Continental European History shapes thinking in a different way to the UK

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In the early 1980s Anthony Sargeant had a lovely Hungarian girl friend, Judit, whose elderly parents during their lives in the 20th Century and living through two World Wars,  had had three different nationalities because of central European border changes: and that is not to mention the German Occupation during the Second World War.

Another example:  Strasbourg was German then French then German then French again (albeit now within the German dominated EU).

Going further back in history one might consider the changes, not to mention the devastation of the 30 years war.

By contrast the island of Great Britain was not part of these upheavals – and so it is difficult for the British to truly understand the psyche of Continental Europeans.

In the 19th Century the European Powers appointed a German, King Otto, to govern Greece after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire (Prince Phillip is of course a direct descendant). Curiously this ‘appointment’ was repeated in the 21st Century when the EU and European Central Bank effectively appointed an ex-Goldman Sachs Director as the Greek Prime Minister to enforce the ECB’s austerity requirements for the benefit of the Eurozone and thus the German economy.

Plus ca change …..

If I was Theresa May …….

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Some weeks ago Anthony Sargeant said that, “if I were Theresa May I would have a general election now” – prescient or just logical? Now once again let me say that …. “If I was Theresa May …”. I would include in the Tory manifesto a cast-iron promise to hold a Scottish Referendum on some specified date – possibly in 2018 or 2019.

via If I was Theresa May …. — TONY Anthony SARGEANT

Easter in England – Rape on a distant hillside

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A field of Rape seed oil plants brighten the quiet greens of an English spring. Photographed by Anthony Sargeant while walking along the country lane where he lives yesterday (Easter Saturday, April 15th 2017). just below the Rape field sheep can just be seen as small flecks on the distant hillside grazing on the lush green pasture land which dominates the Shropshire landscape. In the 19th Century poem ‘Home thoughts from abroad’ the 19th Century Robert Browning wrote ‘Oh to be in England now that April’s there’ – today he would be surprised by the bright yellow fields of Rape which are a late 20th Century introduction to the English landscape.

DYSFUNCTIONAL EU – MILK QUOTAS – COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY

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A comment by Anthony Sargeant:

In 2015 the EU commission headed by Jean-Claude Junker and as part the highly protective and subsidised Common Agricultural Policy removed milk quotas across the EU. The message to dairy farmers across Europe was “expand”.

As a result Dutch Farmers increased their herd size by 200,000 in just two years and invested in more high-tech automated milking systems. But please note, this was not for Dutch or even European consumption but primarily for export to other, especially third world developing, countries (The Netherlands exports something like 80% of its agricultural produce).

Given the nature of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) this vast over-production might look like ‘dumping’ of produce on the developing world. Such dumping destroys local production and farmers in the third world who are unable to compete. There is a view that this is immoral.

But now the farcical but tragic EU dysfunction. Two years after encouraging farmers to increase production the European Commission is saying that the cows are a problem. Cows produce muck which is normally spread on the land and which in moderation is not a problem, but in excess it contaminates the land and water sources in the form of phosphates and nitrates. As a consequence the EU commission is now compelling Dutch farmers to slaughter  200,000 cows (yes you are right that is the number they encouraged the Dutch to increase their herd size by just two years ago) with immediate effect. The consequence is a tragedy for those Dutch farmers who invested millions of Euros in expanding herds and installing expensive milking systems. Now those very same farmers are being encouraged to slaughter their cattle and leave the industry with financial incentives so to do.

If you want to see a summary of this example of EU dysfunction look at BBC 1 Countryfile for the 9th April on Catch-up.

Eve and Adam not Adam and Eve says Anthony Sargeant

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(Adam and Eve – oil on panel – Mabuse c.1510 -Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain )

Eve and Adam

Eve is seen as the cause of the fall.

The one who succumbed to temptation.

The one who was prepared to taste of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil despite being warned not so to do because the consequences would be dangerous and unpredictable –

and yet, and yet, she has the courage so to do.

She has the courage – and her courage – her curiosity

– releases humankind from the womb of dependency

– releases humankind from the Garden of Eden and sets them free

– free to choose

– free to get things wrong – and free to get things right

– free to do good – and free to do evil.

And all those things will happen because of Eve’s courage.

And the man, Adam?

He is pathetic – a scared little rabbit.

“Oh dear, What have you done Dear? Oh dear! oh dear! oh dear!

Huh! Pathetic!

What the woman has done is to give humankind – female and male – the chance to become fully human.

Hallelujah!

And just in case the man should be tempted to regress to the infantile dependent state – thumb in mouth – an angel with a flaming sword stands guard at the entrance to the Garden of Eden, the womb of life, to prevent humankind climbing back in.

Now you can see now how important Eve’s courageous decision was for humankind.

[Unfortunately the men who wrote down this story did so in such a way that generations upon generations of men have used it to subjugate women in the past and still into the present.]

Anthony Sargeant

p.s: The Ophites an early Christian gnostic sect, and the Naasseni, a Judaic sect, regarded the serpent of paradise as wisdom itself – since wisdom had come to Earth through the knowledge of good and evil (which the serpent had brought)