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In my last entry, I mentioned that the EU is becoming a dictatorship. Then I managed to stumble on a certain piece of EU propaganda. It is pretty spectacular from multiple fronts.  Considering that I will be analysing this insidious little advertisement, I suggest readers watch it before reading the rest of this blog post.

EU Enlargement Propaganda

…Where to start?

It reminds me of fascist propaganda. Deflecting attention away from your own country’s problems by creating an illusionary threat or blowing an existing one out of proportion. All in the name of unity.

Note how it involves three foreign males (that is, non European) threatening a white woman. These males appear to be Chinese, Indian and Brazilian judging by their respective (stereotypical) martial arts movements and the political undertones. Obviously, this refers to the increasing economic power of the BRIC countries, although it is highly suspect we don’t see a Russian as well. Perhaps Russians look too European? Even simple black-white colour contrasts can be used quite effectively for propaganda; and the amount of contrast here is significantly more than just that (1).

Some might call the ad racist and xenophobic. It definitely is xenophobic and due the exclusion of a Russian male, I’m inclined to say that it attempts to play on racist feelings. That’s assuredly not the main message here though. No, the main message is that the EU is being severely threatened by China, India and Brazil; and that can we can only resist them as part of the EU. Resist? Actually, it is more than that. It is overpowering and ”persuading” these ”uncultured barbarians” to act civilized.

It also demonstrates an absolutely hysterical amount of arrogance to act as if the EU could win an economic conflict if China, India and Brazil would team up. The EU would probably win against a single country. Maybe even against two. But three? It is madness to assume the EU could ”win” in that scenario. Sure, the EU actually has a bigger gross domestic product than all three countries combined; but GDP isn’t everything in an economic war.

I imagine the European Commission’s hope was that it could help with transforming nationalism into Pan-European Nationalism. Using fear to achieve their goals certainly isn’t alien for them, in fact, they are likely quite adept at it by now. Even so, the flagrant lack of political correctness is something new for the European Commission…and shows that they are becoming anxious. I find the ”more the merrier” view taken by the commercial troublesome; so much for ”quantity over quality”,  I suppose.

And you know how I explained that the Euro couldn’t have remained stable? Well, it looks like the previous President of the European Commission actually agrees on that. Quote from euronews (3):

euronews: “Ten years after its birth the euro is experiencing its most difficult time. Do you see a future for the common currency?”

Prodi: “Well, the difficult moments were predictable. When we created the euro, my objection, as an economist (and I talked about it with Kohl and with all the heads of government) was: how can we have a common currency without shared financial, economical and political pillars? The wise answer was: for the moment we’ve made this leap forward. The rest will follow.”

In other words, economic problems are just a small price to pay if it means Europe will ultimately end up as a single state. I’d actually go so far as to say that they wanted the euro crisis to happen for this very reason (4). ”Interesting”,coming from a Club de Madrid member, which is an ”international organization of former democratic statesmen, which works to strengthen democratic governance and leadership” (5).

As for ”democracy”…Hungary’s current Prime Minister is attempting to resist EU meddling in national politics (6). Admittedly, most of the offending policies are very suspicious and I don’t support them at all. Although I don’t truly understand the fuss about a PM witnessing the meetings of his own nation’s central bank or that the constitution will actually force central bankers to be loyal to their country…and not the EU. Amusingly enough, Barroso, President of the European Commission, has said that Orban ”doesn’t  get democracy” (7).

…That’s a ”bit” rich coming from somebody that has no democratic support whatsoever from voters  and one of the main figure heads behind the ”euro-cult”. To quote mister Barroso some more:

”Governments are not always right. If governments were always right we would not have the situation that we have today. Decisions taken by the most democratic institutions in the world are very often wrong.” (8)

“I have asked Britain to act more from the perspective of president (of the EU) than from a merely national perspective.”

“You are a European country and you should have a European future.”

”Europe is a non imperial empire.” (9)

The fact that the Lisbon treaty (which is essentially the same as the European Constitution to begin with) was shoved down our collective throats after the Dutch, French and Irish rejected the European Constitution in a referendum; shows that the EU has no right to talk about democracy (10). It even went so far that, after the Irish rejected the Lisbon treaty in a referendum, they had ANOTHER referendum a year later (11, 12, 13). What’s the point of referendums if you keep repeating them until the desired outcome is reached? Nigel Farage, as usual, was able to quite nicely voice his displeasure (14). Or for another example of the ”democracy” within the European Parliament itself, there’s another little gem you can view (15).

The EU’s claws are everywhere, and it has no intention of strengthening democracy. I find it rather suspicious that, Lucas Papademos,the current Prime Minister of Greece, has been a Vice President of the European Central Bank (16). Likewise, Mario Monti, the current Prime Minister of Italy has been part of the European Commission twice…and also sat on the advisory board of Goldman Sachs apparently (17+18+19), only being released from his obligations after he became Italy’s PM. In other words,  both of them are euro fanatics (20).  Both are not part of a political party, nor were they on the political scene in both countries during the last elections. Instead, they were simply ”appointed”. Regardless of the technicalities, this certainly does not seem to adhere to spirit of democracy at all. While the two PM’s they replaced, Silvio Berlusconi and George Papandreo, obviously made their share of mistakes (…especially Berlusconi); it was ultimately the lack of faith of the EU’s head of states (…that is, Merkozy) that effectively forced them to resign…and made sure they would be succeeded by the ”right” individuals.

But moving on; rather curious was the EU parliament’s motion recently passed about a certain controversial website from the Dutch PVV party (21). This website essentially aims to get people to ”report” Middle and Eastern Europeans that cause trouble and ”steal” jobs.  Essentially the motion condemned the website, and called on the Dutch PM and cabinet to do the same; who so far have refused (…just too bad  our PM didn’t have the same backbone when it to the ESM), calling it a matter for the PVV and potentially the courts.  While I’m not supporting the underlying motive of the website, the European Parliament ought to mind their own business instead of telling nations what they need to do.  In addition, I’d love to point out that racket created about the website has only backfired; the PVV is doing better in the polls since such all the publicity. Incidentally, according to the motion, labour migration is only something positive without any negative aspects attached to it…which is really oversimplifying things.

Going back to a few other ”great figures” of the EU, there is the wonderful Martin Schulz; current President of the European Parliament.  Often referring to euro-sceptics as encouraging fascism, trying to compare them with Nazi’s, and calling EU parliamentarians fascists directly; he throws a hissy fit as soon as somebody gives him a taste of his own medicine (22+23+24). He cries foul and demands that the other person leaves the room or apologises; yet he has never apologised for own his antics.  This is an exceedingly low and dirty strategy; his abuse of history for his personal gain seems, quite frankly, very disrespectful to the millions of people who died and suffered during World War II.

And last, but certainty not least, we have Guy Verhofstadt. The man who wants Europe to become the United States of Europe and is the Chairperson of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (25+26). He illustrates perfectly what the problem is with the majority of today’s liberals in Europe. How can you claim, with a straight face, that you are a liberal if you want the national sovereignty of nations to be abolished? As I mentioned before, I consider myself a liberal…but I’m pretty much forced to vote for the PVV during the next European Parliament elections; as they are the only Dutch party consistently against more power being transferred to the EU . That said, I’d definitely vote for the UKIP if I could.

Also, on the subject of liberty…there is something I forgot to mention in part 1 of this article: the Data Retention Directive (27).

”According to the directive, member states will have to store citizens’ telecommunications data for six to 24 months stipulating a maximum time period. Under the directive the police and security agencies will be able to request access to details such as IP address and time of use of every email, phone call and text message sent or received. A permission to access the information will be granted only by a court.”

But that’s not all! There’s also Written declaration 29, which was adopted, making it also apply for search engines (28+29). You know, to uh… COMBAT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY! That will show those scumbag paedophiles, thinking they can’t get caught whenever they google for some steamy porn involving minors! Darknets, encryption and proxies? What are you talking about?! This is serious business, we don’t have time for your techno-babble!

…Ahem. Consider me a ”touch” sceptical about how this is supposed to help against child pornography.

Since I already spoke about the lack of democracy in the EU, I’ll end with a good old jab at Europe’s inefficiency. Did you know that the European Parliament, while spending most of its time in Brussels, needs to have 12 sessions each year in Strasbourg ? Why you ask? Something about a deal with France (30+31). And how much does this joke cost the European taxpayer every year? At least 180 million euros, if not more. Impressive as always guys; well done! Then again, to be fair, this is fairly minor compared to the at least 2 billion euros the EU spent on ”information” alone in 2008; sponsoring such fine projects as the indoctrination of children and the approximately 250 million euros that will be spent on a legion of spin doctors in 2012 (32+33+34). It looks like the new budget rise will also be wasted most splendidly indeed (35)!

Information? I don’t know why, but given the context, that brings back memories of the old Iraqi Minister of Information (36)…

References:

1: http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/images/heer/heer1.jpg
2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29
3: http://www.euronews.com/2012/01/02/the-flowers-that-launched-the-euro/
4: http://thedailybell.com/3629/EUs-Prodi-Admits-Euroleaders-Knew-Euro-Would-Cause-Difficult-Moments-The-Rest-Will-Follow-
5: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romano_Prodi
6: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283651701398324.html?mod=rss_europe_whats_news
7: http://www.euractiv.com/central-europe/war-words-rages-orb-barroso-news-511557
8: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100056661/the-eu-is-an-antidote-to-democratic-governments-argues-president-barroso/
9: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1557143/Barroso-hails-the-European-empire.html
10: http://euobserver.com/18/25052
11: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6QmH-7fu68
12: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8259649.stm
13: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/5579684/Ireland-to-hold-second-referendum-on-Lisbon-Treaty.html
14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-owgAjsoNk
15: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVeMBNB0cII
16: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucas_Papademos
17: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Monti
18: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/what-price-the-new-democracy-goldman-sachs-conquers-europe-6264091.html
19: http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2011/11/15/le-monde-draghi-monti-papademos-what-do-they-have-in-common/
20: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100117998/mario-monti-we-are-witnessing-the-great-success-of-the-euro/
21: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/03/eu_parliament_wants_rutte_to_d.php
22: http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/wilders-party-attacking-euro-parliament-within
23: http://www.libertarianpress.co.uk/artsFull.php?id=195
24: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw4Qk-xwaok
25: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3XZJ4znl00
26: http://voices.yahoo.com/guy-verhofstadt-calls-greek-crisis-10363337.html
27: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Retention_Directive
28: https://christianengstrom.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/written-declaration-29-for-data-retention-of-internet-searches/
29: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/06/eu-search-engine-snooping-mandate-sneaked-child
30: http://euobserver.com/18/25722
31: http://blogs.wsj.com/brussels/2011/02/10/meps-kill-strasbourg-eu-parliament/
32: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1101996/EU-spends-2-3bn-year-Pro-Brussels-propaganda.html
33: http://synonblog.dailymail.co.uk/2011/09/eu-propaganda-or-how-news-is-supposed-to-go-on-the-euro-payroll-but-stay-independent.html
34: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8500981/Europe-to-spend-225million-on-army-of-1000-spin-doctors-to-promote-EU.html
35: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/9138465/Europe-to-demand-inflation-busting-budget-rise.html
36: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9aW1atFLMM

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The European Union. The supposed caretaker of democracy, liberty and peace on the European continent. Its collapse would lead to wide-spread anarchy, martial law, wars on the European continent and could ultimately even result in World War Three. Oh, wait a moment…that’s only what would happen if the euro currency collapses (1+2+3+4).  Never mind the consequences of the European Union itself falling apart! To put it lightly, I’m having a bit of a hard time to take this sort of fearmongering seriously (5).

Welcome to Europe in the twenty-first century, I suppose. Where a majority of politicians resort to using scare tactics to stress the importance of the euro and are either too blind, corrupt, or stupid to look at the European Union with a semblance of neutrality. Everything will work out, as long as the euro continues to exist. It’s just business as usual.

The whole euro crisis could have been avoided if politicians were actually competent. And no, I’m not even talking about rejecting the euro in the first place. Rather, the EU could have opted to genuinely take measures against nations that violated the no more than 3% government budget deficit rule. Or in other words; making it a real rule instead of what turned out to be nothing more than a guideline. Sure, the rules might now finally get enforced this time…but it is a bit late for that.

Not that competence exists when it comes to the European Union. Allow me to introduce Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (6+7). Nearly everyone that has enjoyed a decent education understands the principle of supply and demand, right? Of course, not everybody agrees on how important this principle exactly is. But I think it is safe to say, that most educated individuals realise that completely ignoring the principle of supply and demand is a bad idea. Unless you are part of the European Commission or one of the six member states of the EU in 1962 apparently.  In their infinite wisdom, they deemed supply and demand to be irrelevant. Instead, farmers would get guaranteed prices regardless of how much they produced; without any sort of ceiling.

Guess how that turned out. Obviously, only farmers benefited from it. Coupled with trade barriers, food prices were kept artificially high on the European market as there was no need to compete. It caused a huge surplus of agricultural products, some of which was (and still is) exported to developing countries at costs lower than those of the local farmers; directly hurting their agriculture sector. It benefited countries that had a large agriculture sector, while member states that were more urbanised (such as Germany, but especially the Netherlands and the UK) paid the price.

There’s also how it makes animal cruelty profitable, as it encourages factory farming. Even if you consider factory farming to be necessary to produce enough meat for the world population…giving subsidies for exporting live animals really serves no purpose at all. What kind of idiot do you have to be, to think it’s a good idea to make exporting live animals more profitable than frozen meat, thanks to subsidies? ”Idiot” being the nicer accusation here. I could also say something along the lines of ”demented, sadistic freak”. Take your pick.

In a similar vein, there’s also the EU’s atrocious Common Fisheries Policy (8+9). Costly, damaging for both the environment and the livelihood of African fishers and downright bureaucratically bizarre. How do you like, that because of the CFP, fishers have apparently to throw away 23% of all fish they capture in Europe? I’m not making this up (10). The European taxpayer pays for such rubbish policies, and for mega trawlers fishing in West Africa; much to detriment of the local environment and fishermen (11).

Both the CFP and the CAP also lead to extra, more indirect costs. European citizens indirectly pay for development aid whether they want to or not, because it is part of their government’s budget . If the EU would not actually make it harder for farmers and fishers to simply survive, they could be more self-sufficient and less dependent on development aid. In fact, the consumer might, ”surprisingly” enough, profit from it as well.

While the CAP has been improved a fair amount since its creation (…after it stayed unchanged for 20 years) and the CFP is slowly getting better as well; both remain a testimony to the absolutely mind blowingly foolish decisions made both by EU’s government bodies and national governments alike.

The European Parliament and the European Commission also have some immense delusions of grandeur. They like to think they are incredibly important. Can you believe that, in times of austerity, the EU wanted a 5% budget increase (12)? Or what about the expense scandal about Members of the European Parliament, that they refuse to release (13)? Nepotism, corruption, abuse of power; the EU has it all.

All that said, the euro was just a bad idea to begin with. How is a currency, that is shared by member states that do not have uniform economies, allegedly going to be stable? You already can’t really compare the economies of France and the Netherlands; let alone when it comes to comparing Germany and Greece. Just imagine if the North American Free Trade Agreement came with a common currency. Even in the hypothetical situation that Mexico would not be plagued by drug cartels, how is such a currency supposed to work out (14)?

In addition, thanks to the euro crisis, the European Union is starting to have traits of a dictatorship. While the European Union has been busy with systemically reducing the sovereignty of all member states as the years pass, the European Stability Mechanism is a particularly vicious, if not crippling blow to national sovereignty. Let’s look at some of the things the ESM says, shall we? I quote directly (15):

Capital Calls

”ESM Members hereby irrevocably and unconditionally undertake to pay on demand any capital call made on them by the Managing Director pursuant to this paragraph, such demand to be paid within seven days of receipt.”

Changes in authorised capital Stock

”The Board of Governors shall review regularly and at least every five years the maximum lending volume and the adequacy of the authorised capital stock of the ESM. It may decide to change the authorised capital stock and amend Article 8 and Annex II accordingly.”

Legal status, privileges and immunities

”The ESM, its property, funding and assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process except to the extent that the ESM expressly waives its immunity for the purpose of any proceedings or by the terms of any contract, including the documentation of the funding instruments.

The property, funding and assets of the ESM shall, wherever located and by whomsoever held, be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure, taking or foreclosure by executive, judicial, administrative or legislative action.

The archives of the ESM and all documents belonging to the ESM or held by it, shall be inviolable.”

The sheer absurdity is a lot to digest. A member state is supposed to pay on demand any capital call within seven days of receipt. The authorised capital  stock can be amended at will. The ESM has absolute legal immunity. For more information about the ESM, I will refer to a few other sources (16+17).

This is an outrage. The ESM simply gets to ”supersede” democracy once it has been implanted, on a scale that dwarfs already existing undemocratic aspects of the euro and EU. That the treaty has made it this far, shows the practically unlimited idolatry for the euro that is not grounded in reality whatsoever. Every parliament member that votes in favour of this ”treaty” is literally committing treason. After all, they are facilitating the possibility of their country ending up broken and making it essentially powerless to ”legally” resist the aggressor. Why shouldn’t this fall under treason?  Neither ignorance or good intentions are accepted as excuses for breaking the law, so this should apply for politicians as well.

Speaking of treason, it reminds me of how certain Greece officials lied and deceived, so that their country could enter the Euro zone; regarding the reality of the Greek economy merely as ”inconvenient”. Besides that this is another fine example of the ”euro-cult” at work, I wonder….why aren’t they prosecuted? That members of the Greece parliament are immune from criminal prosecution might play a part, but I doubt that all involved are still in the parliament. At any rate, it seems fairly sensible to criminally charge them with treason and false pretenses (and/or misrepresentation in addition to / instead of false pretenses). From my point of view, it also is not unthinkable for a number of Greece citizens to sue the responsible officials. Then again, we are talking about officials that furthered the cause of the euro…

The EU should have remained a free trade zone and nothing more. Ideally as a real free trade zone that, for example, doesn’t include the previously mentioned backward farming and fishery policies. Politicians keep hammering on how ”important” the EU is, about how it has increased our welfare and such. I have my doubts about those kind of claims. Besides that we Dutch have been paying through the nose for European farming subsidies for a long time (and still are), most of the wealth as a result of the EU seems likely to be simply an effect of free trade. Why would the euro have had a substantial effect cumulative with that of free trade?

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean I’m completely in favour of abolishing the euro and reverting back to our old currency. Even though the euro was a mistake, it is questionable if withdrawing from it will turn out to be worthwhile. That said, such a decision is already quite a bit less questionable than it was two years ago. But what if we can only keep the euro if we adopt the ESM? Then I say to hell with the euro, no matter the cost.

The European Union has done enough damage. We don’t need more ”political integration”, we need less. Regardless if you are a liberal, a socialist, or a nationalist; it ought to be clear that the EU undermines democracy, forces hard austerity measures (that are primarily necessary because of the euro) and ultimately wants to make member states subservient by stripping away their national sovereignty.

The euro is not a recipe for peace. Both World Wars are often blamed on (extreme) nationalism…and thanks to the euro (and the EU itself to a lesser extent), nationalism is on the rise again. And it will only continue to grow, as the more nationalist parties (along with strong socialist parties) are often the only parties that are consistently against giving up more power to the EU.

The EU, caretaker of democracy, liberty and peace? Don’t make me laugh.

(1) http://www.cnbc.com/id/44535393/Euro_Collapse_Could_Lead_to_War_Polish_FinMin
(2) http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/europe-could-be-plunged-into-war-if-efforts-88003
(3) http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-08/euro-demise-would-mean-end-of-europe-end-of-peace-sarkozy-says.html
(4)  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8124189/Herman-Van-Rompuy-Euroscepticism-leads-to-war.html
(5) http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/without-the-euro-would-europe-have-turned-to-war/2011/09/21/gIQAxGpZrK_story_1.html
(6) http://www.civitas.org.uk/eufacts/FSPOL/AG3.htm
(7) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Agricultural_Policy
(8) http://www.civitas.org.uk/eufacts/FSPOL/AG5.htm
(9) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Fisheries_Policy
(10) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8635623/European-Commission-apologises-for-disastrous-fishing-policy.html

(11) https://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/14/world/africa/14fishing.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
(12) http://voices.yahoo.com/european-meps-expenses-scandal-abuse-8681843.html?cat=3
(13) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15806230
(14) http://www.businessinsider.com/ubs-on-the-euro-breakup-2011-9
(15) http://www.european-council.europa.eu/media/582311/05-tesm2.en12.pdf
(16) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CZr17HLH5U
(17) http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/europe-mainmenu-35/9679-eu-creates-dictatorship-under-guise-of-financial-stability