Tuesday 2 June 2015

Response: Why Europeans love the EU

In reply to BQ of yesterday..

Though BQ is right to compare the US to the EU, the US had some major advantages in establishment that the EU does not.

It helps that there were no States before the Union was really created in 1865...no California, no Texas - most of the States outside of the East Coast 12 had no population at all. Also it started with the Greenback currency and after the end of slavery freedom of movement was sacrosanct. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, English is the sole language of the Country, assisting free movement of people massively and providing a shared culture.

The US was built from scratch, reverse engineering such a change onto disparate European Countries - who conquered the world far more easily than co-operated with one another, is a of a different level of complexity.

For me, the key thing in Europe would be single tax rates for income and capital gains, as well as VAT. Then wherever you lived you would feel that it was all fair, that we were all paying in the same. In reality of course the different GDP's would make the differences as stark as now, but at the micro level it would seem fairer.

So the Europeans are right on one aspect, greater integration is essential as at the moment the system is in its worst and most vulnerable phase, being neither one thing nor the other.

At the moment you have non-tax paying Greeks wanting subsidy from heavily taxed French and UK citizens. Cyprus gets nice roads whilst those in Kent and Bradenburg disintegrate through lack of investment due to austerity policies. French farmers are subsidised and Romanian immigrants get child benefits for children in another Country.

Most basically of all, the Southern European Countries who lived by a policy for decades of increasing spending whilst also devaluing their currencies, now find they can spend money but no devalue. The populace and the politicians are finding this conundrum hard. Greece voted for Syriza which promised a hard currency and soft approach to fiscal responsibility - a complete contradiction now being played out for everyone to watch.

Overall, I see the UK as far more like Canada than a State of the USA. Long-established and big enough to survive on its own, somewhat tied to the USA, but independent enough to choose its own course. What is wrong with this? Where is the clamour in Canada for urgent union with the USA (not Canada's size is proximate to that of the UK versus EU too)?

It is non-existent. Just because things can be done, does not mean they should be or have to be. Of course the Southern Europeans love the EU, but what was in it for the UK? The 'IN' campaign in the referendum will be bunch of scare stories, because just like with Scotland the underlying needs for Union are weak and carry no real political or social depth.


dearieme said...

The case for union with Scotland is far stronger than the case for union with France, Germany, and Romania.

DJK said...

As Tony Benn and Enoch Powell used to argue all those years ago at the time of the Harold Wilson referendum, you can't have democracy in Europe because there is no single demos. So Europe could be united --- and we can all don our accountant's hats and argue about who gains and who loses --- but it would not be a democracy; it would be rule by unelected bureaucrats: the Sepp Blatter solution, if you like.

Bill Quango MP said...

I see the UK like Canada too.
I think that is a space we would be very happy in. And the U.S.E would be just as happy to have us on the border. A secure flank. A reliable partner. A handy back channel. A major marketplace. Access to the commonwealth. English speaking nation. culturally and socially similar, if different.

And if I was heading the OUT campaign that is the sort of picture that should be painted.

Not part of , but in no way against, Europe. We just want to do our own thing. Because we prefer it that way.

andrew said...

Not part of, but in no way against Europe. We just want to do our own thing. Because we prefer it that way.

You scare me - a line like that might actually work.
Certainly much better that anything the bloke with the pint has come up with.

Blue Eyes said...

Yes, the Hannanite outward-looking model is very appealing. However, like it or not, the Outers have been tarnished by the lowest-common-denominator nonsense spouted by UKIP. How can we be open to trade and investment when we can't tolerate people talking in forrin on the train home after work?

Steven_L said...

I used to think that the 'out' campaign would be all scare stories, but I reckon the powers that be have learned a lesson when they plumped for 'yes' to be the 'in' vote.

If you want people to vote 'no', you'll have to run a negative campaign and vice-versa surely?

CityUnslicker said...


in my heart of hearts this whole thing is lost already. Nobody really cares and the in are so far ahead anyway. Cameron will dress up whatever risible bollocks he gets as the best solution and the Tories, SNP and Labour are all going to be campaigning for in.

Bloody shame, but there we are.

Steven_L said...

And then they'll say thats a mandate for the EU army etc.

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue Eyes

I didn't much like Farage's tone and thought the HIV comment was unecessary. All he needed to say was we were overcrowded.

But your tone isn't going to get the masses voting Out either.

We're staying in the EU. The coming referendum will trap us in it and one of the most compelling reasons for leaving has been made taboo - not by Nigel Farage either.

I've just returned from a week lodging near London for work purposes. I didn't recognise the place. By far the worst behaved and most hopeless people were young, white Englishmen - the most well behaved and polite were muslim women.

But this was not England. Certainly not the one I knew only ten years ago, anyway.

I have come away quite contented in fact. That real conservatism shall return - in the form of Islam.

There is nothing to fear from it.

Blue Eyes said...

EK I value (classical) liberalism above majority rule, so I will take a more relaxed EU over a miserabilist anti-everything fortress Britain independence. Any day of the week.

Both sides in the referendum need to show they are not obsessives.

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue - There'll come a day when we'll all have to take what we're given.

Personally (in a free debate) both sides need to be free to show what they want - without being accused of things that they are not guilty of.

Electro-Kevin said...

"There'll come a day when we'll all have to take what we're given."

By which I meant that the EU can be as relaxed or as tense as it likes. Once our democratic centres are outsourced we - as people - won't have nearly as much influence over the mood in our own country as we do at the moment.

CityUnslicker said...

EK - I quite agreee. As a bureaucratic EU takes over in the next few years - as has been seen in Italy already - Government will mean little.

All laws and dictats will be from Brussels and the history of Europe will become more like the USA going forward.

Personally, I just don't see the need for it. The people who want to play this game are rich elities in Bavaria and Versailles. There is no need to join the party but the English politico's are weak and scared.

Except for Farage, so fashionably deingrated now, he is our last hope still.

Man of Harlech said...

Jokers to the left and clowns to the right ...

I hope we do come out, I fear the establishment's big lie will continue to work, and we are lost.

EU-US TTIP deal is another reason to to come out. Free trade my arse. The Investor State Disputes Settlement mechanism is in essence a legal framework in parallel with that which we the public have to deal with. Thsi should not be from the point of view of democracy, governance, accountability and transparancy.

Any Corporation that want to do business in the UK, should abide by the same legal system as the public. The ability to se for hypothetical loss of profit is appaling. We will see the bovine Etonian Quislings of our so called government sell us doen the river.

Electro-Kevin: Interesting points re London. I know what you mean.
Also look at the narrative pushed for the last 30 years demonising the Indigenes, the holowing out of the culture and lack of standards demanded ahve lead us to thsi point. I think I heard it best as the description of the narrative the establishment has pushed with regard to the Working Class: "from the Salt of the Earth to the Scum of the Earth" - why the change? And whom does it serve?
Note also how all metropolitans start feeling a bit 'icky' when to talk of such things begins and they start clamming up or coming out with platitudes worthy of the Evening Standard.

Electro-Kevin said...

CU - Thanks

MoH - There was no plan to reduce the white working class in Britain. Merely an effort to dumb down to the lowest denomenators in the name of 'equality' and kindness.

I'm seeing moderate Islam as a civilising force in our country - so long as it stays moderate.

Well. It's the way we're going... so we may as well go with it. It could elevate our own standards if it doesn't go radical.

The Left will hate it, which just has to be a good thing. Hoist by their own petards.

Alas they hated old British too. It will be a delight to witness.