Thursday, 7 April 2016

Is Frexit sur les cartes?



In the UK we hold the single market up as the primary motivation for EU membership. Perhaps this is not the case for our neighbours across La Manche. Tempers fray at the border between France la Belle and the kingdom to her south over the issue of that timeless eau de vie.

French winemakers are fed up that French consumers are going for Spanish and Italian wines - sacré bleu! Local producers are losing market share... and are demanding protection from "unfair competition". It looks as though national regulations require producers in France to jump through hoops which other European countries do not require. In a single market, that means competitors can presumably provide more bang for the Euro.

Further dommage for the Fifth Republic is that Italy has overtaken France as the world's largest wine-producing country. Could that be linked to Britain's discovery of prosecco?

...but this is what it means to be in a union with your competitors. From this side of the Channel, these gripes seem laughable. Hijacking your rivals' trucks and destroying their goods to stop them from getting to market? In 2016? Presumably this is all a show to get the taxpayer to pony up some compensation. Throw in an accusation of illicit importation of cheaper non-European wines re-badged, and now we have fraud in the mix as well. What is the French for sore?

It is not a dissimilar situation to the steel one: are French households (large in number) supposed to pay more for their wine by Buying French to support local industry (relatively few in number)? But in other ways it is totally different: the undercutters are European and so they are not "dumping" in way that Chinese state steel-makers are, apparently. The same basic agricultural and environmental minimum standards surely apply to Spanish growers as to French.

So in this case the French producers must either accept less than a monopoly in their home market, the French government must cut red tape and/or taxes to allow producers to compete with more dynamic members of the single market, or France must leave the single market and erect barriers.

European voters must face up to the fact that they must compete in the global market - whether they like it or not. We want the shiny phones and the huge tellies, but we also want short hours, long holidays and the security blanket of the welfare state. We can only do that if we sell enough stuff that other markets want to buy. 

But most importantly.... what a terrible waste of wine! Capitalists are appalled.

33 comments:

E-K said...

In Britain in particular youngsters enjoy the benefits of smart gadgets which are brought by technological advances to even the poorest and unproductive people in the world. There are probably more smart phones on your average refugee dinghy than lifejackets.

These things are easily available. They are, in my view, small consolation for our younger generation who cannot afford that most basic need - shelter.

Nor are they getting free university education, secure work or pensions.

Give them as many iphone 6s as you like. They will still be impoverished compared to the generation telling them to work harder.

"You're not working competitively enough." Is what the richer and older generation has always said to the younger in Britain - and the higher class to that beneath it too.

European youth are battling it out in competition with each other (and newcomers) as never before and more energetically than their parents ever did.

They go unrewarded except for these cheap toys - that just about every refugee has got - and are getting poorer with every house price rise.

Australia doesn't say "You're not good enough" to her people.

Daily you can see Wanted Down Under where people (who are told they aren't deserving here) take their skills and their intelligence and work half the hours for twice the money - and get a proper house to live in... and the gadgets to fill it.

That's where I would go if I were young and qualified.

I would not be sold on the claim that we are in the mire because we don't work hard enough. And I wouldn't be bought by the "you now have to enslave yourself to pay for those gadgets" when , in fact, they are dirt cheap and petty consolation for being a tenth as wealthy as the home-blessed generation ahead.

Gadgets will not disappear even if the whole population goes on welfare. In fact by my experience their presence INCREASES with welfare and even in the most impoverished nation there is an abundance of it.

The boomer's anger is placated with house pricr rises... the millennial's anger with gadgets.

We are all being conned.

Steven_L said...

It's been a while since I knew what was going on down south. But a few years back, that '2 for £5 Italian Wine' in the corner shop would have been better described as 'duty-evaded, fortified Bulgarian grape juice drink' and suchlike.

Whosaidthat? said...

I have followed this website for a few years now, but never commented. Now I choose to comment off topic. Oz has its problems as does the UK, it certainly is not the land of milk and honey. E-k, please do not shout the praises of the Australian system. Australia is so keen to take people, ideally temporarily, so that there is a constant wash of fresh foreign money coming in. This makes their figures look great. They don't want you to stay, they want you to bring your accumulated wealth over to Oz and spend it. Then leave. Then you [immigrants ] realise it is hot, full of flies, fires, things that bite and can kill you, not the jobs promised, limited access to health care when you become old ( there are reasons so many Aussies live in Caravan parks - they have to sell up to buy their health), no culture, limited history, and very different mindset ( the only colony settled by force may have something to do with this as the other colonies were settled by settlers who wanted to go). There is a great outdoor lifestyle, hmmmm maybe. Skin cancer rates are sky high, yes you are outside more but covered in suncream and sat under a canopy. A/C breaks down all the time in the heat. That's if there is A/C. Aussies are quite a closed bunch, and it takes a long time to bed in properly. Oz too has an 'immigration' issue. Look at who goes there and from where, less and less from the Anglo Saxon world more from SE Asia and China (Indonesia and Malaysia). Bloody hell the Chinese own Oz. How much time can you spend on a beach? Look at recent data on the health of a nation. Stress and work levels (Inc hours) in Oz are rising rapidly. Most ex-pats expect a nice traditional villa on the edge of a nice town. Most end up with a bungalow on an estate miles from anywhere and a garden fence made of sheet metal. Have you heard the saying 'the best thing about Brits moving to Oz is that the IQ of both nations improves '. Funnily enough the Canadians have a similar view. Don't get me wrong, I like Oz and we (family) could go anytime but we've been and tried it. Had a great time. Met some great people. Beautiful landscapes but when you live there is is not a holiday. Many expats return and many cannot afford to return when they really would like to. HOWEVER, one thing Oz does have that we don't and it pretty much seals many a deal is that it is SAFER. If only because it feels safer.
Why have I said this because we [Brits] constantly run ourselves down when we don't need to. If nothing else modern day Oz is like a large Mansfield, everything is great when things are being dug out the ground.

Whosaidthat? said...

I have followed this website for a few years now, but never commented. Now I choose to comment off topic. Oz has its problems as does the UK, it certainly is not the land of milk and honey. E-k, please do not shout the praises of the Australian system. Australia is so keen to take people, ideally temporarily, so that there is a constant wash of fresh foreign money coming in. This makes their figures look great. They don't want you to stay, they want you to bring your accumulated wealth over to Oz and spend it. Then leave. Then you [immigrants ] realise it is hot, full of flies, fires, things that bite and can kill you, not the jobs promised, limited access to health care when you become old ( there are reasons so many Aussies live in Caravan parks - they have to sell up to buy their health), no culture, limited history, and very different mindset ( the only colony settled by force may have something to do with this as the other colonies were settled by settlers who wanted to go). There is a great outdoor lifestyle, hmmmm maybe. Skin cancer rates are sky high, yes you are outside more but covered in suncream and sat under a canopy. A/C breaks down all the time in the heat. That's if there is A/C. Aussies are quite a closed bunch, and it takes a long time to bed in properly. Oz too has an 'immigration' issue. Look at who goes there and from where, less and less from the Anglo Saxon world more from SE Asia and China (Indonesia and Malaysia). Bloody hell the Chinese own Oz. How much time can you spend on a beach? Look at recent data on the health of a nation. Stress and work levels (Inc hours) in Oz are rising rapidly. Most ex-pats expect a nice traditional villa on the edge of a nice town. Most end up with a bungalow on an estate miles from anywhere and a garden fence made of sheet metal. Have you heard the saying 'the best thing about Brits moving to Oz is that the IQ of both nations improves '. Funnily enough the Canadians have a similar view. Don't get me wrong, I like Oz and we (family) could go anytime but we've been and tried it. Had a great time. Met some great people. Beautiful landscapes but when you live there is is not a holiday. Many expats return and many cannot afford to return when they really would like to. HOWEVER, one thing Oz does have that we don't and it pretty much seals many a deal is that it is SAFER. If only because it feels safer.
Why have I said this because we [Brits] constantly run ourselves down when we don't need to. If nothing else modern day Oz is like a large Mansfield, everything is great when things are being dug out the ground.

Electro-Kevin said...

I'm glad it was me who provoked you out of your silence.

My medic friends and relative have gone out to Oz and aren't coming back. Neither is my mate who emigrated to Canada as a police officer. I would not want to live in the hotter climate of most Australian cities and flies irritate me.

That they want us Brits (foreigners) to go there, spend our money and then bugger off is the total reverse of what we do in our country. This is one of the reasons they are better off and why their kids can at least afford a property with a tin fence - rather than feel lucky to have an iphone in someone else's rented bedsit.

Australia is the Australian's and my point is that they run it as they wish and they manage it for their benefit alone.

I should congratulate Blue on his recent high quality posting and do not wish to sound humourless or contrarian (he's developing high class humour in his writing, btw - something I lack) It was the 'we' in Europe that I disagree with.

I am not running the Brits down. The total opposite is true. The Left leaning ruling elite are the ones always doing that and they don't just do it in word - they do it in deed too.

Let's not be too smug. Our national IQ is going down too - for various reasons.

We are not protectionist like the French. We would never sabotage another nation's wine or beef. Nor are we racist like the French. Our BNP has folded whereas theirs thrives.

Yet it is we who are constantly told need lessons and (if I may put it bluntly) Englishness ethnically cleansed out of our country.

Electro-Kevin said...

PS, Nor are we socialist like the French. We know full well the importance of competing for trade and voted Thatcher three times, and thought we were voting Conservative with both Major and Blair (though I never fell for Blair's lies.)

Whosaidthat? said...

Don't get me wrong EK I have had enough of our ruling elite. Most people have, but this a problem across the West and not just the UK. People have lost their voice, we truly have. The French appear to have retained theirs, for now. Red/blue/green/yellow are all in the same pot now. I say good on the French for this little show. In the UK there would have been arrests for Breach of the Peace and Criminal Damage.
We can all find examples of people that have gone and stayed, many have made at home and for good reason. I also know that many that are there follow the 'Emporer's New Clothes'. Some people also love red dirt.

I have just had a Canadian friend (Easter) staying with me for two weeks and he is considering coming here as in his view Canada is screwed. They too have been disempowered.

Blue Eyes said...

The same economic challenges affect "us" in Britain. We have public services and welfare which cannot be afforded at current work-rates and tax levels. Either taxes must go up hugely or productivity must improve hugely or our expectations of what the state provides must crash. A little of all three might put us on a more sustainable footing.

I am sure Aus is great if you are In Demand and are content being bored. Aus is boring. The biggest city, Sydney, is a bit like the Trafford Centre: shiny and clean and has all the places to eat that you can ever need but utterly devoid of any interest whatsoever.

Perth looks stunning but is the remotest city on the planet.

If you live in Aus you have to get on a 12-hour flight to get to another country. Lovely if you have no interest in the world you live in.

Personally I love popping over to France/Germany/Spain and it is *easy* and *cheap*. This comment has bog all to do with EU membership, just FYI.

As for protectionism, the opening up of Eastern Europe and China to market forces has been the great revolution of our time. Perhaps if other places like Syria and Egypt et al. could be persuaded to join the world then there wouldn't need to be so many dinghies. Personally, I can't criticise people living under backward regimes wanting to enjoy what we have in the West.

EK still waiting for details of what you think you want to be protected about Englishness. Compulsory rugger at school? Banning muesli? Increased subsidies to the RSC?

Electro-Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Electro-Kevin said...

**Edit**

Blue - I don't blame people for getting in dinghies at all but I loathe the (mainly white) left for inviting them here.

Which of Englishness do I want protected ? This is another version of the "What is Englishness ?" question posed by any 'superior' reformer whenever a confounded English person asks why-oh-why their country is being changed beyond recognition with great haste. Thus candy is taken from babes, with soothing charm.

OK. It's hard to pinpoint *Englishenss* but my definition of it would fit within fairly broad parameters - and, like all things, it's in a state of flux - but I used to vote Conservative for the small 'c' conservatism that it used to represent... managed and democratic change. I'd say that if a black man spoke the same as me, loved the Queen like me, loved the country like me, was prepared to work for it like me, fight for it like me, honour and participate in our better customs - and so long as he arrived here legally like me, then he's English.

But a Scot will never be asked "What is Scottishness ?" nor an Australian "What is Australian ?" for fear that the questioner might get a punch in the teeth if he asked it in anything remotely like the wrong way - and more to the point onlookers might not see what's wrong with a Scot or an Aussie punching someone in the teeth because the integrity of their nationality was questioned.

If you're saying I can't define Englishness (which, if I'm honest, I can't) then you're saying I can't be patriotic. And if I can't be patriotic then I can't be a nationalist because... well... we have no nation.

In which case - WHY do we have an army, a navy, an airforce and a government ? This is the question I have indeed been asking for many months.

Actually, asking me 'so what is English ?' is as strange as asking a fella 'what is black ?' but you wouldn't do it, would you.

Electro-Kevin said...

PS, Yes. Ban muesli. The raisins always end up at the bottom of the pack.

Nick Drew said...

Bloody raisins! - they come over here, marrying our women ...

The frogs are indeed frequently ambivalent over the way many parts of the Commission are (believe it or not) dominated by Brits, who drive a pretty aggressive open-market agenda, frequently against entrenched FR and DE opposition, and mostly successful!

In my own specialist area (energy, for those who don't know) almost all the running has been made by open-marketeers, and the frogs were often being fined for being in default of various gas and electricity market Directives, until they finally threw in the towel a few years ago

Blue Eyes said...

EK I asked you what you meant by Englishness because you tell us it needs to be protected. From what, I am not sure.

My uncle doesn't love the Queen, is he not English? Geordies don't sound much like you. Are you saying that a newcomer isn't properly integrated until he or she has changed his or her accent? Do you want English identity to be like that face-painted caricature of the Scots or Irish? Really?

The thing I am proud of my country for is not being culturally dirigiste as so many are. It is ok not to be interested in the same stuff as most people are. I do not see that attitude as being under threat from EU treaties or centrist Prime Ministers.

Electro-Kevin said...

OK.

There's no such thing as Englishness.

I recall the English of my youth being very varied from region to region. All part of our own rich diversity. Distinctive accents, characteristics, quirks and customs - even their own beer. Now everywhere is starting to look and sound the same as everywhere else.

I think Britain is actually less diverse and distinctive that it used to be. A short drive from London to Surrey brought us to areas where the locals spoke with distinctive country burrs. Not any more.

When you ask me to define Englishness I'll admit - I find it very hard to do without looking like a racist.

Is yours a loaded question, Blue ?

"What is Englishness ? What are you trying to protect ?"

Well. How on earth can I explain it to someone who wasn't here then ? Who didn't know the old country ? Someone who'll mock, say, the makers of the Austin Allegro but wasn't around in any conscious sense to realise that the real rust buckets on the roads then weren't even British.

Someone who never drove up the M1 and saw endless miles of heavy industry and could buy everything British in the shops. This was a mere 35, perhaps 40 years ago.

I suppose there isn't anything worth defending now - except diversity. And in modern 'diversity' there is growing division.

I'm glad you're happy with your ipads though.

What has been done to Britain is an utter tragedy - mercifully for you you don't realise it.

Electro-Kevin said...

Nick - I've never had any objections to raisins coming over here, marrying our women ... so long as they contribute to our economy.

I hear the Sultana of Brunei spends a lot in London whenever he visits.

Electro-Kevin said...

Blue - It's not actually OK to be uninterested in what other people are. Sport for example. It leaves me cold but so often that means being left out. Being a paedophile isn't much worse than being uninterested in sport, I wouldn't think.

In fact, if I have a phobia it's against sport. Goes back a long while - being an unsporty kid in a school of basketballers and footballers that resembled a borstal. The beatings. One from a PE teacher who I now realise wanted to look hard in front of the pikey kids but wouldn't dare take it out on them. Full on fists.

I should have had him nicked but those were the days. He seemed thoroughly ashamed afterwards and was very kind when I returned from hospital (unrelated.)

I went boxing and learned to fight. Not very well but enough to make it unpleasant for anyone who tried to pick on me. But my hatred of sport remains and is almost pathological.

If you want to know my problem with mass immigration it's not anything to do with race. It's the fact that I know what it's like to be bottom of the pile and have authority figures sacrifice me for a greater good. Bringing in more people means a bigger pile to be under.

Or that's how my inner child sees it.

I know (for me anyway) this is just my imagination as I've fought my way out of it, but it's real enough for some other poor sod.

Blue Eyes said...

Sounds like it was worth protecting.

Anonymous said...

I hear the Sultana of Brunei spends a lot in London whenever he visits

Should be when she visits.

These pedants coming into our country and .....

As regards immigrants and the bottom of the pile. Yes they are there at the beginning but later they and their offspring quickly rise to the level of whatever glass/class ceiling is there [Definition of *Englishness*]

West Africans particularly Nigerians as a group have higher IQ's than the the indigenous population. In other words, its the smart ones that leave. The stupid ones stay and moan about how it used to be.

andrew said...

ek

store your museli upside-down.

Jan said...

EK I'm with you on sport. Gym was by far my worst lesson of the week and which I absolutely dreaded.

Hockey wasn't far behind.

In VI form we could do orienteering which was better especially as you could include the warm station waiting room in the route and hide there for a while.

(Sorry BE....completely off topic!)

Electro-Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Electro-Kevin said...

Anon @ 7.21 - You ruined my joke - and my life.

Blue @ 6.38 & Anon - We dislike being called stupid - even if it's true. It's talk like that which has caused us to demand a referendum.

If what you say is true then both Britain and Africa has a great future. We'll see. Clearly Britain has much to learn from Africa.

----

Jan - On sport. I know I've missed out on the pleasure of following it but the sight of a football at a gathering, or the need to talk sport with blokes brings me out in a cold sweat. It was the appointment of brattish team captains at PE; the team captains picking their teams (leaving us last on the bench), and then the team captains (always the biggest and oldest in the class) screaming and slapping us wot ruined it for me - all of this under the supervision of a so-called 'adult' PE instructor.

I can take a lot of physical punishment and been in lots of fights.

It was the humilliation, not the actual physical stuff. I just see the same characters and faces in sport that I saw on the playing fields as a kid and I do not want to worship or pay them any respect at all.

Electro-Kevin said...

Andrew - Muesli (like plankton) CANNOT be upside down.

Electro-Kevin said...

And of which way is up...

I know what it is to live in a country in optimistic ascendancy, and now I know what it is to live in one in decline.

We're going back to Victorian times with perhaps an African twist to it. Hopefully the new infusion of high IQ will fill the gap left by those clever enough to leave.

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts/observations from when I were a lad:
a single murder in the UK was a front page/main news bulletin
Watts riots - America couldn't happen here
stabbings - almost unheard of
Making stuff and exports were pretty important in the scheme of things
No no-go areas(ok not many)
Lots of bad stuff- strikes/demos but a basic honesty everywhere
We knew we were British.

Now?

Not quite the same

I'd gladly give u the smartphones for a bit more of what I know has been lost.

'Don't it always seem as though you don't know what you've got till it's gone?'

Blue Eyes said...

EK I am very much in favour of having a referendum, and I have never called you stupid. I just don't think that your PE teacher is worth preserving.

Electro-Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Electro-Kevin said...

Anon 7.16 - My dad (a detective) running after - and capturing - an escaped prisoner outside the Old Baily made front page of The Sun in the 1960s.

Blue - I've never heard anyone ask what *isn't* Englishness. It might be a tricky question to answer. I wouldn't like to try.

adham said...



شركة تنظيف بالطائف شركة الهدي افضل شركة نقل عفش بالطائف كذلك هى افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركه الهدى
شركة رش بالطائف
خدمات الطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة تنظيف فلل بالطائف
نظافه عامه بالطائف
شركة تنظيف منازل بالطائف

adham said...



شركة تنظيف شقق بالطائف
نقل عفش بالطائف
بالطائف شفط بيارات
تسليك مجارى بالطائف
تنظيف خزنات بالطائف
رش مبيدات بالطائف
نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة عزل اسطح بالطائف

adham said...



شركة نقل عفش واثاث بالدمام ابيات الشرقيه لخدمات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
نقل عفش بالخبر
شركة نقل اثاث الدمام
نقل عفش الدمام
نقل عفش بالدمام

adham said...



ان اردت نقل عفش منزلك بالدمام ابيات الشرقية من اهم شركات نقل العفش بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والقطيف والاحساء
شركة المتحدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بابها

adham said...


شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك