Archive for the ‘EU’ Tag

Yes, On Behalf Of All EU Members

Ireland EUWell the Eurocrats got their way at the second try and the scale of the victory makes one wonder why it took two goes to get there. Just what happened to persuade so many Irish people to change their minds? Perhaps it was the concessions on abortion laws and drink drive limits, perhaps it was the concerns over the nations debts and the help provided by the EU.

Or perhaps it was the way the normal rules on balanced political advertising and reporting were abandoned, or the way some very vocal business leaders pushed the yes vote as the only way forward for their companies and thus the employment of thousands.

Whatever the reason for the change we now have the spectacle of the Eurocrats turning their sights onto the two remaining countries that need to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. One wonders what concessions and bribes will be elicited from the EU for those very valuable signatures. It makes a mockery of the whole process that part of our constitutional future can be bought for a few tallents of hypothetical gold.

New Light Through New Lamps, Well Almost

CFLToday is CFL day; the day the sale of some tungsten filament lamps became illegal, although shops may continue to sell off existing stocks. Its part of an EU directive to reduce carbon emissions that will eventually ban the sale of all tungsten filament lamps. The new compact florescent and tungsten halogen lamps are more efficient and last longer than their predecessors, but do cost a lot more.

The change is not without its critics who make a number of claims about the new lamps, including

  • They take time to reach full output
  • The light output is less than claimed
  • They do not fit many light fittings
  • They contain mercury
  • The carbon saved is minimal compared to total carbon output

All these claims are refuted by the EU and the manufacturers, however from my experience and a few simple measurements with a light meter I must agree with the first three points. Yes there are CFL that start quickly and have a good output level but they cost four to five times that of the equivalent. Most CFLs on sale are not of the high quality type, many are poor imitations, the sooner there is some form of quality control and defined standards for these lamps the quicker the public will accept them.

Never Ending Sordidness

Euro_coinsThe expenses claims of MPs continue to fill the front pages of Britain’s newspapers, the latest discovery being the inflated claims for council tax expenses. The MPs responses are to trot out the same old excuses; I made an innocent mistake; I confused the figures; I did not realise I had used the wrong figure.

Its increasingly hard to understand how the very people who are supposed to be sorting out the economic troubles currently facing the country have so much trouble sorting out their own finances. It makes one question the motivation of individuals who wish to become MPs, it seems less about serving their country and more about serving themselves. The Kinnocks are a classic example of career politicians who have made a fortune while doing very little in return.

For the past 14 years the auditors of the EU accounts have declined to sign them off because a not insignificant proportion of the spending cannot be adequately accounted for. Although Neil Kinnock was given the task of solving some of the problems of financial control nothing really changed. Even an internal report criticised his three year campaign to put things right. They continue to dip their hands in the public purse while being totally ineffective as politicians. Self serving like too many of our current crop of MPs.