Friday, March 23, 2012

And it all goes marching on

Sometimes it is easy to forget that no matter what might be mouldering in politics or the grave, the EU goes marching on, though I have doubts whether it has a soul.

So, here are a couple of items that might be of interest to some people. The 2010 Budget is going through the European Parliament. Let us note, in parenthesis, the utterly lunatic character of the system in which the Budget is not signed off till a couple of years after the money had been spent.

Anyway, it seems that some MEPs, in particular Jan Mulder a Dutch Liberal MEP, quaintly described by the European Voice, as "a veteran of the [budgetary control] committee", are urging their colleagues not to grant discharge to the budget. And suppose they don't? Do we get the money back? I think not. In any case, it seems unlikely that the discharge will not be granted. The Toy Parliament has never quibbled about a few billions being lost or mis-spent here and there.

Meanwhile the European Commission is looking to a tightening up of the posting-of-workers law to ensure that unions cannot complain about the fact that basic Single Market rules collide with certain assumptions about their rights, such as the right to strike. We have moved some way from that glorious moment when the TUC Congress was promised by, I believe, no less a person than Jacques Delors that the Thatcherite reforms will be rolled back.

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