I've been struggling for a long time now to contain my anger at the way Tony Blair's been conducting the EU budget negotiations, not just because of the recalcitrance of parties like Poland which arrogantly insist on acting as if the aid were theirs by right rather than the coerced transfer of funds from citizens of other nations that it is, but even more so because right from the start the pusillanimous Blair seemed to take it as given that the Common Agricultural Policy was untouchable at least for now, with the most that could be hoped for being renegotiations in 2009. This Times article shows why my anger at Blair's timidity on this issue is so thoroughly justified.
FRENCH farmers were accused of holding Europe and the world to ransom yesterday after official figures obtained by The Times revealed just how far European Union subsidies are skewed in their favour.
Three times as many French farmers receive large subsidies from the EU than those of any other country. In total, France receives almost twice as much direct subsidies for its farmers as any other member state, and they are mostly channelled to large farmers rather than traditional small-scale land holders.
Despite the huge discrepancies France steadfastly refuses to countenance any reduction in farm subsidies, bringing the EU budget negotiations in Brussels and the World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong, both climaxing this week, to the brink of collapse.France's farmers are the parasites of the European Union, subsidy-hungry leeches who do little more than destroy taxpayer value while ruining the livelihoods of millions of poor farmers throughout the rest of the world, yet instead of the British government demanding that they wean themselves off the EU teat, it is the French who have the temerity to insist that Britain and the rest of Europe continue to subsidize this wealthy coterie of rent-seeking layabouts. Why is it that Blair cannot bring himself to take as strong a stand as the French can and do, even when the weight of justice is so clearly on his side?
Dominique de Villepin, the French Prime Minister, declared yesterday that France would veto any EU budget agreement at tomorrow’s Brussels summit, or world trade deal, that entailed cutting farm subsidies before the EU’s next seven-year budget ends in 2013. “We will not accept an accord that obliges Europe to start a new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy,” he told the French Parliament.
This ridiculous situation in which the French wreckers of all progress are the ones making demands and expecting them to be be met is what comes of having a government led by a Europhile who wants so strongly to be liked by the more-sophisticated continentals who supposedly lie on the other side of the Channel: had Gordon Brown and the prospect of an unwinnable referendum not managed to restrain Blair's uncritical Europhilia, we'd all be using the Euro by now and suffering the consequences of it, all in the name of not being "left behind" and isolated. Oh for the days of Margaret Thatcher and her handbag!
PS: As this article makes clear, the wealthy parasites who benefit from the CAP aren't limited to France, though wealthy Frenchmen do make up the lion's share of beneficiaries. No wonder the majority of the EU elite seems to love the lunatic CAP so much - many are on the take themselves.