that “veto”

The hyperbole surrounding David Cameron’s use of the British veto, is just that hyperbole. He has said himself he “effectively wielded the veto

David Cameron did nothing of the sort as richard north of eureferendum has been pointing out. Take a step back from what  the msm is churning out on behalf of Downing St, and you will find that the day before the summit the UK sent over protocol demands to the EU, (these regarding financial services and regulations) Cameron surely knew that  asking to ‘repatriate’ these competences some of which this government have themselves handed over jurisdiction to the EU- and insert the protocol into the Treaty would be refused  and so late in the day look unreasonable to his european partners in the council.

As bagehot notes

“What they asked for was a protocol imposing decision-making by unanimity on a number of areas of regulation currently decided by majority voting. (If you want to be really technical, the choice is voting by unanimity or the special Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) used in the EU, which is a sort of super-majority system taking into account a certain number of countries and also their populations).

As my source puts it, this amounted to a big winding-back of the clock for many EU leaders, setting a “horrendous precedent” that could unravel the single market. As they see it, common rules for the common market have been adopted (with few exceptions, such as tax) by QMV ever since the Single European Act approved by Margaret Thatcher in 1986.”

the colleagues were having none of it

“Britain’s request to move to unanimity was taken as a huge ask that had nothing to do with the subject at hand (saving the euro) or was a sign of bad faith (because it is driven by mistrust regarding future legislation). In my source’s view, Britain also tabled its request very late in the day, simply sending a whole draft protocol to the European Council legal service the day before the meeting without talking the ideas through with key allies and national capitals.”

It is becoming apparent through all the smoke and mirrors being deployed from Cameron and his allies that the whole story has been conjured up to present Cameron as some sort of  genius, this fairytale does not stack up to scrutiny. Cameron claims he used the ‘veto’ in the national interest, once again it is worth being clear David Cameron is interested in himself and only himself after Wednesday’s PMQ’s Cameron looked to be facing an onslaught from his backbenchers and more, to hold a referendum on British membership of the EU, he has consistently said a referendum will not be held and for one reason or another is determined not to regain our national sovereignty nor allow a referendum to be held,  that night herman von rumpoy’s interim report was leaked, which set out how the new fiscal “compact” could be set-up (using protocol 12) without the need for parliamentary votes nor referendums, no sooner had this come out than Cameron was on the airwaves threatening to use the veto if he did not get the “safeguards” he wanted in the “national interest”.

It is a shame that 99% of the media are refusing to question the PM’s side of the story. His version of the events suit him quite nicely, thanks very much; no referendum, no repatriation, and a heroes welcome home. this version has also deflected attention away from the problems at hand which was supposed to be about the salvation of the euro. Merkozy have finally come out of a summit without the markets tumbling instantly -It will not last long- the problems of the single currency still remain intact, the agreement reached covers rules for budgetary discipline and is not much more than the SGP (stability and growth pact), the immediate problem of financing the debt of troubled states, lack of competitiveness and fixing the imbalances within the euro area, were not dealt with so unfortunately the summit agreement looks like it won’t even  save them until Christmas.

 

 

 

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.

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.

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

 

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

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.