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   GWU against the island joining the EU/Reuters

    Ersatz/Malta Independent
Beware of EU/Malta Independent


This survey was carried out in Malta during February 2001

"XARABANK survey finds majority against EU membership

A SURVEY carried out by the Xarabank team on Thurday and Friday , which
asked respondents how they would vote if a referendum on EU membership were held tomorrow, found that 31.4% would vote yes, 38.5% would vote no and 30.1% undecided.

In a survey carried out by Xarabank on 3 November last year in which the
same question was asked, 32.7% had answered that they would vote yes, 38.1% no and 29.2% didnot know how they would vote.

The sample for the latet survey was randomly selected ...."(NB This is the
only reasonably professional opinion poll in Malta)

"If one were to eliminate the "don't knows" one would have 44.9% yes and
55.1% no. In the November survey the figures were 46.2% yes and 53.8% no.

"Dividing the respondents by gender, one finds that females are markedly
more against EU membership than males (58.3% as against 51.5%).The only age group who would vote yes in their majority are those aged 65 or over. The age group most hostile to EU membership is the 45 - 64 year bracket with 59.3% against EU membership. In the 18-24 age group, those voting no are 50.4% and of those aged 25-44  56.5% are against EU membership.

In November the 18 -24 age category in their majority (54.8%) favoured EU
membership whilst the biggest majority against  were those in the 25-44 age
group (61%). The greatest number of undecideds is in the 18-24 age group
with 34.6%"

NB The 18-24 age group swing is MOST encouraging. The University has been a prime target of the EUropean Movement and "education" in the "European Dimension" (as in Britain) is now universal in schools.

My correspondent, who is a gambling man, says that, in his own straw poll,
the undecideds are tending to veer towards no.

The survey was on a sample of 1700 people out of a total population of
380,000. This would approximate to a sample of around 264,000 on the same proportion of population in Britain.



GWU against the island joining the EU

VALLETTA, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Malta's biggest trade union, the General
  Workers' Union (GWU), said on Tuesday it was against the island joining
  the EU. "In current circumstances, membership would not be beneficial
  for the country in general and workers in particular," union general
  secretary Tony Zarb told a news conference.
   The union is to hold a general meeting on February 8 when delegates
  are expected to approve a motion by the leadership against European
  Union membership. Zarb said the union's main concern was the danger
  of unemployment in the Maltese manufacturing sector and shipyards.
   Preparations for EU membership were imposing financial burdens on
  the government which were being passed to workers and pensioners,
  Zarb added. Malta applied to join the EU in 1989 and intends to align
  its laws to EU regulations by early 2003 so that it can be in the
  first intake as the 15-nation bloc expands. The government of Prime
  Minister Eddie Fenech Adami argues Malta needs to be in the EU because
  the bloc is by far its biggest trading partner and membership  would
  create a huge market for Maltese exports. The government has promised
  to call a referendum on joining the EU once membership talks are
  concluded. The GWU has traditionally been allied to the opposition
  Labour Party, which is also against EU membership. The Labour Party
  argues Malta should have close relations with the EU, including an
  industrial free trade zone, but it should not become a member because
  some EU regulations were not suitable for a small island state.


Ersatz/Malta Independent
                        Simone Zammit Endrich

                        After much hype about the Irish model of economic
boom emanating from the European Union propaganda machine, it was fitting that the local government should take this cue for its own promotion. Dr Lawrence Gonzi did state that the government was looking closely at the
Irish model. What better way to indoctrinate the uninitiated than to
construct an analogy with a country like Ireland?

                        It is relatively small; it is 'neutral' (or so they
would have us believe!); it has a roaring economy (for which the EU would so
dearly but falsely like to lay claim); its shortcomings, such as in
environmental issues, have been duly brought up to scratch since accession
(thank heavens for small mercies; not so thankful for the hidden foibles
these small mercies will spawn!); and a seemingly overwhelming public
support and openness to change (well, early euphoria does have a habit of
swelling one's head until reality bursts the fragile bubbles!).

                        The two Irish lasses

                        Sorry if this sounds sexist, but wasn't it kind of
amusing that our little island was besieged by two charming lasses from the
Irish shores within a span of one week! What's this? Has male-dominated
Malta suddenly woken from its slumber that it should deign to give so much
weight to feminine views? Hardly. Certainly not when you get a news headline such as the one we were treated to in Malta Today on 28 July which spewed 'Irish gal snubbed and embraced' in blatant sexist lingo, that makes any woman want to puke!

                        Methinks, the 'Irish' and the 'female' bits were
just expedient fillers in this mucked-up political milieu of ours. Be that
as it may (if you can't beat them, why not join them!), the really amusing
part was that these two spokeswomen were summoned from opposing fences. Wonder of wonders, while each live and breathe the same Irish air and hail from the very same political environment, each had a different story to tell about the impact of EU membership on their country. Great Scots! Who are we to believe?

                        This ought to ring alarm bells somewhere. One of
them is either bluffing or just plain telling tales, or maybe just doing a
pretty good job of enabling and empowering the EU propaganda machine. Well, I wasn't lucky enough to meet Union Haddiema Maghqudin's invitee, Patricia O'Donovan, who made a big to-do about the EU's catalytic effect on Ireland's progress during its 27-year-itch, and with whose model Dr Gonzi is so enthralled.

                        But I did get to have a long chat with CNI's
(Campaign for National Independence) guest, Patricia McKenna. Now there's a woman any woman can relate to; the stuff real gumption is made of. Certainly no common 'yes-lass', and quite unafraid to voice her disagreement and do something about it in a male-dominated polity. Yes, even when up against a huge animal like the EU propaganda machine. I'll leave it up to you folks to guess which of the two Irish lasses I could identify with - and which of the two I give credence to!

                        Forewarned is forearmed

                        Mrs McKenna's interviews have, by now, appeared in
every nook and cranny of our media. It would therefore be superfluous to
make unnecessary repetitions. Suffice to pose a few important reminders to
even the score between the contrasting views presented by the two Irish

                        Such as, for instance, how, according to McKenna,
the devaluation of the Irish currency brought about Ireland's economic boom
rather than the much-acclaimed EU membership. And how, by O'Donovan's own admission, the Irish public's initial overwhelming support has dwindled over the years: "There is evidence of growing alienation and cynicism among
ordinary citizens," she said.

                        Ms O'Donovan did not see fit to enlighten us as to
how membership within the EU has eroded Ireland's neutral status and how the country is practically being run from Brussels. Nor did she mention how
Ireland's traditional peace-keeping role is fast being compromised as the
EU's militarisation process rapidly picks up momentum. But Mrs McKenna
voices these disquieting facts quite freely. Why didn't O'Donovan? Simple,
the Irish government, like our own, is too blinded or too winded by EU
propaganda. Or perhaps, there is too much personal gain at stake! Something which is sure to leave no room for national interest.

                        This is where our own interests come in, and why it
is necessary for us to know first-hand how member states are faring in
reality. If Ireland is to be our role model, then their experience should
scare the hell out of us. If 27 years of Irish experience has forfeited so
much sovereignty for some measly structural funds, then Malta, smaller and
even more vulnerable as she floats strategically in a potentially volatile
zone, is at an even higher risk.

                        What price is too high to pay in exchange for a few
million pieces of silver? Where is our demarcation line? Dare we venture
into marriage with a union that can give us no divorce? Forewarned is
forearmed, it is said. Let us not then disregard the voice of experience.

                        The McKenna Judgement

                        When Patricia McKenna's injunction against the Irish
government was granted by the Irish Supreme Court, the judgement was very clear - by disseminating one-sided information only, the government had been acting unconstitutionally. It was forced to withdraw its advertising
campaigns thereof, while any information leaflets in distribution had to
present both sides of the argument. The judgement rebounded also on media coverage. No longer was disproportionate coverage allowed to continue from that day forth.

                        The whole idea of the injunction was to stop the
government from persuading the public to vote in a particular way. As Mrs
McKenna said to me : "It is the people's constitution, and people are
obliged to vote in a referendum whether they want to amend the constitution or not. It seemed to me wrong that the government should influence the outcome of the vote. Because if that was the case, what's to stop them from having a referendum to abolish the constitution altogether and to use unlimited amounts of public money to persuade the public that this is the best thing to do?"

                        A democracy is the same the world over. What applies
to one country could easily apply to another. Perhaps it is not too late to
take a leaf out of Mrs McKenna's book and take a court case against our own
government for the unconstitutional way in which public funds are being
spent in support of EU membership. This is an issue that will profoundly
affect the future of all citizens, irrespective of whether they are for or
against EU membership. But who will start it? Who will support it? And will
justice be seen to be done?

                        Psychological warfare

                        The facts are staring us all in the face. But are we
seeing them? Or are we too blinded by the light? I'd say we are not actually
blind, just fighting against massive psychological warfare, too subtle, too
methodical to perceive. This is what the Operations Research Office of the
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, had to say in its casebook A
Psychological Warfare (1958) :

                        "If you give a man the correct information for seven
years, he may believe the incorrect information on the first day of the
eighth year when it is necessary from your point of view, that he should do
so. Your first job is to build credibility and the authenticity of your
propaganda, and persuade the enemy to trust you although you are his enemy."

                        Brilliantly put! Indeed information has been dubbed
'the battlefield of the 21st century'. That which should have been a tool to
mark human progress has fast become a weapon of sorcery - the dissemination or withholding of facts, the interpretation of events, the presentation or distortion of ideas and ideologies, and the communication of messages systematically prepared to provoke a desired reaction from a target
audience. In simpler terms - brainwashing.

                        This is the invisible dominance to which we are
being subjected. You either believe the darned stuff or you are out on a
limb, ostracised, kaput! We are persuaded to see this powerful superstate
called the EU, not as an oppressor, but exactly as its propaganda mechanisms portray it - classy, benevolent, professional, indispensable. And the bottom line is that the target audience will respond. It could be in fear, a false sense of hope, or simply confusion. As long as a response is aroused, it
really doesn't matter which.

                        Brainwashed with our own money

                        For this purpose we have the Malta-EU Information
Centre (MIC) which runs part of the local brainwashing machine under the
guise of objective dissemination of information. Until, that is, one reads
the small print. One of its ten basic rules ends like this: "To take a
supportive rather than a front-line role." Does this sound impartial?
'Supportive' is merely another word for a 'yes argument'. The 'no argument'
does not enter the picture by a long stretch of the imagination! Where then
does objectivity come in?

                        Yet, who is funding this lopsided set-up? Is it only
a percentage of taxpayers who support accession, or is it one and all?
Considering the hedging my enquiry at MIC received on a breakdown of public funds allocated to run the EU promotion, it would seem like only one section of Malta is paying its taxes. All I got for my sweat was a sum total of
Lm310,000, which amount covered recurrent and operational expenditure for the current year. No breakdown was forthcoming!

                        I ask once again, does this amount include the
ten-member Consultative Board's remuneration packet? A board which is
'composed of a team of high level individuals' will presumably also require
a high level pay-cheque. And does it include also the salaries for the
seven-odd staff employed at the centre, and that of the Malta-EU Steering
and Action Committee (MEUSAC), to which the centre is accountable? Does it also include the globe-trotting exercises of any of these players? Because
if it does, I doubt very much there will be any actual promotional funds
left over to play around with!

                        Then we get guests the likes of Patricia O'Donovan
who whet our appetite with more mind-boggling misinformation. Yet more
spokes in the propaganda wheel. And all thanks to hard-earned taxpayers'
money. If I'm paying for these touts to promote something I don't want, then
I as sure as hell want to know where my money is going!


                        What we are seeing is ersatz - a poor, synthetic
substitute for the real thing. The substitute being an unknown quantity that
glows on the outside but grates mercilessly in its interior. Like a mincer.
The real thing is none other than the freedom to dictate our own lives no
matter the cost to our purse strings. Sounds too difficult? Maybe so, but
anything else is equal to being imprisoned on our own soil.

                        There is only one alternative for Malta if we want
to survive and thrive on our own steam. The mucked-up political milieu has
to undergo a drastic change. Convergence and cooperation has to be the name of the game. Failing this, we are prey to our own idiocy and may just as well pick any alternate prison bloc.

                        Write to :



Beware of EU/Malta Independent
1971 British Prime Minister Edward Heath said soothingly of the European
Community, "There is no question of erosion of essential national
     He now accepts that this was not a true statement.
Also untrue was the 1975 Labour Government's written assurance, during the UK 'Common Market' Referendum, that "The Single Currency was no threat to employment, restricting industrial growth and putting jobs at risk. This threat has been removed". In 1975 the Pro-Europe 'Yes' Campaign, in their Referendum pamphlet, said, "The Community will not damage our British traditions or way of life". So why does it make criminals of traders who use British weights and measures instead of the EU's metric systems? Why has the UK been forced to ditch British Standards (BS), respected and well-known all over the world, only to use the EU's own often inferior standards (CE) - with a changeover cost of billions? Why, under EU control, have UK 'traditional' industries such as steel, coal, textiles, engineering and
fishing been effectively murdered? EU propaganda is pushed daily by much of the UK media (particularly the BBC).

  It assures us with statements like: the EU only costs each person "2p per day". Or frightens us : "Britain cannot survive outside Euro-land, let alone the EU - it is inevitable." Sheer nonsense - but people believe it! The words of an original pro-EU campaigner, Peter Thorneycroft (later Lord, and Chairman of the British Conservative Party), help explain the deceit. In 1947 he said, "People must be led slowly and unconsciously into an abandonment of their traditional economic defence".

   British politicians misled our people. People in other EU countries were also misled. Maltese people are bound to suffer similar tactics as their own Government tries to deliver Maltese self-determination into the hands of the EU. Similar untruths in a court of law would bring into seriously doubt anything else said by such people! Maltese people, now judging the issue of EU membership, would do well to take a similar attitude.

  Concentrating on hard EU facts, the Truth about Europe Campaign produces a 12 leaflet information set. It has hundreds of facts, figures and comments about various aspects of the EU.

  For a free sample set send one international reply coupon and a self-addressed envelope (C5 size) to:
                        Chris Cooke,
            Truth about Europe Campaign,
                               Unit 4,
                 Tamworth Business Centre,
                         Amber Close,
                              B77 4RP UK.