Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Barroso effectively urges Blair not to give in to democracy!

José Manuel Barroso the president of the European Commission addressing an audience of national and euro-parliamentarians yesterday, concerning the thinly disguised re-vamp of the EU constitution, said he hoped the Prime Minister "will have the courage" to scrap more national vetoes and to sign up to an EU bill of rights despite public hostility.

''You know about the UK, and the respect I have for your country,"
"We have to stand up in front of our national public opinions, not give up to some of the populisms we have in our member states."

“Populisms” presumably being his pejorative ‘code’ for the democratic process.

Excuse me!! We are trying to pretend we still live in a democracy here you know!

The soon-to-be Ex UK Premier was elected on a manifesto promising to put the now rejected contents of the EU constitution to a referendum in the UK.

“Let the people have the final say”, he said.

He is supposed to be representing that position, not conniving to betray his electorate. Is this the price of becoming a commissioner?
If this isn’t clear evidence of a chilling indifference to the democratic process on the part of the EU elite, then what is?

William Hague UK MP said on the matter: "Tony Blair shouldn't be standing up to British public opinion; he should be standing up for it: the Prime Minister's job is to stand up for Britain in Europe, not stand up for Europe in Britain."

Most European citizens would probably, on balance, prefer a democratically governed EU.

Worryingly it increasingly seems as if the European political elite are not so much concerned how a European super state might be governed, only that it exists in some form - and they are in charge.

To preserve appearances they would probably be happy enough with a tame domestic electorate, to rubber stamp their decrees, but as they have discovered, the European electorate is still feral and as like to savage an unwary hand as anything.

It might be more honest to proclaim it the new Holy Roman Empire - and all hail to King Barroso the first!

At least we could have a glittering aristocracy and the pageantry that goes with it to keep our minds off of unnecessary, inconvenient, plain out of date, frills - like democracy. Maybe better to give the job to one of the British Princes, they really are Royal and at least the UK might be less inclined to make a fuss then. The Commissioners could all be Lords, or Barons...

Too much translation, bad for the nation - Says Ruth Kelly

The UK ‘Communities’ Secretary Ruth Kelly told the BBC's Politics Show that:

”I do think translation has been used too frequently and sometimes without thought added to the consequences.”

"So, for example, it's quite possible for someone to come here from Pakistan and elsewhere in the world and to find that materials are routinely translated into their mother tongue and therefore not have the incentive to learn English."

She pointed out that the evidence was that if someone did not begin to learn English within their first six months in the UK, they were never likely to learn it.

Former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, predictably disagreed.

"If you do not provide that material for them to be aware of what's happening in the society or issues of particular help, they will remain sort of isolated.

"They will not really get the benefit, nor will they be able to contribute in a positive way".

The immediate thought that occurs is “No they probably won’t - but will they ever anyway? Not if they never bother to make any effort to acquire the language of the country they live in they won’t”

A BBC study showed that over £100,000,000 of public money was spent on translation services in the UK 2006. Apparently, in one instance, refuse collection guidelines – were translated into 15 languages - and one-to-one smoking sessions incurred costs because translation was provided.

Now I can understand that we may be obliged to provide translation, in certain Languages, in certain circumstances:

There is the Welsh Language Act 1993.

The UK is part of the EC. The business of the EC is generally conducted in English, French and German.

The full list of official EU Languages is: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.

In criminal cases the UK is obliged in the interests natural justice to provide translation into any language, also under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

I fail to see why the UK should be routinely providing translations for other languages, in other circumstances. Someone who can’t be bothered to learn the language is surely demonstrating a negative, or at best, zero commitment to their adopted country. If people can’t be bothered to help themselves in the most elementary way why should the State be obliged to take up the shortfall?

Why on earth waste public money providing translations for one-to-one smoking sessions for instance?

People who go to any country to reside there on a long term basis are stupid, or lazy, if they fail to make some effort to acquire the language. Even Tourists would be well served to learn a few basics such as; “please”, “thank you”, “how much?”, etc. It is a matter of sensible self interest if nothing else.