Saturday, 5 November 2011

Moore's the pity

In his op-ed piece in today's Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore is of the opinion that the EU's journey to ever closer union has screeched to a halt. Assuming that Moore's opinion is correct - which I don't - nowhere in his article is there any mention of the logical question that should surely follow his assertion, namely: "What happens now then?".

While the leaders of Member States continue to pour money into the ever widening maw of fiscal incompetence that is the European Union and the dream of maintaining the failure of it's euro currency, the journey to ever closer union remains very much on track.

That the charge of 'guilty' can be be laid at Cameron's door is illustrated by his belief that the euro must be maintained and that the 17 eurozone member states should integrate even further just creates another self-made problem for the chief executive of EU region UK. Andrew Grice, writing in the Independent, rather starkly expands on Cameron's self-made problem when he writes:
"The inevitable fiscal union among the euro countries will push the UK into the outer zone. British ministers fear the 17 eurozone nations will form a "caucus" which fixes the key decisions before they go to all 27 EU members. Brave talk about Britain heading the 10 second-division teams is just that; seven are committed to joining the euro. Whatever pledges are made not to exclude the "outs", the reality is that many of the rules affecting the single market, the City of London and British industry could be decided by the 17, who might not exactly have UK interests at heart."
The UK may have an opt-out from euro membership but, unfortunately, with that membership due to increase, coupled with increasing EU 'oversight' of member state's budgets, it is easy to see the situation whereby Cameron will be the one seated at a white covered table, having the riot act read to him - and being reminded that legal agreements can just as easily be 'amended'.

One day the British public - and possibly just not them, but also the public in other member states - will wake up to the fact that all this money being used to prop up a failed idea and failing currency is actually their money. When that realization finally dawns, then events really will get interesting. Earlier today I linked to a podcast involving Richard North and Christopher Booker discussing matters EU, euro and the New World Order. At the end of the discussion Richard North made the point that matters will eventually need to be resolved either by the people halting this madness through the ballot box, or the alternative will be civil wars within individual countries.

That this madness can only be prevented from ever reoccurring is by means of a move to a participatory form of government, one that as I posted earlier finally does put the master/servant relationship back to where it should be.


PeterCharles said...

It is stupidity of the first order to believe 'ever closer union' has been stopped. Not that it hasn't been a perennial British Europhile cry whenever they have to try and defend another measure of 'ever closer union'. Listen to them and you are told it is simply a tidying up program, nothing sinister, or it is clearly in Britain's interest to do it and doesn't mean 'ever closer union' or that Britain first called for it so it can't be 'ever closer union' and even if the result is 'ever closer union' that wasn't the intention so it doesn't matter because it is not 'ever closer union'.

One can only conclude the likes of Moore have not followed EU history, indeed that they don't even remember what happened last month or last year. That last is probably true, like politicians, political commentators and pundits are stuck in the 'now' reality, yesterday has gone, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet, only now matters. I had a boss once who followed the same principle, so it isn't just a political thing. "What you did yesterday or what you might do tomorrow doesn't matter," he told me crossly, "it's what you do today that matters, anything else is irrelevant, and that goes for me as much as you!"

What they all fail to understand is that this blinkered obsession with now guarantees they never learn the lessons of history and will never see the wood for the trees, indeed the wood becomes at best an abstraction, a not quite real maybe thing that has no place in their reality. Explains a lot about strategic failure doesn't it?

Back to the point, the various back room, closed door committees and working groups in the EU are still churning out grist for the directive mill all with the express intent of forging 'ever closer union'. It matters not that current political elites can't force things forward, that is not a screeching halt or a reversal or and end to the project, it is merely a set back, whether it be for a month, a year, ten years or more, the project continues and sooner or later will be back on course. So long as the EU exists, with or without the Euro, 'ever closer union' is alive and well. Only a fool or a liar can deny that. I'll let you decide which camp Moore falls into.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: What can I say but: as ever, agree!

cosmic said...

I think what Moore's onto is the idea that the EU hasn't yet had any serious setbacks and has acquired the assumption that it's inevitable, which has helped it.

From the point of view of the UK, this expresses itself in the notion that there is no alternative to the EU. That complaining about the EU is as much use as complaining about the weather.

However, I venture to suggest that if anything now has an aura of inevitability, it's that the Euro will unravel. There's no doubt that the Euro is a pivotal part of the project.

The quest for 'ever closer union' is a long way from being abandoned.

PeterCharles said...

I don't know, cosmic. I understand Moore's point but as I see it the feeling of inevitability derives more from the refusal of the political class to challenge 'ever closer union' or if they do challenge it, and I think those challenges were sham challenges anyway, the politicians seem never to win. The fact that all the transfers have been hidden away for the most part, the clauses giving away power and sovereignty by the handful buried in domestic legislation so no one really notices and has used public political apathy to pretend nothing is actually happening so it all comes as a surprise when people do notice has also helped the myth of inevitability rise.

The EU has had set backs, prior to Maastricht, with Maastricht and most notably with the Constitution. But the response was not to stop and wail about how everything was unravelling, they simply stepped back, regrouped and attacked on a different front. Why should it be different now?

There are all manner of possibilities from complete Euro collapse, one or more countries leaving the Euro, creation of strong Euro/weak Euro blocks, limited fiscal union (as has already been agreed but rarely is it mentioned other than as an afterthought) to full fiscal union or even full federalisation. None of these would necessarily kill the EU off once and for all, not even Euro collapse. I don't say it couldn't die, just that it is not inevitable.

When the buzz was all about a UK in/out referendum various voices on the margins were making the point that so much of our governmental process has been made inter-dependent with the rest of Europe it could be impossible to separate them (the Europhile view) or that separation could potentially take years (pragmatic Eurosceptic view). All that governmental and institutional inter-dependence will still be there even if the Euro isn't and even if the Eurozone breaks up. The EU vested interests, which include the political class, big business, big finance, big media to name just a few, will be working hard to first keep the residual inter-dependence then to expand it further outwards in, you've guessed it, 'ever closer union'. In other words, as they would see it, just another set back, mayhap one that would last a generation, but surmountable at the end of the day. In fact the very break up if it occurred could and would be spun into a solid reason why 'ever closer union' is essential. The project would be alive and well. It might have a name change, certainly a different strategy, but the core goal would be there just the same.

When it all does go pear shaped if once again there is no in/out referendum be sure we will soon back in exactly the same place.

cosmic said...

Interesting points PC.

I formed the view that the idea that the EU was like a bicycle, it could only go forwards and would otherwise collapse, from the 'ever closer union' statement in every EU treaty, from the behaviour over Maastricht and in particular from the desperation so shove the Constitution/LT through.

There have been setbacks, such as the UK not joining the Euro and the ERM. I would say the improvement in our economy after being ejected from the ERM was a major factor in not joining the Euro.

There hasn't yet been a reversal, such as a nation deciding to leave or being forced to leave, which would demonstrate that the EU wasn't put together for the greater good by far-seeing technocrats; it was put together by sincere but misguided people and was implemented by those with a narrow self-interest.

When you talk of the political class, don't ignore the Civil Service and the rest of the permanent establishment of government, which see the EU as being very much in their interest.

Richard North has pointed out that the problem isn't strictly the EU, and the EU isn't altogether a foreign government. Most of the problem is within the UK. Therefore, getting out of the EU isn't the be all and end all, apart from the practicalities; UK pensioners living in France and all the rest. It comes back the WfW's ideas on a more consultative form of government than we have now.

I have no doubt that if the Euro collapsed and the EU dissolved in acrimony, the forces that put it together would not be wiped out and certainly wouldn't admit they were wrong. It would be like one of those sci-fi films where the killer robot is smashed to pieces, then you see a glimmer of light in one eye, then the other, then they both light up, then it starts to reassemble itself. It would be rather like socialism; the manifest failures to implement it haven't been because the idea is faulty, it's because it hasn't been tried properly........ In the UK I surmise there'd be a determined attempt to pretend it hadn't collapsed at all.

It's long been my idea that with technological changes and real growing interdependence, the nation state is likely to give way to something else or at least become something different in time. The EU is an attempt to make it happen many times faster than its natural pace by people who thought they were clever and its bureaucratic/corporatist view, based on manufactured or channelled is bound to fail.

TomTom said...

Adolf Hitler wanted to transcend the nation state and build a new ethnic identity of Pan-Germanism subsuming Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Poland, Czechoslovakia into a New Germania....there is nothing new in this idea.

The fact is the ruling elite believe Britain to be a busted flush and want to bed down the nation inside the EU politically; but to retain the power and privilege of The City to be independent of the EU, economically.

Once Cameron loses the plot and the 17 form a Caucus imposing Directives by QMV he and Clegg will be ditched by The Puppetmasters who pull their strings.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC & c: Intresting discussion you two and you both raise good points and questions.

I am still of the opinion that other than outright revolution the only way we will get out of this mess is as I suggested in a later post: we have to get a participatory form of democracy in place.

TT: Re your last paragraph: You are entirely correct in my view and when the 17 form their inner circle will be the time when the UK is well and truly subsumed within the EU.