|Angela Merkel and David Cameron in Brussels last week|
This is the question in the minds of the Brits as the PM wound up his talks in Brussels. Cameron went to haggle with the EU like a savvy shopper at the Shepton Mallet Fair. While Cameron appears to have been triumphant, the reality is that he was able to get the cuts he wanted because he has already conceded a hell of a lot through his coalition government that has the ( EU lovin') Nick Clegg as its primary cheerleader. Clegg told Cameron that the Tories would have to abandon demands for restoring and giving back to the UK their rights to employment and social laws. Lovely, eh? Selling our employment and social rights for a cut in massive payments to the "superstate" that should never have been given to them in the first place.
The Europolitcos were asking for a 6 percent raise in payments from the UK. We (again) have to fork over for the privilege of allowing them to squander more money on parties and lavish digs. Meanwhile, the average Briton is clipping coupons, shopping at Iceland and trying to find out another innovative way to cook pasta. If a 6 percent pay raise seems like "not a lot", let me illustrate it in numbers. Britain contributes 900 million pounds a year to the bureaucrats in Brussels. The raise would have the UK paying the EU 15.9 billion (that's "b" billion) pounds.
Cameron said that this was not "on". Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy also joined in the protest wanting to cap the contributions at 2.9 percent rather than the 6 percent that the EU is ridiculously demanding. Holland and Sweden also are supporting the cap as are eight other countries. However, don't be fooled. Even if the UK were to be successful in only paying the 2.9 percent, it would still mean that the UK would be out 400 million more pounds to the EU next year.
It is heinous that this amount of money is being paid to an organization that shows us constantly that it is inept, free-spending, non-democratic and runs itself on superb non-accountability. Why can't we keep this money at home...here....in the UK...where it can be used to support our own infrastructure? Why can't it be used to build better roads, keep the higher education tuition at low rates, rescue some of the child benefits and offer small business loans to entrepreneurs? Instead, it is being sent to a group of perfect strangers to spend as they wish. And guess what, GB? You didn't even have a say in whether to be a part of this EU Elite Club or not. Now, the Brussels Bandidos are making off with child benefit money and the money that might have sent more of them to university. That money to buy drugs for the NHS to treat cancer? Ask the MEP who spends it on trips to the French Riviera. See the small organic farm you wanted to open with a government low interest loan? Some Brussels MP bought a new Jaguar with it. (And Mr Brown handed him the keys.)
William Hague ( at the Conservative Party conference in September) stated that the Conservative Party would include a UK sovereignty clause that would state that no EU directive could be introduced into the UK without a referendum. Isn't that a tad too late, Mr Hague? Never mind that Labour handed the country over in a small handbasket in the middle of the night without a bang or whimper. Where was the referendum when we needed it? I suppose that if the Conservatives are true to their word, then it is better than nothing.
Yes, on paper, it looks like Mr Cameron was successful in obtaining his concession and getting the EU to note that any future raises in EU spending would have to take national budgets into account. Of course, they will probably "take this into account" and continue to ask the UK for more money.
So, now the EU is not just telling us when to jump.....they are charging us mightily for the jumping.
When do we tell the EU that we aren't Daddy Warbucks? Or is that a moot point like everything else? Keep clipping your coupon sweethearts and watch your quid flying eastward. And dust off your old LP of the original cast recording of "Annie". It may make you feel like this Great Depression isn't so cheerless. It's a hard knock life, but not for the Bandidos in Brussels.