treaty change?

Angela Merkel has accepted that the current situation needs change.

“he debt crisis is not just something unpleasant, it is a turning point, an opportunity to create something new.”

It may be empty rhetoric of old, and she does not say what that “something new” would be. Merkel received a report

from her economic advisers, who suggested various ‘solutions’ to the crisis, all of which Merkel said

“would require a huge number of treaty changes”

It is clear that any plausible solution to the eurozone crisis will require treaty change and fundamental institutional changes to the EU. The British government is still pushing for further integration of the eurozone, whilst insisting that treaty change will be for the countries with the euro, and therefore does not affect Britain nor require treaty change under the referendum lock.

Treaty change proposals have not been precisely outlined but if the eurozone is to carry on they are required, and they will have repercussions for Britain. It is odd that on the one hand George Osborne and David Cameron say that the British economy relies on the euro working and are calling for the “remorseless logic” of full fiscal union, and on the other that treaty change will not necessarily effect Britain.

Angela Merkel seems to acknowledge whats required, she is still yet to act, but while we are waiting to see if the euro is going to be saved, maybe she can tell Gideon and Donald how the EU works.

who will say were better off out of europe?

tim montgomerie has decided to create a new ‘project’ called ‘rebooting project Cameron’ the name itself brings despair, maybe Cameron is some type of defunct robot. the link is 2/10 montgomerie thinks:

“Cameron needs to tell the country where he stands on Europe. He needs to give a big Bruges-style speech (in fact he should go back to the place where Margaret Thatcher made her landmark address) and set out the kind of Europe he envisages”

David Cameron does not have his own vision for Britain in the european union, and will go along with what merkozy dictate. He is unlikely to give a “Bruges-style” speech anyhow. If he did it would be like all his other speeches: lacking any conviction and simply to push an issue of inconvenience off the agenda for a while.

And yesterday John rentatool  put the question: “who will say were better off out of europe?” with the sub-heading: “if the single currency  survives it may not be long before a serious politician calls for Britain to leave the EU”

It is maybe another of his QTWAIN : ‘question to which the answer is n0’-one “serious” currently has the bottle.

 

leadership… found wanting.

David Cameron said the  word ‘leadership’ 19 times in his conference speech in Manchester titled ‘leadership for a better Britain‘ in an attempt maybe to brainwash the public into believing he actually has the abilities to lead a nation. He does not.

And yet, the G20 has shown that the world over, ‘leaders’ are not leading but limping far behind events that have happened last week; month; year? The Greek tragedy that has consumed the whole event is not the worst of their worries, nor is Italy’s predicament. what are called the Western democracies of the world are suffering a complicated shift in the way the world works and the distribution of power via wealth (of nations) is the central cause.

what the G20 summit has achieved is to present the EU summit of October 27th as a triumph, that created a plan to sort the eurozone crisis out and that must be followed. This is an example of the lack of leadership we have in current politics, the EU summit conclusions were picked apart by markets and analysts within 24hours, and found out to be half measure without structure nor any actual cash to back the plans up. For the G20 to be exclaiming that countries must follow this plan and stick to it, without anything new to fund proposals. Sadly means they have no idea how to solve the current crisis.

Which brings me back to David Cameron, who is stuck in opposition mode. pre-crash 2008 he and boy George were committed to Labour spending plans and only changed course once the election was in sight and they could not any longer persist with the mantra of ‘sunlit uplands’ and ‘sharing the proceeds of growth’, when Lehman’s went down the conservative party was consistently on the backfoot with no ideas let alone a plan to ‘save the world’.

The situation is the same now with the eurozone crisis, the government had no idea what to do, so has decided on the one hand to try to offload the crisis onto the eurozone alone, and push for closer integration of the eurozone countries, whilst at the same time wanting to increase the IMF budget. This is obviously to do with the fact that British banks are more exposed than even the German’s. So why doesn’t the government be straight with the British people and explain the situation instead of trying to cover up their misgivings.

We also have the situation where the eurozone may indeed follow George Osborne’s “remorseless logic” and integrate further, which will inevitably push Britain further away from decision-making, not that Cameron has not done enough already to leave Britain looking like a pathetic bystander while events happen elsewhere. This is one of the main problems, not only are the eurozone nations going to be putting their own interests first but Cameron + co are happy to stand back and watch it happen without the slightest thought about the future consequences.

And yet the conservatives believe they will be able to take back powers ‘repatriate’ ‘renegotiate’ whatever you want to call it, Germany has said nien to the idea, so it seems that even this false scenario is not going to be achieved. Cameron is too weak to even attempt to gain back any meaningful powers for this country . in the event he does make a squeak, the eurozone will agree a new treaty outside the EU involving only eurozone nations, making the veto useless.

Maybe the lacklustre performance is due to Cameron’s own faults; David Cameron edited the Big Issue in the summer he spoke of  his youth and how he “didn’t always put the effort in” and “just went through the motions, drifting along

Some things never change, eh’.

theres just no hope for some

this  is the sort of thing that ruins the cause, leads the europhile left-wing press, cameroons etc. to laugh off the idea of Britain as a sovereign state and claim that anyone who thinks being in europe is not the best option is a ‘fruit-cake’, ‘loony’, ‘racist’ or even ‘homophobic’. John Redwood or dead wood as autonomous mind put it, asks his readers “what powers would you like back?” in his latest post, and then reels off a list as though he is a five year old writing out the Christmas wish list.

Leaving aside the fact that powers cannot be returned, the suggestions he makes on the list itself are  pathetic since alone they will not change our relationship with the EU, even if government achieved his whole list.

Redwood forgets that he is  an MP of the ‘conservative’ party, that makes up the majority of the coalition who claim to be “governing in the national interest” but  which has no intention of returning powers from Brussels to the UK and putting the national interest first. Nor does he realise that his leader is quite happy with the status quo and  is dismissive of him and his stated aims, so you wonder why John Redwood takes his frustration out on UKIPers

“who will write in to condemn what we are trying to achieve, I have two simple questions. What power have the UKIP MEPs got back for us? And what progress have the UKIP MEPs made to getting the UK out of the EU in line with their stated policy?”

You do not have to be a UKIP supporter to realise that Britain is better off out of the EU, now I am not a supporter but they simply do not have the capacity to remove Britain from the EU, for one there is not enough of them. Redwood as an MP in the governing coalition could use his own position to influence government policy in-line with his own stated aims, yet his record shows that he has not.

there is just no hope, for some.

ground control to Major (John), you’ve really made the grade

The (insane) oddity that is John Major reared his head again in the FT print ed yesterday to give his opinion on the euro crisis and where he thinks it is going.

Major says “hindsight is often graceless” and so it is with that he tells us that he kept Britain out of sterling because “I had a political objection as well: that entry into the euro, and the abolition of sterling, would remove key policy options from the British government. That is why at Maastricht, I opted out of the euro” *cough*

Take that as you will. Major also believes “We are drifting towards full fiscal union: only the timescale is flexible”. This  possibility has been the a central ideal to the european federalists for some time now, and Major like others before, suggests that those outside the eurozone but of the EU may in the end want to join it through the fact that those in the eurozone will inevitably be making most of the important decisions. What EU leaders came up with at Wednesday’s summit, contrary to what some are cheering simplywont save Europe the ‘big bazooka’ did not crystallize and the rally yesterday of the markets will likely deflate just as quick.

The drifting towards “full fiscal union” may yet take place, proposals for this are due at Christmas, but it would take years to be a reality. The other option of break-up, is anathema to EU politicians  and will be fought at every step, but it is also possible;  fiscal union would require the people of europe to either agree to such an entity or be bypassed in an authoritarian manner. in the event would end in the thing Chancellor Merkel warns of.

George Eustice has set out a blueprint in a white paper for the government to plan ‘renegotiation’ it is a useless operation as useless as its author. The European Union has consistently tried to solve the eurozone crisis by making small and insignificant gestures, which  quickly crumble under scrutiny.

The government should  ignore Major and prepare for any of the scenarios which could emerge from the crisis, keeping in mind that the euro is ultimately a flawed project much like the EU itself, it is -in time- going to fail fatally, the government should grab its protein pills, put its helmet on and get OUT  as soon as events allows, and simply wish them, good luck

withdraw

The backbench debate on an EU referendum has caused much excitement in Westminster, the  motion was ‘negatived on division. (Ayes: 111, Noes: 483)’, the significance of the debate is not as much as the hype being discussed, it will not do what it says on the tin, it was defeated and in any case was not binding on the government. It has though, brought attention to the credibility of Cameron’s leadership and his  preferment for rhetoric over action.

The number of ‘rebels’ was increased by the wording of the motion; including the third option of ‘renegotiation’ allowed the majority who supported the motion a get out clause and a chance to kick Cameron for whatever grievances they may have. Renegotiation is simply not an option, it  needs to be made clear to those suggesting that renegotiation is an option and those that have been naive enough to believe them.

For Britain or any other member state in the European Union decide it would like to withdraw from any policy area signed up to through the various treaties, directives and legislation. Britain or that member state would have to seek agreement from the other 26 member states, and an amendment to the existing treaties would need to take place.

The likelihood of  the 26 member states  agreeing on Britain opting out of policy areas that it does not find favourable, while they themselves remain signed up to it is nil, it is as though those advocating ‘renegotiation’, they seem to think that  EU treaties are  a box of chocolates where you pick out the nice pieces and leaves the rest for the next idiot.

Cameron and co still claim to be eurosceptic, even after all the broken promises and ‘cast iron’ guarantees, some will keep the pretence going – it serves both their interests, others are naive enough to actually believe it. Cameron calls himself a ‘euro-realist’ :read federalist,  he has consistently used the issue of europe as bait to the party using it whenever he needs their support, ignorant when it does not suit his needs.

It has to be asked why those in the party who do not agree with the position of the leadership continue to support the leadership, in the FT today Tristan-Garel-Jones (former minister for europe under Thatcher and Major) another europlast, says those that are “stuck in the 19th century model of the nation-state and who advocate withdrawal from the EU” should withdraw from the party.  it is the obvious suggestion to make while the quisling leadership is so at odds with their views.

pointless posturing

The debate in the House of Commons on Monday put forward by David Nutall MP and granted by the backbench business committee is as follows:

“The House calls upon the Government to introduce a Bill in the next session of Parliament to provide for the holding of a national referendum on whether the United Kingdom

(a) should remain a member of the European Union on the current terms;

(b) leave the European Union; or

(c) re-negotiate the terms of its membership in order to create a new relationship based on trade and co-operation.”

The motion for the debate itself is utterly flawed, (a) to remain a member of the EU on current terms, is a scenario no one wants not even the most enthusiastic eurofanatic believes that Britain’s relationship at present is ideal, it is Cameron’s rosy scenario where the issue can be brushed away and people stop ‘banging on’ about europe, however it is not even an option crisis in the euro zone and its spillover effects will not allow for the status quo.

whilst (b) leaving the european union is the favoured option, the fact is a new political arrangement needs to be ready to take its place, those in Westminster are not up to the task of governing without the influence and direction of the EU, were the country to put its fate in the hands of  the party (lib/lab/con), democracy, governance and our politics would indeed worsen.

As wittering witney and autonomous mind point out the country is not even ready to be asked this question in a referendum, with the public so ill-informed on the subject, through obfuscation from our politicians and the media, the whole issue of the European Union is boiled down to headline grabbers such as the infamous straight banana or what the definition of chocolate is.

A comment by don wreford on autonomous mind’ post above makes the point asking if “we may have to have a phd on politics to understand?” a phd may not be needed, but vast amounts of reading and inquiry are, to understand the workings of the EU and the consequences of being a member. Educating the public is not going to be an easy task when the people who gain most from the EU’s very existence rely on misleading the public and keeping them in the dark about the facts, to keep the charade going.
Exit from the EU now or in the forseeable future, is not likely to come from referenda, the only route is the long road through clear information getting through to the wider public, or with self inflicted implosion, which is not as unlikely as once thought.

(c) in the motion to renegotiation  membership to create a relationship based on trade and co-operation; is simply not an option, membership of the  European Union is not a pick and choose situation, the other 26 members would not agree to Britain remaining in the EU on a trade based negotiation, while they remain signed up to the unfavourable arrangements. Those that believe this outcome is possible are on never-never land, there is more chance of us being booted out than this idea.

we wont leave europe, but it wont rule us” is a re-hash of William Hague’s  old “in europe not run by europe”  slogan  the europlasts use for cover,it is not only misleading it defies reality. The 27 nations that are in the EU are run by the EU whether leaders admit it or not. CCHQ  have put out this briefing  going over the same old lines as, ‘blame labour’, ‘we need a majority’, ‘we have a referendum lock’ etc. is a smokescreen to try to hide behind, attempting to keep up the pretence that the conservative really are sceptic.

Even in the event of Westminster initiating such ‘renegotiation’ what could be expected? a few more fish allowed to be kept by fisherman? or no increase in the British contribution to the EU budget? it would be a continuation of bone-throwing to the Conservative party while Cameron tries to keep his position. The sideshow tomorrow in the HoC, will come to nothing, it is not binding and will serve only to detract attention away from the governments incompetence over economic policy and pretty much all else. Britain has signed up to the Treaties, which once signed are simply not up for discussion, with David Cameron speaking for the country in Europe there is even less hope of any good deal arising, unless you are angela merkel treaty change, worthy of the name is not an option.

Cameron + co, are only too pleased with how the debate looks set to go, the ‘rebels’ are unable to force a referendum, and will be made to look supposedly out of touch. Having moved the timetable of debate, Cameron gets to enjoy the sound of his own voice for longer, and will limit time for discussion, so from the backbenchers who do get a say, we will most likely hear them once again speaking to themselves rather than the people they are supposed to represent.

It is pointless posturing, the hype over tomorrows debate is going to leave everyone underwhelmed, whatever is said in the Commons tomorrow is of little importance, compared to whats happening with the euro .

speaking in tongues

Just when you thought the madness of the european integrationists was at a  standstill, they push ahead further and probably faster, the crises of the eurozone, with Greece  particularly in the spotlight. The pursuit of further integration and more europe, still drives the minds of the europhiles, so detached from the realities that europe faces,
they see the only solution to the problems as more and more europe, regardless of what the people of these member states believe, need or want, regardless of economic realities and regardless of democratic legitimacy (lack thereof).

The EU summit last week discussed (mainly) the issue of the Greek economy, the debt ridden -once soveriegn- nation who will sooner or later have to default on its debts (partially or otherwise), nearly every economist predicts a Greek default, one way or another. Europe has few options to choose from, about the way they wish to react to the crises.

george Papandreou the Greek PM, will try on Tuesday to push through the Greek parliament the austerity measures required by the troika, in order for the Greek to receive the next tranch fromthe first bailout last year.
Opposition party New Democracy (apt) maintains they will vote against, the people of Greece, are unlikely to accept more austerity since, thus far the first bailout, austerity measures and reform seem to have had little effect.

eurocrat talk, initiated by one Angela Merkel, proposing that borrowers take ‘volutary’ losses, and an introduction of debt guarantees proposed by Alex Weber , the former Bundesbank chief, Sarkozy\’s ideaof private investment funds helping the bailout, amongst other initiatives coming from euroland are in reality trying ot fiddle the situation, economists and the markets have said many atime that any restructuring of the debt (in whatever form) will be seen as default. Together with the the unlikely event that Greece can reform its finances before 2013 when the EFSM package is intended to be introduced, Greece is not going to repay its debt, full stop.
Over here in blighty we have to witness the ‘\”genuinely eurosceptic\” David Cameron who insists that Britain will not play a part in the bailout, he blatantly forgot to mention our participation through the IMF, and even then as the eu keeps “kicking the can down the road”, making up new rules as we go along _ bailouts are illegal under the ‘constitution’- and as we have in David Cameron a europhile premier of the highest proportions, Britain can expect to be dragged into funding the Greeks further.

You may of noticed the attention theat the new ‘moderate eurosceptics’ have been getting in the prees, after the letter by 14 of them in the FT calling for a change in policy toward Europe. For some time there has been talk of the ’40’ who are of the 2010 general election intake, these are supposedly moderaters and modernisers, but ‘very eurosceptic’. The likes of George Eustice, Priti Patel etc… however looking at their records it can be said that the new intake are simply additions to the cameroon pack, talking the talk, tripping over when they need to walk.

The above link from conhome by Eustice makes patently clear the mirage they have painted themselves, that he says of Cameron that: “We now have a genuinely eurosceptic Prime Minister who is better placed to deliver than any of his predecessors, including Thatcher. He means business,”
is beyond parody, though should not be laughed at, if these are the sorts of people we have in Parliament, -notwithstanding the european union- directing policy then we are in serious trouble, the media are playing along, the opposition is a shambles and most of the country has not woken up to the facts.

european disunion

The crisis ongoing in Greece at the moment, the strikes, the riots, the lack of a clear direction for the country, a government in office but without power –over its economy or otherwise-, etc.

Is emblematic of the dilemma facing the entire European union, whilst the media report on the Greeks striking and rioting over austerity measures forced upon the country by the EU, ECB, IMF it is also a case of, nationalism. Like most nation states they believe themselves to be sovereign and therefore see a patriotic duty in fighting off those institutions demanding further austerity, it is debatable as to whose error it is that this is the situation they face (afternoon siesta’s, early retirements and an overblown public sector, are obvious contributers)  though it also clear that the EU and ECB are only out to save their own skins, for fear of contagion across the eurozone and eu member states, with Germans economy likely to take the biggest haircut were Greece to default, exit the euro or both.

Our masters in Brussels, unashamedly require the living standards and livelihoods of those in Europe to diminish for the sake of a united Europe, evidently the peripheral countries in the eurozone or the PIIGS, should not have signed up to such an agreement, the European elite are trapped in the belief that if they wish away the problems it will all work out fine, and the united states of Europe will be on course to true realization, the truth is that the peoples of eu nation states are at odds with their leaders.

British people (a majority) would like a referendum on our membership of the club, the German’s are reluctant to pay for the profligacy of PIIGS, the Finnish recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of the eurosceptic true finns party, the Portuguese, Irish and Greeks are fed up with the eu as are Spain, the majority of EU citizens are unhappy with the institution, the way it works, its leaders, the overall direction and at the top of the list the dictatorial attitudes of the Union in handing down the rules of governance beyond its remit.

In the United Kingdom, we face the farce of a ‘conservative’ prime minister and his foreign secretary posing as eurosceptics, the EU Bill is a case in point the referendum lock, has been voted down by the HoL with Lord’s passing an amendment that will make the lock expire at the end of each parliament, whether or not the commons vetoes this, is no reassurance since no Parliament can bind its successor.

As for the British economy, Europe has plans to interfere in this matter, too. George Osborne and/or treasury minister(s) are to be summoned by Brussels (the commission) to appear before them to explain Britain’s economic policies, and the commission is to scrutinise whether Britain’s economic policies are in accordance with the EUs overall strategy.

Early in David Cameron’s leadership of the conservative party in opposition, he made clear he wanted the issue of Europe -to not be an issue, and for the conservatives to stop “banging on” about Europe. The reality of the situation is Europe is at the forefront of many of the governments’ problems, the PM and those around him must wake up to this fact and act upon it, holding a referendum on our membership is an ideal way of beginning the process. Though, since Cameron+co are reluctant to do this or for that matter to raise the issue, a start would be for Chancellor Osborne and Cameron to renegotiate our contributions not only to the bailouts but the union as a whole.

all relative

the Sunday’s are full of personality politics, still it matters all the same, the people central to their respective political parties shape the direction of the party they represent and determine political discourse should they gain power.

Following friday’s leaks by the telegraph theres  the guardians ‘exclusive’ the speech that never was, from the other Miliband, David, the book on the milibands and the crowing from the ‘big beasts’ of the labour party.Something’s up here, rightly, the labour party since Ed Miliband became leader, have failed spectacularly to gain any traction in the media, rightly because they haven’t anything like resembling a credible alternative themselves to the coalitions  policies for the problems the country faces, and rightly they should dispose of him.

it is curious that the Ed Balls file leaks and the David Miliband speech, the Miliband book and chatter of removing Ed Miliband have emerged all in the same week, that Tony blair swept back into town to promote his paperback version of his own memoirs, A Journey, It may be coincidence, then again maybe not-apparently the leaks are not from the same source- the Labour party though (mainly Blairites) must of realised that Ed Miliband is the wrong leader if the party is to get back into government and not spend the next decade and more in opposition.

Those david miliband supporters may just be bitter, it exposes the fact that the party is still divided along the TB/GB lines, and those in the most prominent roles Ed Balls Ed Miliband etc consist mainly of Brownites and those that are the most likely briefers against them are the Blairites recently departed to the backbenches.

the labour party might change, it held onto Gordon Brown for so long after it became obvious he was an election loser even with all the botched coups, it realises that Ed won’t win them a general election either (not an outright majority anyway), and just now neither the conservatives nor labour want another coalition government.

Whilst Ed M has no plan for his party, the coalition does not have a credible opposition party, sufficiently opposing its program, ed Miliband is a blessing to the coalition and David cameron can rest easy knowing Ed is  leader of the labour party, but for the conservative party it is not all good news, whilst Cameron is PM driving a social democrat policy agenda through, many of the traditional conservative policies/programmes which are needed are not being implemented.

and as we are constantly being reminded of  tony blair\’squalities and three election victories it is predictable that all parties want an outright majority at the next general election, after all the gossip about the labour party this week, what remains of the conservative party should be thinking about their own successor to David Cameron and working on that outright majority themselves, labour looks like it will be fighting amongst itself for the forseeable future.