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Dead Parrot?
by Clint Wayne
2008-06-16 08:00:33
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The Irish nation has spoken with a resounding NO.

Will the masters of the European Union listen?

Don’t be so naïve. The sheer arrogance of Brussels will simply air brush over what they conceive as a mere ‘blip’ and go blindly crashing on like an uncontrollable juggernaut demolishing all the fundamental basics of democracy. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has already urged the member states to continue ratifying the agreement insisting it was “alive and we should now try to find a solution”. It is a typical example of that arrogance that the EU never even had a ‘Plan B’.

The Constitution clearly stated ‘that should any of the twenty-seven nations fail to ratify the Lisbon Treaty then it would be dead’ making it absolutely clear that it would not become law. Don’t be naïve once again, soon the rhetoric will change to a two speed Europe, or a ‘best of two’ policy when the bully boys start heaping pressure on the new Irish Prime Minister to keep holding referendums until they get the right answer. Democracy at its very best! After all both the Dutch and the French voted ‘No’ back in 2005 and they still carried on regardless, in fact the legislation increased.

So how come the Irish a fairly pro-European nation that has immensely benefited from its time in the embodiment of the Union decided to give Brussels a bloody nose. Well it didn’t help from the outset that Barroso started advising the Irish Electorate on how to vote and it has been reported that there were many varied reasons for the No vote including abortion, neutrality and taxation. It must also have dawned on them that their own ‘gravy train’ had reached its final destination with the arrival of the poorer Eastern European nations and that from now on they would be perceived as a meal ticket.

Here in the UK it is widely acknowledged that had our Government kept its solemn promise and not refused our own referendum we would now be standing proudly shoulder-to-shoulder with the Irish by voting with by an even greater margin. Its not that we are anti-European, far from it, but its our grave concern on this constant unrelenting push for greater integration from Brussels without any debate whatsoever and its simply time to draw a line in the sand and say “No more”.

Our politicians have openly admitted on numerous television programmes that they do not even understand the contents of the Treaty or have even read it from cover to cover so how can a nation who instinctively does not trust its leaders become the proverbial ostrich and bury our heads in the sand.

The Swiss and the Norwegians to their credit are not members and still enjoy all the same trading agreements as all the EU member states so what’s the problem? We simply say no more integration. We just do not want it. Don’t play political games, take it seriously, listen to the people and treat democracy with the respect that it has earned through history and not only when it suits the EU’s political agenda. There should be no illusion, no more bulldozing or bamboozling, simply follow your own rules that were absolutely clear from the outset and accept that the Constitution is as Monty Python quite plainly declared, "This is a Dead Parrot!"

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Emanuel Paparella2008-06-16 10:36:38
Here below are two rather lonely prophetic assertions, sort of voices crying in the wasteland, uttered on June 9. 2008 in the pages of this very magazine as a commentary to an article on the EU's cultural identity. Perhaps they are worth repeating once again so that, to use a famous insight of Tony Judt, we may then better proceed to duly "misremember" what we wish not to contemplate. Indeed, the EU founding fathers must be turning in their graves.

Clint 2008-06-09 10:50:03
Here's hoping the Irish blow the Constitution out of the water

Emanuel Paparella 2008-06-09 15:07:21
One does not need the Irish to do that. Actually, they are enthusiastic supporters of the idea of Europe and remember only too well their past unfortunate history as colonized people. Neither does one need rabid xenophobia or narcissistic nationalism parading as love of country. What is sufficient, and it is there staring at anybody with eyes to see, is good old imperialism and colonialism with a new face and a new name called “cultural imperialism,” misremembering its past mistakes, and parading as the “Newropean.” I am afraid that till the controlling paradigm shifts from a cynical Machiavellian real politik one based on mere political power and material prosperity to a spiritual one based on certain unifying ideals of the European experience, the idea of a European Union will remain just that: a wonderful idea that remained unrealized on the shelves of a theoretical political science. The role of a Constitution, worthy of its name, is to mirror those universal ideals and inspire the people thus forging a more perfect union. Failing that, what will tragically obtain is a crass and banal commercial agreement.

Clint2008-06-16 11:19:41
Rabid xenophobia! Here we live the 'dream' 3 million immigrant Polish filling our schools and pushing our services to the limits. Over half the babies born in the UK are now Polish. I am proud of our culture and history of accepting immigrants and standing up for what is right and had our government predicted, planned and controlled the influx then it would have carried the people. Like the EU they just don't listen and will suffer the backlash. The Polish are a proud and hardworking nation and their record in WW2 was magnificent but we are simply not ready for 3 million of them. Strangely it is a lot of the commonwealth immigrants of the 1960's who have embellished our culture that seem to be concerned as well.

Emanuel Paparella2008-06-16 15:56:56
The dream of the US founding fathers was to create a more perfect union so that a South Carolinian or one million South Carolinians, if they so decided, could move and go and live in Massachusetts and no one would bat an eye about it since they too were Americans. That document was The Federalist Papers which eventually became the US Constitution which spelled out certain ideals and human rights accruing to all the citizens of the Union. The fatal flaw was of course the exclusions of the slaves and the native Americans from such a political compact. The inevitable corrective led to the civil war a few decades later. Nevertheless the ideal remained, as a sort of Utopia, furnishing hope for a more perfected union.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but in a general way was not that too the ultimate ideal goal of the founding fathers of the EU? Of the likes of Churchill, Monet, Schumann, De Gasperi, Eidenauer: to create a more perfect union, a new Europe so to speak, as reflected in a Constitution which would trump the narrow regional or national Constitutions and which would allow ten million Britons to go and live in Poland, if they so chose, and nobody would be upset about it? (continued below)

Emanuel Paparella2008-06-16 15:58:57
And the motives for such moving would not be questions and would not matter either since there would be in effect an equality of rights and duties among all citizens of such a union? Too Utopian? Perhaps, but that’s the stuff of most Constitutions around the world, some 90% of which start with a preamble invoking a higher power than that of the power of the State over regional powers. Perhaps the people have intuited that the Constitution put before them is a mere agreement for the moving about of the goods for the “good life,” oblivious of the common Good for a life worth living. Of course there are logistical problems accruing to such movements but isn’t that the domain of bureaucratic institutions who ought to be the servants and not the master of a democratically expressed people’s will? Perhaps, as already argued in the pages of this magazine, the crucial issue that remains to be duly debated, lies in finding the proper centripetal forces that will hold the union together and seriously asking: what brings us together, and what makes us wish to remain together. Historically, it would appear that such forces are predominantly spiritual and not materialist, unconcerned with a Machiavellian grabbing and retention of raw power, with a will to truth rather than one to power. Indeed, the consequence of forgetting one’s history while proclaiming oneself a “Newropean” is to be condemned to repeat it.

Clint2008-06-16 17:36:09
10 million Brits descending on Poland nows there's a thought. I laughed so much I've just fallen off my donkey.

Emanuel Paparella2008-06-16 18:08:28
Here is a thought that may make one fall off one's camel as one wonders aimlessly in the deserts of good old nationalism, colonialiam and imperialism: 10 million people or so did in fact descend on Poland only 69 years ago to create havoc and destruction: they were Germans, Britons, Russians serving the gods of ideology and nationalism. That was of course the old Europe, so called. The Newropean priclaims to be beond all that but at the same time seems to have forgotten it or at best "misremembers," that is to say he pays tribute to the bravery of the Poles and at the same time tells them to go home where they belong. There was a Polish man who became a Pope; his name was John Paul II and he put his finger on what ails the underpinning of the so called EU Constitution when on October 11 1988 he made this profound historical analysis speaking to the EU Parliament: "If the religious and Christian substratum of this continent is marginalized and its role as inspiration of ethical and social efficacy, we would be negating not only the past heritage of Europe but a future worthy of European Man--and by that I mean every European Man, be he a believer or a non believer."

Indeed, it takes more than soccer games to transcend a nationalism that has proven toxic for the whole continent and has never had anything to do with genuine patriotism.

Thanos2008-06-16 19:54:19
Clint, I must remind you that Finland since 2000 in only 8 years saw the number of foreigner dramatically increasing, 3,000% can you realize the number? In 8 years the foreigners here became 5.6% of the population and they have to deal with a language you need at least 4 years to learn the basics which means the majority of them cannot community with the locals.

Apart from that Asa and I have often to deal with an increasing xenophobia that starts with small things and gets to …you stole my job! A few months ago I was vernally attacked in the metro from a drunken Finn who was swearing and screaming because he noticed the budge from my work place I accidentally forgot on my jacket. Doesn’t matter if my work demands somebody with special skills on the projects, skill he definitely didn’t have. His main problem was that I was a foreigner taking a job in his country, a job he thought it rightfully belongs to him. And guess what, our kids going to school and they do speak foreign languages and when they don’t we get upset; my daughter in her classroom has 12 kids and from them only four are 100% Finns!!!

The unemployment in Finland between the foreigners is pretty high over 50% and a lot of us survive using the state money. Why then we are here and font we go back home? Many reasons including the challenge, the adventure and why not, love! Exactly the same reasons most of the Polish people are in UK. And yes between us there good people and bad people and don’t worry there are compatriots from both of us, Asa and I, guests of the Finnish prisons.

Moving population is something positive for many reasons including financial, don’t forget that the German post war miracle happened because of the immigrants and what saves the European pension system is again the immigrants not to mention inflation since the immigrants are the ones who fund the banks, domestic household are close to bankrupts.

Thanos2008-06-16 20:21:46
Regarding now the ….dead parrot I agree that Europe was not prepared for the last expansion, the way it happened and with so many countries but the coast of it is going to be shared even from the new members. EU is not the goose with the golden eggs and the new member states already started feeling that, expecting a flow of money and the only thing they get are new legislations some of them pretty painful for the local markets.

The constitution failed not only because people didn’t understand it but to my opinion because it was full of indefiniteness and loosen ends and the treaty of Lisbon came to cover this failure. Perhaps it is time for the Europeans to reinvade EU under different bases away from empty promises and looking to secure better the future of its citizens. In this sense the Irish NO was a good timing warning and the Euro-election that coming time for the Europeans to demonstrate strongly their believes and wills.

Clint2008-06-17 21:56:20
I can see I have hit a raw nerve Thanos about immigration but you have completely misconstrued my comment as I went fishing. I am aware of the problems in Finland but I am not anti-immigrant, never have been, never will be. My bitch is with the UK government and their total lack of planning and control when it comes to the matter.

They were warned long before the Eastern European countries became members of the EU of the probable influx. They informed us that it would be around 50,000 a year. How wrong were they? Nobody knows for sure because they have made it open-house to a country that is number two on the terrorist hit parade.

There is now the inevitable labour black market where unscrupulous employers exploit their desperation paying way below the minimum wage and without any benefit to the nation’s economy. By contrast, due to the government’s negligence good employers have now been burdened with massive red tape regulations and huge fines if caught innocently employing illegal immigrants. Haulage companies face huge fines and confiscation of vehicles if caught with immigrants when they cross the border. The government has simply passed the responsibility on to employers to make up for their own ineptitude. In response to public pressure and concern they announced a new initiative on illegal immigration. They have issued new uniforms to our customs officers to appear more intimidating. If it wasn’t so serious it could be a comedy sketch.

Clint2008-06-17 21:57:01

Recently thirty released immigrant prisoners including a murderer and a rapist were sent by train to be deported without any supervision and surprise surprise they never arrived. Deportation presently is non-existant.

Our local councils give the immigrants preferential treatment in housing, vehicles and monetary payments purely due to the fear of being called racist thus the local community suffers and ends up resenting them. You also have to question why do the migrants cross the borders of other wealthy nations just to get to Britain? As a people we are largely very fair-minded and generous of nature but are becoming more and more disillusioned and that is why any referendum regarding Europe would be a resounding NO.

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