Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mark Mardell and "shall"...

Mark Mardell reports that Britain have been able to change one thing in the Treaty.
There has been one minor change. The Foreign Office has managed to remove the word "shall" from a passage about national parliaments' obligations to support the European Union.

You may recall that I went and saw Miliband being grilled by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and the word "shall" was crucial to the argument.

The paragraph in question runs something along the lines of "national governments shall further the aims of the EU."

The Committee were, rightly, slightly wary of this paragraph which, many of them felt, in the context in which it was set obligated the British Parliament to place the interests of the EU first and foremost.

Miliband argued that it did no such thing, and that "shall" represented no obligation, only that the British government could help the EU achieve its aims if it felt like it.

This is, of course, patent bullshit of the kind that we have come to expect from this lying, unpleasant, boring, sack of shit, policy-wonk cunt. In a legal document—which, I shall remind you, this treaty is—"shall" quite obviously denotes a legal obligation (or so my lawyer friends say).

I mean, if a judgement says that Mr A shall pay x damages to Mr B, that does not mean "Mr A shall pay x damages to Mr B if he fucking well feels like it". It means that Mr A will pay x damages to Mr B or there will be trouble.

So, the big question is, of course, what has the word "shall" been changed to? Unfortunately, Mark Mardell is not able to tell us, it seems. This is a pity, because it is an absolutely crucial point.

My opinion? That "shall" has been changed to a form of wording that means "will", just for the avoidance of doubt.

Oh, and if you like to see how EUphiles argue, i.e. playing the man and not the ball, do have a look at the comments on Mardell's entry. I particularly enjoyed this comment from some utter cunt called Kevin Burns.
The way English people talk about the EU, you would be forgiven for thinking they didn't know that the EU is the main reason for their post-war prosperity, from 1945 onwards.

Britain likes to bite the hand that feeds it.

Fucking hellski! Unable to bite my tongue, I left the following comment, so we'll see if it gets through moderation...
Extraordinary how the EUphiles on this site stay true to form: only with those people will you get such a concentration of ad hominems.

@Kevin Burns.
Don't be ridiculous. Our prosperity since 1945 is due to the EU? That's odd, since the EEC was only formed in 1957 and we only joined in 1972.

I do suggest that all of you look at the facts. Here are some, for starters.

The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world and the third largest trading economy.

80% of our trade is internal, i.e. within the UK.

Only 10% of our trade and services are exported to the EU (that is about £100 billion a year).

This is, coincidentally, roughly what the EU costs us in regulation, direct contributions and lost opportunity costs, as estimated by both Civitas and the economist, Patrick Minford.

Were we to leave the EU, we could have a trading partnership (which is what we were told we were joining in 1972) with none of the associated costs, e.g. Switzerland and Norway.

In addition we would, for instance, be able to take up other trade offers, e.g. the free trade agreement that the US offered us, as a thank you for our support on the WoT, in 2003. We were not able to take up that offer, because the EU controls our foreign trade policy.

There is no economic case for remaining in the EU, especially when the Commission's own figures show that the benefits of the Single Market are 200 billion Euro and the cost of regulation to business is 600 billion Euro.

Political case? Well, you might argue that. However, I think that Britain would have a far higher status as a free-trade country that is part of the wider world, and not a frustrated subsidiary of a waning EU powerblock.

Of course, if any of you EUphiles have any figures to hand, rather than simple insults and smears, I would be happy to look at them. And then tear them apart.

But I have never yet met a EUphiles who understands economics, let alone be able to argue a case for the EU built on it.


Ignorant, fanatical fuckwits like Kevin Burns really grip my shit: if anyone knows him in real life, please punch him in the fucking face for me, would you?


Anonymous said...

So what you're saying is, Kevin Burns is also an uppity strumpet.

John Trenchard said...

and dont forget that the EU has been an utter disaster for Africa.

we could then engage in free trade agreements with African countries and thus help their economies - rather than bunging them 9 billion in "aid" as Darling is planning to do.

Literally overnight ALL African supplied coffee would become "fair trade" coffee. The benefits for that continent would be immense.

But thanks to the EU we cant do it.

Dundonald said...

Never before have I been as despondent at the political outlook for this country. We are truly entering the “post-democratic” age, where creeps like Brown, Milliband and their fellow travellers can raise their fingers at the people they purport to represent; safe in the knowledge that nothing can impede their beloved treaty when the electorate have been excluded from the process of ratification. The colleagues can be satisfied that their prize cannot be taken from them in a bloodless manner, especially as "HM's Loyal Opposition" will not abbrogate this wretched treaty. At least Broon’s credibility is now shattered. If he thinks he can demonstrate his ‘Britishness’ by holding the ‘scope up to his blind eye while inspecting the draft treaty, before proclaiming, “I see no threat to sovereignty”, he is very much mistaken.

Do these poltroons fear the ‘colleagues’ more than the electorate? If so, then our fate is no more than we deserve. If we cannot have our say through democratic means, then it is time to think anew.

P.S. Do you really expect a post containing pertinent facts to refute the fatuous claims of the EU-whores will be published on a BBC site?

Mark Wadsworth said...

Nice comment!

chris said...

I would expect most EUphiles turmpet the non-sense about the EU being behind our recent economic sucess because they hate admitting the real reason for it. The reforms of Margret Thatcher.

Dundonald said...

Doubtless, they will provide an altogether different reason for our forthcoming economic failure.

Not a sheep said...

Excellent comment, do you mind if I quote all of it on my blog? You will be credited as the author of course.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Be my guest, NaS. You may also be interested in this article that I wrote for Wanabehuman some time ago, since it has links to the research papers quoted.


Unknown said...

There's an article on Britain and America, "Why Americans don't sign treaties," or something similar. You may want to check it out -- and some of the idiotic comments.

Liam Murray said...

I'm never quite as, shall we say, forceful as you DK but your post and some others have moved me to join the fray today.

Doubt very much you'll like everything you read but the conclusion is the same....

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