For the 137th episode of The Scottish Independence Podcast, I didn’t speak to anyone.
It is instead one of those episodes where I am bringing you a bit of an interview by and with someone else because I think it is of importance and should be heard.
That someone else happens to be Manfred Weber, head of the largest group in the European Parliament. When pressed on Brexit by BBC Hardtalk, he took a fairly strong line, best summed up by the title of this episode.
Whether you voted to leave or to remain, I think his comments are important to hear.
He also had a few words about Scotland and the levels of (dis)organisation and (lack of) direction being shown the UK government.
Hope you enjoy.
You can download here if you click THIS LINK .
The pods will be back very shortly, I have already recorded one this week and will also be recording two specials.
In the meantime, have a little think about what this says…
It’s a slightly different episode in that it is 2 discussions about the EU, both from a socialist perspective. One of the interviews makes the left wing case for leaving the EU, and the other makes the left wing case for staying in the EU.
These interviews were conducted a couple of months ago for the SSP podcast, who asked me to do a few interviews for them and I accepted (NB – as ever, the Scottish Independence Podcast is unaligned with any party or group and regular listeners will know we regularly feature SNP, SSP, Greens, Labour for Indy, Libdems for Indy and all sorts of unaligned people and independent groups).
The reason for doing these interviews is that in the coming months we are going to hear a lot about the merits and problems of the EU, but they are mostly going to come from rightwing perspectives – this is why it is important to start giving some perspectives from the other side of the argument early. I suppose you could call it a bit of public service broadcasting, given that official public service broadcasters don’t seem to do that much of it anymore.
Hope you enjoy…
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In the video below, aside from his usual spluttering rage, Everybody’s Darling™ decided to talk about Scotland having a stronger position in the EU as part of the UK. If you don’t want to listen to him, a position I could easily understand, just go below the video.
Time for me to point out three quick things again.
Firstly, let’s play spot the odd one out (statistic a couple of years old but the point holds)…
- Malta = 403,532 MEPs = 5
- Luxembourg = 486,006 MEPs = 6
- Cyprus = 792,604 MEPs = 6
- Estonia = 1,307,605 MEPs = 6
- Slovenia = 2,007,711 MEPs = 7
- Latvia = 2,245,423 MEPs = 9
- Lithuania = 3,700,000 MEPs = 13
- Ireland = 4,156,119 MEPs 13
- Scotland = 5,062,011 MEPs = SIX
- Finland = 5,244,749 MEPs = 14
- Slovakia = 5,455,407 MEPs = 14
- Denmark = 5,484,723 MEPs = 14
A member of the European parliament (Daniel Cohn-Bendit) has alleged that Greece will be forced to buy arms in order to get its bailout.
Bear in mind that one condition of the bailout is enormous cuts in services. IF this is also true it is a great indicator of the thought processes at work. Cut services, get debt, buy guns.
I think this should be a useful reminder before tomorrow of how well the Unionist parties have represented Scotland in Europe.
These are the populations and number of people in European parliament for some of the smaller countries in Europe.
Can you see which one appears to be different? If you can, can you work out why that might be?
Malta = 403,532 MEP’s = 5
Luxembourg = 486,006 MEP’s = 6
Cyprus = 792,604 MEP’s = 6
Estonia = 1,307,605 MEP’s = 6
Slovenia = 2,007,711 MEP’s = 7
Latvia = 2,245,423 MEP’s = 9
Lithuania = 3,700,000 MEP’s = 13
Ireland = 4,156,119 MEP’s 13
Scotland = 5,062,011 MEP’s = 6
Finland = 5,244,749 MEP’s = 14
Slovakia = 5,455,407 MEP’s = 14
Denmark = 5,484,723 MEP’s = 14
Before everything resolves into election chat today I just want to point out that there is a general strike in Greece.
Good luck Greek strikers, I hope you win.
“There are other things the [government] can do, before taking money from a pensioner who earns 500 euros (£430) a month,”
– Spyros Papaspyros
(Photo from older protest)
Cartoon by THE PLEB
In a shock move it was today announced that there will be another referendum in Ireland over the Lisbon treaty. Surprised ‘No’ voters expressed delight that they will get the chance to overturn the overturning of their no vote.
Leader of the ‘Yes’ campaign Shadie O’Character has decided that they were possibly being unfair when they pumped lots of money into the ‘Yes’ campaign and so warped the democratic process.
Yesterday, O’Connor spoke at length about the process…
“Yes, we admit it. We didn’t get the answer we wanted the first time so we made them vote again and paid journalists and politicians to say what we wanted them to. It is the same basic system that is used all over the world. We call it ‘coincidental democracy’ in that when they vote for we want then that is fine but when they don’t we have to do it all over again until we get the right answer.
To be honest, we were prepared if the great unwashed had voted no again to make them vote again anyway so the organisation has already been done. “
He later explained the reason for his chage of heart.
“Well, we considered that it has just been too easy for us for a while and we were getting a bit bored of it. Therefore we have decided to give each campaign an equal amount of airtime and money this time and allow journalists to say what they want. It should be more exciting that way.
Also, in the interests of fairness, we got to try again after we got a result we didn’t like so why shouldn’t they get the opportunity this time? It is only fair.”
Here was the scene in Hell yesterday…
This of course has sent the politicians of almost all the other countries of Europe, who hadn’t even bothered to give their respective electorates a chance to vote into a major strop.
Gordon Brown criticised the Irish decision to expand democracy when all the other nations in Europe are downsizing it.
“The Irish are pissing into the wind” said Brown, “and being just over the sea if it is a windy day then we get the democratic splashback. That is unacceptable in this modern age.”
“We are in a situation where many countries in Europe have systematically cancelled proposed referendums on the Lisbon treaty on the basis that the people would probably have said ‘no’. Ireland can’t be the only one to ask people what they think…it is selfish”
Just hoping Ireland votes ‘no’ again today although I am not sure they will.
I could write again about the horrible truth that the other EU nations have been denied their rights to referendums simply because they probably would have voted against the Lisbon Treaty.
I could write again about the fact that the Irish will probably be made to vote again if they say no again this time.
Alternatively some spurious legal justification will be found/invented to ratify the treaty.
But really, I am just hoping they vote no again anyway.