Tortoise or Hare

August 9, 2016

There was a serious side to the previous post [The train now standing] because it is the start of a journey and the train has only just pulled out of the station, for it then to come to a grinding halt.  There is apprehension that the train will reverse back in to the station.  Passengers are now waiting nervously for an announcement as to how it is to proceed.  Slowly and vaguely appears to be the order of the day.  The official indication is the journey will start in January 2017 with the invoking of Article 50 and we will arrive at our destination, outside the EU, in 2019 with plenty of time to spare before the general election in 2020.  Now that seems to be very optimistic and it is inevitable that delays will occur.  The passengers will start to get impatient and demand more haste, but that is exactly what must not happen.

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The train now standing

July 27, 2016

With the dust starting to settle following the EU Referendum we can begin to reflect on the result and divine from the entrails the future course of events.  But first, an amusing look at the last month.

Oh! Mr Porter, what shall I do?

I want to go to Birmingham

And they’re taking me on to Crewe,

Take me back to London, as quickly as you can,

Oh! Mr Porter, what a silly girl I am.

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Its not the economy, stupid!

June 21, 2016

This referendum is about change, versus more of the drive towards closer political union.  Yes, Cameron returned from Brussels with a new semi-detached status for the UK.  But, it was nonsense and such a good deal that the Remain campaign never mention it.  Yes, EU President Tusk belatedly tells us that ten states are now signed up to reform.  But, this is too late and unsure, and if they are the smaller nations their percentage of the double voting system will not carry much weight.   It does smack of a ‘pig in a poke’.  If he can firm it up and get all the 27 states on board, he may have a chance for post-referendum negotiations, but then we will be negotiating from a strong position because we will have voted to leave the EU.  Voting to LEAVE is a win-win situation.  Vote to Remain will result in them thinking they need not change and it will be business as usual.

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Keep Calm and Get Serious

June 20, 2016

Any hope that the last three days of campaigning before Referendum Day would take on a more serious and factual tone have been quickly dashed.  It is business as usual for the campaign managers and spin doctors.  They are making a big mistake by treating the referendum like a general election; that is you can get away with a lie because the voters expect politicians to lie.  The case brought before the Courts, that the successful candidate for the Orkney and Shetland constituency in 2015 lied, was not successful.  There was no doubt that his election campaign claim was untrue, but that did not cut any ice with the Court.  There is no law that says candidates must tell the truth.  In this referendum both sides have been careful to use the words may or might or could, even on issues that are very clear and factual.  In general elections it is very much a competition between future promises, while this referendum is about what has happened with the European Union and what the evidence tells us about where the EU is going.  Voters are much better informed, can see through the competing claims and are not swayed by party loyalties.

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Why do Catholic bishops mistake EU integration for solidarity?

June 19, 2016

Our CDP position on the EU is contrary to that of our Catholic Bishops, who are of course in tune with their fellow bishops in COMECE [the {Catholic} Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community], which has a permanent Secretariat in Brussels.  In October 2009, I pointed out the irony of the support of COMECE for the Lisbon Treaty resulting in them having to change their name, because the European Community would no longer exist after the Treaty as the single identity and personality of the European Union was adopted.  They should have become COMEUE, but they did not, and that explains the problem – they are still looking at Europe as if it was the EEC or EC.

Their main purpose was liaison with the European Community, with the objectives to monitor and analyse the political process of what became the EU, and to inform and raise awareness within the Church about EU policy and legislation.  They were to promote reflection on the challenges arising from European Unity, based on Catholic Social Teaching.  Remain or Leave, the choice is not a matter of faith or morals.  We are free to take a contrary position.

For this post our starting point is the Catholic Herald article > http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2016/05/12/why-bishops-love-the-eu/

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The Muppet Show

June 16, 2016

After the Irish voted No to the Lisbon Treaty in the referendum of June 2008, they were visited by the President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, who went to Ireland in September to ‘listen’ and find out why they had rejected the Treaty and stalled European constitutional reform.  A survey had shown that top of the list of reasons was that the treaty was unreadable – or as Dustin the Turkey said, “gobbledegook”.  Sarkozy was greeted by a Dubliner dressed as a frog, who told him “Hop it Sarko. The people say No.”  Of course the President was not at all interested about what the Irish thought and was only preparing the way for a second referendum.  That was held in October 2009 with a dramatic and surprising reversal – 67.1% in favour against 46.6% in favour in the first referendum.  A survey found the main reason for the change was fear.  The first referendum was held before the extent of the financial crisis had become evident.  By 2009 the financial crisis had hit Ireland with a vengeance, a bailout followed and the Troika took up residence in Merrion Street.

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A Treaty too far

June 11, 2016

The 2007 Treaty of Lisbon was without doubt a ‘treaty too far’.  While it was being negotiated, in response to the Dutch/French rejection of the European Constitution, it was known as the European Reform Treaty (ERT) as it was intended to complete the reform process started by the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997.  When we say it went too far, this is not intended to indicate that the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice treaties, which preceded it were somehow acceptable.  The 1992 Maastricht Treaty created the European Union with effect from 1993 and laid the foundations for the Euro zone.  The Amsterdam Treaty defined EU citizenship and tried, but failed, to reform the EU institutions in preparation for eastward expansion.  The 2001 Nice Treaty remedied that failure and contained provisions to deal with the consequences of the expiry of the 1951 Paris Treaty [which created the European Coal and Steel Community] – oh for a return to the days when treaties had an automatic expiry date – and also amended the Maastricht Treaty (or Treaty on the European Union) and the Treaty of Rome (or the Treaty establishing the European Community, which before Maastricht was the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community).  Clear as mud, but it suits the Eurocrats and stops the peasants from asking questions.

The first Resurgence News Sheet we published in July 2007 explained what was happening between the rejection of the European Constitution and the ratification of its clone – the Lisbon Treaty.  It still makes relevant reading > https://resurgenceuk.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/resurgence-special-news-0-1.pdf

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