Budget4 Legal Questions to European Leaders on Openness and Public Money to Prove you are Democrats not Kleptocrats
11, November, 2010
Seventy years ago Europeans fought a war about theft of property. The Nazis were kleptocrats. The gang stole from everyone they could. It became a planetary war. In Germany Hitler disenfranchised many of his honest citizens. He stripped them of their wealth and then sent them with any persistent supporters, Jews, Christians, journalists or political critics, to the gas chambers and death camps. Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and Poland and subjugated lands that were not his own. He then stormed into Russia to steal its petroleum. Western democracies united to free themselves from oppression by these gangsters.
Europe’s Founding Fathers helped fight and win that war. They then established a new democracy for the whole of Europe. They did not do so to AGAIN subjugate Europeans to another form of political kleptomania.
Today, to have a position in the main European institutions, you have to be a member of a political party. That puts you in 2 percent of Europe’s population who have a party card. Fully 98 percent of the population are excluded from representation. This is the greatest act of discrimination in modern times. Both Hitler and Stalin had far more party members. (Their enlightened enemies compromised critics who refused to join the party for cultural, religious, ethical, racial or political reasons.)
Party political leaders want secrecy to divide up Europe’s wealth. Should today’s political leaders of Europe impose taxes on Europe’s citizens IN SECRET? Should excluded citizens submit to any amount of tax that Eurocrats designate behind closed doors? Who decides what money is raised from the population? Who decides how it will be spent?
Imagine a Court case. If honest citizens do not know HOW and WHY taxes are formulated in secret sessions, how can they go to Court to say the leaders decided unjustly? How can the Judge know the motivation of the leaders?
It should be remembered that Hitler was also voted into power in democratic elections. That did not make him a democrat. He was antichristian and a corrupter of democratic power. With slick propaganda he immediately misused and overturned democratic controls to install his Fuehrertum.
The lesson is that we can only judge what is a democratic, fair-minded and just government by its action. We cannot judge it by its slick words. Hitler’s propaganda ministry under Dr Goebbels was powerful in persuading the German people and many in other countries, including Britons and French, that he was doing something right. It was all lies. Some were subtle lies. Others were blatant, repetitious lies that people believed out of weariness. Or that was what Goebbels hoped would be the outcome of his PR campaigns.
The ones who perceived the lies the earliest were the ones he sent to the camps. We should value them all the more today.
How does anyone tell if a government is democratic? A key test involves MONEY. What are they doing with the people’s money? How are they collecting taxes? Above all, how are they spending taxes they collect? Who gets this money? Is it fattening the governors or feeding the governed needy? Consultation and democratic assent are required on all money matters.
No taxation without representation! That was the battle cry throughout the ages of democrats against autocratic regimes. It led to the revolt of the British colonies in America in the 1770s, even though their taxes were minimal by today’s standards.
The Americans based themselves on ancient British laws. In 1215 the British declared the principle when King John met with the barons at Runnymede. The result was the Magna Carta setting out democratic principles. Articles 12 and 14 laid down that taxes could not be raised ‘without common counsel of the realm.’ In other words no arbitrary taxation by the king. The Charter specified the categories of citizens, moral and secular, from bishops and abbots and barons, who had to be consulted in the process. This allowed the larger part of the population to be brought into the consultation. The key concept was that taxes could not be conceived and imposed in secret by the king or leader.
The principle goes back thousands of years before the Magna Carta. Ancient civilisations such as the Celtic nations proclaimed before all meetings that truth was the foundation of all civil society. Truth requires open assemblies, more than representation. Why? Because there was no guarantee that the representatives would not seize the opportunity to fatten their own face before they really cared for those they were supposed to represent.
Today the European Union is ruled by party machines. It is not governed by non-political civil society. Non-political citizens do not get a look-in. Politicians have taken some autocratic Gaullist ideas and applied them to milking the fattest milch-cow in sight, the EU budget. The Gaullist strategy was closed meetings, package deals, arm-twisting and blackmail in private.
His first target was the Council of Ministers which he attempted to exaggerate in importance to make it the decision-maker of the Community system. It isn’t. The Council still discusses in secret. The European Council more so. At the core of the present day system are not representatives of civil society but three main parties, the left middle and right. (That sort of categorization makes no sense to many people).
The Commission which is supposedly by treaty law independent of all such associations is now exclusively composed of card-carrying party members. This party cartel violates the spirit and the letter of the treaties. The action of the parties and their fiddling of the parliamentary results has resulted in ever declining voter turn-outs. More people say ‘None of the above‘ when looking at the ballot paper.
However, the Lisbon Treaty, the party-imposed version of the Constitutional treaty, does demand open sessions of the institutions. This, as discussed previously, was introduced by non-party civil society organisations. They revolted against the Meat Mountains and Wine Lakes that Gaullist and Italian corruption encouraged. The present action of the party cartel to close doors as they did in the past has no legal standing. It is also immoral.
The Lisbon Treaty includes the principle that: The European Parliament shall meet in public, as shall the Council when considering and voting on a draft legislative act. The Budget is a primary legislative act.
THREE institutions are involved in the conspiracy of closed doors at the Conciliation Committee. Three bodies violate the treaty and also democratic morality. The Parliament usually has open sessions on the budget has succumbed to this secrecy. The Commission, supposedly the Guardian of the Treaties, did not speak out. It was represented by a Commissioner at the Conciliation Committee on the Budget. He helped shut the door. The Council was present in the person of the acting Belgian Prime Minister. No one seemed concerned about the public’s rights, the public’s money or public accountability.
They all need to explain why the doors were closed when they discussed how much they should collect of the citizen’s money in the form of tax and how THEY would spend it. Some money will go on EU programmes. Other money goes on pet party projects. The budget also increases the salaries and allowances and expands illicitly the subsidies given to the party machines. Money given to the party machinery and buddy infrastructure has not had the approval of the people because it was the politicians in and of the party machines who decided that they wanted more taxpayer’s money for party purposes.
I have therefore sent the following letter to Mr Buzek, the President of the European Parliament.
10 November 2010
Mr Jerzy Buzek
President, European Parliament
Public access to Budgetary draft legislation meetings
Dear President Buzek,
The Parliament has public meetings to consider the Budget. At the European Council press conference on 29 October 2010 in reply to a question about the Budget Conciliation Committee, citing the Lisbon Treaty Article 15.2 (TFEU) the Commission President, Mr Barroso, replied that ‘I think we should keep full respect of the Lisbon Treaty in all the co-decision procedures.’
The treaty says in Article 15.2 (TFEU) The European Parliament shall meet in public, as shall the Council when considering and voting on a draft legislative act.
Public access is the fundament of democracy. It is most important for open, public sessions when it comes to draft legislation on public money. Today is both the time of austerity and of grave suspicions of fraudulent practice in high places.
However, the Conciliation Committee on 27 October and subsequent meetings were shut to the public and the press. The highest representatives of the Parliament, Council and Commission participated in the meetings of the Conciliation Committee to consider draft financial legislative act involving public money.
May I ask for an official reply as to why these meetings were shut to the public, television and the press? Who decided that the public and press should be excluded?
Many thanks for your help in this matter.
Similar letters were sent to European Commission President Barroso and Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.Author : David Heilbron Price