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Month: October 2018

Britain, Greece and the EU

I grew up in London. As a child I tended to be a bit confused. There was Britain and there was the Continent which was something else that Britain did not belong to. Summer holidays were spent in Greece, where there was Greece and Europe which was again the ?other? somewhere this time Greece did not belong to.

Now in Geography lessons we learnt that the continent of Europe did indeed include both the British Isles and of course Greece, and in history lessons that both of these were very important in the history of Europe, albeit in different times in and different ways.

When I was a little older, in the sixties when Britain still had not joined the then Common Market, swarms of day trippers from the ?Continent? would cross the Channel to do their shopping in Britain because prices were so much cheaper, thereby justifying the extra cost of travel.

All and any attempts by Britain to join the EEC or even just hints, were squarely vetoed by General de Gaulle who roundly declared that were Britain to be allowed into the Common Market she would destroy it. Hmmm.

Not taking the snub lightly, Britain finally managed to enter the Common Market in 1973 through Edward Heath?s persistent efforts, after de Gaulle?s demise that is. Greece entered the Common Market in 1981 after the fall of the Military Junta through the misguided belief that this membership would ensure democracy for the country,

The EEC had not been too keen on either membership. Britain owing to the fear of perfidious Albion and Greece because? well really this was a tinpot little country of no importance but whose historical legacy pushed it through.

And as things played out, perhaps it would have better, who knows? for both countries and the EU had neither of these two countries becomes members.

The following expansion of the EEC firstly to Spain and Portugal, then later to the ex Communist countries of Eastern Europe does not seem to have benefited the project for many and varied reasons.

And now Brexit is indeed threatening to tear down the whole edifice. Perhaps de Gaulle will be vindicated.

But then again perhaps the possible collapse of the EU, when and if it does happen (something that seems likelier by the day) for all the mismatches with Britain on the one hand and Greece on the other, blame should be attributed to where it is due: the Merkel-Schauble factor. The polices they imposed and the undemocratic way in which this was done led to resentment, pain, fear and even a resurgence in racism.

Let us not forget Schauble?s infamous doctrine: no matter what a country may vote for it makes no difference, economic policy cannot change. Implying it would always be decided by Germany and no one else was entitled to have a say.

However, it does seem that the people do matter after all.

 

 

 

Once More Unto the Breach

I have been absent for a long time. Owing to despair. Just what was the point of banging and banging one’s head against a padlocked door? The Elite KNOWS you (or anybody else) do not!

“We” thought the Soviet Economy was bad and unworkable because it was a command economy. “We” were right. Or were “we”? The European Union is a command economy. Directives for everything. In Greece, the great experiment in European Economic practice, collective bargaining has been banned and replaced by Government decision, for one. And just about everything is subject to the decisions of a totally illegitimate body, the Eurogroup, that decides in secret meetings and imposes whatever the German finance minister thinks, in his myopia, is best for Germany.

The whole of the EU is run by unaccountable, unelected nonenities (on the whole) who answer to no one.

Which may be why many a lapsus linguae has been heard referring to the “Soviet Union” instead of the “European Union”.

Cause enough for despair. Situation irreparable. No way a sober interesting or even useful thought can even be heard if it dissents to the received European wisdom which is law though imposed undemorcatically and totally arbitrarily.

And, it may be added, totally disastrously. And here, as paradoxically as it may seem, is where cause for some hope may be found.

The EU is floundering, globalism is being contested. Unfortunately revolt has found expression in the so called extreme right so far. The left is responsible for this. After the Greeks elected a left wing government, turning to it to change this catastrophic doom spiral, it flinched. It was not up to the task so decided instead to capitulate to the EU directorate and ended up imposing the worst EU measures devised to disastrous results for the Economy.

All the so called social democrat and left of center parties did the same in a variety of ways, from Tiny Blair’s New Labour to the German SPD joining in coalition governments and so on. So where else to turn? Rage and disgruntlement has turned sharp right.

It is time, therefore, to try and bring the debate to perhaps saner and more workable ideas. Especially now when we are on the brink of a disastrous collapse of the world order. One does not wish to reverse this collapse. It is a highly needed one. But we are at a dangerous crossroads.  We need to be aware and act, so: Once more unto the breach dear friends,

“I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge”
(From William Shakespeare’s Henry V)

 

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