Saturday, 19 September 2015

The European Union - what has it ever done for us ?

"Yeah, that's all very fine, but the Romans are making us use windmills, what are we going to do on a calm night ?"

Let's take a cursory look :

Ireland has received € 4.6 billion in Farm subsidies

and € 4.4 billion in structural funds for roads :

That's a total of € 9 billion since 2000.

According to the IMF, we were forced by the ECB to pay € 8 billion to unsecured bondholders, which we shouldn't have paid. So that leaves us in net receipt of € 1 billion.

But we seem to be missing the elephant in the room. Much has been made of all the above in the Irish media.

Due to EU regulations, we have been forced to turn our electricity system upside down and make significant changes to accommodate large amounts of intermittent wind. Irish Energy Blog estimates this total cost at € 20 billion:

If we include REFIT over 15-20 years, this amounts to a minimum of € 2-3 billion. Then there are other support schemes for ocean and offshore energy which will be more expensive than onshore wind. This brings us up to circa € 25 billion. There will be no discernible benefit to the electricity consumer from these changes, in fact, its a net cost, particularly in these times of low fuel prices.

No mention hardly whatsoever has been made of this in the media, despite the fact that the sums for electricity dwarf the sums for bondholders, roads and farm subsidies.

This leaves Ireland at a net loss of € 24 billion as members of the EU.


  1. Act 1) My neighbour is a strong Fianna Fail supporter and a friend whom I find sensible. I asked him what the EU ever did for us, He replied that "if we had not been in the EU, Irish farmers would still be using horses and carts because they would not have the money to buy tractors". I don't quite agree, but Ireland did receive EU funds as the bill boards on structural projects keep reminding us. The world of the 1960's was a very different place than it is to day. Partial free trade existed only between Ireland and the UK, protectionism imposed trade tariffs between European countries. There were custom huts on both sides of the Irish border with smuggling rampant and the seizure of items like butter, brushes, washing machines, fireside sets and alcohol. There was the start of the Northern Ireland troubles. The Irish government looked to Europe to open up markets beyond Britain, while the British government saw the unity of Europe as way to break the division of the Irish border and allow Britain play a roll in preventing the horrific history of war with Germany. Ireland's biggest export had always been its people. So the driver for Europe was not built on what we had in common, rather it was built on the negative motive of getting away from artificial trade barriers (to prevent competition) and the avoidance of military conflicts which had their roots in the expansionist dreams of some countries. Fear of the Russian bear provoked reliance on America to keep them back.

    Act 2) The world of to-day is a little different militarily and a lot different economically. China, South America, Asia Switzerland and Australia seem to get just as favourable trade terms as member states. Joining Europe was like getting married, it requires both partners to work to keep the evil out and the good in. The basic rules must be adhered too with prudence been essential. If one is prudent with money and the other spends foolishly, trouble lies ahead. Note Mr. Germany and Mrs Greece. Mr Italy and Mrs, Holland!

    Ten years ago, Iceland, Switzerland and Turkey eyed up Europe, to-day they thank god for deliverance from it. What has changed? The value of free trade is diluted by the proliferation of worldwide free trade. The entry of poorer states means Ireland is paying more and Britain is being excluded in trade negotiations between the EU and the rest of the world (including its own former colonies). As we move towards further integration, there are fears that we are loosing control. Our politicians use it as an excuse for their own failures. We are being told, it 's EU law and you better get used to it. In fairness to Europe it has no central government and cannot make vital decisions, but do we trust them to do so?

    Act 3) Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Australia are common law countries. One is innocent until proven guilty (not in Europe) and a contract properly entered is legally binding. A free competitive press informed the public and reflected public and scientific opinion. The old Gay Byrne Late Late show wallowed in controversy with panellists such as Ulick O'Connor, Frank Hall and contrarians of every hue. Not so to-day. As EU entrepreneurial drive weaned amid a sea of regulation introduced with no consultation the education system changed for public employment in the civil service.

  2. Act 4) With the exception of medicine and veterinarian a third level degree in humanities was made equal to one in science. Public servants and politicians merged educationally, leaving vital far reaching decisions to be made by unqualified staff relying on guesswork. The need to convert regulations into several languages resulted in "telephone directory" style regulation and the exclusion of normal legally astute minds for understanding the law.

    Act 5) A common law contract is simple, there must be 1) an offer, 2) an acceptance, 3) the intention to create legal relations, 4) a consideration, and 5) communication of the acceptance. No so with EU law. It's is poorly drafted, ambiguous, amended without repeals of earlier laws, but worse still it is enforced selectively. The EU and member state governments can and do pick and choose which laws they recognise and which they do not, the public cannot claim their rights under the law unless with the blessing of the EU. Big business exerts undue influence on legal creation and abeyance. Enter in the final act, the theory that the entire earth's atmosphere is being saturated by co2 likely to cause it to overheat which equates to the look out on the Titanic spotting the iceberg. All hands on deck, throw it into reverse, suspend the laws, muzzle the media and the captain assumes martial law.

    Act 6) Build as many wind turbines as possible irrespective of the cost, ask the human resource manager if they work and you are told yes, ignore the engineers. The Aarhus Convention on public participation in environmentally damaging plans and programmes is ignored by public planning authorities, the SEA Directive is by passed in respect of renewable energy and after 5 years reading the Environmental Impact Directives and the Planning laws in Ireland, I am more little further on. My local planning officials admitted to me in front of 6 others that they never heard of these laws. Meanwhile in Brussels, with whole EU project under attack, mass unemployment, inescapable debt, industry fleeing to cheaper countries, they still cling to the achieving co2 reduction targets which were never assessed, to renewable energy targets which do the opposite to that expected by their staff with Arts degrees. Rural populations, loyal to established parties are up in arms at the prospect of the destruction of their environment, Inhabitants take out mortgages for court appeals against energy infrastructure.


  3. The final act) What a mess the EU has turned out to be, massive inequality in wealth distribution. The EU lobby industry has a free rein, a disastrous pandering to the US in Middle Eastern policy resulting in a migrant problem, The hopes and dreams of Ireland on joining were partly realised only to see new nightmares emerge from the rapidly changing environment. Media censorship in favour of renewable energy moguls, suppression climate dissenters, an unhealthy political consensus, and a likelihood of a hung Irish parliament looming as voters are told their choice of government is limited by the EU. UKIP secured a UK referendum by 2017 with two questions IN or OUT, Ireland may soon be forced to take a second look. I voted yes to every EU Irish referendum, I never thought a future EU would abandon education, science and economic prudence in favour of hippy, tree hugging mass hysteria, I never thought it would deny me my legal rights or that I would end up struggling to secure my legal rights to participate in the protection of my environment, Take away the environment and what have you left, In all their conquering and occupation British rule in Ireland never did that, The environment I was born into was more or less the same as it was in my great grand father's time, That is under now threat and the EU is driving it. The honeymoon is over. The best one to look after you and me is you and me, we must only delegate control to a bear minimum. We can only admire the wisdom of the 40% of Irish voters who always said no even when asked twice. I hope to see the curtain pulled down on the whole EU charade. There will be no need for custom huts on the border. If the rest of the world can trade with the EU, why can Ireland not do so? Quality control and convergence of products was a good thing, we can keep that, In fact that is all the British people said yes to in their referendum back in the 1970's. Whether its an individual, a family, a company, a country or a continent, if basic human wisdom, prudence and reliance on sound education is abandoned, it will fail eventually. Hopefully the EU will go down in history as the shortest empire.