The EU in a Nutshell

“There are 70 words in the Lord’s Prayer. 271 in the Gettysburg Address. 313 in the Ten Commandments. And European Commission Regulation (EC) No 1284/2002, laying down the marketing size for hazelnuts (in shell), runs to … 2,509 words.”

The European Union is a tough nut to crack. Ever-present in political debates and pub conversations, how much do we really know about it? Regarded by some as a bureaucratic and undemocratic monster, others see it as a glorious economic and political union presiding over a Europe of unprecedented peace and stability. But what’s the reality? This book gives readers the answers in a nutshell. Author Lee Rotherham has painstakingly compiled thousands of fascinating stats, curious quotes and outright oddities relating to the EU, ranging from the serious to the silly. They cover how the EU works, how it is perceived and how to assess its worth. Arranged in an attractive and highly readable format, this book will keep readers nibbling away for hour after hour.

Along the way you’ll laugh out loud, become unbeatable at the politics round in quizzes, and understand why the Fathers of Europe wanted you to feel proud and emotional when you hear ‘Ode to Joy’, not think about the strict regulations for bent cucumbers. The EU In A Nutshell contains a rich bounty of facts – it’s the perfect book for anyone wishing to find out more about the EU and its workings and be entertained along the way. So if you are simply trying to figure out how the whole EU thing fits together (and why) or if you’re a political junky in need of a quick fix on some EU trivia, this book is for you. Grab the nutcracker and let’s get started…


Let Them Eat Carbon

Ordinary people are paying a ruinous price for the attempts politicians make to control greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change policies dramatically raise electricity bills; make it much more expensive to drive to work or fly on holiday; put manufacturing workers out of a job and sometimes even make your food more expensive. Climate change is big business.

Much of the money so-called green policies cost us goes straight into the pockets of a bewildering range of special interests. Around the world companies are making billions out of the schemes governments have put in place saying they will curb global warming and protect us from the threat of climate change. There is little evidence that those policies are an efficient way to cut emissions. They simply do not represent good value, and the public are right to be sceptical.

In Let Them Eat Carbon Matthew Sinclair looks at the myths perpetuated by the burgeoning climate change industry, examines the individual policies and the potentially disastrous targets being put into place by ambitious politicians, and proposes a more realistic alternative.


 

How to Cut Public Spending (and still win an election)

How to Cut Public Spending (and still win an election)With the leaders of the main political parties engaged in a war of words over the level of cuts in public spending that will be required, the TaxPayers’ Alliance returns with a simple guide to where and how excessive administrative waste can be spared, without causing the negative voter reaction that has the government stunned into mute inactivity.

In “How To Cut Public Spending”, the TaxPayers’ Alliance looks at where waste can be avoided, cuts best tolerated and Britain embarked upon a plan of economic recovery – all without provoking the kind of voter response that can sweep a government out of power.


 

Ten Years On: Britain Without the European Union

Ten Years On: Britain Without the European UnionIf you traded something, made something, ran something, policed something, protected something, transported something, taught something, learned something, powered something, published something, research something, reported something or supported something, Brussels has a say in it.

Britain has been a member of the EU for a third of a century, enduring all the waste, fraud and red tape that Brussels could imagine. But what would it be like if one day Britain just said ‘Enough’? Ten Years On takes us to a world where it has done just that.


 

Fleeced!: How We’ve Been Betrayed by the Politicians, Bureaucrats and Bankers and How Much They’ve Cost Us

Fleeced!Who are the guilty, the politicians, bureaucrats and bankers who have brought this country to its knees?

Over the past decade some £3 trillion equivalent to £50,000 for every person in Britain has been taken from us by the ruling elites. Half was wasted in a splurge of poorly-managed public spending in the boom, while the other half evaporated in the bust siphoned off by city bonuses, vaporised by a collapse in pension savings and extorted to bail out the banking sector.

In their explosive new book, David Craig and Matthew Elliott trace where the money has gone and who has become richer as a result. They name and shame the guilty : the incompetent bureaucrats that fail to deliver the services the taxpayer deserves; the multitude of ineffective regulators and watchdogs; the politicians that have betrayed our democracy and enriched themselves; and the self-serving and arrogant city bankers. Moreover, they calculate the enormous debt that awaits the British taxpayer as a result of our rulers avarice and economic mismanagement. Fleeced! exposes the greatest impoverishment of the public in British history.


 

The Great European Rip-Off: How the Corrupt, Wasteful EU is Taking Control of Our Lives

The Great European Rip-OffIn this EU election year, it’s time for people across Europe to look at what really goes on in Brussels in our name.

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.


 

The Bumper Book of Government Waste 2008: Brown’s Squandered Billions

The Bumper Book of Government Waste 2008It’s back and, depressingly, the figure is even bigger than last time. Welcome again to the world of waste. In this new edition of “The Bumper Book”, Matthew Elliot and Lee Rotherham have unearthed a staggering £101 billion of government misspending – all paid for by you, the taxpayer.

It’s such an enormous figure it is difficult to get one’s head around it. What could be done with £101 billion? Well, you could for example, paper the entire East Midlands and London with £5 notes, and still have a few billion left over to build one hell of a crane from which to admire your handiwork. Or even convert the £101 billion into one penny coins, pile them on top of each other, and reach the moon and back five times. But perhaps more usefully, the government could cut the tax burden of every household by over £4,000 a year. Mind blowing isn’t it?

Here are just a few examples of where all of that money has gone: £280,000 on a conference addressed by Blair and Brown on value for money in the public services; £400 million on ‘cost control’ for the Olympic Games; £3 million by tax inspectors at HM Revenue and Customs on flights, including £2.1 million on flights to Scotland; Over £16 million on the creation and upkeep of VIP lounges in Heathrow and Gatwick despite the fact they are not government-owned; £100,000 on assessing whether £400,000 reportedly spent on modern art for seven hospitals was money well spent. But then it’s hardly a surprise that they don’t have a tight grip on our finances when you see an official statistic from the government, claiming that an impressive 102 per cent of all 3 year olds are in nursery school. With this level of numeracy, no wonder we’re in trouble! If you’re a British taxpayer, you need to read this book – even though it will hurt.


 

The Bumper Book of Government Waste: The scandal of the squandered billions from Lord Irvine’s wallpaper to EU saunas

Welcome to the world of waste. You are about to enter a twilight zone of crazy spending, political correctness, utter incompetence, and fantastic jollies, all funded by the British taxpayer. In this book, the authors have highlighted a myriad of examples of Government waste and useless spending, taken from thousands of examples held on file. The figures have been compiled from independent reports, media coverage and official statistics.

Added together, they come to £81 billion of waste. In 1997, the Government plundered £2 billion per week from its people. In 2004-05, the figure was £4.8 billion. The Arts Council spent £77,000 sending a team of artists to the North Pole to make a snowman. Quangos cost over £22 billion per year. Local government pension schemes are in deficit to the tune of £27 billion. The taxpayer will fund the difference. 459 books were withdrawn from the EU’s Luxembourg library last year. The cost to taxpayers was £2,138 per book. Ken Livingstone’s office now costs £13.9 million to run. His staff includes 58 media and marketing personnel! Between 2000 and 2005, one in every two new jobs created was in the public sector, many of them administrative. Nottinghamshire tourism bosses spent £120,000 of taxpayers’ money rebranding the county with a big ‘N’. Each European member of Parliament (MEP) costs £2.4 million per year in salary, expenses, perks and administration. In 2005, 20 out of 24 government departments overspent their budgets. The total overspend was £7.1 billion. These are just a few of the alarming facts and figures revealed in The Bumper Book of Government Waste. If you wasted your family’s money on this scale, you would probably be locked up. Why should the Government get away with it?