December 10th, 2011
|09:06 am - Cameron's decision to step away from Europe|
I like the idea of greater integration and co-operation across Europe. But the current EU is so poorly designed that it is hard to support it.
I have always been torn between thinking that we (people of good will I guess I mean) should support the EU, on the basis that we can then transform it from within, and thinking that we should reject it as something so bad that it needs a complete redesign from the ground up. A cross-border currency must be supported by cross-border democratic institutions and distributed welfare provision, or it can't work. I mean, to me that's obvious. Sarkozy and Merkel are right wing politicians, and they are never going to roll out a democratic egalitarian welfare Europe. Sarkozy will probably be replaced by a Socialist in his own country soon, and the right are trying to institutionalise authoritarian policies which can not be reversed just because of pesky election defeat. So I oppose the current EU.
But on the other hand, Cameron has walked away from the EU in the opposite direction to what I would like. He has cut the UK off from the EU because of their one good idea - they want to regulate the financial sector, and make it contribute some money to the recovery. He is protecting the two or three thousand hyper-rich people who are his only constituency, at the expense of the seventy million people whose interests he is supposed to represent at the negotiating table.
And there is even another complication, which is that (as I have said before) Cameron is not very clever or substantial, he's all surface with nothing to fall back on, so he's messed up even that process. He's failed at the one thing he actually tried to do - make the rich even richer.
In summary: the EU are rubbish, Eurosceptics are rubbish, and Cameron has been rubbish. Nick Clegg's contribution I compare to the back end of the human centipede.
|Date:||December 10th, 2011 11:24 am (UTC)|| |
So let me get this right. We have a global financial crisis which started in the United States but in which Britain, as a major purveyor of dodgy financial instruments had an important role. Because of poor regulation of financial markets in that country, and the fact that it is not part of the Euro-zone, it was hit harder by the crisis than France or Germany. Now Britain has decided to walk away from agreements knowing that it will be hurt worse than any other country. And British people feel that the EU is poorly designed because it fails to crack down on countries like their own.
What value is there in "cross-border democratic institutions" or any other kind when all democracy can cater for is the needs of a few thousand hyper-rich people? (A few hundred is more likely.) Hasn't the time for democracy passed?
Hasn't the time for democracy passed?
I know a lot of people say that, but I honestly don't think so. I think better democracy will strengthen and rationalise government.
BTW I think Britain has good sources of income from abroad, in the form of cultural, educational and language exports, which could be harnessed to get us out of this mess, but those are despised by our current leaders.
British people feel that the EU is poorly designed because it fails to crack down on countries like their own
That, I don't think is true. I think some people (like me) feel that the EU is badly designed because it gives too much power to financial interests and an economic model which is wrong. People like me don't think the EU should crack down on individual countries but on a vested interest group which cuts across countries. We are hopeful a good EU could be made, but worried about how it is actually operating at the moment.
The Eurosceptics don't agree with me - they are right wing so-called 'Little Englanders' - and they hate the EU, well, for a variety of confused reasons in my opinion which aren't too rational. They are happy that Cameron has burned his bridges, and frankly it was to appease them that he did it - because he is a weak leader under threat.
Edited at 2011-12-10 11:55 am (UTC)
|Date:||December 10th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)|| |
Yes, indeed. I'm trying to look on the bright side of this clusterfuck and hope that Cameron's most recent failures might hasten his departure. I think I'm being overoptimistic, though.
I can't figure out what's going to happen. Clegg has finally made some critical comments this evening. I don't know if that's a PR event, or a real rebellion.
Cameron seems to be gunning for worst Tory PM ever. Even Major was surprisingly canny at handling Europe.
My theory is that the current lot grew up under Thatcher, and made the foolish mistake of taking what she said seriously - she was never silly enough to do that - she knew there was what you said and then there was what you actually did.
|Date:||December 13th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)|| |
That pretty much sums up my attitude to Thatcher across the board. But then I'm an actual economic liberal, she gave us a bad name despite never actually being one.
But yeah, Cameron appears to have made himself look like the biggest idiot in town, and he's made Clegg actually angry. It takes real effort to do that. Or real stupidity.
One of the reports though seem to indicate that the EU proposals on bank regulation were less stringent and Cameron wanted to ensure the UK could regulate more. Which is completely counter to what I'd expect from him but it was in either the FT or the Economist so should have some weight. I have no clue what's going on.