mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Stop The Continentals When They Flirt With Dictatorship

It seems a bit weird for Intel to be urging its Irish staff, all 4,200 of them, to vote for the Lisbon Treaty when it’s put before the Irish people for the second time in October.

 

“Intel Corporation’s management is supporting our Irish management team as we make our views clear that it is important for the country, and for multinational companies within the country, that Ireland remains a player at the heart of Europe”, says Jim O’Hara, General Manager of Intel Ireland.

 

The trouble with Intel’s advice is that every right thinking person in Europe is cheering on the Irish to do what they did last year, when they were first asked to vote on the Lisbon Treaty, and give it a second resounding raspberry.

The problem with the Lisbon Treaty is that it gives more power to the EC and less power to nation states.

This is in direct opposition to the principle of subsidiarity, meaning that decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level, which was made part of European law in the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht.

The Lisbon Treaty contains various stratagems for concentrating power in Brussels, like changing the majority voting rules on the EU Council, appointing a European Foreign Minister to co-ordinate European foreign policy and, worst of all, appointing a President of the European Council which could be the awful Mr Blair.

The Continentals have a penchant for dictators, and everything must be done to stop them indulging it.

Tags: continentals, foreign minister, mr blair, multinational companies, raspberry

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17 Comments

  1. David Manners
    August 26, 2009 10:48

    Well said, Healthy sceptic, my sentiments entirely. More centralisation is obviously the wrong way to go. I thought subsidiarity, which appears to be the opposite to centralisation, was supposed to be Europe’s future direction. I’ll look up this guy Bonde, thanks for that

  2. Healthy sceptic
    August 25, 2009 22:20

    If you want to know about EU transparency, then check out the life’s work of the Danish MEP Jens Peter Bonde http://www.bonde.com
    The EU is an institutional muddle, with vested interests and lobbyists influencing who gets to determine policy.
    The greatest joke of all is the idea that the Irish Treaty rejection was an affront to the march of Europe. The Irish voted against a treaty that had already been rejected based on 98% of it’s content by the electorates and France and the Netherlands. Spain voted in favour, but elections in Spain are more like auctions of promises than genuine democratic engagements.
    Like EU bureacracy, Intel are not fond of competition or accountability either. Do the Germans working for Intel’s competitor AMD, in Dresden, know that Intel are telling the Irish to vote for a Treaty that is being foreced on them (and they have no vote on it).
    Fight the power !!! The centralization of power in continental Europe has always ended in blood, destruction, and profiteering. The Irish made a wise judgement.The only problem is that a commercial and political elite have interests in lying to the Irish to ‘deliver a result’ that is in their short term interests.
    The more Europe goes into a quagmire of centralization, the more it stagnates.

  3. David Manners
    August 24, 2009 14:39

    Romain you’re quite right that England is not corruption-free, but at least we’re ashamed of it and, where it’s made public, it gets punished. The EC seems unashamed about the unaudited accounts, the fiddling of expenses and the fraud. Even when it’s public, the EC seem to blame the whistle-blower and let the fraudsters go unpunished. They seem to have no sense of shame.
    Having said that, I do agree with your list of Europe’s achievements. You could add GSM to it and, on the semiconductor side, the huge success of IMEC and the pioneering of the ‘platform’ approach which, I think, was first formulated by MEDEA 1, and the the successes of Crolles, smartcards, RFID and wireless technologies generally.

  4. Romain
    August 24, 2009 14:11

    Well I’m not sure it is so bad, but let’s agree on these cons. And as far as I can see from the other side of the channel, I don’t really see GB as a corruption free country. But remember EU as we know it is only 50 years old. If we remember history, never such a young state was perfect. To make it better we have to play the game. It’s too easy to say I’ll wait until it gets better. Think about all the great achievement of europe (how great they are is naturally achievable): EADS/Airbus, unique currency, Erasmus student exchanges… Having a strong european semiconductor industry can only be achieved by having a model such as our defense industry. A NXP/ST/IFX consortium could be a solution to a lot of problems. That would be strong enough to fight against hedge funds.
    Romain

  5. David Manners
    August 24, 2009 13:29

    Thanks Romain you’re very kind. I don’t think Brtiain is in any way anti-Europe. If the EU government was a model of how power should be exercised – accountable, honest, transparent, fair, free from corruption etc – then the UK would be glad to see the EU getting stronger and taking more power. However, the EU does not demonstrate these qualities in its governance of Europe. It tolerates corruption, it accepts the fact that its accounts have not been signed off by auditors for over a decade, it penalises whistle-blowers, the executive seems to not to be accountable to anyone, its decision-making is not transparent. It’s a thoroughly rotten government. In these circumstances no sane person would want to see any extension of the power of this government. Reform first, then an extension of power – that’s the way ahead I think.

  6. Romain
    August 24, 2009 13:17

    Well as far as I can remember France voted on the lisbon treaty and rejected it… So if someone has a problem with dictatorship it is more Britain than us (yes I m french). Your rhetoric reminds more of corsica who wants to be independant. It does not make a lot of sense in today’s world. I never quite understood why Britain was so reluctant to EU. Being more proactive in the building of a strong Europe would be more effective than just saying no to whatever is proposed.
    That said, I must say that I really enjoy your blog.
    Cheers
    Romain

  7. David Manners
    August 24, 2009 11:11

    I have to say, 13th Spitfire, I voted UKIP this year. There is much to dislike about them but the Socialists and Tories in Europe seem to be corrupt in their apporach to their expenses and to lack of commitment to try and make the EC honest in its attitude to fraud, and to auditing its accounts. It wass amazing how quickly Neil Kinnock ‘went native’ as a Commissioner – apparently acquiescing in the rip-off expenses system, the massive frauds and the failure to audit the accounts. To my mind UKIP keep pointing out the glaring evils of the EU, and that’s what we need someone to keep on doing. And that’s why I think you may be right that UKIP will be the biggest UK party in the EU parliament next time. If Europe won’t reform itself, maybe UKIP can kick Euro-backsides until we get a system that is halfway decent, legal and honest and, above all, democratic.

  8. David Manners
    August 24, 2009 11:01

    Thanks Hermann, spot on. Glad you agree. You’re absolutely right, the Eurocrats just don’t get it. They don’t think they need to have the EC’s accounts signed off, they don’t think they should account for their expenses, they don’t think they have to accept democratic voting decisions, they don’t see any need to be as transparent as possible. They have all the instincts of dictators,

  9. August 22, 2009 01:01

    Really though the fact of the matter is that this treaty is the corner stone of the project. It confirms the EU as a nation state, it created the United States of Europe – this will be the adopted title within the coming years be so sure; USE. Little else would piss of the Americans as much as that.
    The fact that is a self amending treaty means this really is the end, after this no more treaties no more say-ever-for the people of the EU. Yet they seem confounded, in Brussels, that euroscepticism is so ripe and growing in Britain. Mark my words one our little “democratic” exercise comes around again in 5 years time the so called European Elections UKIP will win. They came second this year, third before that. It is just a matter of time.
    The people of the UK do not like the EU the faster the main parties recognise this the faster they will gain power.

  10. Hermann from germany
    August 21, 2009 16:53

    It is obvious that this world suffer from a somewhat perverted means of demogracy. With EU being the best example. To me it seems quite normal already that poll’s, election’s or referenda ae repeated until they provide the desired answer. Nice-treaty has been held twice. Bush was elected three times, ukraine government was elected tree times and now this fascist trick of a dictatoship wrapped up by a glossy marketing campaign. Since 2005 we vote on this EU constitution.Fact is, europeans are not that silly anymore. NOBODY want Lisbon. People like cooperation with other european countries but few want that EU superstate with its army and pressure. Especially, nobody want be fooled into this. They just don’t get it. Do they?

  11. David Manners
    August 21, 2009 14:55

    Hear Hear, Grant. The very fact that Sarkozy et al can’t accept the Irish ‘No’ as an end to Lisbon – as it should be accepted under EU law – and have asked the irish to vote again, shows that the EU does not have a democratic attitude to its citizens. If it did have a democratic attitude, it would have an EU-wide referendum on Lisbon. These people (Sarkozy et al) think Big Brother knows best, and that the peoples’ wishes should be subservient to Big Brother. They have predilections towards dirigism and dictatorship.

  12. David Manners
    August 21, 2009 14:52

    BR, to be honest I meant right as in correct. It seems wrong that we are not given the right to vote on a constitution for Europe which affects us all. And, whatever interpretation people put on Lisbon, most people I know see it as a French-baked scheme for centralising power.

  13. BR
    August 21, 2009 14:44

    Did you mean right (“every right thinking person in Europe “) as in conservative (in which case you are probably correct) or right as in correct (in which case let the people decide, which unfortunately won’t happen in most countries)?

  14. El Rupester
    August 21, 2009 14:43

    At first I thought you were saying the Irish were continentals :)
    I’m with SSJ: the Lisbon treat would be more democratic than today’s system where largely only the (appointed) Council has power.
    The fact that Britain has a parliamentary system and we aren’t trusted with referenda is hardly the EU’s fault. Indeed, we are the country with “Elective Dictatorship” in a way that few other countries mange.

  15. Grant
    August 21, 2009 14:30

    Wake up SSJ
    The people of Britain plainly do NOT want to be subserviant to European Politicians, yet the treaty has already been signed. We are already in a Dictatorship & sick & tired of this rhetoric.
    we are supposedly in a Democratic Country & we don’t want it

  16. David Manners
    August 21, 2009 10:59

    Thanks SSJ, but we in the UK have been denied a referendum on Lisbon because most of us see it as the discredited Giscard d’Estaing Euro-Constitution which was about creeping Euro-dictatorship – and we don’t want it.

  17. SSJ
    August 21, 2009 03:48

    The Treaty of Lisbon would in fact make the EU more democratic and give a greater say to national parliaments.
    The Council’s president will have NO formal power, and would by the way be appointed by 27 democratically elected governments.
    Lisbon has nothing to do with dictatorship.

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