EUROPE: Remote and undemocratic

Many readers will agree with Aidan Harrison (Northumberland Gazette, February 18) in his far-flung outrage at the conduct of various UK and other national governments.

But no one can let pass his concluding reference to ‘the rational, far-sighted and dogma-free influence of the EU’, unless this is pure sarcasm.

Does he really think that the dogmatic imposition of a common currency upon countries as different as Finland and Portugal, and the consequent degradation of much of southern Europe, is ‘rational’ when it is condemned by the experience of the people and by virtually all economists?

Can anyone describe the confusion and suffering caused by outsourcing the boundaries of the EU to the virtually open borders of Greece and Italy as ‘far-sighted’?

But from a local point of view, a Northumbrian point of view, the real failure of the EU is its extreme anti-democratic and bureaucratic remoteness.

As an EU commissioner, unelected of course, said in December: ‘We have a policy and that is what we will implement. We are not concerned with votes’, ie with people.

Mr Harrison aptly quotes Cicero: ‘The good of the people is the first law.’

But Cicero was elected by the people, several times, and he was ejected from office by the people.

Can anyone tell me of any EU commissioner who has been elected, or for that matter dismissed, except in 1999 when the entire commission had to resign?

Is this vast gravy-train that we pay £50million every day to maintain really a ‘far-sighted and dogma free influence’?

John Gaskin,

Netherwitton