DYSFUNCTIONAL EU – MILK QUOTAS – COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY

Standard

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

Standard

adam-and-eve.jpg!Large

(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)

If I were Theresa May…..

Standard

In the light of the European Parliament and the increasing belligerent and bullying approach of the EU politburo and their confederates it seems that any ‘negotiation’ with the EU will be prolonged and futile.

Thus Anthony Sargeant reflects that ….. if I were Theresa May ….. I would have the courage to call an early general election with a manifesto pledge to leave the EU with immediate effect. I have no doubt that she would achieve an impressive victory, if only because British people do not take kindly to bullying and threats.

The consequence of immediate withdrawal would probably be very positive for the UK given the precarious position of the EU and Euro economies (Greece is yet again on the brink – desperately trying to find an agreement with its creditors – aka the European Central Bank – aka Germany) – but Portugal, Italy, Spain and others are not much better off – even if hidden from view. In many EU countries there is massive youth unemployment rising above 30%.

On leaving the EU the UK  can immediately open negotiations with the rest of world on such free trade deals as seem beneficial (even, dare one say, deals with the EU – which as a net exporter to the UK might quickly think this is a good idea). In the meantime WTO rules and their tariffs are not as significant to exporters as fluctuations in exchange rates as James Dyson has pointed out.

But trade is not the real point – the real point is British Sovereignty. That is having control of our own destiny. As Karl Popper famously observed, the point of western democracy is not that you necessarily get the government that you want, doing what you want, but that at the next election you can get rid of them – unfortunately this is not true of the un-elected EU politburo in Brussels.

Who, for example, voted for Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the European Commission? A former Luxembourg Prime Minister who in that role and in a little known secretive EU committee vetoed any attempt to limit cross-border tax avoidance. Then you might ask why are Amazon and other multi-national companies located in the tiny principality of Luxembourg? to the benefit of guess who? Jean-Claude Juncker and Luxembourg (which has the second highest GDP per capita in the world after that other well known democracy Abu Dhabi). A position that at the very least might be considered hypocritical and at another level verging on corrupt.

But anyway and in addition to controlling our own destiny the UK would no longer be a cash cow sending money to Brussels to support a political project which is out of date and frankly, after 60 years, out of time. A political project which is now, in all but name, a German controlled European Superstate – the Holy Roman Empire revisited (which was the 1st Reich for those who know the numbering system of the 3rd Reich – NB the Weimar Republic was classified as an ‘interim Reich’ so it did not count).

And then finally Scotland –  …… if I were Theresa May ….. I would also put into the manifesto a pledge to have an immediate referendum on Independence. It would be the honourable thing to do.

A referendum would give the Scottish people a chance to review the situation and make their own decision about the future. One understands the emotional and sentimental appeal of Independence for a proud nation. A nation which it could be argued has made a disproportionately large contribution to the historic Union. Without Scottish engineers, philosophers, artists, writers and others the United Kingdom would have been a much poorer nation.

In addition there has been the contribution of Scotland to the UK military over many years and many wars. In my lifetime the ‘United Kingdom’ stood alone and thereby rescued Europe from German tyranny and genocide, but only after massive sacrifice of UK military and the civilian populations  (including my maternal grandparents killed in the London Blitz). Who can forget the Scottish piper at El Alamein, or on the beach on D-Day?

So, ……if I were Theresa May ….. ,  I would commit to a very early referendum on Independence for the Scottish people. They deserve no less. If they choose to leave the historic Union and become an independent country one would wish them all speed and so very many thanks for their massive contribution to the United Kingdom over many years of the Union. Of course, and in passing, one would hope that they would not then vote to lose the independence they chose by becoming a minor province of a dysfunctional European Superstate controlled by Berlin through Brussels – a 4th Reich in all but name.

 

Scottish Independence – but independent from whom?

Standard

download

If he was Scottish Anthony Sargeant would vote for Independence. He would not however then vote to throw that Independence away by joining the EU and adopting the Euro. It seems that this is what the SNP is in effect proposing to do.

It seems to Tony that to become a ‘bit player‘, a ‘minor province‘ slightly larger than Lithuania (and probably with as much genuine influence) in the great European Superstate dominated and controlled by Germany via Brussels and the European Central Bank would make a nonsense of Independence. It would make Scotland a Vassal state in a new German Empire.

Before anybody protests that Scotland would not have to adopt the Euro it is as well to point out that NEW members are being required to adopt the Euro following a number of policy decisions post 1992 Maastricht, and Copenhagen. Following Independence from the rest of the UK and even in the interim, while negotiating EU membership, Scotland could surely not continue to use the £ sterling. That would be impossibly complicated. So what are they to do?

Furthermore it would not just be a case of the proportion of EU control over day to day life in Scotland remaining the same as it is now because the stated aim is for greater and greater integration of political, economic and social structures. So Scotland will find itself losing its independence year by year as Germany through the Brussels politburo extends it control.

In addition if the EU is to survive it has to take greater direct control of the financial affairs of member states through the Eurozone (and in the transition period Exchange Rate Mechanism II as with Denmark). To do this the European Central Bank will need to govern and ‘harmonise’ taxation and other financial instruments across the EU. ‘Harmonise’ sounds such a pleasant and harmless European buzz-word until one unpicks its true meaning which is to take away government from national, in this case Scottish, level and replace it with centralised decisions taken by the European Commission and European Central Bank.

In the context of EU finances it would be interesting to know to what extent Scotland would become a net contributor to the EU budget supporting Greece and a number of other failing economies with massive youth unemployment. If the oil and gas revenues turn out to be much larger than previously thought Scotland will surely have to make a very large net contribution thereby decreasing the revenue available to the Scottish Government to use for the direct benefit of Scottish infrastructure and services. Although in reality of course Holyrood’s power to allocate its own resources will diminish year on year as control seeps away to Brussels. Eventually leaving Holyrood as a sort of Parish Council along with other small provincial governments (of other previously and similarly proud nation states) within the European Superstate.

Furthermore and in relation to financial matters  Scotland will not, as a member of the EU, be able to control its very valuable asset, the fisheries. Spanish Super-Trawlers will continue to cause devastation to this valuable resource, landing their above quota catches in Spanish ports with impunity, and with no benefit to the Scottish people.

Finally, and one knows the Basil Fawlty instruction, “Whatever you do don’t mention the war”. Nonetheless, Scottish people died in huge numbers in two world wars fighting against an aggressive Germany. The last war against The Third Reich was in the lifetime of Tony Sargeant and he does wonder what those who fought and died would think of a Scotland that voluntarily voted to abandon any new won independence and become part of a new German Empire in the guise of the EU, in effect a Fourth Reich?

Spring Snowflakes on a Sunny Sunday in Shropshire

Standard

IMG_4806

Anthony J Sargeant thought the reader might like the alliteration – they look like snowdrops but flower slightly later in early spring in England (today is 2nd April 2017). It has been a beautiful Spring day. (Spring Snowflakes – Leucojum vernum)