Actually, according to Le Monde on 15th June, the
Constitutional Treaty's primary architect, French ex-president Valéry Giscard
the current president Jacques Chirac that copies of the hefty document
should never have been distributed to the dumb French plebs, because he
reckoned it was too complicated and too long for them to understand
Yet now, undaunted by the tsunami of
EuroNo sentiment sweeping the Continent, the intrepid Mr Juncker is going
ahead with his very own referendum on 10th July despite all his EU
colleagues putting their respective ratification processes on indefinite hold.
For he is convinced that the sophisticated half-million Luxembourgeoisie
will show the pig-ignorant other 456½m
EUropeans the proper way to vote. This is in the face of his
domestic opinion polls where the Noes are rudely in the ascendant (from
24% to 45% in eight months and climbing), which show that they will do
precisely the opposite.
This man has a serious problem with reality.
Most people, encountering bad news, go through five distinct phases -
Shock, Denial, Anger, Acceptance, Action. Mr Chirac passed through
these phases very rapidly (skipping over Acceptance) and is now well
ensconced in Action. His action is to blithely ignore the French Non
and distract his people from it by launching a withering and unprovoked
budgetary attack on Tony Blair. He's demanding more British money,
with no quid pro quo, that he knows (and hopes) Mr Blair will not
deliver. Top marks for dynamism, hubris and changing the subject.
But Mr Juncker? He cannot get
beyond Denial, and as a result is going to be pushed back to Shock when
Luxembourg votes No on 10th July. But at least by then his six-month
tenure as top EU minister will have lapsed so his haywire ramblings can be safely
ignored. Though you'd pity the people he goes back to serving. It'll
then be up to them to give him the boot he richly deserves.
Meanwhile, to the horror of old-schoolers
Juncker, Chirac and Schröder who are all on their electoral way out, the
perfidious Albionite Blair, freshly re-elected, will take over the EU
presidency. And to make matters worse, he's also going to head up
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Philosopher-President Juncker has also been giving us
the benefit of his deranged wisdom in relation to the Common Agricultural
While there is that fierce row raging between Britain and France
over exchanging cuts in Britain's rebate for cuts in France's agricultural
subsidies, and elsewhere about the whole morality of the CAP, here's a
translation of what
the Junckist had to say (in
French, para 26), still in denial over the
anti-Federalist Non and Nee. He was responding to Tony Blair's inference
should shift from the wealth-destroying CAP toward wealth-creating research and
The Cap is the only real community policy entirely financed by the EU budget. Research is essentially a national budget, supported by the European budget. You can't compare the
In other words, the CAP is, for the EU élite, a symbol of some
would-be Federal United States
of Europe. This, alone, they deem to be sufficient justification for eating up
nearly half the
EU budget, regardless of whether it does any other good or
Let's recap on the CAP.
along comes a sympathetic recruiter, perhaps even her boyfriend, from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent offshoot of
Fatah, offering a simple solution to her troubles. He is her
saviour. All she has to do is get into Israel and blow herself
up. Instantly she will be relieved of all her suffering, go straight
to heaven and be remembered on earth as a glorious martyr and an honour to
her family. Compared to her alternatives, this is a blissful
it is the pattern of almost every female Palestinian suicide bomber
independently investigated. Their suicides are rooted not in
ideology but simply in man trouble; everything else is
Victor has written quite movingly about these women in Army
of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers,
Roses being what the thug Arafat used to call them. I also wrote in
a previous post, The Depravity of
al-Rayashi who blew herself up at the same Erez checkpoint to gain release
from her complicated man troubles here on earth.
women should, of course, not be spared our opprobrium for the vileness and
unforgivability of their deeds. Yet we should also recognize the
circumstances surrounding those terminal acts and reserve some
condemnation for the role that their so-called loved ones have played.
Only proper Western-style democracy, which thanks to
the death of Arafat, is now a realistic possibility for the Palestinians,
has any hope of saving these women (as well as their would-be Israeli victims)
from the depraved, nihilistic barbarity that is suicide
Meanwhile, Wafa is deservedly serving a
twelve-year sentence in a high-security Israeli jail.
Late Note (June
I've just come across this
clip about the case.
In it, one of Wafa's
friends confirms that indeed
man-trouble lay behind Wafa's actions.
After her terrible burns, Wafa’s fiancé left her. She felt abandoned and
She cried and said “I want to die. Someone give me a bomb”.
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A 58-year-old control freak, claiming he is Jesus,
routinely has sex, forcible as well as consensual, with his wife, his daughters,
his nieces and his granddaughters, some of whom he marries,
and they bear him nine children. He also beats them, confiscates
their money and forbids them any contact with men. After police
officers call at his house, he convinces his oldest daughter to shoot her
eight siblings dead through the right eye and then to commit
suicide. The police find a pile of bloody bodies in a back
After a three-month trial in Fresno, California, he
is convicted on 23 counts of murder, rape and continuous sexual abuse of
his daughters, granddaughters and nieces.
Ho, hum, boring.
Well, that seems to be the attitude of the American
and indeed international media. As far as I can find, the LA Times
is the only mainstream US newspaper to carry the story
in any detail, and the The
Scotsman internationally. Even the blogosphere seems hardly to
have touched this tale of multi-murder, abuse, incest and polygamy.
Do a Google search on Marcus
and you'll see what I mean.
can you imagine a more horrific set of crimes that Marcus Wesson, for that
is his name, or anyone could have committed? Yet nobody's
must be some measure of modern society's moral degeneracy when Michael
Jackson's fondling of young boys and licking their hair are regarded as
much more shocking and newsworthy, and his acquittal a matter for
only solace is that Wesson will never again be a free man, and with a
potential death sentence hanging over him, may not even be a live
one. Either penalty is too good for him.
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The Joy of Tunnel
Collapse of a tunnel has pretty grim consequences -
unless the collapse is financial rather than physical.
the public company that owns the tunnel - or Chunnel - which runs under
the English Channel connecting the UK to France and known to some as the
mother of all white elephants is, as ever, in dire
financial straits. It Chairman Jacques Gounon has threatened the
Board that it is facing collapse unless saved by its long-suffering
creditor banks, to whom it owes £6.4 billion. It has no hope of meeting interest
payments on this vast sum, let alone debt repayments. But with fierce
competition from both ferries and low-cost airlines, there is not much it
can do, other than self-liquidate and start again.
The company, its banks and the market all think this
is a terrible idea because of the huge amount of money that will instantly
vanish. So do the shareholders, although they've already seen the
value of their shares drop by 98% so you'd wonder why they don't just
forget about the remaining 2%. For the truth is that whatever the
theoretical value of the company, that value simply no longer
The ferries and airlines should be just as worried by
Eurotunnel's imminent demise.
For, from the customers' point of view, it's
joyful news. Following liquidation, the tunnel itself and all its
facilities will not
disappear. Someone else will end up buying the Eurotunnel company for a sum that is linked solely
to its future revenue-earning capability in a cut-throat market and with
no regard whatsoever to the cost of construction or past
That means, with a low capital base and no debt to
speak of, the collapsed and then resurrected Eurotunnel will instantly
start undercutting the boats, Ryanair, Easyjet etc, which will also
drive down their prices. Consumers win; so do traders at both ends
and also the carriers thanks to the increased traffic prompted by the lower
It was Margaret Thatcher's brilliance in the 1980s to
refuse to commit Exchequer money for digging the tunnel
despite screams from the nationalise-everything Labour opposition.
As a result, every now-vaporised penny and franc that went in to it was
from willing private investors instead of coerced taxpayers.
Indeed, no railway construction project in the UK has
ever made money; Eurotunnel has merely been following a well-worn
tradition. It is those who pick up the pieces who are able to cash
And that's the heartless Capitalist system for you.
Nearly everybody benefits nearly all of the time and ordinary consumers
most of all. But some people, such as Eurotunnel's current
shareholders and creditors, most certainly don't. The Socialist
system, of course, ensures that no-one benefits any of the time (except
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Dissing the Haka
Last Saturday 25th June, the British and Irish Lions
rugby team were ignominiously and deservedly defeated 21-3 by a rampant New
Zealand All Blacks squad in
the first of three weekly test matches. The series is conducted only every 12 years on the hallowed
rugby soil of New Zealand.
Every single Lion, with just a few honourable exceptions, underperformed spectacularly, and added to this by
implementing a give-the-ball-to-the-All-Blacks-at-every-opportunity
strategy that ensured the Lions were never in a position to score, not
that they made the slightest effort to.
major matches, and this was nothing different, the All Blacks always perform their
Haka. This is an ancient war dance handed down by the native Maoris,
involving a lot of stamping, arm-waving, shouting and sticking out
tongues. It's designed to give them courage for the contest ahead
and to intimidate their opponents, and generally achieves both aims, particularly
it would seem against the latest Lions.
The question that always occurs to me, though, is why
do their opponents accord it any respect whatsoever? Why do they, as
in this photograph, just stand and politely face the All Blacks as they do
their girlie thing?
The Haka is nothing but a pre-match mind
game, and an eminently successful one. But in my view it works only
because opposing teams always choose to co-operate.
opponents, since they don't have a comparable ceremony, really ought to play a mind game of their own. They should simply
ignore the Haka, turn their backs, chat among themselves, giggle
derisively at the dancers and generally diss the performance, all behaviour that the proud macho All Blacks
would find supremely irritating.
What an excellent state of mind to start the real
Maybe after their drubbing, the Lions
will at last adopt a new attitude towards the Haka for their next test
match on 2nd July. Actually, they should adopt a new everything and
especially a new team.
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Apartment near Malaga
any readers are interested, I have available for holiday lettings in Spain
comfortable, recently-renovated, three-bedroom family apartment in Los
Boliches, which is beside Fuengirola and just 20 minutes from Malaga
Airport. It's on the fifth floor, has two balconies and use of a large,
guitar-shaped exclusive pool with lovely surrounding
garden for sunbathing.
Los Boliches lies on the coast, and within ten minutes
stroll from the apartment are countless restaurants, tapas and other bars, lively nightlife,
great shopping, magnificent sandy beach and pristine sea. In fact
everything you'd expect from a modern Costa del Sol resort, including the
sunshine of course.
For full details, photos and map, click here.
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Quotes of Week
(Actually this covers the past seven weeks since Issue #100)
Quote: I come from a country where my mother, when she wanted to say something scary, would say:
The Turks are
In a wonderfully racist inference, Romano Prodi,
leader of Italy's opposition left-leaning Olive Branch coalition,
who as past EU commission president
was among the strongest advocates
of opening membership talks with Ankara,
suggests that he and other Italians have a deep-seated dislike
of Turkey's application to join the EU.
sane person could understand the verdict
Russian billionaire businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
replying to one of his three
who asked whether he understood the guilty verdict
passed against him for fraud,
for which he was sentenced to nine years in jail
find the verdict fair and objective
speaking for the Russian prosecutor general's
has been making a gesture because, over the past 10
years, even with the British rebate, we have been making a contribution to Europe 2½ times that of France. Without the rebate, it would have been 15 times as much as France. So that is our gesture.
Tony Blair, in an answer designed to infuriate
responds to the French president's invitation
to make a gesture of solidarity for Europe
by renouncing Britain's £3 billion annual rebate from the EU
For the arithmetically minded, the reply means that
Britain's average net contribution to the EU has been £600m pa
which compares with France's £240m.
The difference over 10 years is a whopping £3½bn.
Why did he keep these cash figures camouflaged?
said that being rich doesn't make people happy, but Ireland's experience
shows that it definitely helps and quite a lot.”
Sociology professor Wil Arts,
one of the authors of a new 25-year survey,
“ Atlas of European Values”,
that reveals the Irish are among the happiest people in Europe.
(Other commentators, in
similar vein, have observed that
though money might not make us happy, most of us would prefer
to be rich and unhappy than poor and unhappy)
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