Friday, 14 September 2012

Eurocarts overturned

It was perhaps easy for Snr. Barroso to be so confident in his call for a new federal Europe; he's not facing election. Appointed by the Council, he will stay as President until September 2014 - a period of the most profound change in Europe. For national political parties and governments across Europe, support for Federalism could be political suicide. The UK's disillusionment with the traditional parties in power is not unique; across Europe voters are dissatisfied with an established political system that has failed them badly. The spectre of the 'No' votes to Lisbon from French and Dutch referenda in 2005 hangs heavily over Brussels, and the prospect of paying for a third bailout for Greece, which has only met 22% of its austerity targets, will only polarise more national voters against the obligations of Federalism. 

Der Spiegel carries two unlinked pieces; one is a continuing series of articles on the impoverishment of Germany's younger generation, unable to accumulate wealth even with that nation's current economic advantages. The other is a candid admission from economist Thomas Straubhaar that ESM is explicitly redistributionist; "In general, it means that we will have to accept the idea of more redistribution -- and, of course, that means redistribution from the top down. Germany is a very prosperous economy in Europe, and a share of that prosperity will be redistributed to comparatively poorer European regions." Barrose assumes that Germany, already a well-established redistributive federation, will go happily into a larger Federation. Perhaps he should not be so sure. 

The prospect that our next election in 2015 will be dominated by Europe is growing, to the great discomfort of both Cameron and Miliband. Both will be asking how a pro-Europe or Eurosceptic stance will affect their electoral prospects, and both will be united in wanting to avoid a referendum before the election, for which they must show their hands fully, but Europe's timetable may not permit them this convenience. Again, if a third Greek bailout means an additional UK contribution to the IMF, at a time when our own austerity measures really start to bite, British voters will be driven more firmly into the anti camp.

Centre-right French daily Le Figaro predicts what we already suspect; that "Europeans turn up their noses at the institutions of the EU, responsible for all the ills of the debt crisis and the Euro. For most of them, there is no question of transferring more powers to Brussels. But behind their backs, almost surreptitiously, their leaders are quietly moving to implement Federalism."

So far Brussels has moved rapidly towards Federal union by effectively ignoring Europe's 500m voters. Whether it can take this next, giant, step while continuing to do so is the crunch question. As Richard North says, there's now everything to play for - and much will depend on how the media, mainstream and social, keep European issues in the public mind, contrary to the policy of a Parliament and establishment who would seek to banish it from popular thought. 

8 comments:

G. Tingey said...

Approximate figures (I think first seen here ... ?

Cost to us per year of EU ...
£18-20 billion
Payments to us from EU ...
£10-11 billion

If we kept the payments. internally, mostly because they ARE grants for actual physical develeoment and regeneration, doing useful things - but just withdrew from the EU (& joined Shengen, like Norway & Switzerland - both non-EU countries) ...
Then that extra £9 billion EVERY YEAR could be kept here, doing useful things, by lowering taxes, thus giving more real money in circulation (no inflation) ths improving everyone's lot?

What's not to like?
And why won't our politicians do it?

right_writes said...

Well we all saw how fast West Germany turned East Germany around...

...Not.

Now let's see how fast the Greater Germany turns itself into East Germany.

Anonymous said...

But why? Where is the sense in giving away our sovreign rights to an unelected bunch of bureaucratic policy makers who do not have any of our interests at heart - far from it in fact. Why would any government want to do this? I just don't understand. Moreover, I do not understand why a nation of people would let their rights and their institutions be taken over, or ridden over. If it was by an act of war, we would defend ourselves, as we have done successfully on many occasions.

But this is take over by stealth. As R correctly points out, the subject of Europe is a forbidden conversation as far as this and previous governments are concerned; they just don't want us to A) talk about it and B) have our say. Why?

As I have said on here twice before now, we need to move away from our dependence on Europe and look to our Commonwealth - and what's more, there is commercial / financial recent evidence to support this, as exports to non-EU countries are up by 7%. Now is the time to look to our 54 Commonwealth coutry partners and open our export doors to them and sell our expertese (in all its forms) to them.

Which politician will be brave enough to A) stand up and say that the EU emporer is naked and B) speak up for the Commonwealth? Farage?

There happens to be a big clue somewhere fairly obvious in the word "Commonwealth"...

Coney Island

FrankS said...

" Both will be asking how a pro-Europe or Eurosceptic stance will affect their electoral prospects"

And we will be asking whether that stance will lead to action. Or is a stance just part of the politics of posture?

Demetrius said...

It has long been known that if you merge a good well run company with a very bad company you are more likely to end up with a much bigger bad company. Often the best you can hope for is a weakened and deformed company that is just about viable. EU or no EU Europe needs a strong capable Germany. But it is not that strong. It now has serious energy supply issues and a lot of poor regional banks.

Anonymous said...

Demtrius - Agreed...

If you read any of the books that describe the US sub prime crisis, the suckers on the wrong end of the deals buying all the cruddy MBS were the German landesbanks....

Dave_G said...

"and much will depend on how the media, mainstream and social, keep European issues in the public mind"... so, basically, we're stuffed then.

DeeDee99 said...

It's now even more vital that the British people send LibLabCON a clear warning in 2014* by voting UKIP in the EU Parliament elections and making Farage and his team the largest British Group in the Parliament.

*Always assuming they go ahead, of course. I have suspected for some time that the Kommissars will cancel the elections because of some 'crisis' or another (but really for fear of the results).