Monday, 8 August 2011

Regionalisation by the back door?

The TaxPayers Alliance (TPA) has a post about councils 'sharing' services, a policy which is being sold to us as a means of reducing public expenditure. This may be true - on the other hand, cynic that I am - allow me to point out something that has obviously escaped the attention of the TPA; and probably everyone else too.

The European Union has a marvellous scheme called Nomenclature d'Unités Territoriales Statistiques (hence the acronym: 'NUTS'), otherwise known in English as the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. Under this scheme every country in the EU is divided into regions (Level 1) with each region subsequently divided into two further regions (Levels 2 & 3).

With regard to the TPA post, Yorkshire and the Humber forms region UKE, which is then divided into 4 further regions; East Riding and North Lincolnshire (UKE1); North Yorkshire (UKE2); South Yorkshire (UKE3); and West Yorkshire (UKE4). Each of those regions is, again, divided into yet smaller regions with West Yorkshire (UKE4) being formed by Bradford (UKE41); Leeds (UKE42); and Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield (UKE43).

Andrew Allison, author of the TPA article, writes:
".........the leader of the Conservative group on Leeds City Council said, “We shouldn’t stop at legal services, I believe we can also look at joint working in other areas such as human relations, licensing and training services. I welcome this news but it should have been introduced earlier and perhaps could have gone further.”"
Either the TPA and the Conservative group leader on Leeds City Council are as blind as the proverbial bats or there is indeed a hidden political agenda being continued, having first been proposed by the last Labour government. I posted on that little exercise way back in January 2009, a post which can be read here.

I can but quote from the lyrics of a popular Christmas song "Said the night wind to the little lamb, do you see what I see........."


Anonymous said...

I do not know if this is true or not true, but I remember reading that Nazi Germany was in love with the idea of regionalizing and giving countries region numbers. I do know they were in favour of autobahns, rockets/missiles and smoking bans, all of which we now have. So maybe regionalization is just a continuation of what has already been 70% accomplished and just needs the cherry on the top to make it whole.

Mr Ecks said...

I have said this before on various blogs. It is obvious. Several local authorities are merged in "unitarys" and at some point 2,3,4 of such will be merged to form the Euro-region.
They tried to get one voted in in the NE with Prescott as the mouthpiece. 70% of the voters told him to shove it. The scum of the EU don't give up and don't want any more voting. Why should they when Britains town hall are already full of a task force of traitors.

Lets hope that we can make more people aware WFW.

WV=ROSOU--I kid you not.

Edward Spalton said...

Some years ago I translated the introduction and lead paper of "Europaeische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft"
(European Economic Community - published in Berlin 1942). The main author, Reicshminister for the Economy, President of the Reichsbank and Minister for Post War Planning, Walther Funk, set out both the Guidelines establishing the Common Agricultural Policy and "The Regional Principle".

The latter included two ideas - regions within countries to weaken nation states apart from German and cross-border regions where there was a "natural" economic area which took in parts of several countries . Sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?

Unfortunately the book is now out of print. I have found a 3.5" floppy disk with the translation on it (if it has survived).

If anyone has the means of transposing it to a modern PC, I would be pleased to hear from them.

Actually, the policy which Germany is following with the euro today and in the Eastern European and Balkan countries is remarkably similar to that followed by the Imperial German government from 1970 -1914. Then they extended soft loans which, they knew, were beyond the capacity of the countries to repay. So eventually they turned the debt into equity in the ownership of natural resources in those countries. So not a lot ever changes.

Of course, those takeovers were nullified after the treaties of Versailles and Trianon and the communist takeover in 1945 masked what had happened again by direct conquest from 1939-45.

TomTOm said...

I remember reading that Nazi Germany was in love with the idea of regionalizing and giving countries region numbers.

Read Again ! Regionalisation in Germany was abolished by the Nazis who had Gleichschaltung as in England. They had Thatcherite Centralisation and Agencies such as the Prussian Secret Police (Gestapo) turned into a national force. Goering ran Prussia the largest Region and extended it across Germany - the Allies abolished Prussia.

Bradford (UKE41); Leeds (UKE42) as "Leeds City Region. Bradford should be abolished anyway, ever since 1972 it has been a disaster when Edward Heath imposed Reorganisation and nationalised water, and absorbed UDCs into Megacity where Leeds and Bradford connect with nothing separating them.

UKE41 + UKE42 have a bigger population than North Yorkshire and are 3rd and 4th largest UK cities. Bradford will merge into Leeds and it could not be worse than it is.

Edward Spalton said...

It is correct to say that the Nazis abolished the self government of the historic states (formerly kingdoms, Duchies etc) of which Germany was composed.

They imposed their own regional structures, the basis of which was the "Gau" ' over each of which was a Gauleiter (Gau leader) with near total powers.

The person who compiled the Europaeishce Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft papers into the book, a man called Hunke, was Gauwirtschaftsberater (Gau economic adviser) of greater Berlin and his Gauleiter was Dr. Goebbels.

However the state was organised administratively, the Nazis saw Germany as a single, organic whole, based on race and blood kinship (Ein Fuehrer, ein Reich, ein Volk). The process in surrounding countries was totally different to keep them in subordination.

As that well-known European integrationist, Heinrich Himmler, expressed it, "We must foster as many small nations and (ethnic) groups as we can" - on the principle of divide and rule - just as has happened recently and violently to Yugoslavia and is happening more subtly to us through devolution and regionalisation.

You will find quite a useful store of information on this and related matters in the historical background notes on the German website -

along with a huge bibliography of German books.

I was surprised to find that as early as 1848, before Germany existed as a unified country, the revolutionary delegates meeting in the abortive parliament in St. Paul's Church, Frankfurt, decided very clearly that no strong Slavic power must be allowed to emerge in the Balkans (an area then partly in and partly on the borders of the old Austrian Empire which collapsed in 1918). And in 1999, the NATO and EU powers destroyed Yugolsavia by aerial bombardment and by exacerbating internal stresses on the Himmler principle. The Bundesnachrichtendienst ( German secret service) had been financing and encouraging all the separatist movements for decades beforehand.

TomTom said...

regions within countries to weaken nation states apart from German and cross-border regions where there was a "natural" economic area which took in parts of several countries . Sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it?

Very much a British approach in Africa, in the case of Nazi Germany it was undoing the fictional countries Woodrow Wilson created from the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires....Poland for instance has markedly different borders thanks to Churchill from those in 1938.....and the USSR had much better ones

Germany loaned Turkey funds for the Berlin-Baghdad Railway because The city would not.

Barings funded deLesseps to build the Suez Canal and London bought the loan to take over the Canal

Egypt was bankrupt and took loans from London. London took over Egypt angering Germany and France

Hypocrisy is an English failing

Edward Spalton said...

I don't think Poland is all that "fictional"(!) although its borders have varied enormously over the centuries.

If the highly civilised, supra national ministers of poor old gaga Franz Josef had not been such blithering, bone-headed idiots as to start the Great War, perhaps the Austro Hungarian empire might have evolved into something happier for Eastern Europe.

I don't know whether it was much shown on British TV but the funeral service for Otto von Habsburg (July 16th) in Vienna was certainly fit for an Emperor. The Guard Regiment of the Austrian Republic carried the Habsburg colours! Google Beerdigung Otto von Habsburgs for dozens of video clips.

I have just started reading "On Secret Service East of Constantinople" by Peter Hopkirk (pub John Murray)- a historical account very much parallel to the informed fiction of John Buchan's "Greenmantle".

It begins "Had one been travelling through Eastern Turkey in the Spring of 1838,one might have been startled to come upon a young Prussian officer ... Captain Helmuth von Moltke..."

The point is that the Germans are still playing their Great Game - really rather successfully and adapted to the times - but no similar vision or concept of British national interest appears to animate British diplomacy or policy in any domestic, geographic, economic, tactical or strategic sense.

In the meantime a stronger, self-confident Turkey has proclaimed itself the "Motherland" of all Balkan Muslims and is following a very "forward" diplomatic policy in the region.

So the game continues........

TomTom said...

although its borders have varied enormously over the centuries.

Pilsudski certainly expanded them rapidly after force of arms

Edward Spalton said...

Whilst I don't think it is an aim of the present Polish authorities, I believe that their national anthem proclaims "All we have lost, we will take again by force".

Mind you, Erika Steinbach, president of the German League of Expellees thinks that "Deutschland ueber Alles" just expresses " a harmless love of homeland" although the verse goes on to define Germany "From the Maas to the Memel river, From the Etsch (River Adige in Northern Italy) to the Belt (in Denmark).

So territory ebbs and flows. One thing which a "Europe without borders" does for German influence is to make them largely irrelevant. The economically predominant power has no obstacles in its path. It doesn't need tanks to roll over them. A businessman in his Merc with his laptop is more effective.

I well remember one German spokesman saying before the accession of Poland to the EU, "We will dissolve the Oder-Neisse frontier like a sugar lump in a cup of coffee".

During the Kohl administration, the Bundestag passed a very lengthy resolution asserting the right of Germans to resettle in their "historic homelands" in Poland, the Czech Republic and elsewhere, once everyon was all pals together in the EU.

TomTom said...

Well Edward, do you think The Benes Decress are really appropriate in the EU ?

We must not forget 2 million ethnic Germans were forcibly removed from their homes 1945-47 and some were beaten to death in Polish camps. Nor that German POWs starved to death in Allied POW camps in 1945.

History is cruel in that noone escapes with a charmed existence. Germany has always been too big for Europe but too small to really needs to link up with Russia.

France is the problem in Europe, it is not an industrial nation but a rural-political entity that needs heavy pork barrel which France alone cannot afford.

I well remember one German spokesman

That is hardly a serious comment when I consider the rubbish British "spokesmen" utter.

It is not Germany that is bombing Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq or swaggering around like a demented thug. Sometimes it would be a good idea to see how Britain is viewed abroad; far less favourably than Germany in fact

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Mr. E: As with everything EU, it is being done under our noses and on a siftly softly basis.

ES/TT: I leave you both to continue your discussion :)

Edward Spalton said...

In my opinion the Benes decrees are entirely appropriate for the Czech Republic. Vaclav Klaus was able to obtain exemption from those parts of the EU "Charter of Fundamental Rights" which would have given the descendants of German expellees the right to sue for compensation and return of property.

In the meantime, Czechs with some evidence of German descent have been encouraged to apply for German citizenship additional to their Czech citizenship. This is seen as improving their chances of obtaining employment with the German companies which dominate the Czech Republic's economy. So, to borrow a phrase "La luta continua".

Dr.Miroslav Polreich was Czech ambassador to the OSCE in Vienna in the Nineties. He told me that the policies of the Havel government in its subservience to German interests had left his country with only one foreign policy option "To find the nicest, kindest Germans and hope that they would be good to us".

He was also of the opinion that his good offices could have brokered a settlement in Kosovo but, under German orders, the Prague government put a stop to it so that there would be a bloody break-up of Yugoslavia.

Andrew Allison said...

What you are referring to had not escaped me, but I am not talking about creating super-councils. Certain back-office functions do not need to be duplicated by a number of authorities. Payroll is a prime example, as is legal services.

Andrew Allison,
Taxpayers' Alliance

WitteringsfromWitney said...

AA: Agreed, but as we all know it will not stop at 'back office', will it? That is the point I was trying to make and should perhaps have worded it differently.