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Thursday, 25 April 2013

UK Left falls out of love with EU

I seemed to the UK left like they were so well suited; the EU was redistributionist on a massive scale, enforced an equality across whole nations, regulated the minutae of people's lives 'for their own good' and governed by centralist command-and-control with all the panoply of quotas, rationing and allocations. What was there not to like? 

Then the doubts started to creep in. The EU was favouring banks and big corporations at the expense of labour; crushing wage rates were being used to devalue the Euro. That fabled equality wasn't equality after all, but corporate homogenisation. And all that command-and-control meant that they had no say in decisions that were being made. Then there were all the little signs that maybe they didn't love us back; they wanted access to our bank account but wouldn't share theirs, there were secret meetings with other nations from which we were excluded. And they ate all the fish. And at first when they sent their mates round to stay for the night it was OK; we got some decent plumbing repairs and some good tiling out of it. But now they were sending some very odd sorts with no skills at all except emptying the biscuit tin. 

Earlier this week a Mr Barroso, an unelected functionary styling himself 'President' of an unelected cabal of functionaries calling themselves the 'European Commission' complained that his dream of an unelected Europe was being undermined by ordinary people committed to democracy. So when the Guardian published the results of a recent Europe-wide poll showing a continent wide slump in confidence in the European project, you might have expected the CIF comments to the piece to have been a rallying-call to back the Eurocrats. Not a bit of it. The comrades are truly out of love with Mr Barosso's European project. Some are positively savage. Many are satisfyingly staunch in their defence of democracy, if perhaps a little late at the table. All of which must now send Mr Miliband a-thinking. 


Anonymous said...

Mr Miliband; thinking ?
Oxymoron morning again ?

Anonymous said...

"UK Left falls out of love with EU"

To be fair it wasn't all that long ago that the left were opposed to European Union membership, support was dropped after Kinnock ( irony of ironies ). Now perhaps they are all reverting to the norm?

Anthem said...

I'm not sure this is a good thing.

Opposition for the sake of opposition seems to be the order of the day so if the left start to want out of Europe, the right will surely want to stay in it.

For my part, I'm going to move to Bulgaria later this year, by all accounts, I'll have the place to myself... bliss.

DeeDee99 said...


I had two-week holiday in Bulgaria a couple of years ago. It was the most uninteresting, boring place I have ever visited.

No wonder they all want to leave.

As for the Eurobarometer: it is sounding the death-knell for the EU - certainly as currently constituted.

The only way they will prevent a whole series of Nationalist Parties from massively gaining seats in 2014 will be to cancel the EU Parliament elections.

I wouldn't put it past the Kommissars to declare a 'state of emergency' and do just that.

Blue Eyes said...

I love your blog R, you do get some interesting theories in the comments!

Cameron's position is about as good as it gets. If he can get a re-elected Merkel to let us be in the single market but not in the single republic then the electorate will probably be happy with that. If he can't do that (much more likely) then we'll be out quicker than you can negotiate a poundzone with Alex Salmond.

SimonF said...

The only reason Kinnock and the rest of the left became pre-EU is because Maggie was fast becoming a skeptic.

"And all that command-and-control meant that they had no say in decisions that were being made."

Kips law in action:

"Kip’s Law: Every advocate of central planning always — always — envisions himself as the central planner."

Mike Spilligan said...

I became pro-EEC (as it then was) partly on the premise that if Tony Benn and Peter Shore were against it, then it must be in our interests. Well, I was fooled, but it's clear that a lot of manoeuvrings are going to take place, starting immediately after the local elections.

Bill Quango MP said...

Don't worry Spilligan.
It was the only time that Mr Benn has ever been right on anything.

You wre caught out by stopped clock syndrome
The general rule that if Tony is in favour then it's a disaster still applies.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

It's hard to see why Barroso and co. would care much what the plebs think.

After all, the entire project was set up deliberately in such a way that they don't need to care. They'll carry on regardless.

Elections? Democracy? Public opinion?

Who needs any of that?

And notice how, even now, even as Merkel racks up the arrogance and starts to throw off the mask, people STILL say they want to stay in the Euro. Even the Greeks. Even the Italians. They STILL think the Germans will pay for everything in the end. Maybe they're right.

Nick Drew said...

"favouring banks and big corporations at the expense of labour"

in some spheres its even better than that - positively free-market

EC policy in my own neck of the woods - energy - is 100% drafted by free-market Brits, and has been rammed purposefully down the throats of choking Germans and frogs to the point where they have (almost) got it

it can be made to work, and work well

Anonymous said...

".... All of which must now send Mr Miliband a-thinking. " Uh .. What with ?

Anonymous said...

".... All of which must now send Mr Miliband a-thinking. " Uh .. What with ?

Anonymous said...

Len doesn't think much of Mili-minor, who is like Dave - a dead man walking.

Anonymous said...

The EU will be able to cope with any amount of discontent though as long as it remains at the level of harsh language. Like Orwell said, dictatorships can cope with that, but it's when words lead to actions that change occurs.

G. Tingey said...

Bill Quango / Mike Spilligan ...
There are now many more reasons for being anti-EU than there were in 1973/5 - it takes time for these things to penetrate.
And, let's be fair, for the EEC to mutate into something diffferent & unpleasant.

Braquesih said...

Don't forget that the scion of the left, Baronet Benn, was a vigorous leader of the "No" campaign. There's always been a few of us lefties who were opposed to the bosses' Europe.

What's hilarious is the predominance of ex-Maoists and Labourites who have cloven to the Euro-project. It was Kinnock, indeed, in his red in tooth and claw days, who described the Labour front bench -- then in power -- as "careerist pimps". Pots and kettles should come back to haunt him, rather than the usual softball interviews he occasionally gets on the BBC.

Braqueish said...

Hmmm. Bill Quango MP needs to get his ducks better aligned. The sainted Baronet Benn was right on one or two other things. Nuclear power, for example. Not that I carry any kind of torch for Anthony Wedgewood's many bonnet-bees. But I would assume that many readers of Mr Raedwald's blog would also share "Tony's" view that Parliament is the expression of the will of the British people, rather than a municipality of Greater Europe.

Budgie said...

I see it's back to normal, ND: "it can be made to work, and work well".

No and no. Clearly if it "can be made to work" it is not working now. Your other entertaining view that it can be made to "work well" is at best optimistic, since it currently doesn't work.

The practical reality is that neither politicians nor the populace believe it to be a free market (and they are correct: it is corporatist ration-fest arranged by an oligarchy).

Moreover national priorities are a reality even though you won't accept that. Simply because Cameron happens to think the national priority is "tackling" global warming doesn't make his fiddling unreal. Indeed Cameron's "distortion" of the market is so baleful it is the market, or what amounts to it.

Nick Drew said...

Budgie, if the single market in gas hadn't been working properly in March this year when the wind wasn't blowing and the coal was already flat-out (by contrast with, say, 2004 & 2005 when it wasn't working properly, but we were still just about self-sufficient in gas) you would have been shivering in the dark several times a week

I'm guessing you didn't know this - which is always the way when something is working ...

Anonymous said...

"coal was already flat-out"
But by next year some 15+ GW will be off-line, and more soon after.
With nothing except rotating bird-choppers to replace it.
At the moment we are consuming 34GW and the mains frequency is 49.96, so generation is lagging somewhat.
The Dutch and French interconnectors are at high capacity, with the French one drawing some 1.5GW for quite a while now. Wind at I assume it is blowing gently !
Next winter better be a warm one, or we're SO going to save on old-age pension[ers].

Budgie said...

ND, I'm guessing that your selective highlighting of us (just) getting away with it this winter is to cover up the fact that we won't have enough electricity next winter.

However unlike you I won't be blaming the market because I know we have reached this sorry position due to a combination of the EU, (warped) national priorities, corporatism, and CAGW belief.

The market is not working because it is not allowed to. And that is because of the baleful distortions I listed above. Unlike you I am prepared to recognise these distortions as real.

Nick Drew said...

Budgie, like it or not we are dependent upon energy imports, and have been since 2004

(I know you wish we'd doubled our nuclear capacity 10 years ago, but it didn't happen then and it ain't going to happen now)

obviously windfarms are a bad joke and current 'emissions' policy is a baleful distortion (OK?): and the entire body of C@W blogging since 2006 has included the steady theme of the lights being likely to go out because of it (OK?)

pending your implausible, nay, fanciful nuclear renaissance we must deal with what we have

given the above we have no choice but to make energy markets work

fortunately for this project, almost every EU country is also energy-import-dependent, and none of them can afford to pretend they can go it alone, nor stand aside from or try to thwart the measures required to make the market work

since the IEA's actions following the highly damaging AOPEC oil embargo of 1973-74, the world's oil markets function pretty well, and no nation that is able to pay fears being cut off from oil (except possibly N.Korea - and they can't pay anyhow)

it is entirely sensible to be pursuing the same goals for gas, coal and (though more complex) electricity

I am telling you that material improvements have been made regards the gas market in the EU since 2004-5

it is not illusory, it is tangible, and in a world of necessary import dependency I don't know why you rail against it

Budgie said...

I don't "rail" against it, I point out the factual flaws in your argument. Energy in the the UK is not a free market, and both the UK and the EU government intervene aggressively (see for example BishopHill "The lights may stay on, but the economy may go out" 1st May).

Dependency on imported energy to the extent you appear to be happy with is in my view complacent at best, and at worst blindly foolish. That is a difference in judgement that only time will prove. I believe that civilisations grow by being able to make things for themselves and die when they lose that ability. The UK is spiralling downwards and your policies are giving us a shove in that direction.