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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Brussels is effectively offering landowners money to advertise the EU. Then again, that’s the reason that a lot of people in Britain agree to support the EU: NGOs, charities, big corporations and universities.

Daniel Hannan

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17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Laird

    Hey, if you take their money you have to play their tune. Who ever expected anything different?

    And to be fair, erecting (and maintaining) a 4′ x 6′ sign is a pretty small imposition for the receipt of €500,000. Where I live, if you have home improvement work done (a new roof or kitchen, etc.) the contractor typically requires that you have a small sign in your yard essentially advertising their services. It’s part of the cost. Granted, those aren’t permanent signs, and the contractor provides them, but I think the principle is the same. The EU wants everyone to know how beneficent they are (with other people’s money). This surprises anyone?

  • This post raised an ethical conundrum for me.

    Last September, natz thugs invaded gardens and farmers’ fields all over Scotland with knives and boots to trash NO posters. During the referendum campaign, I never saw a privately-located YES poster that was harmed (which does not guarantee it never happened but it must have been very rare). South of Oban, all across central belt, I never saw a privately-located NO poster up for more than a day or so without being attacked (scroll back to the start of http://twitter.com/niallmkilmartin – it’s not far – and then forward to see some pictures if interested). I was unimpressed by this – it was a noticeable degradation of prior Scottish electoral habit.

    However, this post made me wonder: what is the ethical situation of a farmer who applied to get some of their own tax money back from the EU is now told they must kiss the rod that defrauds them – in public! If these posters go up, and then are mysteriously vandalised, or have counter-arguments added, should we see that as a degradation of the political process, or as anything but? In the Scottish referendum, I thought it wrong that natz would trespass and vandalise to prevent someone expressing their own view on their own property. I’m all for being fair, for those who agree with me practising the restraint whose lack I blame in those who don’t. But just how does that principle apply if a farmer puts the poster up as ordered and, when the EU comes to check, is “ever so surprised” to see it just happens to be missing some of itself or have acquired an extra slogan or two?

  • Paul Marks

    It is indeed not a level playing field.

    The European Union can use taxpayer money to buy support.

  • Runcie Balspune

    ‘Tis the way of the socialists, das Opium des Volkes, instead of God it is other people’s cash, and it can be just as addictive.

  • Back in 1988 I started to notice a bunch of TV ads for Massachusetts tourism appearing all over the country. And soon enough Massachusetts governor Micheal Dukakis announced he was running for President. To be blunt he was using taxpayer money to prepare the ground for his run at the White House.

    This time around Hillary has Hollywood running shows like Madame Secretary to help her along. (God help us all)

    Meanwhile I’ve noticed that ads for California tourism are now on TV. Is Jerry Brown going to jump into the hole left by Joe Biden ? (Gaia Help US !!!)

  • Fred the Fourth

    Taylor: Much as I despise the hypocrisy about campaign finance which turns a blind eye to things like “Madame Secretary”, I gotta admit there might be some advantages in having Tea Leoni as POTUS. Too bad we’re going to get that mendacious POS Hillary instead.

  • TomJ

    There is, I suppose, nothing to stop them putting a bigger sign next to it saying “the EU forced me to put that up on pain of financial penalty”…

  • RRS

    Surely there must be some innovative responses to this kind of directive.

    Are the locations of the posting decreed?
    The size of lettering, style of script, or indeed language.

    (Messages in Sanskrit could be discreet)

    The sign might be “blended” (by colors, etc) onto an existing structure.

    But, all in all, seems a bit of a twist on Lenin.
    Buying the rope for your own hanging.

  • Cristina

    What a waste! Every time an EU country voted in favor of leaving the E.U., the result was discarded. Shortly after the same country has had the opportunity to vote again, this time around according to the dictates of Brussels and, in so doing, they have earned the applause of the rulers of Europe. The tyrants do not care for the public opinion. The propaganda billboards are a show of force.

  • Laird

    Wait, Madame Secretary is a shill for Hillary? I thought that was the function of Veep.

  • It is well known, and not at all new, that governments use taxpayers’ money to advertise their own political works.

    My personal view is that this is unavoidable, at least to some extent. It just needs to be kept to a very moderate (note I avoided writing here “reasonable”) extent.

    I would suggest as a response, about which government can do very little, to mount next to said forced EU governmental advertising, another set of advertisements. These could itemise those things regulated by government as ‘compulsory’ that are not direct taxation – and are not thought reasonable.

    Such things could well include much higher electricity charges because of (hat-tip to DK) forced use of inefficient and subsidised power generation by wind turbines and by solar panels.

    Best regards

  • bloke in spain

    @RRS
    An a3 sign displayed under the tail of a cow would seem apposite.

  • Alisa

    Ljh, there is Islam, and there are individual Muslims – they are not the same. The debate must be had as the quote says, and it should be up to each individual (Muslim or otherwise) to decide whether he or she wants to take part in it or not, and on what side. Naturally, he or she also should end up living (or dying) with the consequences of their decisions.

  • Alisa

    Shoot, wrong post – I’ll take me coat…

  • lucklucky

    I think that is minor one, internationalism has a force of it own. Lot’s of people don’t want to be “alone” want always to be a part of a big movement.

    P.S:Daniel Hannan certainly get well down in my view due in his reputation about opinions about Portugal’s recent election.