Friday, January 29, 2010

The Brussels Press: Not Going Native at all

The EU Observer is always a fascinating read, because of the way everything it says (it doesn't really report anything in the traditional, factual sense) is interpreted in the light of its unshakeable belief that the EU is the most important thing in the world and that its very existence is a matter of unspeakable joy. It (the paper I mean) describes itself, hilariously, as
  • Editorially independent, open-minded and balanced.
  • The trusted source of EU related news and information across the European Union.

As a taster I offer you the following items from today's edition, if an online medium can be said to have editions.

- New EU laws to target Facebook: people are interacting without rules, they are daring to use new ideas and technologies without waiting for the EU to tell them how to do it; reality must be paused indefintely while Barroso and company have meetings to decide what they must try to stop us all doing in the name of something or other, and when they finally produce a law that no one seems to want or need (how many real governments are bothered about this?) they will be so far out of date that it will not even serve the purpose it was supposed to have.

What of the ninety-two percent of the world's population that does not live in the EU? How can they possibly use Facebook without the laws which the unelected bureaucrats at the commission propose to inflict upon us? What will they do? Just muddle through, one imagines. What a terrible way to have to live. That 92%, of course, includes the founders, owners and operators of Facebook, so if the EU makes it too expensive or complicated to offer Facebook over here, they will just stop, and millions of people will have been deprived of something free and harmless which gave them pleasure, because Barroso and company cannot bear the idea, in fact cannot conceive the idea, that something can exist without their permission, and function without their control.

- Single market needs tax co-ordination: 'unfair' tax competition is an old idea in Brussels, and the fact that it can only exist in the mind of a totalitarian paper-pusher with no understanding of freedom, or even of the real world, doesn't stop it reappearing with the inevitability of an unloved season. We normal people think that tax is a painful business that is necessary, to some degree, in order to pay for certain services which we can't all pay for individually for a variety of reasons. Politicians in democracies think that tax is a way of getting money to bribe the people they expect to vote for them and to punish those who they know aren't going to. Leaders of undemocratic countries think of tax as a means of paying for all their palaces and keeping the army loyal. Bureaucrats in Brussels, who don't have to worry about elections, and have no responsibilty for freedom, general well-being, social stability, civil unrest, economic growth or anything else, because when they took all the power from national governments they made sure that the blame for what went wrong stayed firmly where it was, think of tax as a piece in their little game of trying to make everything and everywhere exactly the same. Peace, prosperity, happiness, liberty, history, identity, creativity, progress, even reality may be sacrificed without a thought, as long as harmony can be achieved, at least on paper. The goal, the obsession of the bureaucrat is the simplicity of the paperwork. As long as they can tick the boxes easily and their pensions are safe, nothing outside of them matters in the slightest.

- EU commission justifies Haiti 'visibility' concerns: such is the arrogance of the commissioners that they are actually prepared to sacrifice efficiency of aid relief in Haiti because they are miffed that the US and some other countries, including Britain, are getting more credit for the effort then they are. They are prepared to reduce the relief and divert money to a publicity campaign until EU workers have their own special, distinctive uniform and the EU flag flies over the area. The article linked to includes the desperate attempts by commissioners, who have realized that public opinion isn't entirely with them on this, to pretend that they are not bothered by 'visibility' at all, attempts which are best described by the phrase 'complete and utter pig's ear.' They really do care much more about their image than the desperate state of over a million people whose lives are in immediate and rapidly increasing danger from lack of food, shelter, sanitation and public order. They are beneath contempt. I really don't care whther Catherine Ashton went to Haiti or not. Far better, in fact, that she didn't. She would only have got in the way, demanded that a fortune be spent on travel and security for herself and her entourage, and insisted on preaching to and being photographed with people who had much more urgent and important things to do.

So that's the EU Observer. Thank God for the freedom of the press. Now, if only they had some idea of what to do with it... Perhaps Barroso should tell them what to do. Then again, that's probably the problem.


AntiCitizenOne said...

Yep, I'm actually quite pleased Catherine Ashton decided not to travel to Haiti.

CIngram said...

It's hard to imagine what the sudden physical destruction of much of your country and 10% of its population must be like, and if you survive you have no house, no work, you've lost many friends and family, anything you get your hands on may be taken from you by violence and a random looter may kill you with no comeback. Unutterably, unimaginably horrible. Posturing politicians are not what is needed, and some of them have even been able to dimly perceive this.

It's private money and the US military which seems to be doing most to alleviate the situation, and you know how the self-appointed guardians of all that is good hate that sort of thing.