and the demand, the production and the consumption, the vast common effort, the attraction of industries, the circulation of ideas, the human flux and reflux. Indeed, this confidence in the rationality of the market, in what Adam Smith called the invisible hand, this certainty that economic freedom engenders or consolidates civic freedoms are typically Anglo-Saxon. They are not part of the French tradition, although France had its own brilliant defenders, especially in the encyclopaedic movement of the 18th century with Quesnay and Turgot. But we should remember that the Former Regime was extremely directive: today, each time the French State launches great initiatives in order to stimulate the economy, we speak of Colbertism. Read more of this post

Hugo’s Dream of Unification


We can notice these days, following the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, that Hugo primarily justifies the idea of a Union of European states by the need to preserve peace, as the ONU Charter did in 1946; Europe should first be a space without war, its genius should imagine nonviolent solutions for unavoidable litigation. Read more of this post

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The Land Is Ours

a Landrights campaign for Britain

The Bulletin

This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

TCWG Short Stories

Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

The Real Economy

Blogs and stuff from Ed Conway

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

Bleda

Am I my Brothers keeper?

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