Tuesday, March 15, 2005

One English penny per EU citizen

That's all the Commission has allocated EU-wide for pro-constitution propaganda. (£5.5 million divided by an EU population of 456 million.)

Of that, £86,000 has been allocated to the UK (one tenth of one penny per British citizen, taking current UK population as 58.7 million). That is just about enough to buy two and a bit 30 second slots on primetime weeknight ITV (£36,000 for 30 seconds on Carlton) - only there wouldn't be any money left over to actually make the advert...

Oh, and lest we forget, Jack Straw has in any case ruled out any possibility of the government accepting any of this paltry sum.

Yep, we're simply inundated with pro-EU propaganda, aren't we? (The first link there is yet another wonderful example of the rabidly Eurosceptic Bruges Group spouting abject nonsense.)

More on this new drive (if such insignificant amounts of money can really be termed a "drive") here.

6 Comments:

Anonymous robin said...

Why should the EU commission spend any of our money on propaganda?
And thats not all it spends on telling everyone how brilliant it is.

3/15/2005 08:24:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

"Propaganda", dear boy, was a deliberate appropriation-cum-pre-emption of standard anti-EU speak, and was used for satirical effect. My Wildean wit evidently fell flat. Again...

The money is to promote knowledge of the constitution - perhaps by making copies of it available, as in Spain. I'd say that informing the Great British Public about the nature of the document they are supposed to be voting on and which, according to the anti-EU lot, is going to so severely affect this country's future is a very good use of our money.

How can we be expected to make an informed choice about something about which we know nothing? If the British government altered the system by which you - say - apply for a passport, would you not expect them to put out some leaflets about it? Or would you prefer to try and guess how the new arrangements work all by yourself, with nothing and no one to guide you?

One tenth of a penny for increased knowledge is a small price to pay, I'd say. (Still, if you click the final link in this post, you'll actually find that I largely agree with you - albeit for entirely different reasons, by the sounds of things...)

And of course it's not all the money the Commission spends on promotion. Did I even imply it was? If so, many apologies. I'd be intrigued to see any concrete figures of expenditure in that area though - if you find some, you let me know. I imagine, however, that it is significantly lower than you might think...

3/15/2005 09:05:00 pm  
Anonymous robin said...

It should be up to the national governments to provide copies of the constitution if they so wish.
And if the constitution is not going to severely this countries future,why have it?
The Socrates project is one propaganda(right word)that is aimed at school children;sounds nasty.
Then sponsoring films on television and giving money to Roumania to make a pro series for its TV.
Conferences are often held where they can laud their "achievements".
Those signs put up with that EU flag when they have given money for a project(usually outside the UK).Money given to universities for "Research",the EUrocest project.
Money is given to organisations theEUrocrats favour,the EU flag is put wherever they can put it and of course there is the BBC.

3/16/2005 04:52:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Good grief... OK - point by point:

It should be up to the national governments to provide copies of the constitution if they so wish.

And so it is - that was merely an example of possible uses for the money off the top of my head. By the same logic, I could suggest that it should be up to the national governments to sign up to the constitution if they so wish...

And if the constitution is not going to severely this countries future,why have it?

The government's claim that it's just a "tidying-up exercise" does actually have some merit to it. It is - to an extent - a handy way of compiling previous treaties into one handy document, while getting rid of some of the shoddier parts of earlier agreements.

The Socrates project

I think you'll find this is actually aimed primarily at adult education. There are indeed youth education programmes (Erasmus, for example), but mostly aimed at higer education, and primarily to fund travel. I'm afraid I can't see how that's a bad thing - students are poor, this helps them do things they couldn't otherwise afford.

Then sponsoring films on television and giving money to Roumania to make a pro series for its TV.

Yep. But Romania is somewhat poorer than the UK. As pointed out, the money bunked at the UK can buy just over 60 seconds of primetime TV.

Conferences are often held where they can laud their "achievements".

Examples? These conferences primarily have other purposes, you know...

Those signs put up with that EU flag when they have given money for a project

So you don't think sponsors should get any credit, then?

usually outside the UK

The majority of the EU's population is outside the UK. I'd say it's fair enough. The EU sponsors more projects than you might think in this country, however.

Money given to universities for "Research"

Erm... That is primarily what universities do... Why the inverted commas? Or do you have "proof" that this money is being used for ulterior purposes? Universities are massively underfunded - they need all the money they can get. They also accept funding from anti-EU organisations, special-interest groups for specific research to back up pre-existing preconceptions - the works. They don't have the luxury of being able to turn down handouts.

the EUrocest project

Sorry - no idea what you mean. Do you mean the EuroCrest Competition? The very minor annual award for online promotion of local communities? In which the European Commission is only a minor partner?

Money is given to organisations theEUrocrats favour

By definition they are favoured by the "EUrocrats" if they are given EU money. But the EU also gives money to its critics.

the EU flag is put wherever they can put it

Slight exaggeration, methinks...

and of course there is the BBC

Come again? Are you saying the BBC is funded by the EU in some way? If so, do you have proof - or are you simply resorting to the usual desperation?

Come on - the money's insignificant. Even Richard North agrees with me on this one. There are many, far better areas for you to attack the EU than this, where a defence is far harder to come up with. This is a non-issue.

3/16/2005 05:34:00 pm  
Anonymous robin said...

Sorry to shock.
Point by point enumerated.
1;nice to agree on that.
2;is it serious or is it not?
3;we dont need Socrates and it should be our decision whether to spend the money
4;its not our fault Roumania is poorer and why should we pay for propaganda to entice a poorer country(and liability)into the club
5;conferences and other junkets are held-like the one after the tsunami
6;the sponsers are us-we pay not the EU commision
7;how about we keep our money and they keep theirs?
8;we should decide how much to give to universities.We could give more if we did not thow it into the EU pot.
9;Eurocrest is more than a competition,it is a branch of the EU for information
10;EU gives money to its critics? Who?And Why?
11;EU flag-look at your passport and driving licence,car no.plates,town halls and some schools.
12;The BBC - has accepted money from EU but even without that it is a tax funded apolgist for the EU.

The money is signifcant(are you that rich?) it could be used for better things.

And further attacks on the EU will come

Thanks anyway,at least you debate,unlike the BBC.

3/16/2005 08:39:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Robin - just a quicky, as there are too many points there to answer them all. A few I have touched on before (check the archives down the righ-hand side), and others I will no doubt come to in the future.

But yes - I do think I am rich enough to part with one penny...

3/16/2005 09:06:00 pm  

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