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On Target Britain


Welcome to Barroso's Empire of Europe

STRAIGHT TALKING

Sept 2007


Roger Helmer's electronic newsletter from Brussels

On July 10th, EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, rejoicing in the "success" of his Renamed Constitution, hailed the EU as "the creation of an Empire", adding "We have the dimensions of Empire".

I have occasionally spoken of "The EU Empire", as a deliberate, ironic, metaphorical exaggeration -- a rhetorical device to make a point. Yet now here is the Commission President making it official.

We often say that satire has become impossible these days. No matter what absurd, outrageous, hilarious idea you come up with in the morning, some­one will actually have done it (or worse) by tea-time. Here is a case in point.

It is doubly ironic since the euro-apologists dismiss out-of-hand the idea of a " European Superstate " -- so last-century, no one talks of it now -- yet Barroso goes a step further with his Empire. But of course the apologists are absurd. If you see a man building a house, laying brick on brick, installing joists and rafters, roof tiles, doors and windows, putting on the final chimney-pot, there is no earthly use in him coming down the ladder and telling you he is not building a house, because you can see the house in front of you.

The same goes for the EU. Which characteristic of a state does it lack? After the Renamed Constitution (if ratified), none. There is now no excuse for Brown to deny us a referendum. We face a stark choice. Do we want to be an independent, self-governing nation? Or an off-shore province in the new Empire of Europe? The people must have their say. Mind you, I have to admit that "Emperor Barroso the First" has a kind of ring to it.

Just what we need -- advice from the Germans!
Elmar Brok is a rotund German Christian Democrat MEP, who holds a distinguished position in the European Peoples' Party -- the parliamentary group with which British Conservatives (myself excluded) are still uneasily associated. On August 20th, Elmar offered some advice to Gordon Brown. The Daily Telegraph headlined it "Stop moaning or leave the EU". Britain had "got what it wanted" on its red lines. It would be "very unfair" if we were now to put the issue to a popular vote. Brok asked "The UK got its various opt-outs, so what's the problem?". A fair question, Elmar, so let's give you a fair answer:

1 The British government may have agreed to the Renamed Constitution, but the British people have not.

2 Repeated opinion polls show that 80+% of the British people want a referendum, and two thirds would vote NO (indeed with differential turnout, I'd be surprised if the NO vote was below 80%).

3 This Labour government (and some 98% of serving MPs) were elected on a manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on the Constitution. Brok insists that the Renamed Constitution is "substantially different" from the old version, but his own leader Angela Merkel has let the cat out of the bag, by describing it as "presentational changes but with the same legal effect". We simply demand what we were promised: a referendum.

4 Brok says we got our red lines. But as he knows perfectly well, no one in Brussels thinks the British opt-outs will survive challenge in the ECJ. In any case, we had those opt-outs in the first draft Constitution. If they did not obviate the need for a referendum then, they certainly don't now.

5 Given the choice, most Brits would prefer "Less Europe" to "More Europe". By any measure, the Renamed Constitution means More Europe -- lots more. We cannot let it pass unchallenged.

It is both farcical and disgraceful that European leaders constantly speak of "A Europe of values based on democracy", yet they are running scared of the verdict of the people, as they continue to bulldoze through their integration project in the teeth of public hostility.

Carbon emissions policy: rising costs, diminishing returns
I discovered some time ago that the greenhouse effect of atmospheric CO2 is not linear. For the technically-minded, it is logarithmic. If you double the CO2 level, you don't double the greenhouse effect. And the higher the existing level, the smaller the warming effect of any given increase. It's a law of diminishing returns.

Yet our efforts to reduce emissions are increasing costs dramatically. New EU proposals for car emissions threaten to decimate the German auto industry, and close down British brands like Jaguar and Land-Rover.

I recently got some numbers on this. If you take the pre-industrial CO2 level of about 280 ppm, a full half of the warming effect was delivered by merely the first 20 ppm. It took the next 260 ppm to contribute the second half. The fact is that most of the warming that carbon could generate is already there. Future increases in CO2 will make little difference to climate. But they will do huge damage to our economy and our prosperity. A full article with references is on my web-site at www.rogerhelmer.com

I have been corresponding with Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory in Queensland , Australia , and he has offered a homely analogy to illustrate the rather arcane concept of a "Logarithmic relationship". Imagine one day you step out of your kitchen and whitewash the glass of the kitchen window. You will cut the light coming in a great deal -- perhaps by half. If you go out next day and apply another coat, you will cut the light again. But if you persist, then by the tenth coat, almost no light will get through, so the tenth coat will make little difference, and the 20th none at all.

Atmospheric CO2 is measured in parts per million (ppm), and we're currently at about 380 ppm. In fact the first 20 ppm have a big greenhouse effect, and definitely warm the planet. The next 20 ppm make a much smaller difference. But we've already got 19 x 20 ppm, so the next increase of 20 ppm will make almost no difference at all to the environment. But trying to stop it will do huge damage to the economy.
See www.rogerhelmer.com for a graph showing the relative warming effect of each 20 ppm tranche of CO2.

It's been a cold, wet summer
I moved into my present house in Leicestershire in 1995. Last month, for the first time in eleven years, I found myself lighting the log-burner in the parlour in mid-August! So much for global warming.

Climate folly at Heathrow
In the end, the climate protesters at Heathrow in August did little to disrupt the airport, although they created big costs and headaches for the police. But their action was misconceived. Overcrowding at Heathrow is a national scandal, and it is fast becoming a real threat to Britain 's international competitiveness, and to our dominant position in global finance. There is anecdotal evidence of international executives avoiding Britain because of the state of our airports. These protesters talk about climate, but in fact they're anti-business, anti-prosperity, anti-growth, anti-capitalist. They'd like to see Britain reduced to a third-world agrarian economy where every family lives off one acre and a cow (and even then they'd criticise the cows for flatulence!).

They ignore the enormous investment which aircraft companies, and jet engine manufacturers like our own Rolls-Royce, are putting into reducing fuel consumption. Airlines want to make profits, and fuel is a major cost. Do the protesters imagine that airlines don't care about fuel-efficiency?
Even if you buy the increasingly discredited idea that man-made CO2 emissions cause climate change, the fact is that aviation amounts to only about 2% of global emissions. Meantime the emissions from power generation are an order-of-magnitude greater. If these protesters had any sense, they'd be sitting in Whitehall demanding more nuclear power stations.

A few patriots left
The London office of the European parliament (yes there is one -- don't ask me why) has outgrown its palatial premises in Queen Anne's Gate, and was negotiating the lease of still larger premises in Tothill Street, but apparently the negotiations have broken down. The deal-breaker was the refusal of the landlords to allow the EU flag to be flown outside the building. Well done them!

Human Rights and family life
An immigration tribunal has just ruled that Learco Chindama, an Italian citizen who murdered Headmaster Philip Lawrence twelve years ago, cannot be deported, as his family is in the UK , and deportation would infringe his "human right" to family life. Mr. Lawrence's widow says she feels "unutterably depressed", as well she may. Two questions for the tribunal. Haven't they noticed that we routinely set aside a convicted criminal's rights to liberty and family life when we send them to jail? And why is this young thug's right to a family life more important that Mrs. Lawrence's right to a family life, which he took from her in an appalling act of brutality?
It is EU law that puts us in this position. It is time (in John Redwood's masterful phrase) to "dis-apply" EU law.

A tale of two Johns: Redwood good, Gummer less good
After John Redwood's excellent report on the economy, we move on to John Gummer's "Quality of Life" report. It threatens to undo all Redwood's good work and tax reductions, by adding new "green" taxes. Let's leave aside the growing doubts on the alarmist climate scenario. Even if you buy the CO2/climate story, a few green taxes will have a trivial effect on global CO2 emissions, while doing significant economic damage. As a recent letter-writer to the press put it: the Tories must decide whether they're low-tax free market economists, or high-tax socio-environmental meddlers.

George Osborne recently said on the Today programme that he "is not a supply-sider". Well if he paid a moment's attention to the evidence from a dozen countries, he would be, and he ought to be. And it is no good David Cameron insisting that "We will put economic stability ahead of tax cuts". In the medium term, low taxes are a pre-condition for stability, not an alternative to it. High taxes will undermine stability. If you're in a runaway train, you don't achieve stability by doing nothing. You need to take urgent action.
Of course it would be wise to reduce government spending as we reduce taxes. Two suggestions. Recent reports suggest that the cost of quangoes in the UK is an extraordinary £130 billion a year. Finding £20 billion savings there should be a doddle.

Then there's welfare. David Cameron says that family breakdown is the cause of our broken society, and he's partly right. But welfare dependency is as big a problem, or bigger. As Simon Heffer said, "We have an underclass because we have decided to pay for one".
Leaving aside those genuinely unable to work, it's better for both the individual and society that the individual should work. Welfare is there to tide people over temporary illness or misfortune, and to help them back into work. It is not there to fund and maintain a permanent, work-shy, feral underclass, many of whom plague the streets carrying knives or guns. We should do as the US has done, and put a lifetime limit of say five years on welfare eligibility. When that's gone, you'll have to rely on family or charity. Yes of course, there would be a few hard cases. But the great majority would get back to work, and find a better life, a decent income, and some self-respect.

Where's Our Referendum? -- The Postcard!
In conjunction with The Freedom Association (www.tfa.net), I've created a new postcard. On one side is the "Where's Our Referendum?" ad that I've used extensively (see my home page at www.rogerhelmer.com), and on the other is a message for supporters to post to their MP calling for the MP to refuse to ratify the Renamed EU Constitution without a referendum.
If you can use these cards, and guarantee to get them out to the public (rather than filed under the sideboard!), please let me know.
Samples of the card are being sent to East Midlands Constituency associations.

The newt-lover has an idea
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has a new idea to solve the "affordable housing" problem. He proposes that the GLC should make available tracts of land which would be held in perpetuity by a "Public Land Trust". Houses would be built, and the prices would be based on construction costs excluding land, so the houses would be affordable, and they would stay cheap because the Trust would always own the land.

But there's a snag. If the houses get full use of the land (without owning it), then it's as good as freehold, and prices will revert to market prices. The free land will only benefit the first buyer, who will make a killing when he sells. If on the other hand the resale prices are controlled, there will be queues all the way to Marble Arch whenever one of these houses comes up for sale, and we shall be back to the odious spectacle of public officials allocating houses to the deserving poor. So Ken's new model collapses, and defaults to the two existing models of either (A) free market; or (B) Council Housing. There is nothing new under the sun. Least of all the economic naïveté of socialists trying to meddle in markets.

Quotes of the month
" Europe is a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a programme whose inevitable destiny is failure: only the scale of the final damage is in doubt" - Lady Thatcher

"I believe you can't spend more than you've got coming in. I believe you can't tax people into prosperity. I believe you can't pay people more to stay home than you pay them to work. And I believe that criminals can't do crimes when they're behind bars. Common sense? It's not too common in Washington !" - Fred Thompson , US Republican Presidential hopeful

"British values can be found, most of all, in the notion that freedom is our birthright, not something to be handed to us by human rights codes or government statutes". - Dan Hannan MEP


TREASON at WESTMINSTER

Text of a memorandum submitted in Oct 1978 to
the Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure
by Dr. Kitty Little

‘I first became aware of some of the problems that could be posed by the infiltration of members of subversive orgs. into Parliament when I attended a meeting of one such org in University College, Oxford in Oct 1940.
For convenience I will call it the Soviet subversive org, although the leader of its political section, who spoke at that meeting, explained that it had not been given a name, and was not to be given a name, because without a name it would be more difficult to prove that it was a definite org.

He also said that members had been instructed to leave the Communist Party, or refrain from joining it, partly because their activities could then be blamed on the Communist Party, while they would be able to show that they themselves were not Communists. …….(the org) was in three main sections, the political, economic and biological, together with a smokescreen of fringe left-wing orgs, of which the Communist party was at that time the most prominent, that was to help conceal the existence of the 3 inner groups.

The membership & structure of these 3 inner groups was definite, with the head of the biological section the overall head of the organization. ….The majority of the members were to infiltrate the Labour Party, while a smaller number were to infiltrate the Conservative & other Parties & the Civil Service. Infiltration was to be at and from the top, so that the speaker had no doubts that when the time was ripe he himself would become Prime Minister.

He even went so far as to say that when conversion to an absolute dictatorship was completed at the end of the 1970’s he had been promised that he would be our first Soviet dictator. …. (Soviet spy) Kim Philby, another member of the org. wrote “…the liberal smokescreen behind which I concealed my real opinions I expressed in the Middle East were “certainly” my true ones.
Another comment from a personal friend was that I could not have maintained such a consistently liberal-intellectual framework unless I had really believed in it. Both remarks are flattering. The duty of an underground worker is to perfect not only his cover story but also his cover personality”.

Note by Dr Little: It is probable that some of those infiltrators who have in the last 20 years reached the top of the Labour & Conservative Parties had formal training in the art of concealing their true opinions.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159