Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Consequences of Being Denied the Freedom of Expression

Read THIS post from FOREST's Simon Clark on his experience of attending a meeting on the forthcoming EU 'smoke free initiative' week. Talk about the EuSSR in action!
"I sensed, as soon as I entered the room and introduced myself that there could be trouble ... No surprise then, when, as soon as the meeting began, and we had all formally identified ourselves, two or three hands shot up. As I suspected, some of my fellow delegates were none too happy that a representative of Forest was in the room. If I didn't leave, said one, she would. Others nodded their heads in agreement."
Whether you agree with FOREST's pro smoker standpoint, what an absolute outrage it is for people to behave like this in a so-called democratic institution. I hate smoking, but I abhor the smoking ban even more. It's this kind of libertarian view which pseudo-fascists like the woman mentioned above would just love to outlaw. They don't just want to ban things, they want to police what we are allowed to say too. They are on the slippery slope to a thought controlling authoritarian state.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reminding me of why I just love the good ship European Union, and all (or, rather, most) who sail in her! Brown's Britain, the EU-SSR...where ARE we all heading to? HELP!!!

alex said...

The proposed legislation creating an EU-wide smoking ban is - apparently - the most stringent anti-smoking laws since the Nazi occupation of Europe.

Tells you all you need to know really...

wrinkled weasel said...

Iain says

"They are on the slippery slope to a thought controlling authoritsrian (sic)state."

A massive understatement. They are on a fecking helter skelter.

Recently, Harperson said it was ok to favour black job applicants over whites. If, however, one subsequently suggested that a successful applicant only got the job because he was black, all hell would break loose.

You are all sleep walking into totalitarianism. The next step is to delay an election. Believe me, they will find a reason.

Anonymous said...

Wait until all DVDs and films with a cigarette in view are banned...

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I think you know my views on the EU Iain.

BTW, have you done a post about the EU effect on those Post Office closures?

wonderfulforhisage said...

YES, I couldn't agree more. And, in my opinion, there is a very important concept, to which you allude Iain, lurking in the background.

The concept to which I refer, is the idea of different 'levels'. Most people accept this almost unconsciously. For example, they are happy for others to vote for a party that is in direct opposition to their own political views because that is 'Democracy' in action. In other words because Democracy is of a higher level than Policy, it trumps the natural opposition to the policies of the opposing party.

Specifically, in my opinion, 'means' are of a higher level than 'ends'. Hence: 'ends don't justify means'. (Torture, anyone? - no, not you Dubya)

Sadly most of the chancers that today populate Westminster don't share my belief - hence the prevalence of spin. Spin is based on the idea that bending the meaning of words is justified by the end result - keeping 'us' in power to do good works, or allowing 'us' to regain power in order to do good works. In other words, deliberately misleading the public, (spinning) justifies the glorious 'end' of being in a position to do 'good'. And this 'good' is good because we say it's good.

For what is Dave profited, if he shall gain the keys to number 10, and lose his own soul?

"Mush! mush! You green looking huskies."

"Ting aling aling. Here I come on my eco friendly bike."

"Snap crackle and pop."

I'd rather vote for Dennis Skinner than a party lead by Call Me Dave.

And if you don't believe me Dave, what is the point of becoming Prime Minister if the EU says you aren't allowed to subsidise a few Post Offices.

Sovereignty trumps everything. That's why I'll be voting UKIP.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Watch out for proposals to make 'passive smoking denial' a criminal offence, subject to a European arrest warrant.

Gallimaufry said...

I reckon those who raised their hands just wanted an excuse to pop outside for a hypocritical smoke with the snoutcasts.

verity said...

Trumpeter - I didn't make a note of it, but saw it on the internet this week sometime, that some crazed loons who should be euthanized, but not in a kind way, are demanding, or already have got, some local ordinance that requires that films that show smoking should have an 18-plus certificate.

I saw in the news today that a woman in China in an apartment building, had been cleaning her 8th story windows, lost her balance and had fallen to become impaled on some inexplicable steel spike a story or two above the ground level. I was wondering if there was any way we could get the name of that building.

(PS - I hope the lady is OK.)

Adrian Yalland said...

Can we have a refund and our membership papers back please?

Non-smoking libertarians of the world unite!

Adrian Yalland said...

Lets Traslate to EU speak:

"Consultation with the people" = "vote the right way, or we will make you vote again until you do"

"Democracy" = "voting the way we tell you to"

"Freedom of speech" = "the right to say anything you want, just as long as we have sanctioned it first"

There are plenty more!

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity - your first two paragraphs are classic Verity.

But the final bracketed wishes of wellness to the poor spiked lady - worrying!

Not going all human on us are you?

Stand up and fight said...

There are over 12 million smokers in this country, yet despite the
£9 billion or so extra tax we pay annually we are treated worse than criminals.

Flipping heck, criminals were compensated by HMG because they were denied their human rights in terms of access to drugs. So, hard working, law abiding smokers are lower in the human rights pecking order than rapists and murderers?

I bet all of those at the meeting drove off in their fume belching cars afterwards too.

It's not just smokers either, many millions of us - the vast majority - who are overweight, elderly, drinkers, we're all being stigmatised, denied access to health care and human dignity by these Nazi style purges and the government's health apartheid. The government's even started on 50 odd year old holiday makers now.

It's time we fought back, we could alter the result of any election we chose to. What we need is our own political party:

The Smoking, Overweight & Drinking Oppressed's Freedom Front.

S.O.D.O.F.F

The electoral registration dept have told me that there is no reason why a party of that name could not be registered...

Diablo said...

Iain - do you really "hate smoking"? Or, do you mean you hate the smell of tobacco smoke? That is the main reason why most non-smokers object to other people smoking in their presence.

It's got nothing to do with potential damage to their health - despite all the passive smoking propaganda that has creeped its way into the national psyche. (There is no sound scientific basis for any of the statistics that have driven this movement.)

Personally, as an ex-smoker I don't hate smoking - I just want this country to retain the right to allow its residents to be able to do what they want to do within the law. What worries me more is that the law will be changed on the basis that some politically correct groups' voices will be listened to before mine.

Vienna Woods said...

Yes Folks, we are the same people that brought you the `Schengen Accord´, the `Euro´, and many other original and idiotic ideas. Elected by less people than the population of Belgium,we are here to look after your welfare and destroy what's left of democracy. A majority of EU lands don't want us! Forget that, we will tell you what you want. Our brainless Marxists will remain, at your service.

Iain Dale's Rabbit said...

Very interesting. Some people express their views, the actual outcome isn't reported yet you, Iain, castigate certain people for expressing certain views. It is you Iain who are too far along the road of fascism.

simon said...

Out of the EU NOW!!! Better Off Out- of course!!! Well, it's UKIP again for me in the Euro poll next year. The Conservatives will NEVER advocate withdrawal; and will adopt the same 'pissing inside the tent' philosophy as most Tory governemnts tend to do. A clear 'we will get out' is needed as: i) it would frighten most EU countries, as i suspect the EU calculates we will eventually join the Euro(hence, bolster it); ii) we would control our borders- which would mean other countries would have to face the 'immigration' problem-without us taking most of the influx;iii) England/Britain would have to face WHERE to position itself on 'the world stage' (ie) ally firmly with the US ,or a configuration of 'commonwealth' countries such as Australia & Canada- i think we can forget most of the African states thank you very much).

Unsworth said...

Well, the meeting's purpose was stated as:
“EU experts, civil society and social partners to support the Commission’s Impact Assessment on the forthcoming initiative on smoke-free environments”

Thus it was a meeting of a select group of (self)interested parties.

What's interesting to me is the list of participants, all of whom might benefit substantially from 'supporting' the 'Impact Assessment'.

That is how the EU 'Democratic Business' is always conducted. Indeed, it seems to be exactly the same as in Britain.

Anonymous said...

Voting ukip is a complete waste of a vote.

Firstly the way they elect their national executive is a joke. No democracy there chosen place men or women (votes are counted in secret)

The finances are also a secret. The Euro MP's are the biggest joke on earth. What do they do. Organise a few 'demonstrations' wave plastic flags etc BUT name me ONE constructive decision that UKIP have achieved in the EU?

If any ukip candidate was elected they would be swamped by the other parties. they would be treated as a complete joke. The speaker would probably allow him or her one question a year to the PM.

Then look at the leader.Could you ever trust that man?

Sorry the good people doing the leg work in that party would be better off within the only party dedicated to the common english man and woman. the BNP.

I am afraid I do agree with an earlier comment. Call me Dave is no leader. He is as much part of Common Purpose as all the others.

This particular blog shows the way Common Purpose has controlled the minds of those idiots at that meeting.

There is NO democracy within the EU and it is time people woke up to the fact that the EU is the greatest threat to our freedom since Hitler.

Newmania said...

There has only ever been one proper study of the effects of passive smoking and it was of 60,000people over a period of many years. No significant effect was found. ( You can find it if you search Christopher Booker in the DT)
That’s it , a lie . Passive smoking is an excuse to avoid the question who owns my body , me of Gordon Brown ?.80% of pub goers are smokers, almost 100% of working men’s club members are smokers and enough bingo enthusiasts send it out of business as well. In my own area this snippy school maam infantilising edict has killed the towns social life .There were other compromises on the table and for the passing New Labour confection to destroy that venerable institution the British Pub is, in a funny way , the most infuriating thing about them. Do you realise there were pubs before churches before Parliaments before the fact of England their roots reach down deep deep into the Germanic loam , pub signs developed in the dark ages for crissake


Iain is so right when he says that even for those who dislike smoking this is important . Every new prescription is a minority . If its Fox hunting today it will be fishing tomorrow . Light Up Britain our day will come again….although I have no confidence that Cameron will do anything about this outrage. Funny how often you find yourself thinking about that .


(Liberals however should be banned ! They blather on about freedom but each time there is attack on it they disappear. Hunting …smoking , driving …nowhere , they lack the guts and brains to make Iain`s crucial leap …I may hate it but there is a principle involved and if I tolerate this next they will stop me buying fashionable soft furnishings or whatever it is Iain does .)

Anoneumouse said...

On Easter Day we should all solemnly note that the 23rd March 2008 is the 75th anniversary of the key milestone in the Nazi seizure of power.

Ermächtigungsgesetz

.

Anonymous said...

I hate smoking and I hate smokers, the ban couldn't come quick enough for me.Best thing to happen for years.

Smokers scum of the Earth, a cull next.

asquith said...

As much as I hate to agree with the Iain Dales, Verities and Newmanias of this world, I do.

I get really hacked off at all this no platform rubbish. Do people really object top the idea of having a debate and letting people make their minds up? Do they think people are so stupid that they can't be allowed to hear certain views?

I add the standard disclaimer (which I shouldn't need to add) that I abhor smoking, and the views of Nick Griffin, James Watson et al, but the idea of censorship doesn't even enter my head.

If only we were all as liberal as me :)

Rush-is-Right said...

Just wait until 'Climate Change Denial' joins the list of opinions that cannot be uttered.

Twig said...

Apparently if you place a frog in a cool frying pan, and slowly turn up the heat, the frog will not sense it and will cook to death.

That's how the Euro project is being foisted on us, little by little. I knew when Ted Heath took us into the "Common Market" that he was lying when he said it was about political union, the real truth is it was nothing more than the thin end of a very large wedge, and the Tories are culpable.

Notice the almost imperceptible change from:
1) Common Market
2) European Economic Union (EEC)
3) European Community (EC)
4) European Union (EU)

Anonymous said...

If you invite yourself to a meeting the purpose of which is to discuss how to reduce smoking, and your raison d'etre (don't be frightened, it's a French phrase) is to oppose the purpose of the meeting, then being told to go away is not exactly surprising. He fails to say whose meeting it was - perhaps because this would undermine his role as "victim".

Anonymous said...

Was it an official EU meeting? From the description it's hard to tell - I suspect this was some sort of industry-sponsored gathering. The real story here though if it was an EU official meeting is the extraordinary extent to which commercial corporations dominate and control EU discussions. The true lack of democracy is that the EU Commission serves the rich and powerful interests first and foremost, and always has done.

neil craig said...

The problem is that the evidence that "passive smoking" does any harm relies on a small number of surveys of very small numbers of people & that there results are well within the limits of statistical error of theses surveys, indeed maost of them show no damage> Since there is thus no actual evidence that passive smoking is harmful supporters of a ban are reduced to preventing discussion.

Persecution of heresy is a function of religion never science because religios claims are, by their nature, not subject to evidence.

Luis said...

sounds OTT.

However we should remember those less fortunate than ourselves. In China they are free to smoke their lungs out. They'd better not oppose the government though as shown by the tanks rolling in Tibet now.....

Anonymous said...

It is not surprising that he was not welcome at the meeting. He had obviously not been invited to attend. His use of the term 'delegates' indicates that it was invitation-only.

It is equivalent to a Socialist Workers Party member gatecrashing a Conservative Party policy meeting.

asquith said...

10:28, I personally hope "climate change denial" is voiced regular and often by the usual suspects. When people hear the world's scientists on one side and Jeremy Clarkson, Peter Hitchens, Brendan O'Neill, clinically sane Melanie Phillips, George Bush,and James Delingpole on the other, they'll get an idea of who is right. Either that or they'll be forced to sit up and take notice by the environmental disasters that are quite obviously looming. Unless you think we can just consume, breed and pollute all we like and it will never cause any problems.

judith said...

Dear Asquith

One can be concerned about the maintenance of a healthy environment and also be a 'global-warming' sceptic.

Please check out the US Senate Environment&Public Works Committee Report of Dec 07: over 400 scientists from more than 24 countries have voiced significant objections to the so-called 'consensus' on man-made global warming - many of them are current and former participants in the UN IPCC; they have also stated that numerous colleagues share their views but will not speak out publicly for fear of retribution.

As far as smoking is concerned, the honest response of Governments and the EU, if they truly believed in its harmfulness, would be to ban and criminalise the growth and production of tobacco and related products, just as opium has been.

Windsor Tripehound said...

... and your raison d'etre (don't be frightened, it's a French phrase) ...

Anonymous 10:52 am is not only a worthless troll, but a patronising arsehole as well

Simon Clark, Forest, said...

Dear Anonymous,

The meeting was organised by the European Commission's Health & Consumer Protection Directorate-General. Officially it was called a "consultation meeting with EU experts, civil society and social partners on an impact assessment on smoke-free environments". Informally, it was described as a "stakeholder consultation on Commission's smoke-free initiative".

Forest was not originally invited, but that doesn't mean to say we shouldn't have been there. (I don't know about you, but I would have thought that the consumer is a fairly obvious stakeholder in such a discussion.)

When I queried why we had not been invited (bearing in mind that, last year, we contributed to the EU Green Paper consultation on the subject), I received, from the Health & Consumer Protection DG, the following email:

"Please accept my apologies for this oversight. You will find enclosed the background document and the agenda of the meeting. Could you kindly confirm who will represent Forest at the meeting?"

I think that's an invitation. Don't you?

If you still think I invited myself to the meeting, who cares? If Forest was to sit around waiting for invitations to make our voice heard we wouldn't be doing our job. Is that what you want? (I think we know the answer.)

Not a sheep said...

Wrinkled Weasel: They've delayed local elections before, don't forget. As Tom Robinson sang in The Winter of '79 - "The government never resigned". That will probably annoy Billy Bragg, here's another right of centre man who can quote from and grew up on left wing music in the 1970s and 1980s.

asquith said...

Judith, while I personally believe that climate change is occuring and mankind is responsible, I acknowledge that some people are sceptics but still have good environmental credentials.

But there are too many people who take a wanton, irresponsible approach towards the planet. The whole matter of our impact on the world has got to be sorted out, and clunking fist, Dave Snooty, and those of a similar tendency in other countries won't/can't do it.

As for smoking, I agree with your views. I don't smoke, and I'm a vegetarian, but I don't share some people's jihad against those who prefer to smoke and eat meat.

Yak40 said...

There's been a few journalists lose their jobs and even get threatened with prosecution for inquiring too closely into the affairs of the inauditable EU machinery.

As for smoking hysteria, will they be building Reeducation Centres for offenders ?

Anonymous said...

Like most sane people I hate these do gooders that nanny & lecture us on how to live our lives. This scary tale is typical of the health fascists.

That said, the smoking ban is a wonderful piece of legislation. The joy of being able to sit and relax in a pub and not ending the evening smelling like a disused ashtray. Well it is wonderful. I hate the cursed cigarette.

I am all for freedom of the individual - kill yourself if you want but do in in your own home. I want my freedom not to have a dry scratchy throat and stinking clothes.

verity said...

Windsor Tripehound - Anonymous 10:52 is indeed a patronising nitwit. Incidentally, 10:52, don't be frightened - it's French spelling - but, as every skule boy no, in the lower case, être has a circumflex over the first 'e'. There's a good chap.

neil craig said...

If you want to go to a pub & not see smoking it would have been possible to go to a pub that banned it before the government ban. There were some. Not many but there would have been many if the public demand had been there. The fact that the government had to intorduce a ban by itself proves there was no demand.

Personally I find my blood pressure rising in the presence of eco-fascists, naany statists & suchlike Luddites. But I would not, even if I could, demand the "joy" of having them all legally banned from appearing in public places.

Travis Bickle said...

Asquith

You believe that mankind is entirely responsible for the current climate change cycle.

So, who or what was responsible for the many previous changes of climate in the earth's history? ( Funnily enough no scientist has used their hefty research grants to explain how our island was so much warmer in medieval times when the peasants obviously didn't run 4x4s to pick the children up from school, or go to work in the vineyards of Vine Street)

Yak40 said...

Arbeit Macht Smoke Frei

Jill, London said...

As a number of people have commented [but not on this post, I hasten to add]- Orwell's "1984" was supposed to be a warning - not a template.

This hysteria about smoking is turning some people certifiable.

Pity these interfering busybodies
don't turn their attention to hounding the real criminals. Yet their Commie ideologically-driven 'Yuman Rights Act' protects terrorists. And alaong with this inversion we have a situation where smokers - and motorists - have no 'Yuman rights'!

It's about time the Commie EU - and the Comrades over here - were told where to go - forcibly!

asquith said...

Travis Bickle, as much as I'd like to debate climate change and environmental business with you (and will do as soon as any thread appears: perhaps Iain Dale will express his views on Ken Leavingsoon and Sian Nutty joining forces, and give us an opportunity) I don't want to go derailing the thread.

Re: the references to the smoking ban. I have mixed feelings. From a selfish point of view I'm glad not to be stinking like an ashtray whenever I go out. But since a number of my mates smoke, I find myself sitting outside, and that undermines the idea I've always had that pubs should be hubs (sorry to use the rhyme, but I couldn't think of another word) of social life. So I might repeal it when I'm in power. Like I said, I hold a similar view to Iain Dale in that I dislike smoking but also dislike the anti-smoking jihadists.

http://hh-asquith.blogspot.com/2008/03/another-excellent-reason-to-hate.html

Mervyn Rosenberg said...

... and I will defend with my life your right to say that with which I disagree.

cassandra said...

The faked up 'evidence' of passive smoking has been around for a long time.
The 'evidence' was faked up in response to uncomfortable fact that as smoking rates went down during the smoking purges of the
80s & 90s the rates of cancer went up! Instead of being honest the anti smoking Nazis thought it would be better to make up a fake illness called passive smoking! This gives you a classic example among many of dishonest people lying to cover up their own prejudices. Think back to the 'scientific' reports of the thities in the USA about black people and women being unsuitable to fly aeroplanes and you start to see a clear pattern emerge, a fanatic will never stick to the truth when it does not serve their prejudice!
The global warming 'evidence' is full of examples of faked up evidence to support a political prejudice and political aims. The truth is not important to these people who feel that the ends justify the means!

asquith said...

"a fanatic will never stick to the truth when it does not serve their prejudice"

Indeed, Cassandra. Perhaps this is why such scientific illiterates as Mad Mel Phillips believe programmes such as The Great Global Warming Swindle offer a fair and balanced view, when even the people quoted on it disown it and claim to have been lied to and it has been completely and utterly debunked.

If anyone is driven by ideology at the expense of facts it's the anti-environmentalists. They just can't accept the fact that their lifestyle of choice is harming the planset, and they might need to live in a more sustainable manner and exercise some responsibility in future.

PaulD said...

Of course the smoking ban is welcomed by everyone who hates coming out of the pub smelling like a kipper. But why should smokers be banned even from having a well-ventilated room at the back of the pub? Or, more absurdly, somewhere to enjoy a drink and a smoke in a 100-room hotel?

The danger of secondhand smoke has been wildly exaggerated. No serious study has shown it has any harmful effects. That said, it would still have been perfectly possible for most pubs to set aside an area where smokers would not intrude on customers or staff.

The alternative is what we are seeing now - pubs closing at the rate of four a day and the rest being turned into glorified restaurants.

But what do Labour care? Not only do they relish the sight of people, for once, obeying their commands (purely out of loyalty to the landlord) but they positively drool over the trashing of one of our last great institutions.

Travis Bickle said...

"Travis Bickle, as much as I'd like to debate climate change and environmental business with you"

Well why bring it up in the first place if you don't have answers to a very simple question? No shame in saying you don't know... D'oh

Jill, London said...

Pauld is highlighting another by-product of the Communist witchhunt against smokers - or the law of unintended consequences which the 'government of all the Comrades' often invokes.

Not only are four pubs closing down a day, but the people who used to enjoy Bingo are seeing Bingo halls closing too. No wonder the pub landlords association were adamently against this ban - particularly as they weren't allowed to have the choice of allowing smoking or not. But the 'government of all the Comrades' is fundamentally undemocratic and has been allowed to hammer and sickle over taxpayers' wishes too long. The servants have become the masters. Time to boot them out!

verity said...

Mervyn Rosenberg said... and I will defend with my life your right to say that with which I disagree."

Gosh, that's so clever and touching! I wonder why we have never heard this Voltaire-attributed phrase before in the Western world! (Ooops!)

Anonymous said...

asquith said...

"When people hear the world's scientists on one side"

That is a lie, as you would know if you were not so ignorant.

"I don't want to go derailing the thread."

Hypocrite.

"this is why such scientific illiterates"

A gullible, ill-informed fool like you should be wary of throwing abuse at your intellectual betters. Prat.

neil craig said...

Perhaps this is why such scientific illiterates as Mad Mel Phillips believe programmes such as The Great Global Warming Swindle offer a fair and balanced view, when even the people quoted on it disown it and claim to have been lied to and it has been completely and utterly debunked.
"

Hardly Asquith - Firstly I would be interested to learn what the other programmes like Swindle you are refering to since, though there have benn literally 10s of thousands of programmes or news items pushing the alarmist line I don't know of any others putting the sceptical case. Secondly the "people" who disowned it were actually one person who did not deny having said what he said but merely the academic problems he had got into by saying it. The programme was "debunked" it was attacked which is not the same thing.

One nit-pick I would say about Iain's article - he referred to these people as "pseudo-fascists" - - they are not, they are real fascists (or neo-fascists would work) & pseudo-liberals.

verity said...

WW - "The next step is to delay an election. Believe me, they will find a reason."

I believe you are correct. I believe it would have been the same had Blair not been chased out of Downing St by the gang of thugs. Either way, either man - I have felt very strongly that there will not be an election at the due time.

I even think that there may never be another election as we, who invented elections, understand the term.

It will be delayed, or "held in two parts" or "serially", due to "terrorist threats" (promoted by the socialists). I fear very strongly that there will never be a national election in Britain again as the sheeple are driven into the totalitarian pen.

Jack Straw's new members of the House of Lords, now called senators, thereby removing us further from the long, unbroken chain of our history, will find a reason to accept this "temporary measure".

Farewell, my country.

Ron Knee said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Wait until all DVDs and films with a cigarette in view are banned...

March 20, 2008 11:04 PM"

I have been watching some filums on the teevee and have already noticed that parts containing images of the dreaded SMOKING have already been cut out! Even AIRPLANE the spoof filum has ben subject to this treatment. Ruins the whole evening...

troymolloy said...

Iain you really are a man after my own heart sometimes.

Anonymous said...

ron knee - [any relation to ron manager ?] - be afraid, be very afraid..

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7310884.stm

Anonymous said...

Why do we accept the smoking ban?
Why do we accept draconian ill considered laws that chip away at our rights to chose and deal with the consequences of those choices?
We live in a state where the majority are now dependant on that state for handouts or employment. If we rock the boat we risk losing government jobs or government handouts. The few of us who do still work are left in a voiceless rage while the country falls apart around us. When they figured out how to buy us, they figured out how to ignore us. The last person to go into Westminster meaning to achieve something was Guy Falkes.

Anonymous said...

The UK is lost and that is why I am considering emigrating
I really dont see how we can stop the onsluaght of the mighty EU!