EU

Given Monday is Democracy Day does the panel think that the EU needs a totally new framework if it is to exist.

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Old Greying Accountant's picture

No ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I don't think it should be allowed to exist!

(bring back EFTA)

Democratus's picture

Rather more a question of what is it expected to do

Democratus | | Permalink

I think there is a disconnect between what the people of Europe expect the EU to exist for and what the bEUROcrats think it exists for. There needs to be an agreed root and branch reform of the EU in this respect and let it focus on.

Free Trade

Influence on foreign policy

Fix the Euro (then keep out)

Stop the Agricultural subsidies and instead encourage farmers to manage the environment.

Encourage green policies (fairly and without favour)

Proper Border control

 

No European Court of Justice

No European Court of Human Rights

No overarching interference in membver countries employment law

No massive levels of  Bureaucracy

I think overall it's a good thing but it's a bit like a spoilt child and needs a good spanking!

 

Steve Holloway's picture

Is today really democracy day ?

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

So Cameron comes up with the idea that if 100,000 feel strongly enough about something then parliament will debate it ... great idea. So 100,000 vote to debate our involvement in the EU and all parties impose a three line whip to prevent the right to vote. I can't even begin to start with the irony of that particularly if this really is 'democracy day'. Can we wonder that the general population has lost faith in politics and politicians?

thisistibi's picture

?

thisistibi | | Permalink

Steve Holloway wrote:

So Cameron comes up with the idea that if 100,000 feel strongly enough about something then parliament will debate it ... great idea. So 100,000 vote to debate our involvement in the EU and all parties impose a three line whip to prevent the right to vote. I can't even begin to start with the irony of that particularly if this really is 'democracy day'. Can we wonder that the general population has lost faith in politics and politicians?

I suppose that depends how you expect the country to run.  What you apparently want is for the country to be run by referendum, and to take all decision making powers from the politicians to the people.  I'm sure that'll work *really* well.  Or perhaps you are just objecting to the way in which our politicians make their decisions - something which has been well established for many decades.  Hmm I think I lost your point.

Steve Holloway's picture

My point was ....    3 thanks

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

you can't say to people ' we want to hand the power back to you' and here is one way we will do it (the 100,000 vote) and then go back on it as soon as it becomes inconvenient. Surely you can see the message that sends when you are trying to encourage suffrage?!

And no, I don't believe in government by referendum however some things are so intrinsic to the way that a country is that a referendum is the only way forward. I think of Scottish independance, how our votes are counted (now decided) and yes, whether our laws should hold precedence over those written elsewhere. Andrew Marr in his history 'A history of Britain' also added that really the British people should have voted on whether they wished to become a multi-cultural nation as ordained by the 1948 Nationality act. Some might add the death penalty and whether we go to war or not although personally I am comfortable for politicians to decide these last two.

We have to remember that the political elite come from a very narrow tranche of society and regardless of their political pursuasion they often share common views on very important issues. This represents an effective lock out to the 99.9% of people who live outside of the Westminster bubble who will never get the chance to have their say on fundamental things that will change their lives for generations.

 

thisistibi's picture

But

thisistibi | | Permalink

Steve Holloway wrote:

you can't say to people ' we want to hand the power back to you' and here is one way we will do it (the 100,000 vote) and then go back on it as soon as it becomes inconvenient. Surely you can see the message that sends when you are trying to encourage suffrage?!

I do see what you're saying, I suppose I just have a different view on it.  The fact it was discussed in parliament is a lot better than parliament not being aware of the potential issue (or, the size of the issue).  But the fact that parliament uses standard debating practice on that issue - as they would on any other issue - seems like an expected outcome for me. 

Quote:

We have to remember that the political elite come from a very narrow tranche of society and regardless of their political pursuasion they often share common views on very important issues. This represents an effective lock out to the 99.9% of people who live outside of the Westminster bubble who will never get the chance to have their say on fundamental things that will change their lives for generations.

I think that at least 99.0% of people living outside of Westminster know so little about anything remotely relevant to the issue, or are generally so poorly informed, that it is recommended for their own safety that they don't get the chance to have a say on fundamental things that will change their lives for generations.  That is the big problem with referendums.  People are stupid.  The way I see it, that's why we pay people to know what they are talking about, i.e. politicians.

A politician is a bit like an accountant in that respect.  Assume that politicians know as much about politics as you know about accounting/tax (although I admit that probably isn't the case).... and then determine which of those people is best placed to make important political decisions.

ShirleyM's picture

Politics is a badly run game in my view    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I'll throw the cat among the pigeons with this comment, but the comedy series 'Yes Minister' and 'Yes, Prime Minister' were loosely based on the truth.

In a capitalist society the country is really run by business men. They have a massive influence, and MP's and others are there merely to prevent the worst excesses of capitalism and look after the things that busineses are not interested in, eg. defence, social and environmental aspects, etc.

I know some businesses are interested in defence and other aspects, but usually only where they profit from it.

Steve Holloway's picture

Well that told me!    1 thanks

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

That is the big problem with referendums.  People are stupid.  The way I see it, that's why we pay people to know what they are talking about, i.e. politicians.

 

I would like to argue with that sentiment ......................... but I do rather suspect that unless we could derive an X factor version then you may well be right!!

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Steve ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... you've found the goose with the Golden Eggs!

Let's do away with these boring general elections and have an MP's have got talent competition to see who is the next PM.

Oh no we did that, and got lumbered with Tony Bliar, oh well - back to the drawing board!

thisistibi's picture

Hung    1 thanks

thisistibi | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... you've found the goose with the Golden Eggs!

Let's do away with these boring general elections and have an MP's have got talent competition to see who is the next PM.

Oh no we did that, and got lumbered with Tony Bliar, oh well - back to the drawing board!

We DID do that - it was called the televised debates and resulted in a hung parliament!

johnjenkins's picture

All done and dusted now.

johnjenkins | | Permalink

So when does DC actually think the time is right to have a re-think?

We await with anticipation on wednesdays outcome.

How can these people continue to waste so much money? Is there anyone who can stop it?

I really do hope Germany pull out and go back to the DM. at least then something will have to be done. I think this scenario belongs on the stage eh OGA.

thisistibi's picture

Sometime

thisistibi | | Permalink

johnjenkins wrote:

So when does DC actually think the time is right to have a re-think?

I suspect.... when the whole EU economy isn't about to go into deep depression?  It seems obvious to me that people will vote against the EU when things are going badly for the EU, and for the EU when things are going well in the EU.  Right now they are going pretty damn badly.  So, any vote would be kind of biased at best.  A slight return to normality and growth would be a better time to consider and reflect on the issue.  We would also know a lot more about what would be expected of Britain (and other EU members) when things go tits up - something which has not been properly considered until now.

johnjenkins's picture

I don't actually rember a time

johnjenkins | | Permalink

when the EU was going well. I don't think Accounts have ever been ratified. It just seems to go from one crisis to another and deeper in the smelly stuff. It would appear that nobody knows what to do and how to stop it. We should really have a charter of what is expected of the EU instead of faceless unelected people deciding what's best for us. Is it really going to happen that some people from Turkey will be having a say in how Britain is to be run?

The sooner someone in power says WE DON'T WANT A FEDERAL EUROPE the better.

I'm with you OGA bring back EFTA.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

When exactly ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... has the EU been going well.

In my view, any successes have been inspite of not because of!

It is a total load of baloney anyway!

We can be inundated with cheap labour from abroad, whom we have to protect with Health and Safety regimes they wouldn't even start to dream of at home - but try to stock your pub or off licence with cheaper cigarettes and alcohol from other EU countries, or your petrol station with petrol, then non monsieur, NON!

Steve Holloway's picture

The EU has done good things ....

Steve Holloway | | Permalink

but I simply don't understand why it has ever extended its remit beyond issues of trade and international law enforcement. Personally, however, I have never been more optimistic that we are on the verge of being freed of all the other nonsense.

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