Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “Europe”

The European Migration Crisis

It’s not often I agree with David Cameron, in fact this is probably the only time I have but he is right not to take immigrants from the masses pouring into Eastern Europe and mainly into Germany. He is correct when he says this will only encourage even more to attempt entry into the European Union, much better to take them from the overcrowded refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. I part company with him on the pathetic number he suggests we take in.

There many videos shown, from differing sources and differing locations of ‘refugees’ climbing into overfull trains in Croatia, Hungary, running at speed over border crossings including thousands chancing their lives and luck at Calais climbing under and into lorries heading for the UK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34307014

These are not desperate families fleeing for their lives but fit, almost exclusively, young men, in their twenties or early thirties that any reasonable person would conclude to be economic migrants. I am not for one moment suggesting that there are no genuine refugees, far from it, there is a terrible situation in the Middle East and North Africa and we must do all that we can to assist and no one in real need must ever be turned away.

The crisis is indeed a huge problem and it is for huge problems that we have politicians, smaller ones we can sort out ourselves, joint multi national decisions are needed here. Most problems can be reduced by discerning what the real problem is and it is obvious that many people are, for understandable reasons, jumping on this particular bandwagon of gaining entry to Europe on the backs of genuine asylum seekers and they should be weeded out in rapid time and sent back to wherever they came from, thus reducing the problem perhaps to manageable proportions.  It can’t be that hard to organise teams of interpreters and interviewers to quickly come to a decision in most cases, appeals could be allowed but heard within 24 hours after which transport arranged and return within another 24 hours. Their return would also act as a deterrent to others tempted to make the journey.

After this it is for Europe, the UK in particular along with the USA who is sitting on the sidelines doing nothing, to come up with humanitarian solutions to the mess they themselves created. In addition they might start to listen a bit more often to Russia who warned of this very catastrophe some years ago instead of trying blame everything on to them to take our minds off what is really happening.

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Financial Commonsense

With the Government spending countless billions of Pounds on rescuing banks from their excesses and the financial costs of the economic downturn, it is surely time for them to look at some of their own excesses and look to make savings.

Biometric Identity Cards for a start. The excuse for these is that they are an essential tool in protecting the UK from terrorists. Anyone but a fool can see that against a probably ‘home grown’ terrorist or any other, who is quite happy to die for his/her beliefs they are absolutely useless. As a means of adding to the control and surveillance of us all though, they are quite effective when linked with all the other systems that have crept in during the last decade. The cost is likely to be around £15billion. Well, that’s a good savings starter.

Two new aircraft carriers have been ordered complete with aircraft at an estimated £6bn and we all know that when it comes to most government projects the estimate usually doubles.

Replacement of the Trident nuclear submarines and their nuclear missiles comes in at £78bn for their 23 year life. We know we will never use them against a nuclear armed country and bring about the end of civilisation and neither will we use them against a non nuclear country in violation of International Law to be condemmed by the whole world.

We must learn that the UK is now just another small country in Europe, we stole an Empire in the past but now must move forward in a different and peaceful role. The aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines may make the admirals and air marshalls and politicians feel powerful but they are costing our nation far, far too much.

Taken from British American Security Information Council

“…cancelling the [Trident and aircraft carrier] programmes would
allow the Government to:-
•Take 1.2 pence off the basic rate of income tax; or
•Pay the capital and running costs of around 200 new hospitals; or
•Pay the capital and running costs of around 1,000 new secondary
schools in moderate /high cost areas, with 1,000 pupils each; or
•Pay £10-11 per week real increase in the basic state pension.”

What EU Democracy?

The ‘no’ vote in Eire had barely been announced when Gordon Brown announced that ratification would go ahead in Parliament and the President of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said that ratification should continue among the member states. Already the talk is of how to get around the Irish decision or, as before, to re-run the vote in Eire hoping for a ‘yes’ next time.

They, (heads of State) just don’t get it; it is just this lack of democracy in the EU that accounts for a large part of the rejection of both the Treaty and the similar proposed Constitution. The EU citizens who have been allowed to express their wish via the ballot box have said no; that is democracy, live with it, accept it and move on.

The task of a leader is to find ways to take the people where THEY wish to go and NOT to drag the people where the leaders desire to go.

Ireland’s Vote for Democracy

Eire Flag Although all the votes have not yet been counted as I write, it seems certain that the people of Eire have given a ‘NO’ to the EU Treaty. This treaty is all but the same as the proposed Constitution rejected in a vote by France and Holland and on which we in the UK were promised a vote and were then denied.

In many ways I am in favour of the EU, on economic and social co-operation, free trade, unrestricted travel between member states and a more effective combined voice on such matters as Global warming and the environment. Together we are a powerful force in combating human rights abuses and in providing aid when needed in the developing world.

The one big drawback for me is that the EU is in no way democratic. It is argued that I can vote for my MEP and it’s true, I can indeed vote for a representative who has a high salary but virtually no power. Real decisions are taken by the Council of Ministers. I think it was Tony Benn who said something like “I can’t support anyone who I can’t vote out” and that is the trouble with the EU, we can’t vote out those with the power. I am also opposed to Europe increasing it’s military expenditure which is included in the amended treaty.

The Irish have written into their constitution that no major changes can take place without the consent of the people and it is that enshrined piece of democracy that has saved the people of Europe from having this, all but in name, Constitution forced upon them.

Three cheers and a pint of Guinness for every Irish NO voter I say.

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