Tiresome, tedious Lib-Dem propaganda


It seems that East Midlands Lib-Dem MEP Bill Newton Dunn has emerged from a long period of quiescence, and promulgated a leaflet (my thanks to Lee Waters of Nottingham for the heads-up).  You’ll remember that this is the man who secured his 1998 selection as a Tory MEP candidate by deliberately misleading his audience (in politics, we try to avoid the word “lying”) about his views on the EU.  It seems he has not acquired an improved sense of veracity since.

In his leaflet, he refers to EU scare stories that are “more fiction than fact”.  And in this context, he explicitly refers to “straight bananas”.  But there was in fact for many years an EU regulation governing the maximum curvature of bananas, commonly described by headline writers as “the straight bananas regulation”.  Not a euro-myth, Bill.  A euro-fact.

Then he derides the proposition that the UK pays “£40 million a day” to the EU.  Actually, Bill, it’s more like £53 million, and rising.  He argues that we get some money back from Brussels, so the net annual figure is “only” £6.2 billion.  Even that would be £17 million a day, which many people might think was a lot of money.

But of course we rightly think in gross terms, not net.  There’s no point in my telling you that the tax you pay in the UK is negative, because the government spends more than it collects (you lucky people!).  You know that’s nonsense, yet it’s the argument that Bill is trying to make.

The money we get back is spent on projects we might not have chosen to undertake, and much of it is wasted in administration as it’s churned through the mill in Brussels.  And no one accounts for the huge amount of time and money and man-hours spent producing lavish 60-page grant applications — most of which fail.  I’ve spoken to British companies who’ve received EU grants, and they say “Yes, we got the money.  But the costs and hassle of bureaucracy and administration and verification were so high, we simply wouldn’t bother next time”.

The EU gives us back a little of our own money, it tells us what to do with it, then it expects us to be grateful.

But of course even our direct budget contributions to the Brussels black hole are only scratching the surface of total membership costs.  The real damage is the cost of EU regulation.  Tim Congdon, one of the UK’s most respected economists, has calculated that the total annual costs of Britain’s EU membership amount to an astonishing £150 billion — getting on for 10% of GDP.  EU apologists like BND simply never mention these costs — yet they are a fundamental reason why Britain would be Better Off Out.  And why an independent Britain would have more jobs, more growth, more prosperity.

There are many reasons why East Midlands voters might choose to vote UKIP in May 2014.  But somewhere on the list you’ll find that one reason is the opportunity to end the career of this “useful idiot”, this fully-paid-up fellow-traveller of the European project which is undermining freedom and prosperity in our country. To quote King Lear, “Oh let him pass!  He hates him much that would upon the rack of this tough world stretch him out longer”.

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10 Responses to Tiresome, tedious Lib-Dem propaganda

  1. Mike Spilligan says:

    My understanding (and I may well be out of date, or just wrong) is that any of our monies returned to us by the EU for approved and specific projects that we may neither want nor require, commit us to provide “matching funds”. So, if true, that has another negative effect on our financial flexibility. Comments welcomed.
    Recently (though I’m a non-smoker) I signed up to an anti-plain-packs petition and I soon received an impertinent and pompous e-mail from Newton-Dunn, saying, in effect, that I’m wrong and the EU will make the best decision for me as I must surely be an Epsilon Minus. This was followed a few days later by a leaflet from N-D’s office inviting me (inter alia) to sign up for further information. It took no longer than half a minute to read several distortions, half-truths and outright lies about the EU, but they may well confuse anyone who doesn’t routinely keep up with such matters. How we need a “Trades Descriptions Act” for politics.

  2. PJ says:

    Roger, I have endured a ridiculous spate of e-mails from BND where he is trying to tell me that I am part of one big family-the EU. He doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that it doesn’t matter how big the family is, it is virtually bankrupt and is banklrupting all it’s surrounding ‘families’ (countrie). Nor does he seem to understand that there is no way that I can grateful for being included in a ‘family’ that i don’t want any part of!
    Bill declared the following to me a couple of weeks ago:- “Politics is about elected representatives using their judgment to improve society. ”
    Any ideas how this applies to his beloved EU ‘family’ ?

    • Simon says:

      In other words, politics is about being told what to do (“their judgement”) and to shut up and be thankful as they know best. No thanks!

  3. flinthesky says:

    As I keep telling people the membership fees are miniscule compared to the cost of compliance, I would think that 150bn is a conservative ,oops, estimate. From a cost benefit analysis perspective it would be a close call on their being any advantage at all.

    I get so frustrated by people looking at the ubiquitous and compulsory signage ooing and ahhing at said signs “A project part funded by the European union” aren’t they wonderful. The fact that they’re funding it with “our” money seems to escape them but all credit to the eu, great business model, promoting yourself with other peoples money.

  4. David says:

    I can think of many phrases using BND, all unprintable.

  5. Mike Stallard says:

    Please do not let UKIP be sidetracked: we need to devote all our energy to getting out of the EU.

    We have used EU money at our centre where we help all sorts of European immigrants. The paperwork is enormous – and it keeps coming even when you get the grant. It also skews everything you do. We know what we have to do: Brussels has only a very vague idea.

    • Of course this remains our key objective. And even other objectives — like my energy portfolio — are essentially about getting out from under EU policies. But do bear in mind that as a political party we have to offer a comprehensive programme — we can’t be just a single-issue pressure group.

  6. George Morley. says:

    You only have to look at Steve Webb and his position in respect of the frozen pension anomaly which when in opposition he was so positive about stopping the discriminative and irrational policy (his words) and raised an EDM to stop it but now in the perfect position, as Pensions Minister, to put an end to it he hides behind false statements and blames the financial situation saying it is not affordable and the has the audacity to include clause 20 on the new Pensions Bill moving through parliament for future pensioners which is a carbon copy of regulation 3 which imposes the freezing on current pensioners. This is more than a 180. His word is worthless and if he used that to gain votes then that is even worse. It was going to be put right by the Lib/Dems and Cameron is always mouthing off about ‘fairness for the pensioners’. So many members of parliament have no integrity or sense of morality which is a sad reflection on our society today.

  7. Right wingery says:

    You used to refer to BND as Bill Turncoat Dunn after he defected away from the Conservative Party. Why do you not refer to him by this anymore?

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