Cook Computing


December 17, 2005 Written by Charles Cook

I suppose it was inevitable. When it comes to taxpayers' money this Labour government has shown itself to be rather profligate so maybe we should think ourselves lucky that it is only a mere one billion pounds a year that has been given away for nothing in return other than saving face for Tony Blair's presidency of the EU. I don't imagine the French farmers who rake in money from the Common Agricultural Policy will be overly concerned about the agreement to hold a review of EU spending including the CAP. But the implications are wider than this. By throwing away a strong bargaining position the position of the CAP has been strengthened and the EU will continue its enormous damage to third world farmers. Unfortunately the socialist principles of the EU don't extend to refraining from causing poverty in the rest of the world.

On the other hand this might prompt more people in the UK to wake up to the reality that we are pouring money into an organization which is riddled with fraud and corruption (the European Court of Auditors recently rejected the EU's annual accounts for the eleventh year in a row, quote "the vast majority of spending was still affected by 'errors of legality and regularity'"), and that 40% of the EU budget goes to farmers, who comprise less than 5% of the EU population. Opinions are changing slowy but surely. Who in their right mind would now argue that the UK should move to the Euro? And we have seen how the proposed EU constitution was abandoned (though no doubt many of its aims are still being pursued via the usual non-democratic processes within the EU). Maybe now even more fundamental issues about the EU will be opened up for discussion.