Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Clegg - Warm-up man?

Little reported, as far as I am aware, is a speech given by Nick Clegg today at the London School of Economics. The most interesting section is where he turns his thoughts to the eurozone crisis:
"In terms of the Eurozone, the real failure has not been the original concept of monetary union. It’s that the rules were never applied stringently enough. The Stability and Growth Pact was actively watered down in 2005, allowing members to wriggle out of their fiscal commitments to each other. Now we are seeing the effects. But on a day like today, when people are talking openly about the possibility of Greek default, the key question is not: how do we seek to renegotiate the UK’s place in the European Union in a treaty that hasn’t even materialised yet. The single-most important question, the urgent question is what role can we play in helping the Eurozone avoid further turmoil, creating the stability needed for prosperity and jobs – in the Eurozone and in the UK too. A stable, healthy Eurozone matters massively to the UK. It’s where we send 40% of all of our exports and, together, we all face a longer term problem of competitiveness - a problem not even a raft of new treaties could fix." (Emphasis mine)
The first part of the emboldened section is, I believe, a side-swipe at 'Useless Eustice' and his band of merry men and women and that treaty renegotiation just ain't going to happen; however it is the second section that provides the most cause for concern. In view of the fact that until 2013 the UK is still liable for contributions to prop up the eurozone due to our membership of the IMF, the question that logically arises is whether Clegg is preparing the country for yet another bail-out for Greece, rather than Greece being permitted to exit the eurozone.

Were a further bail-out to Greece to happen - and one in which we may well be liable for the odd £billion or two - it would, I believe be an ''excrement hitting the ceiling-mounted air circulation device' moment where the British public are concerned, especially when they will look at that and then compare the deprivation they are suffering at home with Coalition 'cuts', cuts 'real' or 'imagined' will not matter. As an aside, it is also worth recalling this in relation to Cleggs assertion that 40% of our exports goes to the EU, but then that is yet another digression..........

There is of course yet another question that this speech poses, namely who, exactly, is running this country: the EU with the help of Clegg or the EU with the help of Cameron?


cosmic said...

Clegg I put down as a True Believer, OK, he's also the most obvious EU careerist. There were rumours a few days back of him losing his seat and being made an EU Commissioner.

Cameron and Hague are more of the TINA persuasion (There Is No Alternative). Privately they might want out of the EU, but only if a government of another colour did it, in office there's no way they would act against the EU. In opposition, they wouldn't set themselves up with an inescapable commitment to leave the EU were they elected, they'd rather not have office, but they've walked a tightrope of insincere waffle about reform of 'Europe' without being called on it.

Most of the UK wider government sees itself as the UK branch of the EU government. We can expect nothing else but for these bail outs to be gone along with, one way or another, whichever confection of LibLabCon is in office, no matter what the public thinks, because the public doesn't have any say in the matter. Look at the accusations which came up that Darling and Osborn had an understanding over the first Greek bail-out.

The answer to your question is that the EU regional government for the UK is calling the shots and whichever glove puppets are in office say the words. The EU regional government for the UK will shift heaven and earth to keep the EU on the rails. It will keep it up until it can't escape the fact that the EU has gone, and then it will try to resurrect it in some form.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

c: You may well be right..... I am coming to the conclusion that trying to second guess these idiots is probably a waste of time.....

cosmic said...


Experience shows, (the EU Consitution/Lisbon Treaty and many other instances) that whichever of LibLabCon we have in office, is at least determined not to thwart the EU in anything significant, even at the cost of unpopularity.

Labour has gone along with it with routine deceit and ruthlessness.

The Cons have done the same. In recent years they've started pretending that's not really what they want but still do it.

The LibDems have never been anything but mindless cheerleaders for the EU.

So, trying to analyse the fine details and read any particular significance into Clegg saying something rather than Cameron or Hague is a bit pointless when it's perfectly clear that with or without Clegg, or with labour they are all determined to go along with the bail outs.

The Darling/Osborn business demonstrated that they are all of one mind on this matter and they are prepared to collude.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

c: You are of course correct in what you say, although it was not my intention to read into anything that Clegg says or any other politico, other than to point out that as sure as God made little apples a further bail-out was going to happen.

My last paragraph was but an attempt to stir the waters a tad to show that neither Cameron or Clegg can get what they really want policy wise, that as you say it matters not who forms a government in this country as the end result is always the same - further integration.

cosmic said...

Yes, but although it's clear that there's a complex (Civil Service, NGOs, etc) which forms the root of government and the party in power is far from an elective dictatorship, the workings of the complex are largely hidden. Most of the parts of it probably aren't conscious of themselves being part of it.

The public puppet show with Cameron and Clegg, is like a soap opera or a B Western; you know it's rubbish and completely implausible, but you do get drawn into watching it and it can be exciting. That's the way it works its mischief.

Potentially, the elected government could change things.

Lord T said...

Typical leftie.

We didn't do any wrong the problem was we were too soft and should have done it harder.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

c: Sorry but the party in power of whichever colour is an elected dictatorship. They decide without any reference to the people, once elected, how we live act and speak - and if you have missed that point I can only respectfully say: wake up.......

That the 'crats etc know only too well that they have a hand on the levers of power cannot by an stretch of the imagination be in doubt either.

Until politicians have to ask the people whether they can do something or charge us for something it remains an elected dictatorship.......!

I am in agreement with Lord T: we have been too soft for too long!