Cameron Fights to Make the EU Worse 101

Every one of the changes for which Cameron is arguing in Europe will make both the UK and the EU worse. It is undoubtedly true that these reforms are marginal, and not in any sense worth the drama with which Cameron seeks to imbue them in the run-up to a pre-cooked mainstream media acclamation of significant victory. But even though Cameron’s proposals are highly marginal, and all possible without treaty amendment, insofar as there is any effect, it is a bad effect.

Cameron’s primary focus is on preventing much needed regulation of banking and financial services. He wants a veto in what is currently recognised as a qualified majority area. The banking system is at the heart of the channelling of most wealth to a tiny elite. 70% of all the money in the world is tied up in derivatives markets, which is terrifying. Deutsche Bank holds derivatives equivalent to 21 times German GDP, to give a striking example. There have been continued attempts by the EU to introduce a transaction tax on every derivatives bet, as a move towards calming this market. Cameron is determined to make sure the City of London remains a great casino, safe for his banker mates. That is the primary question at issue today.

The other issues involve Cameron’s attempts to pander to xenophobes by putting a brake on in-work benefits and child benefit to migrants. This is economically insignificant. It affects less than 40,000 people in the UK, and in the case of child benefit would only bring a marginal reduction anyway. It is simply an effort to join the Duncan Smith stigmatisation of the low-paid to racist sentiment.

I wish to state loudly that I believe that the existence of the European Union with a common citizenship, where we all enjoy the common rights of citizens, from Bucharest to Dublin, is a marvellous thing. It is undeniably the greatest political advance of my lifetime. As a continent with a free flow not only of people, but of trade and capital as well, it is a fantastic field of economic potential. As the political expression of the wonderful civilisations of the European nations, it has the capacity to be a force for good in the world, and is so more often than not.

I look forward to ever closer union becoming a reality, and the day when the EU encompasses all of Europe, including Russia. I look forward to Scotland being one of the nations within a federal European structure, contributing to a common foreign and defence policy. I fully expect these things to come to pass, while Cameron and his charade of renegotiation will be long forgotten.

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101 thoughts on “Cameron Fights to Make the EU Worse

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  • Chris Rogers


    Regrettably its true that the Uk has many skeletons in the closet, although not as many as the USA believe it or not – even Rourke’s Drift in reality was not the battle its made out to be in Zulu, and I have a direct ancestor who was their fighting with the South Wales Borders, but we certainly don’t censor at a University level, or did not when i did my stint more than 25 years ago.

    The fact remains we do seem globally in ‘crisis’ and much of this can be attributed to the neoliberal economic orthodoxy that is now accepted wisdom, and an aggressive, interventionist geopolitics that kicked off under Clinton, and seems worse in many respects to what occurred in the post-war years in Central America, South America, the ME, South East Asia and certain African nations, its also much closer to home, but the neoconservatives were not in ascendency until after 9/11, indeed they were kept in a cage – hence the reasoning that the crazies and lunatics have taken over.

    And my God is it infectious, as we have witnessed with Europe since the advent of the Single Currency and deliberalisation on a massive scale – driven I’m afraid to say by the EU and NATO.

    Anyhow Bill Black is a most interesting person and tells it as it is, and the chaps on Sic Semper Tyrannis, although polar opposites to Bill politically speaking tell it as it is.

    The fact remains, under the present circumstances that i’m opposed to a European superstate, indeed one’s idealism is for a confederation of sovereign nations, which does mean you can have a single foreign policy, single military structure but divergent economic structure more suitable to the multiplicity of nations across Europe, and that does include Russia – Turkey remaining a bit of a problem, for which you need to refer to Rousseau and the Abbe’ de St. Pierre.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Perhaps Anon1 was thinking about the acting abilities of many in the SNP leadership – which are considerable?”



    I expected that type of irrelevant comment, but not from you.

    Pity really, I’d say you are at your best when you keep on a historical theme, similar to your excellent remarks on the Battle of Warsaw.

    Playing the clown, doesn’t become you.

    Don’t sell yourself short.

  • Dr David Hll

    [ Mod: Caught in spam-filter, timestamp updated ]

    Enlighten yourselves if you have an ‘open mind’ on just one part of this EU ‘in & out’ argument – trade and the SWOT analysis says there are more threats than opportunities ? Why are we so frightened about leaving the EU? It could not be personal vested-interests could it and where the big picture for the majority is not a part of this equation?

    ‘The TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) will be an Absolute Disaster for the People of the EU (European Union) and the People of America (USA) in the long-term – We simply have to Vote AGAINST this behind closed doors Transatlantic Trade deal before it is signed up and too late for the People to do anything about it’ –

    This trade deal is like putting a ball and chain on every European and American citizen, as once signed, it is irrevocable and forever. Who in the real commercial world would sign a legally binding contract for life and evermore for all their descendants. Indeed once the ugly face of this so-called free trade treaty is out in the open, we shall already be in prison, held totally captive by powerful corporations, corrupt political leaders and a legal system of totalitarianism in favour of the most powerful interests. The people to all intents and purposes will be modern-day slaves. Don’t believe me, just see what the future brings and we shall not like it.

  • fred

    The reason we are having a referendum is because enough people cared enough about migrant workers coming to Britain from other EU countries to vote UKIP rather than Conservative. I would think the vast majority of them don’t know what a derivative is. Cameron bought votes with the promise of a referendum, that is how democracy works, people vote for the party which offers them what they want.

  • craig Post author


    The question about Russia is a good one. I think it should apply the principle of self-determination of peoples to its remaining colonies (Tatarstan, Dagestan, Chechnya etc) and allow free referenda on separation after real democratic debate. Not for me to determine the outcome.

    Like Russia’s eventual EU membership, this would of course be conditional on Russia developing into a real democracy which respects human rights and meats the acquis communitaire. That is of course decades away. But decades do pass.

  • John Goss

    “Like Russia’s eventual EU membership, this would of course be conditional on Russia developing into a real democracy which respects human rights and meats the acquis communitaire.”

    I, and I guess others, would welcome an example of this ‘real democracy’. For example, is Russia less of a democracy than the UK? France? Germany? Or any other dollar debt-ridden country currently in the EU?

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    “For example, is Russia less of a democracy than the UK? France? Germany? ”


  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)


    “Playing the clown, doesn’t become you.”

    But they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    So please feel flattered. 🙂

  • glenn_uk

    Craig: Thanks, it’s very rare to hear anyone refer to the Luddites without meaning it as a out-and-out slur. Acknowledged that their main interest was their own livelihoods, however they did have a fair point about miserable, dangerous working condition and the lack of quality in goods produced.

    Naturally, all the benefit of this reduced cost of labour (and increased production) did not go to the people – on the contrary, they were ravaged with unemployment and poverty, while the investor class become commensurately richer. Rather like the situation we have today, when outsourcing labour to third-world countries decreases the quality of goods, impoverishes the formerly employed people at home, and introduces dangerous and/or miserable working practices for the new foreign employees.

  • John Goss

    Up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 from the glorious days when gentlemen (and ladies) did the Grand Tour, Russia was just another imperialist European country. Most people in Russia today would prefer the Soviet era. True or false?

  • Republicofscotland

    “I, and I guess others, would welcome an example of this ‘real democracy’. For example, is Russia less of a democracy than the UK? France? Germany? Or any other dollar debt-ridden country currently in the EU?”


    I would have to disagree with you on this one John.

    Putin is more of dictator than a president, he’s had countless opponents and outspoken adversaries, either killed or imprisoned.

    As much as I disagree with David Cameron on many issues, you and I are allowed to openly criticise him and his government, on this blog for example.

    Yes there have been questionable deaths such as Dr David Kelly, and our security services are as complicit in neferious actions, like Russia’s.

    But and it’s a big but John, we can still openly condemn government actions in public, for now at least.

  • John Goss

    RoS, it’s not just David Kelly, there have been all the changes in law, to indefinitely detain Muslims, which can be applied to anybody, the one-sided extradition treaty that has seen UK citizens who question what we do held for more than twelve months in a US Supermax prison without us even knowing what the Yanks wanted them for. Wake up everyone. We have seen the law changed to allow an unqualified judge act as coroner to declare culpability (not the function of a cornoer). That is to determine cause of death. We are not a democracy. Far from it. Russia’s not perfect. But its people can have their say openly. (See my comment above).

  • Herbie

    Russian policy is supportive of an EU independent of the US.

    Their, and China’a, long term goal is a merging of an EU independent of the US, with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

    US and UK policy is designed to prevent this.

    By whatever means possible.

    Their policy is to ensure that any cooperation between Europe and Asia takes place only in terms subordinate to US and NATO control.

    Should this not be possible, then their policy is to defeat Eurasian cooperation through causing economic and social chaos along Eurasian borders.

    That’s where we’re at.

  • Dan

    How can you support an institution that is so clearly a vessel for western imperialism and imposes austerity on its poorer nations for the benefit of Germany alone?

  • Why be ordinary?


    When European countries which had leant large amounts to Greece tried to get repaid they were told that they had been stupid to lend it and should pay for that stupidity by taking a haircut on that debt. Is Russia now playing the same game with Ukraine that the Euro zone played with Greece?

  • Iain Orr

    Dr David Hill @ 7.40 pm suggests that TTIP is a good reason for finding the EU defective. That position has been supported by many others (like John Hilary of War on Want) whom I respect. TTIP is a plutocratic abomination. However, there is considerable opposition to it within the EU; and minimal opposition within the Conservative Party.

    Let’s be sensible about the UK’s influence within or outside the EU. That obviously depends on the government of the day. However, insofar as the EU has defects – as it has – these are more likely to be addressed by a UK that is a member. That’s much less likely, of course, when the UK Government is a Conservative one in thrall to its Eurosceptic wing. But what’s our vision? The UK working with EU allies to make narrow nationalism a thing of the past; or the UK as a selfish ex-imperial pensioner?

  • John Goss

    Why be ordinary?

    Greece had its debt rescheduled as I understand it with more austerity as a bonus to receive more loans of confetti money. All countries (practically) are in debt to the US (petrodollars). The US national debt is out of control. The loan made to Ukraine was in petrodollars which are called US dollars. Quantative easing is the means whereby more of this debt can be printed. There is nothing backing the loans – only austerity.

    Russia is playing the capitalist game. The bankers’ game. Ukraine is the only country to which the IMF has ever lent money to during a civil-war. The IMF does not want Ukraine to pay its debts with money it has loaned to that God-forsaken, mismanaged hell-hole.

  • Why be ordinary?

    I don’t want to get into a war of definitions, but the IMF loaned money to the UK in the 1970s despite an unresolved territorial dispute that was giving rise to inter communal violence

  • Kempe

    ” There are many disagreements over policies between Westminster and Holyrood, such as the ECHR ”

    You can guarantee that whenever the EU is discussed the subject of the ECHR will crop up even though the ECHR is nothing to do with the EU. It comes under the auspice of the Council of Europe of which incidentally Russia is already a member although currently in the dog house having passed legislation towards the end of last year that allows Russia to ignore any ECHR rulings they don’t like which rather defeats the object. I think they’ve a way to go before they’ll be ready to join the EU.

    ” Other contributing factors that make independence appealing are control over farming and the fisheries industry, which Scotland would negotiate directly with the EU, without Westminster’s intervention. ”

    You reckon Scotland by itself could get a better deal? Good luck with that.

  • Herbie

    The SCO, on Banking:

    “At the 2007 SCO summit Iranian Vice President Parviz Davudi addressed an initiative that has been garnering greater interest and assuming a heightened sense of urgency when he said, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a good venue for designing a new banking system which is independent from international banking systems”.[32]

    The address by Putin also included these comments:

    “We now clearly see the defectiveness of the monopoly in world finance and the policy of economic selfishness. To solve the current problem Russia will take part in changing the global financial structure so that it will be able to guarantee stability and prosperity in the world and to ensure progress.
    “The world is seeing the emergence of a qualitatively different geo-political situation, with the emergence of new centers of economic growth and political influence.
    “We will witness and take part in the transformation of the global and regional security and development architectures adapted to new realities of the 21st century, when stability and prosperity are becoming inseparable notions.”[33]”

    The SCO in cooperation with an EU independent of the US and NATO offers an alternative to war, war, endless war, on the part of a bankrupt US, vainly trying to hold on to its fast unwinding world hegemony.


    Place your bets!

  • nevermind, it might be interesting

    This spineless deal to undermine the EU and its democratic values will only serve to further the existing lobby operation in Brussels.

    This trading of cowpats has really shown how easy it is to bowl over self interested politicians with a threat to withdraw their access to tax havens under British Jurisdiction, why else should this weakling have crumbled in the face of right wing pirates in the City of London?

    I’m with Leonard and Dr.Hill, if TTIP is signed in the EU, and there are some2.55million signatures against it, we will have only one option left to us as EU citizens, to withdraw our support and cooperation from national and European Governments,from all tax systems and VAT arrangements.

    TTIP, to sound obsessive and hyperbole, is the sporn of the devil.

    Meanwhile watch what will happen now here, in the land of the politically inept subjects, as diplomats wince to their respective Romanian Polish and Czech citizens, how they could not resist the charm of PR David, how they had to sacrifice child benefits and out of work support.

    And not one of these spineless aberrations mentioned the refugees Cameron has helped to produce, to undermine the EU.

    I feel violated by these shenanigans.

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    I know you can’t really write it in your situation, Craig, but I think everyone should get used to calling the bald nazi schwein running Work and Pensions by his right name – right in heaven, anyway:

    Ian Duncan-Himmler.

    If Britain ever gave him the chance, I’ll bet he’d be willing to do the sort of thing that Himmler did for the nazi gangsters. The implementing of the Final Solution was largely nittygrittied by Himmler.

  • Dan

    “When European countries which had leant large amounts to Greece tried to get repaid they were told that they had been stupid to lend it and should pay for that stupidity by taking a haircut on that debt”

    That’s how finance works. If you make a bad lending decision you get burned. Although it seems the EU is determined to ensure lenders can act with impunity.

  • bevin

    “Putin is more of dictator than a president, he’s had countless opponents and outspoken adversaries, either killed or imprisoned.” RoS

    What is the source of this’information’? Is it The Guardian? the BBC? or the Daily Mail?

    On one level such assertions are unobjectionable- the same could be said of Obama, Erdogan, Hollande and the rest of them.

    But to single out Putin, purely on the basis that you have been told these things by a media which is engaged in a campaign of defamation at the behest of its masters, is to become nothing more than a loudspeaker for warmongers.

    It is curious that someone who recognises that the Unionists defame the SNP without restraint cannot see that the same forces which would deprive Scotland of the modest degree of autonomy it seeks, are engaged in demonising Putin, not because he is a dictator (they have no objection to them) nor because he is a corrupt(see above) but because he thwarts the geo strategic plays of imperialism.

  • Republicofscotland

    Bevin, I’m not singling Putin out in particular in most cases of governments around the globe, Putin is no better or worse, but he is in my opinion a dictator, 16 years of KGB ruthlessness will do that to a man.

    However Putin has been President of Russia since 2000, with a gap, where his hand picked puppet Dimitry Medvedev took over guided by the hand of Putin, who Medvedev appointed as prime minister, is it becoming clear yet?

    Putin critics who ended up dead

    Journalists who’ve died under Putin, and his puppet Medvedev.

  • Macky

    ROS: “Putin is no better or worse, but he is in my opinion a dictator”

    Funny sort of dictator that holds & wins elections ! Yes, AI & the notorious US NGO “Freedom House”, plus some EU bodies have nit-picked over the elections, but as Wiki states;

    “public opinion-polls prior to the election suggested that the ruling party could count on the support of 45–55 percent of voters, which may suggest that there were no mass falsifications, despite isolated cases of fraud.[14] Nationwide exit polls were very close to the final results.”

    For a ruthless dictator, he is astonishing popular with his people, not only record high Public Poll approval rating, but again from wiki;

    “A 2005 survey showed that three times as many Russians felt the country was “more democratic” under Putin than it was during the Yeltsin or Gorbachev years, and the same proportion thought human rights were better under Putin than under Yeltsin.”

    I personally tend to give more weight to what ordinary Russians say about Putin being a dictator or not, than your opinion, no offense !

  • Republicofscotland


    Putin is adored by a fair percentage of the Russian people, that is understandable. One reason for that is Putin stands up to the West, who admittedly are constantly trying to do Russia down.

    Sanctions and Western propaganda push the Russian people deeper into Putins arms, and in my opinion that allows Putin to get away with a lot more than some Presidents of other nations would.

    You have to remember that a fair amount of Russians don’t see Putin as a dictator, just as large percentage of North Koreans and Zimbabewians, don’t see Kim Jong-Un or Robert Mugabe as dictators, but they are.

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