While Lord Stevens announced the findings of his inquiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Government announced that 2,500 Post Offices would close. Another good day to bury bad news.
Indeed; up to 3,000 Post Offices, mainly in rural areas, face closure but there is something that the government aren't telling you: can you guess what it is?
I shall pass you over to the lovely Trixy so that she can spell it out for you.
So, Alastair Darling is going to ask the European Commission very nicely if he can provide investment of £1.7 billion for the Post Offices, is he? It's so nice to know that these people we elect to run our country, who have recently decided they just don't get paid enough, can't even decide how they are going to spend tax revenue.Mr Darling said the annual £150m subsidy to help rural branches stay open will be extended beyond 2008 until 2011.
What, however, Mr Darling doesn't say is that under Article 88 of the Treaty of Amsterdam, a national government needs permission from the European Commission to grant state aid, and under Directive 2002/39/EC, this permission must be granted before the aid can be given.
Can you imagine the grief Mr Darling would get (oh, if only he was a Captain) from dear old Tone' if he stood up and, perhaps, told the fucking truth about this post office debacle?
"Sorry, chaps, the European Commission says we can't fund post offices, even if they are the only facility in a rural area or tiny village miles from anywhere, somewhere that the elderly rely on. Sorry, but that's the way it is. They are the bosses now, and if they want to bend me over and bugger me with the Acquis Communautaire then they can."
If you look at the BBC News article that I linked to, you'll see not one mention of the EU's part in all this. Just for your enlightenment, let's hop over to UKIP's Press Release on the subject.
The Postal Services Directive 2002/39/EC reduced the part of the postal market which could be reserved for the national monopoly.
The breakup of the Royal Mail was actually initiated by an EU Directive.
Treaty of Amsterdam , Article 88 demands that a national government seeks permission from the Commission to grant state aid.
EU Directive 2002/39/EC requires permission before any state aid can be granted.
So, who rules in this country? Our elected government—awful, devious, dishonest, venal, little shits though they might be—or the unelected bureaucrats of the EU Commission. Well, I think that the answer to that question is becoming increasingly obvious.
So, can we leave yet?