Thursday, 17 January 2013

Democracy always - right or wrong

Dan Hannan writes in the Mail, imagining an alternative Cameron speech to the Dutch:
Sadly, but predictably, the EU swatted aside your referendum result and imposed the treaty anyway. Which, in microcosm, is Europe’s tragedy. Closer integration is thought to matter more than either what the rules say or what the voters ask for. That attitude has turned a majority of British people against the EU. While we want trade and co-operation with our neighbours, we don’t want to be part of a European state that keeps extending its powers.
It has long been known that groups make better decisions than individuals - who hasn't at some time prioritised a list of survival aids, at first individually and then in a group?* - and the average of all the guesses at a pig's weight will be closer to the reality than any individual guess. This has never prevented zealous politicians from bucking public opinion. Generally when either (a) they think they can get away with it or (b) their estimated personal gain outweighs their personal loss. For Blair, being regarded as a statesman with cojones by George Bush was more important than the ridicule, disbelief and opprobrium of those of us who marched ten years ago, on 15th February 2003. 

And so with the Euphiles. And I mean Euphiles. I myself am a Europhile - I love Europe. I love its peoples, its culture, its food, its architecture, its common heritage, its cultural diversity, its trains, its art, music and drama, its literature and poetry, its history and the richness of its land. It's just the EU I loathe. And I loathe it for just the reason Hannan has outlined - that Euphile zealots are not only deaf to democracy, they fear and abhor it. But there is an additional dimension here, for not only do they imagine like Blair that a fully federal Europe will benefit them personally, they believe with all the strength of an asylum of Scientologists that everyone will benefit - if they just surrender these notions of democracy. 

Slavoj Žižek is amongst a growing number of London-based Euro academics given column space in the Guardian to warn against Euphilia. Yesterday he warned of the existential threat to European democracy posed by the federasts. Not only are they dangerously mistaken as to the course to follow for European prosperity, their actions are making things far worse. 

And indeed there are many unknowns as to the various outcomes of tighter or looser integration, of a two-tier Europe, of a British exit, of a new Mitteleuropa. It may prove that democratic decisions don't always get it right on narrow measures - but they will get it a lot more right overall than the alternative. Whether right or wrong, democracy is always right.  

* sadly, the results of this game much favoured by management consultants are often buggered when the group contains one or more who have either done their sea survival course or have served in HM armed forces


G. Tingey said...

So, the Grauniad is AGAIN giving space to reasoned anti-EU arguments?
Very, very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Doomed we are: if we stay in the EU.

anon 2 said...

Weeeeee...ll Mr. Raedwald! I've never really disagreed with you before, but I'm sorry to have several points of difference today.

Me, I am not afraid of the euSSR ... I just dislike it intensely. Every bit of it I ever visited disappointed me, and I always felt the people hated the British. All the guff since then has hardened that dislike into loathing and contempt.

As for your Zizek ... 'marxist deconstructionist pig' is the best I can say about him. I didn't know the so-and-so had stuck himself in London though. It's typical too that he can't talk about "a threat" without sticking a pointless adjective like "existential" on it -- No sense of English or Englishness there, then.

I'm not sitting on any fences here then. I do agree with you, however, that it's way past time we found a way to tell the euros "Get Out of Britain."

G. Tingey said...


Nasty, spiteful, petty little xenophope, aren't you?

Me I love Antwerp, then Paris & Brussel ... and almost anywhere in GErmany, that's not in the Rhur.
Then there Amsterdam, Haarlem & Den Haag.
PLenty of other places too, but thise are the ones that I'm familar with.
Food, beer, scenery, intersting architecture, trams - what's not to like?

Budgie said...

Anon2, well said. And do not mind GTingey - he is unable to make a cogent point, substituting epithets instead.

It is extraordinary that the British, particularly the English, are commonly excoriated for expressing merely a hint of patriotism, let alone nationalism, almost alone among nations.

The EU is a political organisation, and if it disappeared overnight Europe would still exist to visit and trade with.