Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Burying the Euro myths

As though a veil has fallen from the common vision, the myths used to threaten, frighten and bully the peoples of Europe are standing as nakedly fatuous as the Colleagues. They still have their parrots - Will Hutton in the Observer at the weekend in a singularly crass piece for instance - but they are sounding increasingly ridiculous.

The EU prevents war in Europe: You need two things for war; militarisation, and young populations. Right now Europe is demilitarised, and our ageing population is just too old for war. If you want to know where the next big war is going to be, look to North Africa / Middle East. The US are moving all their assets to the Pacific. For the next few decades anyway, Europe is the most unlikely place for a large scale war. 

A single currency reduces the cost of trans-national transactions: Probably true in the paper-instrument world of 1957, but absolutely false in 2012. Computers have reduced the frictional costs of currency exchange close to zero.

Without the EU, the UK wouldn't export anything to Europe: As we import marginally more from Europe than we export to it, any interference with trade barriers (or lack of) would hurt their economies more than ours; demand for London Dry Gin, Burberry handbags or JCBs remains the same. And we run a considerable trade surplus on services - which if the Eurozone cripples itself by the introduction of a financial transactions tax will grow. 

Free trade areas must inevitably adopt a single currency: Tell that to NAFTA. Neither Canada nor Mexico see the need to change to USD. 

The EU protects the Environment: Tell that to the UK's sustainable near-shore fishing fleet which has seen our fish grounds raped and despoiled by massive EU factory ships hoovering up every living thing including juveniles and breeding populations. Iceland, which regulates its own 200 mile fish zone, has full, healthy and sustainable stocks of Cod and other commercial fish and a healthy industry at full employment levels. 

The EU protects jobs and employment:  Sure. Unemployment levels in Spain of 25%, Greece of 23%, Portugal of 16% and so on demonstrate how good the EU is at maintaining employment. Moreover, the employment model in the EU is dividing into permanent, older, workers with high levels of reward and protection (and high cost) and insecure younger workers on part-time or short-term contracts on pay terms that get around minimum pay costs. Without the EU's interference in the Employment field, it would be fairer to all and help national competitiveness.

No doubt you can add a dozen more, but the Euromyths are tumbling like ninepins. 


G. Tingey said...

Can I re-post a very slightly edited "Anon" quote to you a couple of weeks back, that says it all .... ??

The EU's effects need to be quantified.
If this marvellous beneficence was so obvious then, every time the EU was even mentioned; in the pub, on the shop floor and in the local shops - people would smile and gab excitedly about the wondrous EU, well wouldn't they?
Why is everything so covertly done, what have they got to hide?

Answer: we are (probably) being robbed blind and the project was and is a political putsch, to remove and trash all remaining democratic institutions across all of Europe (but particularly here in Britain?).
When the people have been cowed and 're-educated' the European elite can rule through 'benign' authoritarian diktats - we already are used to this in Britain.

How many laws and how much control is wielded and how does this impinge on our lives is hard to say, but we need to know though. It needs spelling out and marking.

'They', do not want us to know though - do they?

One harks back to the Monty Python sketch, "what have the Romans ever done for us?"

Which was a mock ironic sketch praising the Roman occupation of Britain grudgingly acknowledged by the 'lads'.
The Roman occupation for some was one of cruelty and barbaric treatment and of short unhappy lives.
But some Romano-Brits did very nicely and lived like Emperors themselves, just go to Bignor Palace in Sussex.
In comparison, what has the EU ever done for us?
Britain has, for all the 'gelt it has disbursed to the 'new Rome' of Brussels' very little to show for it.
We can claim, with real justification to have built infrastructure projects across Spain and kept the Spanish North Western fishing industry in permanent work since they joined in 86.
The rest of it, after 40 years of serfdom is not at all obvious.

Unless, you count the myriad number of middling council executives pulling north of £150K up and down the country. Oh yes, and the gravy trainers shuttling to and from Brussels - no, actually some have done very well out of the EU!

The establishment smile and ECHR rules OK.

Commision of Fraudsters said...

But we need these huge tax free unaudited salaries, freebies, and allowances in order to attract the best talent (eg the kinnockios etc).

Barnacle Bill said...

The "EU" I see before me bears little or no resemblance to the "Common Market" I voted to join years ago.

It has been subverted and corrupted by our politicians for their own ends, not for the good of you and I, Raewald and G. Tingey.

Unfortunately I fear it wil cost blood to rid us of this yoke upon our shoulders.

Anonymous said...

I happened on this blog directed from another one. You forgot a number of things that are very much appreciated by this person who has lived and worked in two EU countries (including ours) over three decades.

I am not going to list all the benefits both I and mine have enjoyed during the UK membership as you and your adherents will not wish to hear them. I just want you to know that not everyone swallows your opinions (nor your 'facts').

Edward Spalton said...

Barnacle Bill

Like many of us, you were deceived from the beginning. "The Common Market" was always only the economic face of a single European state in the making.

It was a Common Market (Customs Union/Zollverein) which brought the many German states together in a single economic area and then a single country - with great ambitions for Lebensraum - a concept very like the single market.

As Dr Seebohm (Adenauer's minister of commerce) expressed it in 1950

"Does free Europe want to join Germany? Germany is the heart of Europe and the limbs must adjust to the heart not the heart to the limbs"

But, of course, nobody mentioned it to us at the time or later. Our mainstream media did its usual crap job.

The structure of what, even then, was called "The European Economic Community" was discussed in considerable detail at a conference in Berlin in 1942. I translated the main lead paper ten years ago and am dusting it off for electronic publication.

G. Tingey said...

Come on, Anon.
If the real benefits ARE there, surely you can list at least some of them?

Like I tell the religious nutters: put up or shut up - EVIDENCE - please?

Anonymous said...

Anon @13 June 2012 16:33

Obviously you've benefited, drunk deep from the public money hose, money provided from the hard work of others.
Judging, by the haughty tone and mocking subtext, you value yourself very highly too - you're conceited to boot - How so very 'European', how so very Brussels.

Heavens above, more! Someone who drinks regularly from the fount of all wisdom too.
What a example you set, well, with your prescient and massive intellect, perhaps you can see what I can.
The implosion is coming, then the immense folly of the euro and of the EU will bring about the great 'whirlwind' on the global financial 'house of cards'.
Which, I'm quite sure you helped [in a very small way] bring about: even the likes of you will be brought down to our pitiful level.

Then the fun begins in earnest, better tool up mate.

Topham Beauclerk said...

"Without the EU, the UK wouldn't export anything to Europe". Glad you nailed that one. It always seems to me that one of the great fallacies committed by the EU cheerleaders is that without the EU we lose our trading partners, as though countries traded with countries rather than companies with companies. Pah!

James Higham said...

Barnacle Bill - think that was Heath's idea.

The Prangwizard said...

Europe may be demilitarised but it isn't all good. We should worry about Russia, weakness tempts the arrogant, and those who may feel they have been belittled by history. Just look at how it supports Syria, a test-bed of suppression techniques.

Edward Spalton said...

There's a very good paper on German policy towards Russia by Horst Teubert
in the "European Voices" section on

Russia needs Germany and Europe as a customer for its gas and oil.
Germany is meddling in the Ukraine to try to get a pro EU government elected.

However that could endanger an existing long term agreement for cheap gas to the Ukraine in exchange for a long lease on Sebastopol which is Russia's main Black Sea Naval base. By a fluke of history Khruschev transferred the Crimea to the Ukraine in the Fifties when the border was, more or less, a local government boundary. Most people in the Crimea speak Russian - as they do in Eastern Ukraine.

Personally, I hope that Russia will become stronger as a counterweight against over-mighty German Europe.