Confessions of a Secret Europhile 224


I remain a committed internationalist. For me, nation states are potentially extremely dangerous entities. They have the power to co-erce, brutalise and even lawfully to kill their own citizens. They regulate economic, commercial and societal transactions. They wield such power that contest among internal political leaders for control of that power can erupt into violent civil war. And they control such physical resources that nation states can launch war on each other in order to annex those resources or access their benefits.

Western democracy has, in my view, in general been the happiest form of government in modern society, in controlling the internal use of power through democratic mechanisms and in spreading welfare benefits among its citizens, while allowing the economy to function relatively efficiently.

But there have been three developments to jolt us from the notion that the emergence of western democracy represents a development in an inexorable trend of human progress. The notion of historical “progress” is one in which my generation was brought up implicitly to believe. I for one believed in it consciously and explicitly.

The first and most obvious development is the realisation that, while western democracies have more or less eliminated open violence in their internal political arrangements for control of resources, they are increasingly liable to resort to open warfare to gain control over the benefit of the resources of other nations, particularly as those resources become more scarce and valuable. Anybody who truly believes that it is coincidence that Iraq, Libya and Central Asia are hydrocarbon rich, and the major areas of Western military activity, is wilfully blind. There was nothing new about neo-imperialism and its recent manifestation as liberal interventionism is no more than a rehash of standard imperial propaganda on the spreading of civilised values.

What is new is the destruction of the notion that we Western democracies had got morally better and had moved on from the crude war as resource grab. What is also new is the extraordinary use of modern mass media to propagandise the inhabitants of western democracies into such fear of an alien threat, that the government can withdraw numerous liberties and extend vastly its power for everyday physical coercion – which at the most mundane level dawned on Andrew Mitchell last week. The fact that the public accepted 17,000 members of the armed forces guarding the Olympics from nobody at all, and that the armed forces were mentioned in every single public speech by a British politician or official in the Olympic ceremonies, to wild applause, gives but one example of the extraordinary militarisation of Western societies.

The second development is the galloping increase in the gap between rich and poor, in virtually every developed economy. In the UK the normalisation of the extreme concentration of wealth, and the neutering of the political forces for redistribution, constituted the real achievement of Blairism. The wealth gap between directorial and non-directorial incomes in British society has been growing at approximately ten per cent a year for two decades.

This development has been worsened by an abandonment of regulatory mechanisms that modified capitalism, and particularly the tendency of the financial services sector through oligopoly to take vast rent out of simple commercial transactions for which they should be the mere facilitator, at the same time inventing gambling transactions and other artificial processes of cash multiplication with which to tempt the wealthy and the fundholders within their own industry. The epitome of this transfer of wealth was, after the inevitable bubble disintegration, the payment by the state of huge sums to the financial services industry, using the power of the state to coerce the population through taxes to hand over sums amounting in total to several years income each.

Which leads me to the third adverse development – the concentration of media ownership in the hands of the extremely wealthy, the control by the same interests of the mainstream political parties, and therefore the lack of effective choice before the electorate on issues like the bank bailout, where the media and politicians combine to limit the sphere of public debate that will be carried to present only tiny variations on a single alternative. The same is true, for example, of the war in Afghanistan. Without an effective choice being offered to the electorate between real policy options, the notion of democracy is meaningless. That is where the western democracies now are.

Nation states, therefore, even the best of them, are dangerous entities which employ force against their own and other citizens and can be an active danger to international peace. The regulation of relations between states by international law to reduce conflict is therefore an urgent necessity. Some countries are much more danger than others: Ghana, to take one example, has never invaded anybody while the United Kingdom has at various times invaded or bombed the territory currently occupied by three quarters of the states in the World, while the United States projects deadly physical force overseas by a variety of means on a daily basis. Reining in these rogue states is a major priority.

There exists a body of international law which ad been gaining in respect and conformity in the decades since the Second World War, but both the United States and United Kingdom, and others following the neocon lead, have in recent decades driven a coach and horses right through the fabric of international law, through invasion, extraordinary rendition, torture, detention without trial, indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations, targeted extra-judicial killings by shootings or by drones, murder of journalists in war zones, and so on in a depressing litany.

Fundamental platforms of international law violated by the UK, US and their neo-con allies from the BushBlair period on include: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, The Charter of the United Nations, the Geneva Conventions, and the Hague Convention. Recently the UK was proposing in effect to tear up the Vienna Convention too.

My conclusion is twofold. Firstly that international law needs to be radically strengthened in order to come back into repute. Secondly that the idea of the nation state as the basic unit of political organisation should be radically attacked; that the period of history is past in which the development of the nation state was a force for the good of its citizens and the world community.

I believe that the nation state should be attacked from top and bottom. From the bottom, as societies internationalise the idea of an ethnic basis to state boundaries becomes anachronistic. Advantage should be taken of this trend to deconstruct states from within, breaking them down into a combination of smaller states and/or of powerful autonomous regional polities. We need to see many more states split up, especially among the westen democracies but also very definitely Russia, China, India and states in their orbit.

From the top, and with particular reference to the UK, I view the European Union as an excellenct prototype of the sort of organisation that can attack the sovereignty of national states from above. Nobody dares to say this should happen – when those few Europhiles brave enough to state their beliefs talk of greater integration, they talk of “pooling sovereignty” to disguise from themselves and their listeners the fact that what they really mean is appropriating and destroying national sovereignty – and a damn good thing too.

In the UK, national schadenfruede at the problems of the Euro is almost universal across the political spectrum, which is why I trailed this as my most unpopular post ever. How foolish, British media and politicians gloat, of those silly Europeans to undertake the biggest single economic step in the history of mankind! How wise we were to stay on the sidelines sneering!

The problem of the Euro, as I observed a decade ago and everyone now agrees, is that a currency union is not really feasible without a fiscal union. The answer to that is a fiscal union. Where the European Union has gone wrong is not that it has gone too far in integration, but that it has not gone nearly far enough.

After a period of disastrous free-for-all, what we now have is a de facto fiscal union in the Eurozone in which the German government in effect dictates policy – in this case austerity policy – to everyone else. Democracy is now even more meaningless to the Greeks and Spaniards than it is to the rest of us.

The cause of this is the fundamental weakness of the European Union – its deference to the nation states it should be eliminating. Executive power within the European Union needs to be removed completely from the nation states in the Council of Ministers, or Council of German Orders as it should be better known now.

The executive body of the European Union should rather be dependent on, and largely drawn from, a majority of the European Parliament. That parliament divides along ideological, not nationalistic lines and does provide a much broader range of representation of opinion than most national parliaments.

The existing European Commission would become simply the Civil Service to this new, democratically elected, European Government. The European Commissioners themselves, devoid of administrative responsibilities which would pass to the new parliamentary ministers, might form some kind a second chamber, of a deliberative and revising nature, to the European Parliament. Rather like the US Senate, this would give a balance of due consideration to the interests of smaller nations; it might also encourage the break-up further of over-large “national” units to ensure more second chamber representation.

The question of subsidiarity and the balance of powers between the new democratic European government and national and regional governing bodies, should be the subject for a book not an article. But I would move virtually every power of a nation state either up or down. Fiscal policy, foreign policy and defence should all be exclusively at the European level.

The problems of the European Union multiplied when it adopted the philosophy of variable geometry, of inner and outer cores, of fast track and slow track members. For the single currency and single market to succeed, unity must be much tighter. If the European Union is serious about maintaining Europe’s position in the World against the mergence of China, India and South America it must conform to the logical force behind its existence. In economic terms that means not just the free movement of goods, but the free movement of capital and labour as well. So to be in the European Union should mean being in the Euro and being in Schengen too. The alternative should be to leave; and be treated as an outsider. The EFTA free ride must finish.

I view the European Union as a wonderful thing. It is a cliche to note that in my parents’ lifetime Europeans were fighting against each other in the grimmest war imaginable, and yet now are embarked together on a great political and economic project. The peace of Europe, and the freedom I have to move around Europe, to work study or settle there, is simply wonderful.

Let us make it even better. Let us get rid of those pesky internal borders and immigration countrols and those huge foreign exchange costs that benefit nobody but the bankers. And let is get rid of our God-awful national governments.


224 thoughts on “Confessions of a Secret Europhile

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  • DavidH

    Scouse Billy / 27 Sep, 2012 – 2:11 am
    Great link, thanks. True, the “Margaret Thatcher of Central Europe” appears to know what he’s talking about.

  • Chris Jones

    “I believe that the nation state should be attacked from top and bottom. From the bottom, as societies internationalise the idea of an ethnic basis to state boundaries becomes anachronistic” – this is whats been happening for decades, carried out by politicians of sovereign states against their own countries. Its generally called treason. This is what Agenda 21 is about. Surely Craig can’t be naive as to think that central banks give a toss about sovereign states when they have been attacking them for decades? So countries should have no ethnic rights huh?I take it this includes Tibetans,all the countries of Africa and all the downtrodden peoples of the world etc etc…

    “From the top, and with particular reference to the UK, I view the European Union as an excellenct prototype of the sort of organisation that can attack the sovereignty of national states from above” – Craig, you’re about 50 years too late-this is what the EU has been doing for the last half century. If anything,sovereign states need to be defended from attack by the EU and UN tyranny

    “The cause of this is the fundamental weakness of the European Union – its deference to the nation states it should be eliminating. Executive power within the European Union needs to be removed completely from the nation states in the Council of Ministers, or Council of German Orders as it should be better known now” – This is the wrong way round. The deference is from the nation states to the EU -Most laws affecting Britain for example,now come from the EU, and increasingly the UN

    This post is at least honest but it is also confused: EU good but nation states bad? EU good but maybe smaller micro nation states good? I agree that old imperial states such as the UK,China,Russia,Spain etc do need to reliquish their hold on countries such as Wales,Scotland, Catalonia,Basque,Tibet,Chechnya etc but i’m not sure that this what Craig is arguing for.

    If what he is arguing is an attack on all nation states then this post is highly irresponsible and cock eyed.I know Craig is a gentleman but does gentlemeness have to equate to naivety? Seems like, on this at least, Craig has been done like a kipper. What he’s talking about is exactly what the eugenecist English Zionists of the Rhodes Milner group with an unfortunate line in god complexes have been trying to cook up for years.

  • Sunflower

    Oh, dear God. This is not good. What happened to you Craig? If you conclude nation states are bad, what do you think will happen if you apply they principles that are bad in a nation state, first regionally on EU and then globally, which would be the next logical step? A sad day indeed.

  • Vronsky

    Small is beautiful. The problem is not nations, but big nations – big economic entities that can throw their weight about – and if they can they will. If you want to see what a united and stateless Europe would look like and wonder how it would behave, look at the United States of America.

    The more remote the political centre is from the people the less accountable it becomes. I am sure that in one context you understand this, and yet above you do not.

    ‘… I ken, when we had a king, and a chancellor and parliament-men o’ our ain, we could aye peeble them wi’ stanes when they werena gude bairns – But naebody’s nails can reach the length o’ Lunnon.’

    -Walter Scott: Heart of Midlothian

  • Jay

    @ nobody

    Web of Debt.

    E H Brown.

    Explains the financial history.

    Wizard of Oz.
    Bauers film about money and banking power.

    The writer best explained his thoughts by writing the book.

    The Scarecrow represents the farmer, the tin man the industry,
    E.t.c

    Oz is Gold and the shoes were silver. Ruby for the color film.

    Obviously the new populist party of a One World party.
    would outlaw the money scam.

    Gaddafi was selling oil for gold Dinar.

    As long as they dont tax me blackberries.

    Just on a side note the French are taking the nouns mother and father off some official documents and certificates.
    So much to be abstract.

    Its like art. A can of soup even painted badly looks food to the undernourished.

    “Nurture” the one consistent amongst people.

    The way were are presently is a sign of things to come.

    Yes we are Plebs, keep hold of your vital organs and wake up.

    We must not differentiate.

  • Mary

    Wake up in the back there Bullingdon Boy Cameron.

    Magna Great
    Carta Charter

    A child could work it out even if they had no knowledge of Latin.

    Wonder what else he doesn’t know? The Habeas Corpus Act for instance?

  • James Chater

    Craig

    I am with you about strengthening international law, but I am not sure that full European fiscal union would work.
    I have often thought about the problem of what I would call “government policy by auction”. The argument goes: you introduce a policy and justify it by saying that if you had not done it another country would have, so you might as well. Thus: we sell arms to dodgy regimes in order to gain political leverage, because if we don’t, the French/Americans will do it anyway; or: we decide to build a new airport or runway even if we prefer trains to emissions, because if we don’t the flights will go through Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt, benefiting their economy at the expense of ours; or: we decide not to tax our richest people because if we do they will simply emigrate to another country that welcomes them with “open arms” (as has happened recently when France’s president decided to raise taxes for the rich).
    Whatever political arrangements we end up with, they will be useless unless a critical number of the world’s political units AGREE with one another to stop this sort of auction, so that, in the examples above, we curb arms trade, build railways instead of airports and make the rich pay their fair share of taxes. But I must admit I am at a loss as to how we get everyone to agree, and how you enforce these agreements (assuming you can). Do you have any ideas?

  • Cryptonym

    I don’t think it is nation states, they are certainly hosts of parasitic evils and are collectively victims themselves of powerful interests within who utilise our pseudo-democratic practices to usurp the resources, people and their common wealth; talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I do not think that resort to open warfare is a new phenomenon, there had just been a slight lull. Without any ethnic basis to state boundaries, you open the door for other, alien destructive bases for group cohesion, such as religion, cults, arbitrary dictatorship, extremism. Internationalism? What other word is there for the military security alliance of the UK, US, AUS, NZ, ISR; this isn’t some happy-clappy glee club, but is the sort of thing you wish to further elevate over us. This is simply nation states gone global, multinationalism. No more fuzzy sad lib-dem type all things too all men soft soap. It is too broad a matter for a superficial panacea – all blame lies with the nation state – the oldest and last organic natural instinctive institution is all that stands between us and the abyss you contemplate.

    Why not just round up the war criminals and biggest crooks, execute them. Apologise to the world; a replacement set of politicians kept on the tightest rein by the example set. We don’t need to smash the existing world to atoms to reconstruct it better.

  • Mary

    We heard most of the above in the Seventies. No borders, no passports, a common currency, no more wars, lands of milk and honey…..and look what happened. I am proud to say that my father went round with a loudspeaker on his car roof speaking against joining the Common Market, as it was called then, when Wilson’se referendum was being held. He had the vision to see what was coming.

    I rememnber that he was ordered to leave the area outside the Winfrith atomic power facility by armed police. That was 37 years ago. Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_European_Communities_membership_referendum,_1975

    None of us have ever voted to join. Think on.

  • conjunction

    Congratulations, Craig. Unlike many of your major posts in the last few years, this one is almost exclusively forward looking. Looking back is important, but looking forward is hard.

    I have some questions, but by and large I agree with every line.

    I would point out that the attempt by western governments to propogandise and intimidate their populations in the national interest is not so new however. In particular the suppression of all worker’s movements during the Napoleonic Wars come to mind. This was deliberately planned, thorough and brutal, as detailed in Thompson’s ‘Making of the English Working Class’. A century before that the Tory government manipulated the Irish writer Jonathan Swift to propogandise on their behalf to end the War of Spanish Succession. You yourself have referred to Walsingham, supremo of Good Queen Bess’s Secret Service.

    You say: “The question of subsidiarity and the balance of powers between the new democratic European government and national and regional governing bodies, should be the subject for a book not an article”.

    That should probably read not one book but a hundred, and several decades of argument at least. Nevertheless I think this is the crux of the matter. From time to time on several blogs I mention the work of Rudolf Steiner in this regard about one hundred years ago, especially in the books ‘Social Commonwealth’, and ‘World Economy’. Steiner’s work is often dismissed because he was an occultist, but I have read nothing which tackles these areas which is even a quarter so relevant. They essentially rework Marxism, agreeing with the analysis and disagreeing with the solution. They propose precisely the separation of the political and economic spheres which I think you suggest. Governments should be there to protect the rights of individuals and forbid the excesses, on behalf of the individuals, which economic actuators are prone to.

    On this point, I recently attended a talk by Andrew Gamble, professor of politics at Cambridge, and others at the Hay festival at which he suggested the problem with globalization was to work out ways it could take cognizance of local needs and circumstances. However dangerous it is globalization has incredible advantages, the trick is to mix it with local flexibility.

    Two final points, regarding the splitting up of nations. This can of course lead to tragedy as we saw in Yugoslavia. The other point is that while I by and large agree emphatically with everything you say about the EU, I am not sure Britain belongs in it. Or, put it another way, we have so much history with the USA, that the unpacking of that needs careful handling!

  • Mary

    Winfrith was a United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority site near Winfrith Newburgh in Dorset. It covered an area on Bovington Heath to the west of the village of Wool between the A352 road and the London Waterloo to Weymouth railway line.

    It opened in 1958 and was used for nuclear reactor research and development into the 1990s. The last reactor was shut down in 1995, although decommissioning of the site will not finish till 2018.[1] Winfrith housed nine reactors including the experimental Dragon reactor and a large Steam Generating Heavy Water Reactor (SGHWR) feeding the National Grid from 1968 to 1990. It also housed a used nuclear fuel examination facility, with the associated hot cells.

    The Winfrith site was home to a number of experimental reactors including :- Zenith – Zebra – Juno – Nestor – Dimple – Zeus, also impace test facilities.

    The site is now split between the extensive Winfrith Technology Centre and the headquarters of the Dorset Police, whose police helicopter is based there.

    Research Sites Restoration Limited now controls the majority of Winfrith, though parts of the site have been sold off. The head of site at Winfrith is Andrew Staples.
    +++++

    Interesting that it is now the HQ of the Dorset Police., I find that quite ironic.

  • DavidH

    Craig,

    Most posters seem to agree – out of the frying pan and into the fire if we exchange our God-awful national government for the even more God-awful European one. The EU has no track record of promoting the kind of democratic supra-national project you dream of. It has a great track record of promoting the interests of banksters, big business, corrupt politicians and the big members.

    To be fair, you are proposing a radical re-think of The EU system, neutering the Council of Ministers and the European Commission and giving powers to new EU parliamentary ministers. You are not proposing just to give all the powers to The EU as it currently stands. But if you are dreaming up such a new, perfect EU system, why not just dream up a new, perfect national system? There’s no inherant reason your new European system would be any less corruptible than the national system, and a big reason why it would be more corruptable – it’s size, which makes it more remote and less accountable to the people.

    Again, it will be the same voters being duped and bought off by the same neo-con establishment, just on a larger scale.

    We already have the perfect system for kicking out God-awful governments – everybody does get to vote every 5 years. And still they vote for the same idiots. Until you fix that problem, nothing is going to change.

  • lwtc247

    Great to hear a man honestly speak his mind.
    But you are of course wrong ;p

    “nation states are potentially extremely dangerous entities. They have the power to co-erce, brutalise and even lawfully to kill their own citizens. ” – so can collections of states under some banner of ‘union’ but they are FAR more dangerous, having far more power, far more resources and far more firepower. Does the UNITED STATES or the BRITISH EMPIRE not show you anything?

    Power corrupts Craig. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Micropolitics is a far better solution – small communities/areas having the power to do as THEY see fit. Do you have armies in communities? Methinks not. What’s not good is some tosser hundreds if not thousands of moles away declaring things like how curved your cucumbers can be for the sake of some other dude (probably with the right connections) can make some money while pretending it’s all for the environment.

    I have a strong feeling however, like 9-11, that only your own thoughts and analysis on the matter will have you change your mind here.

  • Blue_Bear

    lwtc247: “Do you have armies in communities?”

    I have this argument with my sister all the time. We both believe that our power structures should be to a more human scale, but I believe smaller “communities” actually increase borders and so increase the opportunity for conflict, not peace. The logistics of trading or even passing through smaller and smaller communities will become increasingly problematic. And how far do we break these communities down?

    Interesting post though Craig. Some see your concept as one step towards a one-world-government and so can only imagine how horrendous that could be.

  • wikispooks

    Despite a number of laudable observations, notably equating the old Imperial ‘spreading civilised values’ with todays ‘humanitarian intervention’ as more-or-less plausible cover for the real machiavellian power agendas, I too regard Craigs proposals as simply rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

    Likewise with most of the comments. Lots of truly insightful and inspiring stuff but, with the exception of Nobody @ 1:39am, all missing the one issue underpinning the entire mess the world has gotten itself into as we hit peak just-about-everything.

    As things stand, the entire global financial system rests on private, largely dynastically-controlled banking interests with the power to simply create money (which we currently equate with value) out of nothing and to require tribute from the rest of humanity for doing so. If anyone, even in their wildest dreams, believes that such power is, or will EVER be, exercised in the interests of humanity, or even the population(s) of respective WTO/BIS member banks, he/she is a fool.

    Not only is control of the system in unaccountable private hands (try researching the real ownership of the US Federal Reserve or the Bank of England for example and see how quickly you hit a brick wall) but it has to have ‘economic growth’ to exist at all. Since the historical correlation between this ‘economic’ growth (ie growth of debt money and its accrued interest) and the volume of resource extraction/use is close to 1.0, it should be pretty damned obvious that perpetual, exponential growth on a finite planet is oxmoronic and its advocacy MORONIC. And yet we are earnestly assured by anyone and everyone in the political establishment TINA – TINA bloody TINA.

    Until those obvious, elephant in the room, issues are addressed – and presently there is an absolute taboo on discussion of them in ANY mainsteam forum – everything else, including Craigs admirable advocacy, is simply rearranging those damn deckchairs I’m afraid.

  • John Goss

    Craig, I have to agree with Glenn on this one 2.37am. And trawling through the comments would suggest the same. You set this post up as being one of your most contentious and you have by far a majority of supporters. As a Europhile myself I largely agree with it too. My concern is how you set about giving more power to the UN in the face of the worldwide aggression of the United States led NATO- and trans-global disintegration and monopolisation of foreign governments. Under the League of Nations as well as the United Nations the danger has always come when nation states choose to venture without legitimate consent.

    The danger too is that this new Europe could develop into another United States when broken up into smaller entitities. But the biggest danger of all, as Peter Oborne’s documentary shows, comes from Zionist control of all the major economies, though he deals largely with the UK.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E70BwA7xgU&feature=autoplay&list=PL813E682113845E3E&playnext=1

  • LeonardYoung

    @Craig “Seems perfectly consistent to me. I say above that existing nation states should be broken down into smaller nations and/or regions. The UK is a prime candidate for the breakup. Strongly pro-EU views are quite common within the SNP.”

    Fair enough. One of the things that baffles me about anti-EU advocates is that they imagine the waste and corruption they see in Europe is somehow worse than the waste and corruption already in the UK itself. I would also rather be in the EU and just one of many examples in its favour is that European Regulations on consumer contracts, including Landlord and Tenants (which Thatcher skewed hugely in favour of Landlords as an over-reaction to secure tenancies before her taking office)have blown away years of bias against the consumer. This has radically changed the way consumers are protected from unfair contracts and they, along with tenancy agreements, are now simple, straightforward and absent from them is all that legalise rubbish and small print that became a license for abuse.

    The European Court of Human Rights is another thing many British people now take for granted and they now have a court that will deal (albeit cumbersomly) with the judicial iniquities of high handed british courts.

    Shame that Europe has signed up to the Euro extradition treaty and arrest warrant as that blots its copybook. But on balance I agree with Craig: for cultural, legal and social reasons, we are better in than out.

    Blaming the Euro currency for ills that each individual nation has caused through greed and unregulated corporations and banks is misplaced. The UK and other European Nations are approaching bankruptcy whether they were dealing in pounds, lire, pesetas or drachmas, or Euros. You cannot blame a means of exchange for economic malfeasance that was present anyway.

  • Stephen Morgan

    We have peace in our time because the Americans and Soviets occupied Europe and held each other at bay with the threat of nuclear anhilation.

    What’s the point in breaking up India/China/whereever only to have their successor states form Unions which will take all the power of the new nations states anyway? Why don’t you list the USA as a country to be broken up?

    Your way of fixing the Euro might work, but what about the whyness of it? The whyness of the foundation of the EU and the Euro wasn’t peace and prosperity and fluffy rainbows for all, it was explicitly to remove the freedom of national governments to restrict the flows of capital and the protection of labour, see here: http://www.gregpalast.com/the-euro-is-a-big-success-no-kidding/#more-6297

    OF course the right has established something of a monopoly of Western politics, but difficulties in holding Power accountable in a nation will increase exponentially in a continent, especially if that continental government is explicitly set up to restrict democratic action on economic matters and entrench the “free” market.

    You’re bedding down with the international bankers and the destroyers of Yugoslavia with this.

  • nevermind

    Having a European nation state does not exclude micromanagement, we have been waiting to see the subsidiarity principle applied for years.

    The EU commissioners, appointed industry czars, unelected establishment figures have ruined the EU, EUMK1 failed due to the inherent establishment working behind the lines.

    The decentralisation of power can only happen by the mechanism of a progressive centre, unless we want to disperse with most of the centre and have democratically accountable and determining regions who directly communicate with the EU centre and its various bodies of a Federal state.

    The greatest stumbling block I see for Britain is its financial community, establishment and political elite, hooked on mongering they would add their toxic mix to any cocktail we care to design.

    The prerogative for taking up this cudgel now would be for us to sit down at the table and start designing a future EU that is able to work with a common tax rate and
    a common peace and defence force.

    All of these various ideas have long been on the table, in Europe that is, errr sadly here in Britain EU politics are kept at the inept level of understanding, we get off on bent bananas, don’t we Jimmy, so much easier than to even bother about Europe.

    It is were our history lies, from well before Danelaw to now, we are Europeans in every sense of the word and the sooner our decrapid (not a typo)politicians realise, we can expect them to bark at the idea, the better it would be for Britain democratic development.

    Yes I want PR forced upon us, by means of a fair choice vote, not a one shot ultimatum, but hats just one issue.

    What would be the first step to undertake such amalgamate negotiation process? How about the abandonment of NATO in favour of a EU peace and defence force? withdraw our consent from the neocolonialist’s, amalgamate EU foreign policies, for Europe’s resolve, not nation states.

    Someone mentioned the language barrier, what barrier? most of Europe speaks english and it has all the hall markls of becoming the language of the EU, but that would not destroy or negate the swedish or welsh language, would it?

  • colin buchanan

    A great article until you completely ruined it by embracing the essential goal of neo-conservatism, the dismantling of the nation state, especially , of course, the Russian and Chinese nation states. Very disappointed- I could hardly believe what I was reading. The pooling of sovereignty essential to the European project, or the Bolivarista project, is not the same thing as an attack on the nation state. An attack on the nation state is what we are witnessing in Syria and saw in Libya last year. At best, your article is very confused.

  • nevermind

    We also see attacks on nation states in Afghanistan and Pakistan, breaches of sovereignty on a daily basis, the people of Yemen have a few words to add about his issue as well, colin, so whats wrong anticipating that the Uyghur’s and Tibetan’s will want change to their imposed situations?

    Your crass comparison is wholly false, Libya was attacked by a cabal of NATO forces breaching their own no fly zones with attacking civilians by the thousands, reminiscence of Bomber Harris springs to mind, mindless bombing from great hight with hardly any return fire.

    As for Syria, complain to the MOD, the Quatari’s and the saudi Arabian shamble, they will get their comeuppance soon, I’m sure the Washington Institute of near east studies will see to that, eventually.

  • lwtc247

    Craig.
    The problem with your view (excuse me, I’m not being rude) of Europe is that it leaves no room for conspiracy. What I mean is (and this is extremely relevant to – but not exclusively so – whether one believes in God and Satan etc) that wars and inter-nation strife and subsequent union could well have been designed for purposes that you are alluding to – the creation of a European Super State. Ye olde Hegelian dialectic buy the fiery one.

    And if you’re not religious, I’m sure it’s not too hard to hold that view when one examines the machinations of the ultra rich (dare I mention ‘Rothschild’?) who seem to believe they have a right to acquire power and do so with practical irrelevance to national laws and borders.

    And then on to monetary union…
    You said it’s not feasible without fiscal union, which makes total sense. BUT, and I could be wrong here, it seems to be that rather than the sensible scrapping of monetary union to return to the (more)nationalistic monetary system we had before, It was as though nation will be sacrificed for the sake of monetary union. I guess that would be music to your ears, but to me it’s the wrong way around. That the small, more easily scrappable thing is to dictate what the bigger more problematic thing should do, is in my eyes, very suspicious indeed.

    Your ‘problem’ (again excuse me) is that you can’t see past the concept of the nation other than it being assimilated, but the resultant body is really just a much bigger nation. You should be looking at it from the other way around, perhaps; like how a nation can be broken into, say, ‘nationlets’ – and lets face it, the ability of such ‘nationlets’ to cause harm is pretty small indeed. I hail from Co.Durham, the land of the Prince Bishops, which (kind of, in years past) was semi-autonomous.

    IF monetary and political union did occur, you just know what type of people that is going to attract. And no, it’s not going to be well meaning folf from Plymouth wanting to get a mandate from the people so that they may help the townsfolk of Litomysl.

    I believe the benefits you see from a united Europe are perfectly attainable without a Euro mega-state.

    This ‘we are Europenas’ thing is simply a damn slogan it doesn’t make any sense when you actually start to ponder it’s meaning. I sounds nice and swet to the ears yes, and projects a generally peace loving and inclusive set of beliefs, but it is just a marketing tool. At what point in history did this political/philosophical(if you will) label (as opposed to the trivial geographical label) emerge? Did inhabitants of Europe 300 years ago consider themselves political Europeans with all it’s markting garnish? And at what point today would someone NOT a European? – Can they not have similar beliefs if they were born 5 yards outside Europe – which you will note will still use some ‘them vs. us’ border.

    Sorry to have gone on, but I believe you aren’t thinking so deeply on this. I used to subscribe to the products of European marketing and advertising myself, before I started to look at what would this conglomeration would actually start to mean and how it would go about it.

    Didn’t people applaud the break up of the Soviet Union?

  • lwtc247

    @ Blue_Bear, 27 Sep, 2012 – 9:11 am
    But communities don’t have borders and a few looks at the stranger in town can hardly be considered borders or causing segregation or hostility. I don’t advocate formal borders made my people drawing lines on a map, although I concede it might cause some ‘trickiness’ when it comes to expenditure and so forth, BUT I think we are applying a mindset fed on current geographical occurrence and bureaucracy here. I suspect that’s one big reason why conceptualizing the an empowered community system may be difficult.

    For example, why would goods from A heading to C but passing through B have to have significance to B? One could say B’s roads may get chewed up so it’s only right that A (or perhaps C) helps pay for it, BUT exactly this thing happens in evry day life. People who live on road A drive down road B to get to road C and usually this wouldn’t even register as a problem on the people of B’s radar.

    As you know, we already have communities within our nation, so I’m not really proposing anything particularity new here, just perhaps a version of microtization without the bad parts of the big central governments we have today.

  • Mary

    The edifice of the EU is collapsing before our eyes anyway. Wonder how the Spanish and Greek people are feeling and what they are thinking as another round of savage cuts are enforced on them. Think of the Greek woman unable to get her medicine and the millions of young Spanish without a hope of a job.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19733995#

    I see that ZBC refer to ‘austerity’. ‘Spain budget to impose further austerity’ measures

    The unemployment rate in Spain for people between the ages of 17 and 25 is 75%!!

  • lwtc247

    @ John Goss. 27 Sep, 2012 – 9:19 am

    Can a Chinese peasant living in China be a Europhile? If so can you be a Indochinaphile? If you can, why aren’t you, and if you can’t, then why not.

    What do you mean by “Europhile” – What boundaries does your definition have.

    Do you think Europhilicity is some kind of political peak? I’m not asking to be rude, but just to find out what you mean by that term which I admit, I have great difficulty fathoming.

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