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Graham Stringer: Europe Is Failing Democracy

Blackley and Broughton MP on Cameron's veto, Lib-Dems collapse, Lab opportunity

Published on December 16th 2011.


Graham Stringer: Europe Is Failing Democracy

EUROPE needs a King Canute. Canute, you will recall, unsuccessfully ordered the tide to stop advancing. This is often misinterpreted as the deluded act of a megalomaniac. It was not. He was brilliantly demonstrating to his naive followers the limits of his powers.

Unsurprisingly the public care more about jobs than constitutional matters even when Europe infringes on our democracy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are as deluded as Canute’s subjects as they seem to believe that signing a treaty in Brussels will stop the financial tide destroying the Euro in the bond markets.

The facts are simple; Greece cannot pay off its debts, borrowing more money just exacerbates the situation, it is bankrupt. Spain and Italy will go the same way if, as expected, they borrow half a trillion Euros during the next few weeks. The proposals in the vetoed treaty giving the European Commission powers to control and cut the budgets of these countries and other Eurozone states will not alter these stark facts.

The cure envisaged in the draft treaty amounts to competitive deflation in the Eurozone which will lead to economic shrinkage, political crisis and eventually after much pain, managed default and devaluation in the old currencies of the Drachma, Lira, Peseta, Escudo etc. The Euro, political union and the dreams of the authoritarian Eurocrats will be dead.

This is all as inevitable as oceanic tides, unless Germany pays off everybody else’s debts which seems unlikely.  In a matter of weeks last week’s Brussels summit will be irrelevant and forgotten.  All of us who care about democracy and prosperity should be delighted the Euro will fall apart and economic growth can start again. So was all the hullabaloo in the British media after Cameron vetoed the treaty a case of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’?

Graham StringerGraham StringerI think the veto has much more importance than just allowing economic forces to take their natural course. At a European level it exposed the arrogance and malevolence of the French Government and many of the Eurocrats. Arrogant because they believe that they know better than the electorate, they simply hate the electorate (have you noticed how many ‘exes’ there are in important positions in Brussels, it is the land of political zombies full of failed ex-Prime Ministers and failed ex- MEP’s intent on telling us how to run our lives).

Malevolent because they want to destroy the City of London. While the City undoubtedly needs better regulation that should be decided here and not by people who have a vested interest in the business being done in Paris and Frankfurt. After all between one in eight and one in five pounds collected in tax comes from the City and 120,000 jobs are dependent on financial services in Manchester alone.

However, probably the most profound impact of Prime Minister Cameron being the first British Premier to exercise his veto in forty years is on domestic politics. While the British electorate does not like the European Union it does not affect the outcome of elections. The elections are determined by the economy stupid!

Unsurprisingly the public care more about jobs than constitutional matters even when Europe infringes on our democracy but vitally the veto and the Eurozone crisis means the two issues are now recognised as one and the same thing.

This has fundamentally changed the positioning of our political parties. Cameron is getting a boost from being seen to stand up for Britain and British jobs. The Lib Dems having jettisoned their beliefs and policies on education, the environment and voting reform have now sold out on their core belief in Europe. Every single one of them abstained on a key motion on Cameron’s veto.  They are now in a struggle to stay in third place with UKIP. They will lose.

This has presented an opportunity and a problem for the Labour Party. Unfortunately Ed Milliband has positioned Labour as the most pro-European party in the Commons when 70% of the electorate are hostile to Europe and half the electorate want to leave the European Union.

Labour’s position is not tenable if it wants to win the next General Election only pursuing a referendum on whether we stay in the European Union or leave can restore electoral credibility with the public.

 

Melting Euro

 

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Mr JohnDecember 17th 2011.

well said. When will Europe get real about the Euro? and the effect that it is having against jobs,

the Whalley RangerDecember 17th 2011.

I have tried my best and just cannot see for the life of me the difference between what the UK on the one hand and Europe on the other are proposing to combat the current crisis - and hence where the assumed pseudo-differences in approach lie.

To set out my premise. There are two ways to respond the current state of affairs:

1- print money, i.e. INFLATION
2- fiscal tightening of belts, i.e. DEFLATIONARY RECESSION

The UK government clearly favours option two as we all very well know from the Eighties that 15% interest rates will kill off the last homeowners out there and drive everyone with skills to work abroad. Happened before, will happen again. If in doubt, ask your dad why he went to Hong Kong back then.

Funny enough, France and especially Germany favour exactly the same approach! No differences whatsoever!

So why all this bulldogging on the sideline?

The main reason why Conservative British politicians oppose 'new treaties' is the fear of regulation of the City - a location were quite frankly most of the world-wide gambling has been taking place.

They are wrong to do so. Most people have grasped by now that this so-called 'national interest' is one of the main reasons why the system has collapsed. Excessive investment-gambling.

We need regulation. The bankers need to be shown their limits for the sake of everyone else out there, home or abroad.

Sideline topics and small-minded nationalism are designed to fog the facts. Bright light and a resolute vision will quickly clear it away...

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

This government clearly favours a bit of both having tightened belts and allowed the bank of england to persue Quantative Easing.

The investment bankers were stupid but ultimately the problem is debt. which is owned by individuals who borrowed more than they could really aford. Those individuals include almost everyone who has bought or remortgaged a house in the last 10-15 years. Andy anyone whos borrowed on their creditcard for a sustained peroid. ie its the borrowing of the average man in the street thats the problem.

AD

the Whalley RangerDecember 19th 2011.

Wrong Anon AD. look at this:

www.businessinsider.com/…/debt.png…

Mr JohnDecember 17th 2011.

Fully agree about the regulation, but feel the Euro has had its day.

Working with German people who long for the mark to return, and they now believe that the Euro does not work,

Let hope thay can resolve thi sfor all our sakes.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 18th 2011.

Why should the Euro ever go?

At the end of the day, it will be the currency of countries who MAKE things.

What's Mr Sterling's future?

Devaluation!

MerkozyDecember 18th 2011.

They?

Excuse me? This is a Anglo-American problem. Who invented Credit Default Swaps?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blythe_Masters

Read up and pay back your own debts. It's not that you haven't got any...

Kevin PeelDecember 20th 2011.

Nonsense. I'm proud of Labour's stance as a staunchly pro-European party and rightly so - being in Europe brings huge benefits to the UK and some of our most progressive laws originated in Europe - anti-discrimination legislation, guaranteed rights to holiday pay, equal treatment for part time workers, maternity and paternity leave, stronger environmental protection rules - to name just a few.

Furthermore, here in the North West we're a net benefactor of EU funding - meaning we get more out of the EU than we put in. Billions of euros have been invested across the region in development projects, such as Salford's Chapel Street regeneration currently underway.

Mr Stringer should stop parroting Tory lines and start making a positive case for Britain's future in the EU.

True MancunianDecember 22nd 2011.

He's off again. Kevin - why are you sooooooo jealous of Graham Stringer? Methinks because he's got a brain and the ability to use it. Perhaps one day you'll learn to think for yourself too and even develop some understanding of what real people (rather than political party robots) want - but somehow I doubt it. PS: Liverpool may be a 'net benefactor' of our recycled taxes but Manchester certainly isn't.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mr JohnDecember 25th 2011.

Fully agree, I dont usually agree with Stringer but this time he is 110% correct. Forget the dogma for once he speaks what I belive is what most sane sensible people across Europe really think.

the Whalley RangerDecember 22nd 2011.

All this badly informed bullsh't I am reading here.

Manc knob, the North West of England is a 'net benefactor', just get over it!

Furthermore, has it occurred to you that only second and third rate countries in the EU entertain the simple-minded argument of net benefiary/ net contribution? What counts is the vision of progress.

The sad truth is that colonial Britain cannot accept that they are no longer King o' the hill anyone. The nail in the coffin will occur when Scotland declares its independence. Great Britain - this concept is over, matey - no one wants to be part of it, not ever your own people.

On the other hand, Poland is queuing to join the Euro - Turkey, Kroatia et al are queuing to join the EU.

Again, get over it and go see a shrink.

Flemish BelgianDecember 22nd 2011.

I don't believe the Scots will ever split from the beloved GB. What would they do with all the oil money no longer syphoned off to Westminster?

Invest it in Celtic or Rangers like the Arabs in City?

That wouldn't make much sense, as ManU fans would claim...

Ich bin ein BerlinerDecember 29th 2011.

The next wall to fall is wall street

RudeboyJanuary 9th 2012.

Europe failing? Jamaica is in the process of ridding itself of the Queen as Head of State following the recent elections there. T&T etc have already done so.

With Scotland going soon, this will be the total, utter and complete demise of England as we know it...

Mr Stringer, you are barking up the wrong tree.

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2012.

Britain is paying £50million a day in 2012 to the EU, part comes back to landowners etc. but not to the treasury. £350m a week is enough to pay for two Olympic Games each year at £9bn each. For this we get an extra layer of Government and Civil service. But if you ask for anything here, like all weather bus shelters or noise abatement for motorways or a new pedestrian crossing or cycle lanes you get told "times are hard", "there's no money". Liars.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 18th 2012.

So what? Germany's contribution in 2004(!) was 20bn(!!). You lot have a rebate remember, cheapskates...

Ultimately, you've got to make your mind up whether you're out or in it to SHAPE THE FUTURE.

What is your plan, Britain?

Managed decline?

AnonymousJanuary 19th 2012.

The above figure of £50m a day includes the rebate, it's the actual amount sent. It's £18 billion a year.

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