A Warning from Vaclav Klaus

In the Telegraph:

The new push for a European Union federation, complete with its own head of state and army, is the “final phase” of the destruction of democracy and the nation state, the president of the Czech Republic has warned.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Václav Klaus warns that “two-faced” politicians, including the Conservatives, have opened the door to an EU superstate by giving up on democracy, in a flight from accountability and responsibility to their voters.

“We need to think about how to restore our statehood and our sovereignty. That is impossible in a federation. The EU should move in an opposite direction,” he said.

More.

Speaking in Hradcany Castle, a complex of majestic buildings that soars above Prague, and is a symbol of Czech national identity, Mr Klaus described Mr Barroso’s call for a federation, quickly followed by the German-led intervention, as an important turning point.

“This is the first time he has acknowledged the real ambitions of today’s protagonists of a further deepening of European integration. Until today, people, like Mr Barroso, held these ambitions in secret from the European public,” he said. “I’m afraid that Barroso has the feeling that the time is right to announce such an absolutely wrong development.

“They think they are finalising the concept of Europe, but in my understanding they are destroying it.”

More.

Mr Klaus is a courteous old-school European, a keen and frequent public speaker, who insists on an intellectual critique of ideas rather than the personal criticism that often substitutes for serious political debate today. To his “great regret” he finds himself a lone fighter for democracy among Europe’s heads of state.

“When it comes to the political elites at the top of the countries, it is true, I am isolated,” he said. “Especially after our Communist experience, we know, very strongly and possibly more than people in Western Europe, that the process of democracy is more important than the outcome.

“It is an irony of history, I would never have assumed in 1989, that I would be doing this now: that it would be my role to preach the value of democracy.”

In his book, Europe: The Shattering of Illusions, to be published by Bloomsbury on Thursday, Mr Klaus makes the case that the EU has evolved into its current form because political leaders have found it convenient to turn away from their nation states, where voters have historically been able to hold them to account.

“Political elites have always known that the shift in decision-making from the national to the supranational level weakens the traditional democratic mechanisms (that are inseparable from the existence of the nation state), and this increases their power in a radical way. That is why they wanted this shift so badly in the past, and that is why they want it today,” he writes.

“The authors of the concept of European integration managed to short circuit the minds of the people, making a link between Hitler’s aggressive nationalism (nationalism of a totally negative type) and the traditional nation state, calling into question the existence of nation states in general. Of the many fatal mistakes and lies that have always underpinned the evolution of the EU, this is one of the worst.”

Of the UK Conservative party:

With sadness, more than anger, he concludes that the Conservatives, in government under David Cameron, are no better than any other national politicians with “two faces”, who “show one to their voters and the other when speaking in Brussels, at various EU summits and similar events.”

“We see it best with the British Conservatives after Margaret Thatcher. With the full weight of public opinion behind them, sharply opposing the euro and any further transfer of powers to Brussels – winning many a vote thanks to this – as soon as they step on to the continent, their resolve to fight for these principles evaporates,” he writes.

Richard North of Eureferendum comments that we’ve never had democracy anyway:

The important issue here – as we have pointed out before is that the European Union is a collective. It is a series of institutions whose governance is shared by several bodies, not least the European Council which is made up from the heads of states and governments of the EU member states.

Crucially, in this context, the essence of a nation state is a territorial entity, stemming from its occupation and legitimate ownership of land, making it a geographical as well as a political unit.

The European, lacking any territorial possessions that could remotely be called a state, and having no ambitions in that direction, cannot be considered a nation state. Like the Vatican of old, which it increasingly resembles, the EU is a supra-national government – a government without a state. It exercises its power over and via the governments of formerly independent nation states, of which it is the supreme government.

Such a super-government cannot, by its very nature, be democratic, but its owes its continued existence to the assent of the parliaments and governments of those individual member states. For them, the EU is a mechanism for by-passing democracy. Vesting their powers in this supra-national body makes them people-proof, insulating them from democratic control.

Nice comparison with the Vatican. I hadn’t thought of it that way before. I guess Herman van Rompuy is a sort of pope, and Manuel Barroso is a top cardinal. And the Vatican was never in the least bit “democratic”.

So what happens when people ‘lose their faith’ in the EU?

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5 Responses to A Warning from Vaclav Klaus

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    O/T

    This link was published back in July and a huge wake-up call for the Tobacco Control Freaks:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/28/healt … .html?_r=1

    Tobacco Funds Shrink as Obesity Fight Intensifies
    July 27, 2010
    By DUFF WILSON

    When the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation decided in 1991 to take on Joe Camel, it became the nation’s largest private funding source for fighting smoking. The foundation spent $700 million to help knock the cartoon character out of advertisements, finance research and advocacy for higher cigarette taxes and smoke-free air laws and, ultimately, to aid in reducing the nation’s smoking rate almost by half.
    But a few years ago, the Johnson foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., added another target to its mission, pledging to spend $500 million in five years to battle childhood obesity. As the antiobesity financing rose to $58 million last year, a new compilation from the foundation shows, the organization’s antismoking grants fell to $4 million.
    The steep drop-off in private funds illustrates the competition under way for money as public health priorities shift. In the race for preventive health care dollars, from charities and from federal and state government sources, the tobacco warriors have become a big loser. And the nation’s battle to shed pounds has in its corner the White House, with Michelle Obama leading a new campaign against childhood obesity. Shortly after the first lady kicked off the “Let’s Move” program, the administration awarded more funds to fight obesity than tobacco through two big new money sources for preventive health. The funds, totaling $1.15 billion, came from economic stimulus and health care reform legislation. They still provided more than $200 million for tobacco-use prevention, but much more to grapple with obesity.
    The changes in financing are also evident across the country. State governments have used tobacco’s billions to balance their budgets while cutting $150 million from antitobacco programs over the last two years. On the airways, obesity public service announcements are lining up while a “Truth” campaign about tobacco languishes for lack of money.
    “Don’t forget tobacco,” pleaded a commentary this month in The New England Journal of Medicine.
    One in five Americans still smokes.
    But one in three is obese.
    And competition for attention is growing between the two biggest issues in public health.
    “I don’t see anybody else rushing into the vacuum,” says Dr. Steven A. Schroeder, former president of the Johnson foundation. “The sad thing is, smoking, despite all the harm it does, is left pretty much an orphan.”
    Dr. James S. Marks, senior vice president of the foundation, said it had to pick its targets. “When we made the commitment to spend $500 million in obesity, we made the commitment to see if we couldn’t do for childhood obesity what we did in tobacco,” he said.
    The decline in state funding to prevent smoking has distressed advocates. The 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and cigarette companies provided more than $200 billion through 2025. For a while it financed preventive programs like the “Truth” media campaign from the antismoking group American Legacy Foundation. But as states used money elsewhere, “Truth” spending declined, to a low of $35 million last year from $104 million in 2000.
    “The industry outspends us in a day what we spend in a year,” said David Dobbins, chief operating officer of Legacy.
    And even as states were raising taxes on cigarettes to record levels — a proven way to deter smoking — they were shifting that revenue to general funds. Both tobacco industry analysts and antismoking groups say that states have become addicted to tobacco money but are using less of it for prevention efforts.
    “Overall funding on tobacco control is down because of dramatic cuts in state spending in recent years,” Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in an interview. “In the last several years we’ve seen the rapid progress in both adult and youth smoking rates slow to a crawl largely because of a decline in overall spending at the state level on tobacco prevention and cessation.”
    State funding for antitobacco programs dropped to $567 million last year, from $717 million two years earlier, a 21 percent cut, according to an advocacy groups’ report titled “A Broken Promise to Our Children.”
    While the federal government has made up for some of the state decline in antitobacco funding, it is spending even more on antiobesity efforts. And despite politic statements, there is undeniable competition for public health money.
    “In our reaction to the obesity epidemic, sometimes we have taken our eye off other issues,” Terry F. Pechacek, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention office on smoking and health, said in a recent interview.
    But Dr. Howard K. Koh, assistant secretary for health, focused on what he said was unprecedented funding from the federal government for both issues.
    “Rather than pitting one disease against another, we want to uphold comprehensive prevention policies,” he said in a phone interview. Dr. Koh said the administration was directing $722 million to tobacco control and research this year and $821 million to obesity control and research.
    The tobacco funding includes industry fees to set up a new regulatory office in the Food and Drug Administration. About half of the tobacco funding and most of the obesity funding is in research financed by the National Institutes of Health, illustrating the relative newness of obesity research.
    In addition, the 2009 economic stimulus package included $650 million for “prevention and wellness strategies.” In February, state smoking quit lines received more than $44 million. In March, obesity programs received 62 percent of a $372 million award while tobacco programs received 38 percent.
    Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, made the awards in March a month after joining with Mrs. Obama to help kick off the first lady’s campaign against childhood obesity.
    Stanton A. Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, asked, “Given that tobacco kills four times as many people as obesity does, why is the government putting more money into obesity?”
    Kenneth E. Thorpe, a professor of health policy and obesity researcher at Emory University in Atlanta, defended the shifting resources, noting that obesity rates had doubled since 1985. And health problems related to being overweight now account for about 30 percent of the increase in health care spending, he said.
    “The smoking rate, fortunately, has been coming down. Not far enough, but that’s moving in the right direction. Obesity is moving in the wrong direction,” he said.
    Congress also created a $15 billion, 10-year Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund as a part of health care reform.
    The first $250 million went in June to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses and other health care workers — more to battle sickness than promote wellness, critics said. Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit advocacy group, said he was disappointed that the money was “diverted.”
    Dr. Koh, the assistant secretary, an oncologist and formerly a Harvard professor and Massachusetts state health chief, said, “It was a one-time investment and we need those providers to deliver preventive services.”
    Out of the second $250 million, $16 million went in June to obesity prevention and $16 million to tobacco cessation. Parts of other funds could be used for those purposes. But the nation’s leading antismoking groups had written Ms. Sebelius in April asking for about 30 percent of the total, which would have been $150 million.
    Next year the prevention fund from health care reform rises to $750 million and to $1 billion after that, so the dueling organizations fighting smoking or obesity will be competing for a much larger pot of money.

    I don’t know if this article has appeared before on smokerclubinternation and if so, it should be deleted. Anyway it shows how the ‘New Tobacco’ has eclipsed the pop health threat of the near future. obesity. While Sebelius plans to toss out cash next year and after, she’d better have her fingers crossed cause she may not have her Chief Executive protector around next Janurary:

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/18/repor … briefings/

    Thanks to Ladyraj posting on Dr. Seigals blog for the link.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Obesity control?

      One day (soon, I hope) Tobacco Control and Obesity Control and all the other ‘control’ organisations are going to be closed down, and all these controllers are going to be fired. Every single damn last one of them.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    So what happens when people ‘lose their faith’ in the EU?

    It collapses!

  3. garyk30 says:

    This is what happens in the ‘New World Order’.
    You must not deviate from the norm!!!

    Students at a UK school are outraged after being told they can’t wear wristbands that pay tribute to their classmate who died of cancer.

    Friends of Jordan Cobby, 14, reportedly created the bracelets to raise money for charity after Cobby lost his battle with eye cancer in March last year.

    Nuneaton Academy, in Warwickshire, England, reportedly banned the bracelets because they are not part of the school uniform.

  4. smokingscot says:

    It seems many have refused to endorse decisions “made in their name”.

    (Links show that voter turnout was less than 20% in two countries and less than 50% throughout the EU as a whole – and its dropping!)

    http://euobserver.com/news/28262

    http://www.euractiv.com/elections/voter-turnout-european-election-lower/article-117868

    All regions in Britain have UKIP and the BNP.

    UKIP managed to increase their MEP’s from 12 in 2004 to 13 in 2009, while BNP managed to get 2 MEP’s in 2009. That’s 17 out of our allocation of 72 and almost certainly the reason why Mr. Clegg was unable to negotiate Proportional Representation as a precondition of Liberal support from either Tory or Labour. He got Alternate Vote, mainly because Brown had agreed to it. Both major parties have a vested interest in retaining First Past the Post, though Junior Milliband didn’t quite understand that, or many other things, in 2011. Slow learner that child.

    Incidentally Farage made a claim recently that UKIP will send more MEP’s to Brussels in 2014 than any other party. That’s very silly of him; he really should have learned from Mr. Kinnock that voters do not like to be taken for granted.

    At the next EU elections, June 2014, English voters will have the new and vastly improved English Democratic Party as an additional choice. I took a shufty at that party earlier this month and was well impressed at the way they’re going about their business, but for a whole bunch of anciliary reasons. Certainly they are likely to prove a thorn in the side of UKIP as well as BNP for the protest vote.

    Greece has it’s far right party (the New Dawn) and France has its National Front that’s now headed up by a slightly more astute Ms. Le Penn. Holland has its Freedom Party that did well several years ago, but really screwed up by forcing the general election earlier this month. Got nailed for that – again they took voters for granted.

    What I find most interesting about this is support for far right extremist parties is greatest amongst younger voters. Older Greeks were mortified when New Dawn scored well at the June election; they remember the military dictatorships of yore – and the front guy for New Dawn makes our Nick Griffin seem quite moderate by comparison.

    Unfortunately this is partly down to the “success” of the EU. The war(s) it has helped avert has resulted in a period of sustained peace but that, combined with our living far longer and knee jerk reactions to extend the working age, has resulted in widespread youth unemployment. It’s most obvious in Greece where not one, but several generations of young people have no choice but to emigrate or face a future of unemployment. It’s very bad in Spain as well as Italy.

    For what its worth Frank, I don’t want to see the EU collapse. I’d like to keep the good bits, like the free movement of people and goods (tobacco goods in particular). As a trading block with more internal competition it stands a vague chance of being worthwhile.

    What I do accept is it’s doing something that’s been brought about by outside forces. It’s trying to defend itself against the money market. I recollect a certain Mr. Major and the then chancellor Mr. Lamont trying to defend Sterling. Didn’t work then and it ain’t gonna work now – and every year brings more disillusioned youngsters into the job market. And they can’t even try for a part time job in a pub: the ban killed that in most of the less well off areas of Europe.

    Interesting times Squire.

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