no way José

of the infamous Frankfurt Group writing in the Guardian intended for a British audience he makes the argument that economics, politics and the idea of globalisation and geopolitics is changing fundamentally he draws five conclusions

Firstly “we either unite or face irrelevance. Our goal must not be to maintain the status quo, but to move on to something new and better.”

secondly “the speed of the European Union and the euro area can no longer be the speed of the slowest or most reluctant member.” Nor “should Europe veer backwards to the 19th-century type of politics when peace and prosperity were supposed to be guaranteed through a precarious balance between a limited numbers of powers

Third “the crisis has shown that we need a deeper integration of policies and governance within the euro area.”

Fourthly, “all member states need to support and trust the common supranational European institutions…to ensure that decisions essential to maintaining economic stability are not held hostage to political bargaining based on narrow national interests.

Lastly, “deepening convergence and integration of the European Union must also involve deeper democracy.” He is “fascinated” by accusations that the EU officials are taking over elected politicians when, “Bodies like the European commission and European Central Bank have a duty to act in the common interest, especially when the political and economic stability of the EU is endangered.  European governments take the final decisions and that national parliaments and the European parliament guarantee democratic legitimacy.

In her article in the telegraph Janet Daley argues“this dream of a “modern” Europe is just the latest model of utopian ideology to leave wreckage in its path”

Her article is quite sound, but the situation we are dealing with as can be seen by Barroso’s op-ed is more  dystopian than utopian,as  the past week testifies. Barroso and his ilk are  culpable of practising what George Orwell termed double-think in the extreme:

“to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic”  

The believers in the  ideology of the EU are like followers of a cult or religion any differing views or divergence from the rule book are seen as treachery, they are like worshipers in adorance to the EU icon and cannot see reality that is staring them in the face.

Janet Daley ends her piece by saying “I doubt that we – or the peoples of Europe – will get any say in it at all.

I disagree, the people will eventually get their says, whether it be through the conventional measures is what is in doubt.

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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.

“euro is the norm”

Apparently “the euro is the norm”, so says Barroso anyway, Nick Robinson of the BBC asked Jose Manuel Barroso

 “If the eurozone nations are to become a much more tightly aligned fiscal and political unit – and that is what most economists think has to happen for the Euro to survive – then what happens to those on the outside, like the UK?”
The idea that “in principle” all members of the european union will eventually be eurozone members, ought to worry everyone looking at the situation as it is.
More to the point Britain seen through the eyes of the EU elites is a laughing-stock:  in the link above  Barroso says, “oh the British” in response to Nick Robinson this morning on radio4 Robinson told of how those in the room of the EPP meeting the room filled with laughter at the mention of the British, this is days after Sarkozy told us we “don’t understand Europe” because we are an island.
It is becoming clearer and clearer that Britain in Europe is not working as it is and that even the EU wants a decision ‘ in or out?’ Britain cannot remain in the EU half heartedly it leaves us in the worst possible position.
The sooner we get out the better, that it is now it is some sort of  trend in the UK to be against Europe, shows that attitudes change dramatically it is not unthinkable that if the  euro survives there would be clamour for the UK to join the euro,instead of being ‘left out’. I do not see anyone in Westminster who is willing to defend our sovereignty against the EU at the moment, why would they in the future? It cannot be left up to the puppet politicians we have, if not the people maybe we’ll have to rely on the markets.

euro-deviants

The truth is now out about who is really running the EU project, the Groupe de Francfort includes only “an unelected cabal made of up eight people: Lagarde; Merkel; Sarkozy; Mario Draghi, the new president of the ECB; José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission; Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the Eurogroup; Herman van Rompuy, the president of the European Council; and Olli Rehn, Europe’s economic and monetary affairs commissioner.”

I doubt this group is new, it is only now we have found out. Since the rebuttal to ex-Prime Minister George Papandreou’s referendum idea, from Merkel and Sarkozy “we are prepared no matter what response the Greek Parliament or people give” Merkel said of saving the euro. The language used by those in the Francfort Groupe has become increasingly petulant.

It is as though the EU project is now do or die for the FG, they can see the euro is in severe crisis and those in the FG have been consistent in keeping with the mantra that the euro cannot fail or Europe will fail, citing war and social strife etc. The EU ‘elite’ are finding themselves against the markets and economic reality, the people, national parliaments et al. And it seems that it may just be that with this crisis and the attention it is gaining that the real motivations of EU project are getting through to the masses,  when even the Telegraph has taken to calling this set-up the Politburo , one hopes that the  “ignorance is strength” is being diminished.

From the telegraph euro-crisis live blog this morning bruno waterfield posted this:

A new name for the club – “the euro deviants” – has been coined after Jose Manuel Barroso, the commission president, explained that “not belonging is the deviation from the rule” because all EU members, bar Britain, are committed to eventually joining the single currency.

Evidently if you deviate from EU doctrine you get the boot with  George Papandreou and Brlusconi removed and being replaced by the  installed ‘national unity’ governments, national parliaments are now nothing but card-carrying members – an ‘outer party’ to the EU elite, who must stick to the rules or leave.

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’.

matter of time

Throughout the eurozone crisis, time has been of the essence, while EU leaders have been fighting against the markets, they have been fighting time which they cannot preserve. Each summit, meeting or plan they have produced has been solely to buy themselves time, for a variety of reasons, not least for the stronger currencies of the eurozone to get their own houses in order.

George Papandreou’s call for a referendum was a lost cause before it even got off the ground. The idea of democracy ‘coming home’, sounds all well and good, until you realise that Papandreou is a politician not unlike those in Westminster. Do not be surprised if David Cameron is holding his own ‘get out of jail free card’ close to his chest in the form of a referendum on Britain’s place in the EU, for the security of his own premiership is not guaranteed but unstable.

Papandreou’s supposed show of strength in calling the referendum, had been diminished by his summoning before Merkel and Sarkozy. It is obvious that even were the referendum to be held whatever the question, EU politics dictates that a vote against the EU’s wishes will be dismissed.

The fact that exit of the eurozone has now been talked about by EU leaders, is not an end in itself, it was always possible if events required. Merkel and Sarkozy using it as a threat was only to bring  Papandreou into line.

The endgame is just a matter of time, for now I think that the eurozone in whatever composition will survive for some time longer, like trying to keep a  bicycle with two flat tyres going, those with much to lose if it fails will keep the show on the road for as long as possible.

 

eurozone crisis

events are moving in the eurozone super fast, in their race to the bottom, reflections will be made once the situation is more clear but for now follow the FT eurozone crisis live blog or the telegraph debt crisis live blog

 

no exits

the situation of the eurozone is dire, for the european union it is not any better. As national leaders assemble for yet another summit it is clear that politicians are attempting to play a game of clash of the titans with the realities of the economics, one they will most definitely lose: historically the economics has always trumped the  politics, and I don’t see this trend changing.

Leaders have three things on the agenda, Greek debt, boosting european banks capital and the leveraging the EFSF up to an amount not agreed – 2-3 trillion? – a process which looks like a Ponzi scheme and disaster waiting to happen.

David Cameron has gone along to the summit he ‘insisted’ on attending, with what intentions he has not said. Just what Cameron thinks he can provide to bringing about a solution to the crisis when he cannot even provide a solution to the growing problems of the British economy, I am not sure. But it is another photo opportunity so we shall let him have it.

The eurozone seems to have only two options push forth with ‘ever closer union’ fiscal integration with tax and  spend authority, complete with a finance ministry and minister. Or break-up of the union in some form or another be it into two; weak and strong. Or a complete dismantle of the currency union.

The summit tonight will not end with complete proposals, but this and this, give a good summary of the situation as it stands.

Ultimately it is the people of the european union will take most of the pain from the crisis. To paraphrase the great federalist WIlliam Hague; it might be a good idea to lock all EU politicians in a building with no exits and take away all the fire extinguishers.

remorseless

With the ongoing ,euro crisis the dithering of our supposed leaders, and failures to grasp the scale of the problems inherent to the project. The saga goes on sabotaging the economic prospects of most nations signed up to the eurozone, whilst continuing the pretence that they actually do anything at the numerous  summits held, other than rehearse the same arguments over and over without any sufficient conclusions. this weekends summit is no different, vague proposals which are to be set out when leaders meet again Wednesday, look set to disrupt the markets once again. In the end it will be the markets  that put an end to the crisis, while eurozone leaders are still talking about merkels diet.

Recently George Osborne speaking to the FT  for the government said it is the “remorseless logic” for those in the eurozone to proceed with deeper fiscal integration, in order to solve the crisis, maybe, but this is another example of the government making grand statements for a few headlines without thinking of the consequences;

Now, there is to be a euro empire creating fiscal union within the eurozone with a central european finance ministry of some sort, a finance minister and treaty change is now on the cards for this to come into being,

Chancellor Merkel has been pushing for treaty change for some time, pressing for this centralisation of economic policy in order to bring profligate nations into line.

For the UK such an outcome, is likely to see our own economic governance come under pressure to converge with what the eurozone nations agree, QMV  ensure that Britain will be outvoted on any measures undertaken.

According to the coalition the treaty change needed for the ‘euro empire’ would not trigger the ‘referendum lock’, as though a core of euro countries set apart from the remaining outside the euro would not be a ‘major’ change in Britain’s relationship with the EU.

On Tuesday Bill Cash is proposing an  amendment to the European Act in a ten minute rule bill

 

“Apply the terms of the European Union Act 2011 such as to require approval
by Act of Parliament and by referendum of provisions for creating a fiscal
union or economic governance within the Eurozone”

requiring a change to the European Act if  the situation where a  euro core emerges and  Britain remains out a referendum would be required. No doubt the government will impose the whip against this too.