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The Great European Rip-off: How the Corrupt, Wasteful EU is Taking Control of Our Lives Paperback – 5 Mar 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books; Reprint edition (5 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847945708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847945709
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A devastating indictment of EU waste and corruption, from the bestselling author of Squandered

From the Back Cover

In this EU election year, it's time for people across Europe to look at what really goes on in Brussels in our name.

It has been estimated that the EU costs us around £1,000 billion a year - an incredible £2000 for every man, woman and child in Europe. So what do we get for our money? Politicians and administrators selflessly working to bring us efficient government? Well-targeted regulations that promote economic prosperity? A safe and free society? A well-protected environment? Help for people in poorer countries?

Or is our money being squandered by a self-serving euro-elite of unaccountable politicians and incompetent bureaucrats, or else devoured in a feeding frenzy of fraud and corruption where a few lucky insiders become unimaginably rich at our expense? And is the tsunami of regulation pouring out of Brussels in reality strangling industry, destroying jobs, restricting personal freedom, desecrating the environment and further impoverishing the developing world?

Using their extensive network of insider sources, David Craig and Matthew Elliott smash through the secrecy and disinformation that are the Brussels hallmark to reveal what our European rulers are really getting up to. The result is a horrifying story of bureaucracy, hypocrisy and kleptocracy - and how we are all suffering as a result.

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Topical book as EU in/out vote due in a few months. This explains in brief, easy to read, and no uncertain terms the simple facts behind the EU and why we need to be very, very OUT of it -

Do you like spending about €2500 per man woman and child in the UK to the EU per year and getting only a fraction back in highly publicised 'ain't we great' EU subsidies / grants.
The EU claims it only costs about €250 a year per person in the UK. It 'forgot' to add on the national governments price tag for enforcing the EUs rulings. Its red tape and admin etc, etc which multiply this figure drasticly - all listed for your pleasure.
The EU citizens elect the EU parliment - It has no real powers. It sits 3 HALF days a week and votes through 2000 plus laws rules and regulations per year - spending about a whole 30 seconds debate per law.
The above laws come from the secretive, unelected EU Commission who do as they please and have zero accountability. Its powers are limited only by its own decision to become involved in any area it deems worthy of involvement or not. The Commissioners even speak of a 'post democratic age' - were the public are to 'thick' to deal with the complexity of modern economic and political matters and thus voting is waste of time.
The EU court of Justice is an equally delightful, unelected and powerful institution which has unlimited powers to interfer and meddle where it pleases and acts as an even more aggressive EU Parliament with no interest in crime and justice or justice of any kind - its constitutional job is to expand the power of the EU against national (properly elected and democratic) governments.
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This is the third book I've read by David Craig. The others were Plundering the Public Sector, which revealed how much private consultants have dipped into our taxes under Labour, and Squandered, which took a broader look at Gordon Brown's overtaxing and overspending. Both books are well worth reading, especially in light of the current controversies over public-sector trough-snouting and Brown's economic skills.

This one is more vital. It is the most readable (300 pages in good, plain English) yet comprehensive guide available to what the EU is doing with our money and, more importantly, doing to democracy in Europe.

The EU is not popular in Britain, something which is too often put down to media scaremongering. Our media certainly does scaremonger very well but sometimes when there is smoke, there is fire. This book coolly and often wittily sets out the truth behind the bureaucracy, the over-regulation, the power-grabbing, the troughing and the often mad policies (the Common Fisheries Policy is mind-boggling!) with references so you can do your own research if you feel sceptical. And the scary thing is the truth is a fair bit worse than what the Sun or the Daily Mail print. In fact you may wonder why these papers waste print with stories about straight bananas while ignoring much more serious scandals like the Common Agricultural Policy and the Biofuels debacle.

In June we vote for our MEPs - their toothlessness is another topic covered - and in this election we get our only real say in how Europe is run. You will have the choice between supine Europhiles or people prepared to stand up and try and change things (like current YouTube celebrity Daniel Hannan). Read this and learn what is at stake before you vote.
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5 stars, definitely ! I write this on 26.5.2014 ; one day after the Eurolections in which UKIP had a landslide ! THe EU is a grand IDEA and as EFTA it worked but the Common MArket for which I campaigned in the 1970s has very little relationship to the bureaucratic nightmare that has morphed into the EU. The monstrous waste of money needs to be curbed ; Europe is in the depths of a recession and details such as the cost of moving Parliament from Strasbourg to Brussels to satisfy French sensibilities have become ridiculous. If the French want the EU in Strasbourg ... no problem ... let the French pay for it ... ! HOPEFULLY the parties that want to reform the EU so that it actually becomes democratic ... WIll succeed. Otherwise the outlook is grim indeed. A super book; informative and occasionally funny but the subject matter is no joke !
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This book is a scathing analysis of the EU's corruption and power-grabbing, led by Britain's ruling class. The authors, David Craig, a management consultant and author, and Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers' Alliance, show how the EU strangles industry, destroys jobs, cuts personal freedoms, wrecks the environment and impoverishes developing countries.

The EU Commissioners get £1.7 million for their five-year term. MEPs get vast salaries, expenses and pensions - £2.1 million for five years. Britain's MEPs are to get a 32% pay rise this June and a new tax rate of 13-17%, halving their taxes.

Under the Common Agricultural Policy, Scotland's biggest landowners get £230,000 a year each. 85% of the CAP's annual £62 billion budget goes to the richest 18% of farms. The CAP also subsidises EU exports to the third world, and puts duties on their imports to us. For every pound of EU aid, the CAP takes away two.

Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that the EU's freedom of movement laws entitled foreign workers to get Irish benefits even after they had returned home. The Court's remit is to promote EU integration; the only way to change any of its decisions is for all 27 member state governments to agree to do so.

After the French and Danish Noes to the EU Constitution, the EU's leaders, Blair included, absurdly claimed "the results do not call into question citizens' attachment to the constitution of Europe." Brown is still trying to sneak through the Constitution without a referendum, in the Lisbon Treaty. As a senior British civil servant said in 1971, "Of course this is the end of British democracy as we have known it, but if it is properly handled the people won't know what's happened until the end of the century.
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