Why Does the EU Flag Have 12 Stars?


EU-flagSometimes we need to dig around the roots to find what kind of tree is growing. The EU flag so proudly and prominently displayed everywhere is a puzzle to some. What does it signify? Why is it blue? Why are there twelve stars? What is its origin?

Going to the official EU site won’t help you! They kind of admit with a noncommittal shrug that they don’t really know. They come up with a lame excuse about unity: “The 12 stars in a circle symbolise the ideals of unity, solidarity and harmony among the peoples of Europe.” Uh-huh. OOOkaay!

Official History

One of the earliest attempts at European integration was called the European Council. As an organization, it made few policy contributions, but in 1955, they came up with a design for a flag that all member states could agree upon. This task proved so arduous that even after the European Council was absorbed by the predecessor to the European Union, members decided to keep the original design.

On May 29, 1986, the 12-starred flag was relaunched as the flag of Europe. [Source]

In this video, journalist Michael Hobbes explains the process of coming up with the seemingly simple design. It’s brief, instructional and watchable, but some of his explanations depend on the official explanation not the real one, and some of his comments are without any foundation at all. Like, the colour blue was chosen because every other colour was taken. (huh?) Watch it anyway, it’s fun. Continue reading

BoJo on the EU


borisjohnsonBoris Johnson (BoJo is becoming his media tag) discusses the concept of opting out of the European Union:

Well, folks, the choice is clear — and I suppose there must be some people out there who approve of the bizarre and defeatist policy of Labour leader Ed Miliband.

There must be at least a couple of readers who think the EU is just maaaahvellous in every respect. Perhaps you are one of them? Perhaps you think the whole Brussels set-up is beyond improvement, and that it is somehow vulgar to try to get a better deal for Britain.
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Has the World Gone Mad?


How many men and women on this planet of seven billion are worthy of a prize for peace – the Nobel Prize?

How many tireless workers, whose praises are unsung and whose faces we never see on the media channels, have made a lasting contribution to real peace and harmony between peoples? Plenty! And they deserve a bit of public applause and recognition.

So we can only gape in amazement as the committee of Norwegian worthies ignored all human candidates and instead awarded this prestigious prize to the European Union!
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EU heading towards its Goal


EU to become fully fledged political union

The Spinelli Group forum on democracy, economics and the social dimension of Europe, “Federalism or nothing” will take place on 26 March in Brussels.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has told the Chinese public that the EU will become a fully-fledged ‘political union’ after the financial crisis.

Speaking to TV cameras after a meeting with Chinese leader Wen Jiabao in Bejing on 14 February, he said that the crisis has prompted a new wave of integration, however, citing the fiscal treaty agreed last month by 25 EU countries.

‘I want to make this very clear to Chinese public opinion. Because I understand when you see the news you may be putting some questions. Is the European Union really going to progress? I say: ‘Yes. No doubt about it’ … Precisely because of the problems in the euro area the conclusion has been to further integrate and to complete the monetary union with a fiscal union and, I believe, in the future toward a political union.’

Back in Europe EU President Herman van Rompuy said  ‘Maybe not formally speaking, but at least politically speaking, all national parliaments have become, in a way, European institutions’,  adding that it is the responsibility of national parliaments to ‘adapt’ to this new situation.
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Vatican Calls for Global Bank


Vatican Calls for ‘Central World Bank’ to Be Set Up

Monday, 24 Oct 2011 | 6:54 AM ETBy: Reuters

The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises.

A major document from the Vatican’s Justice and Peace department should be music to the ears of the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn. [Actually many of these people are well-heeled university students and seasoned protesters; their intention is to set off a “people’s revolution” that will overthrow conventional government and replace it with a form of Marxism.]

A major document from the Vatican’s The 18-page document, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority,” was at times very specific, calling, for example, for taxation measures on financial transactions.

“The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the basis of social coexistence,” it said.

It condemned what it called “the idolatry of the market” as well as a “neo-liberal thinking” that it said looked exclusively at technical solutions to economic problems.

It called for the establishment of “a supranational authority” with worldwide scope and “universal jurisdiction” to guide economic policies and decisions.

Such an authority should start with the United Nations as its reference point but later become independent and be endowed with the power to see to it that developed countries were not allowed to wield “excessive power over the weaker countries.”

Effective Structures

In a section explaining why the Vatican felt the reform of the global economy was necessary, the document said:

“In economic and financial matters, the most significant difficulties come from the lack of an effective set of structures that can guarantee, in addition to a system of governance, a system of government for the economy and international finance.” [Does this sound like control to you? It does to me. What exactly is an “effective set of structures” and how can they “guarantee” changes in financial affairs worldwide?]

It said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) no longer had the power or ability to stabilize world finance by regulating overall money supply and it was no longer able to watch “over the amount of credit risk taken on by the system.”

The world needed a “minimum shared body of rules to manage the global financial market” and “some form of global monetary management.”

“In fact, one can see an emerging requirement for a body that will carry out the functions of a kind of ‘central world bank’ that regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges similar to the national central banks,” it said.

The document, which was being presented at a news conference later on Monday, acknowledged that such change would take years to put into place and was bound to encounter resistance.

[Please consider this final statement very carefully…]

“Of course, this transformation will be made at the cost of a gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation’s powers to a world authority and to regional authorities, but this is necessary at a time when the dynamism of human society and the economy and the progress of technology are transcending borders, which are in fact already very eroded in a globalized world.”

[The only two options here are a GRADUAL move toward a Global Bank or a SWIFT one that is now needed and apparently possible.]

We in the UK are already incensed that our Government is surrendering again and again to the demands of the Eurozone countries, not taking this opportunity to pull BACK from the “greater integration” that is being called for, but actually demanding MORE centralised control. What lunacy!

The Euro has been doomed as a currency ever since it began, and now that weaker countries are defaulting on their debts they are pulling everyone else down with them. But at least the UK is not in the Euro.

However, with ONE centralised global banking system (doubtless working towards one global currency) what protection will the well-managed economies have from profligate, defaulting, corrupt and badly-run economies? We’ll all be in the same (sinking) boat!!

The cry of “unity” can sound glorious on paper. It did so in the churches, until we realised that unity came with a price: centralised control, hence corruption and heresy. The only safety-net from the apostasy has been independence, and that is as true for the political world as it is for the Church.

Unity and oneness is all well and good when it’s wisely and fairly led, and when common concerns democratically overrule personal self-interest and the lust for power.

But since human nature is greedy and selfish the righteous go to the wall. We have learned that the hard way ever since we joined the supposed “common market” now turning into a behemoth called the United States of Europe. We are now more enslaved to the EU than we would have been if we’d lost the Second World War, and it’s been OUR foolish choice!!

I am writing this on the same day that our spineless lackey of a Prime Minister has gone out of his way to defeat a Commons Motion to have a referendum on Europe. This is the same Prime Minister who is bending over to do the bidding of his EU buddies, and pledging yet more billions to their doomed currency.

Eurozone Crisis could prove to be “Global Earthquake”.


‘It’s going to be Lehman on steroids’

In an unusually stark warning, the head of the European Commission said leaders must find a convincing solution to Greece’s debt crisis when they meet today or the global economy will pay a heavy price.

Get a grip’, Chancellor urges EU leaders as they meet in last-ditch talks to save the euro amid debt crisis that ‘threatens Britain’

(Daily Mail 21st July 2011)

  • Nicolas Sarkozy makes ‘pact’ with Angela Merkel to gain German help
  • Crunch talks in Brussels could lead to death of euro if there’s no agreement
  • Osborne says crisis could lead Britain into recession as serious as 2008
  • British banks have £200bn tied up in weaker economies that risk default
  • UK homebuyers face costlier loans due to Greek, Spanish and Italian debt
  • Chancellor calls for single eurozone bonds
  • Clegg: ‘We are an not island economy. We can’t turn our back on the world’

George Osborne, The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, urged European leaders to ‘get a grip’ when they meet today in a bid to resolve the debt crisis and warned that if action was not taken, ‘we see the potential for a set of economic events that could be as damaging as 2008

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nicolas Sarkozy met and are believed to have made an agreement. One result of their talks announced this morning was a limited DEFAULT on the debt, but where that leads nobody can predict. It’s a very rocky road for all the other EU partners.

And, although Britain does not use the single currency, he said failure to deal with the financial calamity could engulf the UK. David Cameron said Britain faced ‘very bad consequences’ unless decisive action is taken.

Amid mounting fears that the economic recovery could now be reversed unless other countries start to get on top of their massive debts, Mr Cameron warned of a lack of leadership over the issue. That appeared to be a swipe at the French and German leaders ahead of the crunch Brussels summit. Others have echoed this feeling.

America Indecision

To add to the instability, American politicians appear unable to reach agreement on a move to raise government debt limits.

Former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers warned last night of a ‘financial Armageddon’ and a worse economic crisis than in 2008 if a deal is not struck.

It’s going to be Lehman on steroids,’ Mr Summers declared, a reference to the bank that collapsed and triggered the first crisis. Without agreement by August 2, the U.S. government will have to impose immediate spending cuts of about 44 per cent to stave off a default on its huge debts.

CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: The euro now threatens the world with economic meltdown

 “No EU leader has ANY practical idea of what can be done to halt this gathering catastrophe.”

While Britain has seemingly been transfixed by ‘Murdoch-gate’, rolling down on us all like a tsunami is a crisis so immeasurably greater that by comparison it makes the misdemeanours of a few journalists, policemen and politicians look quite irrelevant.

Today, as the eurozone’s leaders gather in Brussels to discuss yet another bail-out for Greece — whose borrowings are expected to reach 172 per cent of its GDP soon — they do so against the background of a stark warning from the IMF that Europe’s runaway debt crisis is now threatening a global ‘earthquake’ that could wipe £400 billion off the value of the economies of the world, including our own.

A study by the think-tank Open Europe finds that the European Central Bank alone, in charge of the euro, now faces liabilities of £444 billion — a third of the entire value of Britain’s economy.

As this colossal shadow looms ever larger over our future, two things become clearer by the day. First, no one has any idea of just what mind-boggling sums are now at stake in this crisis.

The second is that no one — not the EU’s leaders, not the world’s bankers, not those in charge of institutions such as the International Monetary Fund or the European Central Bank — has any practical idea of what can be done to halt this gathering catastrophe.

Germany and the Netherlands are fiercely opposed to another massive Greek bail-out — some £400 billion is being demanded this time — arguing that private investors should now be made to weigh in and help. The European Central Bank is, however, utterly opposed to the involvement of private investors.

The likelihood is that the EU’s leaders will again come to some form of hopeless compromise that will temporarily save their faces, but will act only as a sticking plaster.

The truth is the politicians and the money men run around like headless chickens while Europe is on the point of being sucked down into a black hole, the depth of which no one can begin reliably to guess at.

Not a month goes by without further mountains of debt emerging into view — as Spain and Italy join the list of debtors headed by Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Gone are the days when it could be imagined that the richer countries of Europe, led by Germany, could happily afford to bail out the sums run up by the reckless borrowing of their poorer colleagues.

So vast is the problem that it is becoming obvious all the money in Europe couldn’t hope to solve this crisis, which threatens not just the countries of the eurozone, but also many other nations with an economic meltdown without historical precedent.

And all this has ultimately been brought about by the determination of Europe’s politicians to cling on, at almost any cost, to the most reckless single blunder in their 50-year-old dream of building what amounted to a ‘United States of Europe’.

It was way back in the Seventies, as they looked for new ways to ‘integrate’ Europe, when they first came up with the idea that there could be no more dramatic way to symbolise their dream than to unite Europe round a single currency.

This dream was never based on any hard-headed financial calculations. It was always just a political project, a way to weld all the different countries unshakeably together by giving their ‘Europe’ that supreme defining characteristic of a nation state, its own money.

Yet even in those early far-off days there were more practical men who warned that such a breathtakingly ambitious project could only work if ‘Europe’ was given a fully-fledged ‘economic government’, with the power to shift vast quantities of money and other resources from the richer countries to the poorer, in the hope that all their inequalities of income and economic performance could eventually be levelled out.

This was precisely the magisterial advice given by Sir Donald MacDougall, a top Treasury economist, when in 1978 he was commissioned by Roy Jenkins, then President of the European Commission, to produce an official report on the implications of any attempt to create a single currency.

But so intoxicated became Europe’s politicians by their political vision that when, in the Nineties, the foundations for the single currency were laid by men such as Jacques Delors, Helmut Kohl and Francois Mitterrand, all these hard-headed warnings were brushed aside.

And when their beloved euro finally came into being at the end of the 20th century, the script unfolded exactly as the sterner critics had predicted.

Right at its heart, the single currency was based on two crucial flaws. On the one hand, its founders took pride in the fact that all the countries which joined it could borrow money at a single, low interest rate.

This would assist the richer countries, such as Germany, to become even richer, by allowing their industries to expand. But it would also encourage poorer countries, such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, to finance their own expansion by borrowing ever more recklessly.

We could be entering the darkest time the world has seen since World War II

Hitherto, when countries faced the crisis that would inevitably follow from such wild overspending, they had two ways to stave off disaster. One was that they could jack up interest rates to halt the crazy overborrowing.

The other was they could allow their currency to devalue, enabling them to recover by selling their goods and services more competitively abroad.

But for all those countries locked into the strait-jacket of the euro, neither of these steps was available to them anymore.

Exactly as predicted, the Greeks, the Irish, Portuguese, the Spaniards and others all borrowed hundreds of billions of cheap euros as if there was no tomorrow — enabling each of them to enjoy runaway economic booms, which were hailed as wonderful examples of how ‘Europe was working’.

But, eventually, as we have seen in the past two years, came the dreadful and entirely predictable nemesis, when those debts piled up to quite unmanageable levels. And what has been the response of those in charge of the euro?

The only thing they could not contemplate was that they should admit their great experiment had failed, and that they should allow all these bankrupt countries to drop out of the project which had brought about their downfall and find their own answer to their problems by regaining the power to control their own currencies.

Instead, they have resorted to the final desperate measure of attempting to bail out the countries in crisis by chucking at them ever more astronomic sums of money, which the hapless recipients have little or no prospect of ever being able to pay back.

And before we console ourselves that at least Britain has managed to stay out of this catastrophic experiment, let us remind ourselves just how horribly we, too, have become entangled in this disaster.

Last week, our MPs were asked to vote, without a debate, to double our lending to the IMF to £20 billion.

This is just one of the many ways in which we and our own economy are now being drawn into the same bottomless pit of international lending, supposedly to rescue those countries already facing bankruptcy  by handing over to them astronomic sums of money which they can almost certainly never repay.

The IMF warns that this crisis will set off an earthquake that could not only wipe hundreds of billions of pounds off the global economy, but which could well do it such damage as to make the banking crisis of 2008 look like a mere hiccup.

We could be entering the darkest time the world has seen since World War II. And the terrifying fact is that, as yet, not one of Europe’s supposed leaders has the slightest idea what to do about it.

How much easier it is to indulge on sanctimonious hysteria over the misdeeds of an octogenarian media tycoon.

Read more:  European Debt Crisis

Greece in turmoil as entire EU zone hovers on brink of disaster


Exactly 80 years ago, in the summer of 1931, an international banking disaster sent the Western economy into freefall and the resulting political anger led to the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. We all know what happened next.

Today, we are facing a similar situation. Riots in Greece are just the tip of an unsettling iceberg.

Although the street violence and protests in Greece may seem like yet another far-away irrelevancy in an increasingly unstable world, we would do well to consider the implications for us all.

The fanciful idea of creating one “nation” called Europe with a united government, army, court, president and economic system has finally begun to show the flaws that were always at its heart. Corruption, greed, and the lust for power has meant that the ‘Great Federal Dream’ of unity is shattering into uncontrollable pieces.

The economic crisis that wasn’t supposed to happen took the Euro-zone by surprise and exposed the fact that it had no contingency plan. Thank God that the UK had the sense to stay out of the European Monetary System!

Yet, if the EU countries fall into irreversible debt and the rest of the world loses faith in the Euro it will affect the UK just as much as anywhere else. We have made ourselves slaves to the EU in every respect, and we would go under just as quickly.

When Greece joined the Euro zone ten years ago, they splashed out like there was no tomorrow and lied about their debts. Just like Ireland, Portugal and Spain, they took advantage of lavish funding and low interest rates to prop up their economies. It couldn’t last.

When the credit crunch slammed every financial system into the wall it was revealed that Greece’s public debt was a staggering 130 percent of its GDP. (Britain’s is “only” 76 percent!)

And there was nowhere to turn. Greece, just like the other EU countries, no longer had the luxury of managing its own financial affairs because it was tied into the Euro.

The EU and the IMF had to start bailing out failing countries – Ireland (85 billion), Portugal (78 billion) and Greece (110 billion and now begging for another 75 billion) – but it isn’t enough. The debt runs into trillions and there just isn’t enough money in the EU to shore up the debts.

Austerity measures were deeply resented in Greece and political unrest followed. The gravy train hit the buffers – as we always knew it would – and the result is chaos and anger. Where will it go next?

This is a crucial turning point for Europe. Will the Euro survive as a currency? And if it does not, how can so many countries that have abandoned their national currencies and financial independence go backwards in time?

Will the economic turmoil spread to other countries in Europe? Will widespread hunger, poverty and unemployment have the same kind of consequences that it did in the 30’s?

And in the UK we can only sit on our hands and wait, because if the European Union that we have been foolish enough to join begins to go under, then it will drag us with it.

Ditch Nuclear Power? You need to see this!


The green campaign group ‘Friends of the Earth’ have said the UK must now re-assess its plans to build more nuclear reactors. They are needed to combat the UK’s growing energy shortfall, since the ludicrously inefficient and expensive wind turbines cannot ever meet our needs.

But now Japan’s nuclear disaster has led to a siren wail of “I-told-you-so” from the world’s greenies. Before you agree with them you should see these two videos.