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May 09, 2006

Your Tax Money At Work

A delightful example of just what our membership of the European Union actually brings us. No, seriously, this is what it’s all about.

Here, at Cafe Babel.

Euroskeptics are blogging their way to Brussels, as the blogosphere offers a new public zone for European debate

      Clive Matthews has picked a nose monkey as mascot for his blog. A picture of this creature looks down on the name of the blog: Europhobia. One of his blog entries is prompted by the EU’s privacy regulations and the contested introduction of ID cards in the United Kingdom. “We’ve lost the ID fight in the UK. We’ve yet to lose it in the EU.” Matthews’ ridicule is directed at the European Data Protection Supervisor: “Peter Hustinx will, for the next few years, be our key ally.”

He is only one of many Eurosceptics using the net to voice his own views about EU politics. A declared anti-European, he started his weblog a year ago, but has since then moved away from his initially strict rejection of the EU. Ever more often, this ambitious Euroblogger succeeds in satirizing the British government’s mistrust towards the EU, earning the nose monkey weblog 156th place in the 2005 British Weblog Awards.

Clive? A euroskeptic? (what’s with the spelling there? sceptic, surely?). 156 th place in the Weblog Awards? They don’t even have a 156th place.

Oh, and well done, linking to the 2003 results as well.

The language of the whole piece is a little turgid but then writing out of your native tongue is indeed a toughie. My excuse for my prose style is that I’m just naturally crap at it.

Ah: Birgit Ulrich - Berlin - 8.5.2006       | Translation : Maximilian Conrad

No, slapped wrist there for the translator.

But what’s all this got to do with your tax money at work? Surely this is just a bunch of swivel eyed euromaniacs playing at being journalists? Kiddies at one of those EU schools got ahold of the John Bull printing set?

Cough, cough.

EC - Directorate-General for Education and Culture

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture supports cafebabel.com, amongst other Europe-related NGOs, through its Youth Programme

Yup, this is paid for out of taxes. Your money and mine goes to create this garden of delights. Well done sirs, well done. No doubt Margot has something to do with it. She certainly gets mentioned.

The voice of reason?

One of those is the blog of Swedish EU Commissioner Margot Wallström. As the EU Commissioner in charge of communication, the 42-year-old has for the past year been typing her thoughts into her online journal on an almost weekly basis. “Europe is everywhere. It affects our everyday lives,” the 42-year-old writes. She wants to give Europeans the opportunity to participate in shaping European democracy. She wants people to debate about Europe.

Now, I realise that TEBAF (The Ever Blessed And Fragrant...a phrase I invented I’ll have you know, one so superb and excellent in its construction that TEBAF has actually used it in a speech herself. Which sparks a thought, if these young shavers and shavettes are actually being paid to produce this nonce-fodder where’s my damn cheque?) is indeed the lady with her fingers firmly clamped on the firehose spraying this cash all over the continent but sucking up like that is really a little extreme.

Margot Elisabeth Wallström (born 28 September 1954)

That would be 52 years of age (and to prevent my being accused of ungallant behaviour, looking pretty good for it too, whatever I think of the obscenity of her political ideas).

Err, at the bottom of each article at Cafe Babel (apologies for incorrect diacritics here...the EU subsidy cheque is late and we’ve run out):

All published facts are verified.

Please, Margot, please, can you stop pissing away the money on this nonsense? You know, concentrate the money on those who can actually do the readin’, writin’ and ’rithmetic thing?

Anyone would think you were actually trying to make a mockery of your own organisation, which would be most unfortunate, can’t have you moving in on Peter Mandelson’s job now can we?


May 9, 2006 in European Union | Permalink


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Dear God - I hadn't noticed they were linking to the Guardian's blog awards when I looked earlier - I'd assumed it was the Weblog Awards, where I came 12th in the UK section. In the Guardian's Backbencher Political Weblog Awards 2005 (to give them their full title), I was placed 2nd in the "single issue" category. (Despite not being single-issue, but then the Guardian initially described me as a Eurosceptic employee of the European Parliament with that one, so I don't think they did their research too well either...)

Posted by: Nosemonkey | May 9, 2006 3:05:58 PM

if these young shavers and shavettes are actually being paid to produce this nonce-fodder where’s my damn cheque?)

They're probably looking for someone who makes fewer than 1 easily detectable mistake per post.

Posted by: ajay | May 9, 2006 3:40:22 PM

..or who gets through a day without accusing someone of Nazism, Stalinism or as in today's thrilling episode, paedophilia..

Posted by: Alex | May 9, 2006 4:43:10 PM

You are ungallant. That would make her 51. The fact that she publishes such tripe on her website demonstrates the supreme confidence she has in her own usefulness. I think this confidence is completely justified. we are stuck with her and all of her Brussels cronies for decades to come. Even the NHS is still staggering on when many are convinced of its uselessness, and that's older than the EU.

Posted by: Pete | May 9, 2006 9:00:48 PM

The fact that this website uses a .com rather than a .eu domain name is a slap in the face to pro-Europeans everywhere. I urge you all to write to the Commission to demand an end to the funding of un-European websites!

Posted by: Marcin Tustin | May 9, 2006 9:41:19 PM