Saturday, September 11, 2010

I sense change in the wind

There are no straws as yet but hints of coming enormous events abound. Sensing a change in the weather, as discussed in this interesting link, is one thing, but suspecting significant moves amongst the former major powers of the European Continent, which perhaps just might indicate a long overdue awakening from their long sleepwalk towards collapse and obscurity, is assuredly quite another thing altogether, so let us examine some clues. First must come trade, the essential life blood for most nations, particulary a maritime trading one and even more so a society built on trade by an island race. For decades trade has been a non-issue in Britain, accepted by euro fanatic and eu-sceptic alike as an area delegated to the Common Market, European Economic Community and now the European Union. Yet of late the Coalition Government has been in a state of some agitation to find a figure of sufficient stature for the formerly unimportant post of trade minister. Reactions to the originally announced appointment of Leon Brittan, such as that in The Spectator three weeks ago linked here, were such that a volte face occurred and it became known that the former Thatcher Cabinet Minister and longtime eu-parasite was merely to find a candidate of sufficient stature for the post. Can that be believed, since when, after enactment of the European Communities Act of 1972, have any qualifications whatsoever been required as mere toady to Brussels while nominally speaking for Britain on Trade? Well times have changed indeed, for step forward Stephen Green, Chairman of none other than HSBC, survivor of the credit crunch with no call for Middle East capital injections such as those required by Barclays and recently reported master rat ready to quit the sinking ship of the post-Osborne City of London for the more prosperous roots betrayed in its name, hardly an option for a Midland Bank whose petty acquisition first brought it to these shores! The Guardian report of his appointment last Tuesday is linked here. So Stephen Green must feel he will have a proper job to do. In any re-alignment or re-structuring of the EU, trade will be Britain's Ace of Trumps and will thus need to be carefully and cunningly played with our alternatives meticulously crafted well ahead of any final crunch point. The second sign of serious fall back positions being established came in the daily press briefing from Open Europe of yesterday, linked here, from which comes the following:

AFP reports that French Budget Minister François Baroin was yesterday in London to discuss the upcoming negotiations of the EU budget with, among others, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Speaking after the talks, Baroin admitted that he did not manage to persuade his British counterparts to re-negotiate the UK rebate. “I have made many efforts and put on the table several arguments. But I have understood that the Britons had no intention of changing their stance”, he said, adding that during the talks he had also made clear that French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s position on the Common Agricultural Policy “is not negotiable”. He concluded, “at least […] these talks have shown the determination of both our countries to defend the respective positions”. France and the UK have agreed to limit the increase to the 2011 EU budget to 2.9 percent from the last year.

Meanwhile, EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski has said that he will present a “neutral report” on possible new sources of financing for the EU budget at the beginning of October. However, he refused to reveal if the study would include an EU tax among the considered options.

An EU Tax has always been a step too far for the British, so can we assume that the powers that be are now behind the new EU Referendum Campaign so incompetently launched as I disclosed one week ago today. Did they then, with their loathesome advert threatening cruelty to a tiny puppy, inadvertently reveal their true intent, a referendum timed at a moment of maximum economic peril, when the public's aversion to change would be at its greatest, for use solely as a negotiating ploy with all bets hedged as carefully as possible to obtain the establishment's desired result? Maybe so, but any referendum is a risk in these uncertain and rapidly changing times and no certain outcome can be assured even with the power of the state and entire resources of the EU deployed to ensure that democracy will be finally destroyed across our islands! Last item I will offer for your consideration over this weekend, is a carefully argued posting by an arch EU federalist on his blog published this week and very effectively arguing that no Government wishing to retain its control can forever ignore the stated opposition of a large majority of its countrymen. The entire posting on the Grahnlaw blog is linked here, but I offer this quote from the conclusion to give busier readers a quick chance to gather the drift of the multiply linked remarks: The dichotomy between official EU membership and negative public opinion leads to the question of political legitimacy. Is it right for a “wise” political establishment to disregard public opinion, even if withdrawal would be short-sighted and against the national interest? Are wise decisions the essence of democracy, or is democratic government fundamentally a question of legitimacy? In a democratic society, people assume the consequences of their collective vote, but they later have the right to try to correct their bad choices. Is trial and error the right way for Britain? In conclusion, sensing the wind can be prone to error, but let me quote this passage from the opening link to this posting, which unusually for this blog contains a sermon with a concluding response to the text containing the following: "New winds are blowing. The spiritual climate is changing. The smell of fresh breezes and fresh showers are in the air." I recommend the entire sermon for those with extra time on their hands during this grimly anniversaried weekend! Meantime I still sense change on the wind!

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Blogger wg said...

I am a regular reader of Ralf Grahn’s blog and I, like you, was surprised by the tone of his post.

I am also in agreement on the need to tread carefully. A comment, on the Witterings from Witney blogspot, written by Edward Spalton says this:

“To those keen on an "in/out" EU referendum, I would say "Remember 1975!"
Within about 2 years the well-resourced "Yes" campaign was able to convert an (opinion poll) 60% or so in favour of leaving the EEC into a 60% plus real vote for staying in.”

I remember well as a young man in 1975 being sold this wonderful Utopia only to find myself in a corrupt and corporatist hell. Fascism, in short.

10:43 AM  

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