Peter Tatchell really is a twat sometimes

Anti-EU sentiments and parties are experiencing unprecedented support. Calls for withdrawal are more widespread than ever before. Revived nationalism is gaining ground at the expense of retreating Europeanism.

This is hardly surprising, given that mainstream parties across Europe offer no real vision for the future of Europe – just more of the same. There is not much to distinguish the European policies of the governing and opposition parties in most EU countries. Their manifestos for the European elections share a collective imagination deficit. They’re stale and uninspiring. No wonder many voters are turning off. They see no prospect of serious reform and no captivating future agenda.

What is to be done? A common criticism of the EU is that it is remote and distant. We have to bring the EU closer to people.

One way to achieve this, and to simultaneously undercut the xenophobic nationalism of the far right, would be to transform the EU into a decentralised federation of the regions. It would mean giving direct representation, negotiation and power to the hundreds of regions across the EU member countries. Might not this localisation of the EU give people a greater sense of involvement and value?

In the UK’s case, the regions could be based on existing EU parliamentary constituencies: the North West, London, East Midlands, Wales and so on.

This same direct representation could be given to regions all across the EU, including Brittany, Catalonia, Bavaria and Sicily. As well as diminishing toxic nationalism, this decentralisation would empower often marginalised places.

Sigh.

This has always been the EU’s aim and point in having the EU regions in the first place. So as to wipe out the unitary nation state and make sure that all of the real decision making power resides in Brussels, not the national capitals.

18 comments on “Peter Tatchell really is a twat sometimes

  1. Can we shoot anyone who uses the word “empowerment” please?

    BTW, not all federasts think this regions thing makes any sense.

  2. Its also staggeringly stupid, or naive, or disingenuous. We already have regional representation in the UK, county councils and unitary authorities. They have little power, they get told what to do by and large by the centre. Their biggest powers to decide rest on things like what day bins are collected and local swimming bath opening hours. They can’t decide tax rates, how schools are run, how the NHS works in their area, what sort of benefits will be paid etc etc, ie all the things that might induce people to vote if they had some power over them.

    So if the UK central government hasn’t seen fit to devolve any real power down to its regions, why on earth would a centralised EU superstate give its regions any more powers than the nation states have today? Would ‘Wessex’ be able to decide whether it had a different immigration policy to ‘East Anglia’? Or whether to run a different sort of NHS? Or pay different benefits? Or have a totally different taxation code?

    Or would each region be a glorified county council, told what to do by the EU, and the nation state would have effectively ceased to exist?

  3. I don’t necessarily disagree with Twatchell’s suggestion. The Flemish independence movement’s got a lot of support up in Belgium, here in Cataluna I was listening to a local waxing eloquent on the the joys of Catalan self rule yesterday evening & the Jocksters may go the whole 9 yards, to much English applause. Small is efficient & beautiful. It’s just Brussels we don’t need.

  4. But, but, but. What the EU is proposing and what Tatchell is suggesting are two separate things. The EU wants to copy the French Revolution’s experience – cutting France up into artificial uniform Departments, with no real identity, which they can dominate from the centre. PT, as twattish as he is, wants to see a revival of the Regions – the swamped, extinct Former States of Europe. Presumably as a genuine Federation. Like the US or perhaps to a lesser extent, Germany.

    If we can’t escape the EU, it would be better to see an EU made up of Catalonia, Burgundy, Bavaria, Brandenberg and so on. Rather than being ruled form Brussels via the Region North Section III

  5. Any criticism of any kind of PT means the writer or speaker is ipso facto a homophobe. Expect Stonewall to start issuing writs soon.

  6. “to simultaneously undercut the xenophobic nationalism of the far right”

    So strapping young blond guys in leather shorts are now a bad thing, Peter? 🙂

    I keed…

    Millions of people across Europe suffered as a result of the financial meltdown in 2007-09. The EU failed to prevent it

    Indeed. Not only did they fail to prevent it, they made it much more painful for the peripheral countries thanks to the Euro. And then seized the opportunity to effectively take over the governments of Ireland and Greece.

    And the solution is *more* Europe?

    making corporate recklessness and negligence an explicit criminal offence in all member states. This would help tame big business sharks, prevent ethical companies being undermined by rogue rivals and encourage good corporate governance, thereby strengthening economic stability and security.

    Jesus. Tatchell thinks Europol should decide what risks a company should or shouldn’t be allowed to take.

    private and public institutions with more than 50 employees could be required by law to have one-third of their management board representing employees and consumers.

    Just what the moribund EU economy needs – lots more red tape. China will be rubbing its hands with glee.

  7. Correct. Why the lie that a greater voice means another layer of self serving politicos or their minions ever gained traction is beyond me. Its all about concentration of power under the allusion of ‘a greater say’. Like the banks offer ‘credit’ meaning debt. Anyone championing of more ‘grass roots democracy’ means more centralized control. A cull or extermination of a political class is the only answer.

  8. So, wanting decision-making to be done at the EU level is fine, wanting decision-making to be done at the regional level is fine, but wanting decision-making to be done at the state level is ‘toxic nationalism’?

  9. BiS, I’m pretty sure saying 9 yards is a criminal offence without putting 8.2296m more prominently beside it. Expect a Spanish bobby with an EU arrest warrant on your doorstop any day.

  10. @DocBud
    He’ll need to be quick. I’ll be in France tomorrow.

    Where Napoleon’s law, making it illegal to prosecute those using traditional measurements, still stands.

  11. Where Napoleon’s law, making it illegal to prosecute those using traditional measurements, still stands.

    But, as they have abolished the requirement for dual criminality, that’s an irrelevance. The warrant is valid in France, they drag you back to Spain and then, rather than prosecute you, dump you in a prison somewhere while they forget about any investigation.

  12. As I’ve pointed out time and again, a Federal Europe is actually exactly what the British people want. It’s an easy sell as soon as you point out that this will mean abolishing France.

    Personally I’d quite like to see a Europe made up of ‘states’ rather smaller than current local councils, and a proper, democratic, minimalist, federal system over the top. There’s really no need for anything in between.

    As Tim’s raised many times, some things, like emptying the bins and fixing the roads, are best done at a very local level. Other things, such as creating public goods, are best done at the highest level possible, on the largest scale we can manage.

    Is there anything at all which naturally exists in the gap?

  13. I don’t want the government coming closer to me thank you very much. Get your hot breath off my wallet!

  14. We have to destroy the nation in order to save it.

    Tatchell’s plan is short sighted. Erasing national borders for regional ones just make the apparent xenophobia come out of someone else’s mouth. Instead of nationalists it will be regionalists and europeanists.

    Dave said: “As I’ve pointed out time and again, a Federal Europe is actually exactly what the British people want. It’s an easy sell as soon as you point out that this will mean abolishing France.”

    Until they cotton on it is about abolishing the UK as well.

    Jim said: “Or would each region be a glorified county council, told what to do by the EU, and the nation state would have effectively ceased to exist?”

    This is the goal of some of them, I’m sure, but not all. They need regional assemblies in order to weaken national ones because it is the national ones that are the biggest obstacle to the EU taking on the full mantle of a nation. Competing against that though is a wish to game the systems of international politics. If the EU ever successfully erased national borders the numbers of seats it has control of around negotiating tables would reduce significantly.

  15. Gareth>

    “Until they cotton on it is about abolishing the UK as well.”

    You have a Welsh name, so perhaps that’s why you don’t quite get it. No true Englishman would object to that if it meant abolishing France.

  16. “One way to achieve this, and to simultaneously undercut the xenophobic nationalism of the far right”

    36% of the UK population would opt to leave the EU if there was a referendum tomorrow, as opposed to 42% that would choose to stay.

    If Tatchell feels that we should be in the EU, he’s entitled to that opinion, and is currently in the largest minority.

    What I really fucking object to is how people paint the views of UKIP supporters as some sort of fringe nutcase bonkery when over 1/3rd of the population support it. I don’t agree with UKIPs views on the death penalty, but I do acknowledge that around half the population support it.

    The problem is that our politics, pressure group and journalism have become this closed little circlejerk, and I predict that today’s election result is going to be a wake-up call to them.

  17. bloke in spain
    May 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

    …. here in Cataluna I was listening to a local waxing eloquent on the the joys of Catalan self rule yesterday evening & the Jocksters may go the whole 9 yards, to much English applause. .

    Careful BiS, if the Jocksters thought that voting No would upset the English they may well do out of spite.

  18. Switzerland.

    To be fair, it’s actually nothing to do with the EU. We could do this within the UK if we wanted. Denmark is pretty close. Why for example does Yorkshire have to have the same laws as Lancashire? Belgium doesn’t have the same laws as Holland, after all. Why not let each county set its own welfare budget, funded from its own taxation?

    The money the EU cream off is peanuts to the money our politicians waste within the UK = (funnel to their hangers-on through quangos so inefficiently it would be ten times cheaper just to steal it honestly).

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