Please Mr. Cameron, What’s your big idea on Europe?

I just listened to yet another ‘major’ policy speech on Europe this morning by @Number10Gov, and I can totally understand why the rest of Europe’s leaders plainly ignore David Cameron. In 37 Minutes of waffle there are no great new ideas. He still doesn’t mention a single power he wants to repatriate from Brussels to London. Quite frankly, the only thing I can detect and prevails throughout is a cold fear of being left behind in the big bad world and marginalised in a Euroland he declined to be part of.

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In his latest speech Cameron would like us to think he addressed five big principles for a Europe his party would find acceptable. More of the following: 1. Competitiveness; 2. Flexibility; 3. Repatriation of Powers; 4. Democratic Accountability; 5. Fairness.

Competitiveness

Competitiveness with whom? you might well ask. In his speech we are primed to look at the emerging markets of China, Brazil, Africa and India as a ‘threat’ from outside EU borders. The idea is planted in our head that ‘they’ are all out to take our wealth and comfortable life styles away from us. What is wrong with these economies crawling out of centuries of poverty? They are doing it on their own steam and, unlike the British empire, they are not stealing it with gun boats. They are doing it with toil and graft and trading with us the fruits of their hard labour. Where is the threat in that? All we are doing in the EU is evolving some sensible common tariff barriers to avoid surplus goods just being dumped on us. We don’t want to compete with low cost economies by building our own sweatshops in a desperate race to the bottom. Let them gently catch up with us and we can all have comfort and prosperity. Not those lucky few in the Western world.

Flexibility

Here Cameron is merely regurgitating the first point. The only ‘hard’ example he can come up with, is that he wants the freedom to work NHS Junior Doctors in the ground with excessive hours that, I am sure, only will harm patients when doctors nearly collapse from fatigue and start making mistakes in diagnosis and prescriptions.

Repatriate powersTsipras

It has been said before, but what are these mythical powers that Brussels now have, but would blossom better when exercised in London, Paris or Amsterdam? Because it sure ain’t the environment that would benefit from repatriation! I thought most common sense people at least agreed, that the environment is the one thing that can’t be stopped at our borders. It blows right over the channel after all! And even if you don’t believe in climate change; if a strong united Europe can convince a USA and China to play by the same set of climate change rules; what is wrong with that? How does it disadvantage Britain or Europe in any way, aiming for durability and sustainability? Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels that by definition will at one point run out, even if climate isn’t affected as claimed by some?

Democratic Accountability

I thought Cameron was going to mention the #Juncker word again. I thought seeing Juncker, Verhofstadt, Keller, Schulz and Tsipras debate it out on TV was a wonderful step in the right direction. But no…  what it seems David is afraid of, is the Euro-parliament stealing the lime light and making the Westminster circus look exactly that.
A freak show of no importance. Well most Brits I know, couldn’t give a rat’s arse in any case. Kippers think all British political leaders are spineless paedophiles anyway. Let them debate their duck house allowances and leave the big decisions to a democratically elected and accountable Euro Parliament is what I say. Also less chance of Britain engaging in senseless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that way?

Fairness

It is hard to remember anything David said of note in this section.  I only made a small note of the words “we weren’t asked”.  David laments loosing ‘our powers of veto’ and mentioning more and more things that are decided by ‘qualified Majority voting’.
Well David, welcome to the new brave world, where if you want to achieve things you do things together and no! you can’t be head-boy like you were at Eton or the Bullington club. Sometimes other people get to sit at the head of the table, so just get over it.

In Conclusion:

There are no ‘big ideas’ coming from David Cameron. He is simply playing for time trying to appease his Euro-sceptic back-benchers, who are getting more and more frustrated. They see a crack of a door opened  with the ukip foot of Nigel Farage firmly wedged in it. @number10Gov hopes ukip and other right wing fringe parties will turn out to be ‘one day flies’ and just go away. He hopes that the public mood gradually will shift back to the sensible #whyIamIn #EU position and he can force back the lid on Pandora’s box which he inadvertently opened by mentioning the word ‘referendum’.

But what drives a politician to constantly put himself in harms way by picking fights he can’t possibly hope to win?  My take: Like many other Brits, even kippers!,  he is feeling terribly insecure about one thing under all this bravado. Secretly Brits admire the way the euro adopting EU members have kept their currency afloat in the biggest of storms. In public they have to keep calling the Euro a disaster  but the Euro has weathered many a storm! And as the saying goes, if a crisis doesn’t kill the Euro, it only serves to make it stronger! That’s why the Euro is now the world’s favourite reserve currency after the Dollar and not so the Pound! That’s why in the City more transactions are done in Euros than in any other currency. Britain is in Euroland hook line and sinker, but of course when it comes to Euroland policy making they are excluded and that makes some people in Britain like Cameron and Farage very nervous indeed: What if they got it wrong?????

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Renewable Energy project Haute Vienne (F)

This is an off-topic post about a possible Renewable Energy project in Haute Vienne (F) for a student of hydro power engineering. If you are still looking for a project to do your thesis on or have any useful feedback, contact me or add comments below.

Project description

Renewable energy is one of the most important problems to solve for the 21st century. Clean energy is likely to come from a number of sources, solar, wind and water. In time this will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels that are rapidly running out and suspected to have an adverse effect on our climate.
In rural France there are hundreds of derelict water mills crying out to be restored and to be given a new lease of life producing clean energy.
The ‘Moulin de Guenant’ on the Gartempe River in the Haute-Vienne is a perfect example. Here are the remains of the old mill structure with the diagonal weir and he run of the mill intact. Millions of gallons of water are rushing through it every day, from which energy could be harvested and fed to the nearby EDF network cable traversing the river and supplying electricity to local communities.

Digue Mill waterflowLocation pictures and Flow in cubic meters per second per month
Source : Station hydrologique : Montmorillon
– calculated over 54 years-(1955-2008)
Sources:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gartempe_(rivi%C3%A8re)

Why is this source of cheap and clean energy currently under-utilized and how your project could make a difference?

Water mills like this were used for a number of industrial processes like milling flour, breweries and tanneries in the region. Cheap energy and changing industrial policy meant industry like this migrated away from the river banks to new industrial areas and are now powered by cheap electricity from the EDF network. In some old riverside industrial complexes, the building housing the water turbine is the only one still functioning. Most mill owners do not have the financial means to transform their property in this way. Hence the mills become derelict and nature slowly takes over as can be seen on the photo above.

What’s different now and what is the economic opportunity?

Rising energy prices and the need to reduce carbon emissions under EU agreements mean that renewable energy today is a very attractive proposition. Yet most mill owners still lack the economic means and incentive to restore their riverside properties. Banks would be reluctant to lend the necessary funds, unless there was a feasibility study including an updated design and costs benefits analysis available in the form of a turn-key proposal with an X financial return over Y years. Government subsidies may be available to complement the business case or ensure safe passage of migrating fish and kayaking tourists . This is where your project comes in to complete the picture.

Your project in a nutshell

As a hydro power engineering student requiring a thesis project to complete your course degree, you would undertake to study the local topology of a typical watermill in France (Moulin de Guénant) and make a design to generate electricity using the latest advances in efficient turbine design. While out on field work, you will stay for free in our holiday accommodation and can expect to be fed and watered and be given any support you need locally. The report of all this work will be your final thesis to be agreed with your academic sponsor at your university.
In cooperation with a possible partner (another business studies student perhaps?) or the project sponsor (an actual business studies graduate) you will produce a number of documents (appendix A,B,C, etc.), that together with an environmental impact analysis, would satisfy the local planning authorities to give actual planning permission for the work. As a second step a financial investor (e.g. a bank) could be approached to finance actual engineering work to be undertaken. Note the goal is to build this thing for real and to make some money out of it! An ideal outcome of the project would be to make this project repeatable, creating real job opportunities for young engineers, while investing in a sustainable energy future for Europe and developing nations anywhere.
For further information contact:
Marcus LASANCE
“La Gimbretière”
BUSSIÈRE-Poitevine
87320 France

Phone : +33555 60 79 18
Mob France +33 645 276833

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lasancmt

 

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Who would you believe: EU court of auditors or a smoked fish?

Who would you believe: EU court of auditors or a smoked fish?

How Kippers perpetuate the myth that the #EU accounts have not been signed off for 18 years. Believe #UKIP or #ECA ?

Source:

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Having your UKIP porky pie and eat it?

After severe food shortages during and after the last world war the EU instigated the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to ensure we had food security in Europe. Although reduced in size, it still is one of the most costly EU programme we all benefit from today taking up about 40% of the EU’s budget.

UKIP farmer with EU axe to grind

UKIP farmer with EU axe to grind

So how is #UKIP going to save £55 M. a day if their Agricultural spokesman Stuart Agnew MEP proposes to pay UK farmers roughly the same amount per acre as the current EU’s CAP Single Farm Payment, typically worth approximately £210 per hectare (£85 per acre), per annum?

Is this another case of having your #UKIP pie and eat it?

Sources:

  • £80 per acre on lowland, pro-rata decrease on marginal and hill land, capped at £120,000 (1,500 lowland acres, pro rata higher acreage limits on other land)

http://www.stuartagnewmep.co.uk/images_server/stuart_agnew/documents/8_AgriculturePolicyE-version.pdf

  • See last paragraph: Is it worth it? current EU’s CAP Single Farm Payment £85 per acre

http://www.savills.co.uk/promotions/country-house-consultancy-update/october-2012(1)/subsidies-and-the-non-farmer.aspx

  • Leave the EU and save £55 million every day (p. 10)

http://www.ukip-ynl.org/ukip-manifesto-2014.pdf

  • CAP shareof EU budget has decreased very sharply over the past 25 years, from 73% in 1985 to 41% in 2012

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/cap-post-2013/graphs/graph1_en.pdf

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How the English-Speaking Peoples did not invent freedom

Two recent right wing political books have kippers all aflutter at the moment.

The first book is “How We Invented Freedom” by Daniel Hannan –  Publisher: Head of Zeus (November 19, 2013) and the second is David Green’s “The Demise of the Free State: Why Democracy and the EU Don’t Mix”, out later this month from Civitas.

The only  countries fought for liberty in both World Wars and the Cold War?

The only countries fought for liberty in both World Wars and the Cold War?

I have to admit I haven’t read them personally and would rather not line the pockets of the authors involved buying them. The various UKIP tweeted excerpts, readings and reviews have put me right off in any case.

Following the advice of a follower on twitter I  listened not long ago to one of Dan Hannan’s Youtube rants. One where on a visit to Australia he pretty much claimed England invented the concept of democracy single handedly rather than ancient Greece, where I was taught it came from. After all the term originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) “rule of the people”, so I found that an odd claim from the beginning. Below is an example of Hannan’s grand standing:

Most of the libertarian lexicon was originally English…The English language has been a vehicle and a guarantor of liberty down the centuries.” Inventing Freedom, (pgs. 32-33)

Well one of the things I always admired about  early European philosophers is how they not only studied ancient greek and latin manuscripts but somehow read and corresponded with great thinkers across the European continent in different languages. This useful cross fertilisation of ideas seems to have died a death in English speaking countries with the inexorable rise of English  as the global lingua franca. The English no longer felt the need to study and teach other languages. One thing is sure though: Montesquieu and Robert Schuman also wrote important things about democracy and the rule of law and they wrote in French!

Now today I was alerted to a another political blog in the the Telegraph entitled:  “The Demise of the Free State: Why Democracy and the EU Don’t Mix”, this time by David Green. I wondered: “Did these two conceited individuals by any chance study history under the same crazy professor in Oxford to get these pretentious ideas?

This is how this kind of vile anti #EU propaganda works. Authors start by writing a couple of paragraphs tapping into some current local political scandal, one that everybody in England is up in arms about, to get the reader’s attention. Next they write a few mother Goose and apple pie common sense lines, that no one in their right mind can have an argument with. So with the reader at ease, they are ready to inject the venom:

The style of government favoured by the European Union is very different from the free state that our ancestors fought to develop over many centuries.

Oh really? How did you jump to that conclusion all of the sudden Mr Green?  You saw a flash of light, God appeared and told you so? Meanwhile Green’s UKIP followers are already frothing at the mouth like intercontinental who asserts:

The EU is a copy of the Soviet, Communist model.
Power and control is in the hands of the few while the general population is bound by endless diktats thrown down from Brussels.

Anyway if there is an EU style of government it surely is constantly adapting to changing regional and world circumstances just as Dan Hannan’s precious body of ‘common law’? An anonymous commenter anotherview3 voices my sentiments in an admirable way and restored my faith in British common sense. So I will let him finish this week’s UKIP demolition job:

 I love the way skilled writers can write fine sounding phrases that are meaningless. Mr Green ties criticism of Maria Miller, a British politician and so one of the Westminster ruling elite into a criticism of the ‘Brussels ruling elite’, whoever they are. They are people from UK, Latvia, Finland, Slovakia and 24 other countries. And they all got their positions by being elected. The fact that there is an electorate daft enough to vote for Farage, (one of the Brussels ruling elite!!) is one of the weaknesses of democracy. To imagine that there is a ruling elite of power mad foreigners determined to grab power over UK is paranoid beyond belief. I suggest that more concern should focus on the Westminster ruling elite. There is obviously a close connection between government politicians, top media people and top London policemen.

Mr Green says, “Along with the peoples of many other countries, we developed what turned out to be the most successful way of life so far discovered: liberal civilisation.” Fine words, and yes, it is quite good here, although you wouldn’t always think so from all the complaints. But haven’t we been under the control of that power-mad EU for years?

The fact of the matter is that Mr Green’s phrase, ‘Along with the peoples of many other countries’ includes the countries of the EU and that is why we gain strength and freedom from our association with the EU. If the EU included countries that harboured or supported the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Putin type dictators then I would join UKIP immediately. As it doesn’t, and as it strongly supports my values then I won’t be.

[Further down] Calm down! The power of rule making lies with the MEP’s and Council of ministers. We will be voting for MEP’s in May. I suggest you vote for someone who will be constructive when he gets to Brussels, not someone like Farage who pockets his EU money and then spends all his time trying to vilify the EU. Our democratic system produces our ministers and they will, hopefully be representing our interests in Brussels in the Council of Ministers. The unelected bureaucrats to whom you refer are like our civil servants all beavering away in Whitehall. We can’t vote them out, either.
The EU writes down all its principles and aims. They seem ok to me and not a bit like your claims.

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Its the Nissans Stupid!

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Mail your questions for the great Clegg Farage #EU debate

twitter is abuzz with the eagerly awaited Clegg Farage debate on Britains position within the European Union, which will be broadcast on Wednesday 2 April at 19:00 on BBC Two.

You can eMail your questions to the BBC following this link and have a chance to be a member of the audience.  I sure would buy a RyanAir ticket from Limoges to Stanstead to take part.  Or you can print the attached cards and play #UKIP bullshit Bingo?

Cleff Farage debate BBC will be broadcast on Wednesday 2 April at 19:00 on BBC Two.

Cleff Farage debate BBC will be broadcast on Wednesday 2 April at 19:00 on BBC Two.

#UKIP bullshit Bingo and #WhyIamIn

#UKIP bullshit Bingo and #WhyIamIn

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