An overseas holiday used to be thought of as a reward for a year’s hard work. Now Brussels has declared that tourism is a human right and pensioners, youths and those too poor to afford it should have their travel subsidised by the taxpayer.
Under the scheme, British pensioners could be given cut-price trips to Spain, while Greek teenagers could be taken around disused mills in Manchester to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.
The idea for the subsidised tours is the brainchild of Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, who was appointed by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister.
The scheme, which could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a year, is intended to promote a sense of pride in European culture, bridge the north-south divide in the continent and prop up resorts in their off-season.
Tajani, who unveiled his plan last week at a ministerial conference in Madrid, believes the days when holidays were a luxury have gone. “Travelling for tourism today is a right. The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life,” he said.
This is outrageous. America invented the concepts of “rights” and “subsidized by the taxpayer” and yet we’re going to let people in Belgium and other European-like countries get subsidized travel before us? We cannot allow that to happen.
President Obama believes that we have a right to healthcare paid for by our fellow countrymen. So why shouldn’t they foot the bill for tourism too? I don’t want to go to the hospital even if someone else is paying for it. But I do want to go to Branson, Missouri, the “Live Music Show Capital of the World.”
It’s a violation of my
God-given government-given human rights to deny me an opportunity to see Yakov Smirnoff, Ray Stevens, and Tony Orlando and the Lennon Sisters (wait, what happened to Dawn?). My quality of life will suffer if I can’t travel to the Ozarks, sit in an air-conditioned theater, and watch “Noah the Musical.”
So let’s get the legislative ball rolling, Mr. President, before those busybodies in Brussels beat us in the rights race. To paraphrase the Beasties Boys, you need to fight for our right to party (at the taxpayer’s expense).