My Column – Gagged: for trying to expose euro-nonsense

One thing would convince the average person that Britain must leave the European Union; being a fly on the wall for a couple of weeks in the European Parliament and seeing the squalid, elitist nonsense of how laws are made.

I’ve written before about how debate is stifled, and this week in Strasbourg is no exception.

I had submitted my request to speak in the steel industry ‘debate’; the Deputy Speaker had five spots to allocate. My request was acknowledged. They took just three speakers, looked across at me, smiled, and closed down the debate.

Redcar had been mentioned more than once in the debate, but the message was clear: they’d do their best to stifle any mention of the EU’s responsibility in some (not all) of the factors behind the loss of jobs. You see, us eurosceptics are dangerous. We must be gagged in case a moment of common sense breaks out in all the ridiculousness.

And it really is nonsense on stilts. My North East Labour colleagues seem to think that despite the millions fleeing Syria and the EU’s redefinition of the word ‘refugee’ causing a mass exodus from countries like Bangladesh towards Europe, there just aren’t enough people arriving at our shores – so they voted to invent a new type of refugee, a ‘climate refugee’. Fortunately, the measure was defeated, but it was worryingly close.

The EU is now pushing for a seat at the United Nations’ Security Council. I spoke out against it, and voted against it. The EU is not a nation. Labour happily voted in favour. But when UKIP asked other parties’ MEPs to join with us and demand that our British seat on the Security Council be protected, not one Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat MEP anywhere in the country bothered to respond. By being in the EU we’ve already lost our voting rights at the World Trade Organisation, of course – typical of how we lose influence as members of the EU.

We voted on a bizarre report supposedly about child poverty, which ranged from far-left to outright communism and included talk of wealth redistribution, income redistribution, anti-privatisation and universal benefits. By all means believe in those things, but this was a report about child poverty being used as a political football.

The Labour Party weighed in on the act, lambasting anyone who voted against an EU-wide ‘child guarantee’ – we all want to end poverty, but you won’t do it with an unfunded, uncosted, back-of-envelope idea across 28 different countries at once.

All of the above happened in just one day on Tuesday. It’s a system utterly divorced from reality, and it’s sickening to see just how quickly MEPs can ‘go native’.

I refuse to attend the daily champagne receptions of lobbyists in Brussels (the only city in the world with more lobbyists than Washington DC).

I scoff at the blue carpet laid out for MEPs to walk into the Parliament on, whilst mere mortals must tread the solid granite floor.

I hate the system where I, as an MEP, am expected to waltz to the front of any queue anywhere in the Parliament – and get funny looks if I wait my turn.

The list of things that can actually be done better at European Union level than 28 different countries would be quite a short list.

The list becomes even shorter when you consider that issues which span different countries might be better discussed in the United Nations.

It becomes shorter still when it’s painfully obvious that the European Union lacks the ability to produce good legislation, thanks to an unelected Commission, weak Parliament and a massively bureaucratic decision-making process.

The European Union juggernaut’s stated aim is ‘ever-closer union’. Once power has been given to the EU by the UK, under the ‘acquis communautaire’ principle it can never be given back unless we leave the European Union. Power after power is ceded to Brussels, with few people out there pausing to consider whether the power should be there in the first place.

As the proverb goes, a tyrannical king once asked a wise man what he could do for the betterment of humanity. The wise man told the king “Stay in bed until midday, so that for this brief period you may not afflict mankind”.

If the European Union didn’t legislate at all, the world would be a better place.

If readers could only see what MEPs deal with on a daily basis, they’d vote to leave the European Union and put me out of a job. I truly hope they do.

 

This article was originally published in the Journal on 26/11/2015

Jonathan Arnott MEP comments on the latest OBR forecast

Commenting on the OBR forecast released today which showed an extra £1.2 billion being paid to EU institutions from their July forecast, Jonathan Arnott UKIP MEP and member of the Budgetary Control Committee said,

“This is indicative of the European Union. Original estimates are always long forgotten by the time the final bill arrives and unfortunately time and time again it is the British taxpayer who has to stump up.”

“For the forecast to rise £1.2 billion in less than half a year is extraordinary. It was less than a month ago when the EU failed to obtain a clean bill of health from the auditors yet again however we are now being told we have hand them another huge sum. Let’s hope that Mr Cameron does the right thing and says no to this new EU demand; my hopes are not high

Council should save museum by selling off artworks

MEP Jonathan Arnott is calling on Durham County Council to sell off its hidden artworks to save the closure-threatened Durham Light Infantry Museum.

The council has approved plans to close its Aykley Heads site next summer and place most of its collection in storage, causing local anger and an opposition petition which has already attracted more than 3,500 names.

“This is clearly a much loved museum in the county and I support local people who are opposed to its closure,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP’s local Euro-MP.

“The council have reached their decision because of annual savings of  £221,000 but I think they should instead look to sell off their £1.6m worth of artworks – most of which is not even on show.

“Rather than adding to their hidden collection with much loved artefacts from this famous regiment they should be selling off some of their artworks to ensure that the museum remains open,” said Mr Arnott.

“Councils need to remember that they work for their constituents and their views need to be properly considered, after all they are the taxpayers whose hard earned cash pays for local services,” he added.

Cramlington failure shows work is needed to keep our world-class emergency NHS

Local UKIP MEP Jonathan reacts to photographs showing patients lying on stretchers waiting at A&E – with a whistleblower claiming waits of up to 2 hours and claims ‘it’s only a matter of time’ before someone dies.

“These allegations are deeply worrying. Our NHS is rightly a world leader when it comes to delivering life-saving and emergency treatment.

When something goes badly wrong, as it appears it is doing here, action needs to be taken immediately. I commend the whistleblower’s bravery in coming forward, but we shouldn’t have to wait for a whistleblower to point out what must have already been well known to officials.

Seriously ill patients should not be waiting in corridors, and we shouldn’t be closing hospital A&E departments – creating overcrowding, adding to patients’ travel times and the risk of death.

I call for a full, swift investigation to determine what is going wrong and to make sure that the situation is rectified immediately.”