reality at the heart of the EU

You may be aware of strikes and protests in France against the Macron Government proposals to change the state retirement pension system. The railway and tube systems have been particularly affected – the French railway operator SNCF is reporting a loss in revenue approaching one BILLION euro since the dispute started in early December 2019. Ports and refineries are now being targeted with mounting losses to business.

All this comes on top of the year long gilets jaunes protests. French retail outlets were badly hit by their protests in December 2018; Christmas 2019 was hit by the transport strike.  The Christmas period is critical to the turnover of many businesses, especially retail. It often means the difference between making a profit or suffering a loss for the financial year. Small and medium size businesses are particularly vulnerable.

None of which matters to the Unions orchestrating the strikes. They take such action at such a time because it will do damage.  They have their Rights and their privileges to protect – tough on everyone else.

When I say privileges let me give you an example. The Paris tube drivers can look forward to an average pension of around 30,000 euro per year – and that becomes 43,000 euro per year if they spend their entire working life in that job.

Compare that to a state pension of just 6,000 euro a year – yes that is six thousand – for millions of others who worked in non strategic jobs like retail or agriculture.


Retail and agriculture cannot hold the country to ransom, of course. Key sectors like transport can. Which is why they are privileged. This is the reality of life in the Rights-based Republic of France, motor of the Peace and Harmony Project called the European Union. The strong can do as they please and the weak must meekly submit to serious injustice.

Now I am very wary of Monsieur Macron. I believe he has Napoleonic pretensions regarding Europe. But he is surely right on this one.

His system ensures that French people start getting pension rights whenever they earn. That means that large numbers of part time and casual contract workers will start accumulating credits towards their state retirement pension as soon as they start earning, and whenever they earn. The present system requires minimum levels of earnings gained over a minimum period.

The President’s proposed system will also redistribute the contributions of the highest earners, like the privileged lawyers, to the poorer end. Thus his system will guarantee that everyone gets a minimum pension of 1000 euros per month – 12,000 euro a year.

Everyone who has made contributions to the system – basically the entire workforce.

And because this is inevitably about the need to balance the accounts as well, the new age for retirement on full pension will go up to 64 for most people [certain categories will still be able to retire much earlier because of the nature of their work, and you can still retire earlier at 62 but with a % reduction on your pension].

Yes 64 –  not 65 or 66 or 67 or higher as is the case in other advanced western economies.

Macron’s pension system will look a lot more like the British with its universal set rate for all and a universal age for retirement. But then the British system was far more egalitarian when it started over one hundred years ago – long before the EU existed.

Yes the French with their totem mantra of equality and fraternity are that out of date.

The Unions are dead set against this, however, even though only a fraction of the workforce are union members.  

Neither side wants to budge, and now it comes down to a naked power struggle – a struggle which  is taking a new, nasty and dangerous turn. Because strikers are going back to work, new tactics are being deployed.

Friday 17th January 2020,  Monsieur et Madame Macron were at the theatre in Paris. Three rows behind them sat someone whom France 24 refers to as “the activist journalist Taha Bouhafs”. Bouhafs tweeted out photos, suggesting that protestors outside might enter and disrupt the proceedings.

Dozens of protestors then tried to physically force their way in to the theatre but police repulsed them.

Next day, Saturday 18th January, French news broadcast pictures of a burned out Parisian restaurant, La Rotonde. It had been firebombed earlier that day. The culprits have not been identified but the restaurant is famous for being the venue Emmanuel Macron chose to celebrate after qualifying for the second and final round in the Presidential Election of 2017.

These are not legitimate tactics in a democracy. But they are seen as legitimate tactics by the fascistic Left in France: the anarchist Black Block see nothing wrong in fire bombing police officers in their vehicles, and Eco extremists  have caused millions of euros of damage in Nantes alone in recent years during their violent protests against the new airport there.

Before Christmas, gangs of trade unionists protesting against pension reform entered secure electricity control centres in the main towns of France and cut off the current for several hours knowing full well the dependence of most French people on electric heating in winter …

Monsieur Macron was elected President of France. His party has an overall majority in the French national Assembly. His manifesto made clear the need for reform of the pension system.

In a democracy, people have a right to express their opinion and to assemble to voice their views. They have the right to stand at the next election and persuade the electorate to back them to change the law in the way they want.

They emphatically do not have the right to treat a constitutionally elected politician as a target for intimidation, nor the right to intimidate the population at large into acceding to their demands.

But the Rights based culture in the politically correct France and European Union enables people to forget their responsibilities and justify their unjust privileges.

Ray Catlin




the point of Parliamentary scrutiny

A great deal has been said in recent months about parliamentary scrutiny of the UK government over Brexit – a degree of scrutiny rarely accorded to the laws handed down from Brussels during the time of the United Kingdom’s membership of the EU.

UK Parliamentary scrutiny now knows no bounds given that Brexit is so close – or is it ?   All the scrutiny is aimed, of course, at ensuring that the UK remains in one form or other as a member or dependent associate. That the Westminster parliament should remain subject to the EUrocracy orchestrated from Paris and Berlin. 

The Westminster parliament has this year broken the bounds of our Constitution, and the Supreme Court has aided and abetted in the violation of the Constitution framed after 1688 – a Constitution which provided

  • the framework for our current constitutional monarchy
  • the  all important Rule-of-Law to protect property and personal rights
  • and therefore enabled Britain’s subsequent commercial success
  • and provided rights to the peoples of Britain’s colonies, witness Hong Kongers fears and protests today

See my assessments on 25th September and 3rd October 2019 at

But there is good news from Europe ! Or should I say, from the European parliament which is flexing its muscles in what limited powers it has to hold the Executive to account.

The following is a verbatim report from the EU Observer – an online pro European news service concerned about the democratic functioning of the EU.

By Koert Debeuf and Andrew Rettman


Sylvie Goulard, France’s nominee for the European Commission, lost the vote on her candidacy on Thursday (10 October), with 82 MEPs against her, 29 in favour, and one abstention.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, now has no choice but to name an alternative.

“We were quite surprised to see that someone as experienced as Sylvie Goulard was not able to take a number of concerns away,” Esther de Lange, a Dutch politician from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), said after the vote by two European Parliament committees.

Goulard was not able to dispel questions on “double standards”, de Lange said.

“How can you be unfit to be minister in France, while at the same time be good enough to be a European commissioner?”, she added.

De Lange referred to an ongoing French investigation into Goulard’s alleged misuse of EU funds in her time as an MEP, which saw her step down as French defence minister back in 2017.

But the death blow to the French liberal candidate came after an EPP nominee (from Hungary) had also fallen by the wayside and after Macron had earlier killed an EPP man’s chances of becoming commission president.

An EPP tweet, which accidentally showed one of the group’s internal messages online, reinforced the idea of a revenge plot.

“Guys, we are going to kill her in the vote later but do not say a … [sic] until then”, the EPP tweet said on Thursday.

The Elysee alluded to the plot in a statement, saying Goulard’s rejection was due to “political game-playing directed at the entire European Commission”.

But Goulard herself said only that she “took note of the decision” and thanked those MEPs who had voted in favour of her.

The decision came after MEPs had called in the French candidate for a second hearing in Brussels earlier the same day.

The EU funds investigation aside, Goulard’s previous €13,000 per month consultancy job for a US think tank had also raised doubt on her integrity in an initial hearing.

And Francois-Xavier Bellamy, a French centre-right MEP, continued to strike at the sore spot the second time around.

He alleged that “pressures have been put on many of my colleagues in this room from national heads of state and governments to dismiss” the tough questions.

Pernille Weiss, a Danish-centre right MEP, also accused Goulard of “double standards”, echoing the group line.

And questions on the sore subjects also flew in from green, far-right, and far-left MEPs.

She was “blurry on integrity … still very evasive and ambiguous”, Valérie Joron, a French far-right MEP said.

Dramatic upset

Goulard’s fall marks the biggest upset so far to Ursula von der Leyen, the new European Commission president.

Goulard had insisted on Thursday that she had spoken with Von der Leyen on the issue of the EP funds probe and they both decided it was ok for her to apply for the EU post.

The commission’s legal services had also cleared her application, Goulard added.

And if the French authorities ever brought formal charges against her, then she would consider resigning, she had promised.

The €13,000/month post was not illegal, but may have been in poor taste on “more subjective” grounds, she had also said.

Liberal MEPs and some other centre-right deputies did ask less controversial questions on Goulard’s portfolio, which was to include the single market, defence, and culture.

She pledged to fight for social cohesion, in a counterpoint to her own lucrative consultancy income.

She also pledged to reduce carbon emissions, protect intellectual property from Chinese firms, promote European film, and defend small businesses and women’s rights.

The fate of two other candidates – from Hungary and Romania – also hangs in the balance after MEPs rejected two initial candidates, with von der Leyen yet to say if she accepted their replacement nominees instead.

Goulard’s early exit also calls into question von der Leyen’s stated intention to have a gender-balanced commission, with 13 women.

Now, together with French president Macron, von der Leyen has to look for another candidate for France as well.

the original report is to be found at

Paris and Berlin saw former French Defence minister, Sylvie Goulard as a key member of Von der Leyen’s top team – a team being tasked by the Franco-German axis to establish a fully fledged European Army and Defence Industry in the course of the coming 5 year term of office.

Von der Leyen was formerly German Defence minister.

Nick Clegg categorically asserted otherwise in debate with Nigel Farage.

And post Referendum Prime Minister Theresa May involved Britain in this  project – despite Brexit …

Ray Catlin


EUtopian “democracy”.

My postal ballot for the EUropean Parliament election on May 23rd 2019 has arrived.

I have done something I have never done before with a ballot paper.

Against each of the eleven parties and individual candidates standing I have written the word “NO”.

On the reverse of the ballot paper I have stated:

This ballot

  • makes a mockery of democracy

  • is immoral

  • defies the Brexit Referendum result

  • wastes over £100 million of tax payers money

  • may well be illegal – the extension beyond March 29th 2019 is actually subject to a legal challenge by the English Democrats in the Courts  [see link  in references below]

  • means that casting a vote is meaningless when the Government of the day can delay and effectively over-ride the verdict,  as it has with 23rd June 2016

  • therefore I do not endorse this election by voting for any candidate – they are all participating in a travesty of  democracy and its principles – How can they then be trusted ?

In June 2016 I voted in the Referendum on Brexit. I voted along with over 17.4 million other people for the United Kingdom to leave the EU. It was the largest number to endorse any decision ever in our history. The government stated in writing to every household that it would implement the result.

Almost 3 years later that promise has manifestly been broken. The two year negotiation period under Article 50 of the “Lisbon Treaty” has been extended twice by Prime Minister Theresa May beyond March 29th 2019, even though she herself stated repeatedly that the UK would leave the EU on that date.

She has lied. She has made a mockery of the Brexit Referendum vote by calling a Deal to Integrate our nation without Representation into the emerging EU empire, a “Withdrawal Deal”.

Is it ?

We had no military and security integration with the EU before June 23rd 2016 – it has  been arranged since then. It is disingenously identified to us by brief and bland generalisations in both the Withdrawal Deal and the Declaration on the Future relationship.

This is “the Deal” she insists parliament approves: to subject our nation like a colony to the EU superstate. She has acted in direct defiance of the Brexit Referendum result, all the while deceiving Leave voters by saying what they want to hear.

She has lied and abused her position as Prime Minister. By her actions, she now causes us to participate in a European Union election we have absolutely no business participating in. NONE. We should already be out and trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms, using the multitude of specific bilateral arrangements already agreed.

Perhaps you think that the tone and language I use in this and in other blog posts is loaded and biased. It’s not ! It reflects the reality. If you don’t believe me, watch the documentary screened on Wednesday 8th May 2019 on BBC 4. [link below]

It was a fly-on-the-wall affair, the camera in the background recording what was happening in meetings held by, and with, Guy Verhofstadt, the EU parliament’s coordinator over the 2 years of Brexit negotiations.

It was most revealing.

It actually said nothing we did not already know from a realistic reading of the the evidence, most of which has been assessed accurately by many Brexit commentators, including this blog.

But it provided incontrovertible confirmation from their own mouths as to what they were really doing.

Note :-

ON the initial talks to set the critical structure and terms for the negotiations, Barnier states that the EU has set “the tone and the agenda” for the negotiations.  We were therefore on the back foot and a slippery slope to what they wanted from day one, as David Davis pointed out in his resignation letter.

ON the Northern Ireland border and backstop arrangement, Barnier states that it was his intention all along to use Ireland both “tactically and strategically” to maintain the UK on the defensive, and in a subordinate position, in all future dealings.

The truth that the single market and customs requirements of the EU would create a trade barrier was dismissed and treated as unacceptable posturing by the UK – this from people who claim falsely [and they do so in this documentary] that the EU has brought peace in Ulster and that the UK, not the EU,  is using Ireland as a negotiating ploy !

ON the Withdrawal Deal arrangements as finalised, a member of Verhofstadts staff triumphantly stated that they had made the UK – and I quote – “a COLONY” !

Indeed, he then says that this had been their intention from the beginning…

But this documentary also highlighted what I have been at pains to make clear in this blog and elsewhere:  that there is a fundamental philosophical and cultural clash between the UK and the continental EU.

On returning from a meeting in 10 Downing Street, Verhofstadt says contemptuously that the British have no overall CONCEPT of what they want – they just talk about specifics here and there, they just cherry pick.

That comment highlights a fundamentally critical difference of philosophy and culture. We are pragmatic. We start with specifics, we start with the actual problems and then go on to find a specific practical solution . If we arrive at an overall principle or conception, it is based on the evidence and on the reality; our approach is inductive.

Not so continental thinking – certainly not the French speaking and French influenced continent.

They start with the grand idea, the overall principle – the concept – and then make everything fit in with that. Their approach is deductive. That’s why they will never understand us, never respect us, never allow us the influence that would have saved the EU project from being an authoritarian and bureaucratic disaster.

We see raising particular problems as getting to grips with the issue, trying to find a solution for everyone’s benefit. They don’t. They just don’t think like that. Which is why they call it cherry picking. It’s the only way they can make sense of our approach and attitude.

It is incredible that all these highly paid politicians and diplomats  have not grasped this fundamental fact.  They have not had the sense to step back and question their own assumptions or understand where the other side are coming from.

Yet they claim to believe in love and peace, the integration of Europe, and avoiding another war …

Ray Catlin

the link for donations and information about the English democrats court case is at

the link to the documentary by Lode Desmet is on You Tube at