What the European Union has done for us, from A-Z
A is for Arsenal Arsène Wenger and Thierry Henry's exercise in footballing elegance (with barely a British boot on the pitch) would hardly be possible without Europe's open transfer market
So you're saying that having a British team with hardly any British players is a good thing? Interesting. Also, are you aware of what the EU are trying to do to football? May I suggest that is possibly has more to do with the money offered. Oh, and the EU are trying to stop non EU players from joining British clubs, and they were trying to get the EU flag flow and the EU anthem played for matches with clubs from the EU.
B is for borders During a journey from Belgium to Luxembourg to France to Germany to Poland a passport had to be shown only once and then cursorily
If open borders facilitate legal trade, then it will also facilitate illegal trade, but to a greater degree. If you think this is a good thing, I am not expecting any more articles in the Guardian about people trafficking.
C is for climate change 27 governments have just agreed the most ambitious package ever to tackle global warming. If the US, China, and India followed suit, the future would look less bleak
Doesn't that just rather prove the point that, even if humans did have much to do with climate change, this stupid idea of Fortress Europe is backward looking and pointless? The UK should not be ignoring countries like India and China, but the EU seems determined that we must only look at them as a threat. And also, the sheer arrogance of EU countries telling other countries they must cut carbon emissions, and thus not develop, and then bleating on about eradicating poverty makes me scream.
D is for democracy dictatorships in Spain, Portugal, Greece and all over eastern Europe are in the dustbin of history
But alive and well in the EU where the European Commission are the only EU institution to make laws, and the Commissioners who are the guardians of the treaties, cannot be sacked by the people they claim they represent.
E is for the euro On trips across much of Europe, travellers no longer have to change currencies and no longer come home with a pocketful of useless coins
Economics text book over here, please. Having a single interest rate for vastly different economies is a bad thing. Ask Italy. Or Germany. Or France.
And since when was currency 'useless?' Even if one never went back to the country, surely all those little coins would be rather useful to hurl at stupid guardian journalists who write lists full of shite?
F is for flights Stag parties in Prague? Shopping in Barcelona? How could we afford it without the cheap airlines enabled by deregulating European air traffic
Well, it's called competition. It's what happens in a market economy. Basically, even though the different sectors of the airline industry could be called oligopolistic, as a whole it's competitive. I would suggest that the ability for consumers to compare prices easily on the Internet has made the industry move slightly more towards the Utopian 'perfect competition'. But hold on: I thought we had to combat climate change, and flights were bad? I'm all confused!
G is for Germany Until anchored in the EU, Germany caused untold grief to most of us
Ha! If anyone from UKIP said this, can you imagine the cried of 'racist' from the pages of the guardian? That is, once the sandal wearing gaggles of hairy jumpers had picked themselves up off the floor. Yes, Germany did cause lots of grief. But so did Russia. For a lot longer. And Germany didn't join the EU for quite a few years after the Treaty of Rome. And they didn't actually have any desire to go to war again.
H is for homebuying The British mania for that place in the sun is a result of the EU requiring members to open their housing markets to foreign EU citizens
I think people bought homes abroad before the EU...However, the EU has failed spectacularly to stop 'land grab' in Valencia. But let's just keep quiet about that one, eh?
I is for international clout Europe's sum is greater than its parts when it comes to making a difference internationally
Like at the WTO, when as a group it makes sure that developing countries remain poor by insisting that the trade policy of 27 countries is protectionist? The influence of the EU is declining, whilst other countries like India and China are waxing. So why should we limit our choices and stay on the sinking ship?
J is for jobs Working anywhere in Europe is now easy and occurring on an unprecedented scale
Yes, and the number of unemployed in Britain is rising, whilst there are shortages of workers in Eastern Europe; migrants are living in tents in Hyde Park and people like me can't afford to get on the property ladder because of the spectacular increase in demand.
K is for Kosovo The biggest challenge. EU is preparing to steer the province to independence in its first such mission
Funny. When my dad was working hours and hours of overtime over Kosovo, it was NATO he was working for.
L is for London As Europe's pre-eminent financial centre, the City of London has benefited enormously from the single market
Bing! Thank you for playing! The EU hates the fact that the City of London is more successful than Frankfurt and yet didn't join the EU. Especially since they also trade more Euro than Frankfurt. Which is presumably why the EU is trying to shut down the City by bringing in damaging regulations like the Market in Financial Instruments Directive, which will be one step further to the financial centre switching to New York.
M is for market The single one of goods and services has been a boon for European consumers
Too small. Too Fortress Europe. And the protectionist policies of the EU have harmed British consumers. Like higher prices for shoes, and an extra 20 quid a week on a food bill because of the CAP.
N is for nationalism It ain't what it used to be
True. Now it's EU nationalism. Well, apart from the rise of nationalist parties like Front National and the BNP because of the desire for the EU to erase national identities and cultures. Force people together, and the split will be bloody.
O is for openness What the EU has done best in expanding from an original six to a current 27 countries
Any back up for this? I don't understand why those countries in Eastern Europe went from Communism to, well, borderline Communism. Apart from money in the short term, I suppose.
P is for peace Don't take it for granted in the continent that gave us Auschwitz.
Back to attacking those Germans again! Look, matey. It was NATO and trade and a lack of money and desire to have another war that kept the peace.
Q is for queueing Less and less of it on the borders between EU countries
I'd rather queue for a bit and know who was in the country, personally. Maybe that's just me being fickle?
R is for regions Remote and poorer areas of Europe benefit from structural funds that amount to a great social democratic exercise in wealth redistribution
Yes, they get hand outs instead of developing and being competitive. What a jolly good idea! I mean, it's worked so well in Sub-Saharan Africa...And I also really don't see why my money should go to pay for the public services in other countries, when the ones in the UK are shite.
S is for soft power if the EU's so bad, why does everyone else want to join?
I would have thought that the comment above would go some way to explain that. Or have you already forgotten that you wrote it?
T is for transport All of Europe is being knitted together by road and rail infrastructure projects
Like road pricing controlled by Galileo! Hurrah! Like the open skies deal which means foreign airlines can pinch slots at LHR instead of making their own airports work properly. Jolly good!
U is for unification In 2004, when eight post-communist countries joined, made Europe whole (nearly), democratic, and free for the first time ever
Except that the EU is not democratic, so that kind of blows that one out of the water.
V is for variety From Krakow to Florence to Edinburgh to Seville, no union has ever comprised such splendid diversity
So why try to eradicate it? Why, if it's so good, can't we have imperial measurements, for example? Or different currencies? (which I think you said earlier were bad...)
W is for welfare The European social model cushions the effects of globalisation
THAT IS A BAD THING, YOU FUCKING MORON!!!!!!!!! Jesus. I mean, where do you start? Have these people no brain? Globalisation makes everyone better off, except the lazy people who are currently being propped up by spastics in the EU.
X is for xenophobia National prejudices start to break down the more the citizens of Europe mix and meet
Were we not allowed to talk to people from other countries before the EU, then?
Y is for yard Europe encouraged all countries to unify measuring systems
Which means we won't be able to use yard. And since most of our exports go to America, where they use imperial measurements, how is this good? And also, I thought you just said above that differences were a good thing? So why are these ones not good?
Z is for Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe and his henchmen are barred all over Europe, at British insistence, but only because Britain is in the EU
How do you know that? What a stupid thing to say. Again. The UK has not done enough towards Zimbabwe, but I don't understand how us crawling to the EU to try get something done about sanctions is in any way beneficial.
Friday, April 06, 2007
What the European Union has done for us, from A-Z