Sunday, December 11, 2011

Following Friday's high (and historic) drama, David Cameron naturally got both bouquets and brickbats from today's UK press.

A bouquet: All the UK is isolated from is an impending disaster: the eurozone will fragment with countries leaving and debt defaults. . . It is like being as isolated as a man who failed to get onto the Titanic before it sailed.

A brickbat:- As an act of crass stupidity, this has rarely been equalled.

And then there was . . .

British understatement, from one of the officials involved:- It's not the optimum outcome in terms of UK influence.

Ever-so-French overstatement:- Cameron acted like a man who goes to a wife-swapping party without taking his wife.

The reality:- In short, the summit that was supposed to save monetary union has been little short of disastrous. Going into the talks, the markets hoped for a happy ending to the sovereign debt saga: a deal to pave the way for the European Central Bank to ride to the rescue of Italy and Spain, under siege from the bond vigilantes. What they got instead was political schism, half-baked reforms and the complete absence of any fresh economic thinking. . . What was needed was a route map out of a situation that threatens Europe with at least one and perhaps two years of crisis. What we got instead was a blueprint to prevent the next crisis, assuming that monetary union makes it that far.


Vamos a ver.

6 comments:

Lenox said...

An interesting comment from the Germans:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,802933,00.html

moscow said...

Hi Colin,

I always maintained that this all would end up in tragedy for Britain. Obstinacy, bloody mindedness, ignorance, arrogance and petulance would one day exact their price. On the other side I feel sorry it had to come to this. Britain is a European country to the core. To maintain something different from that is simply ludricous. I believe it is better to have Britain in than out. But let's not be fooled. Britain (and the fraudsters in the City) needs Europe infinitely more, than Europe needs Britain (and the fraudsters in the City). Britain is the emperor with no clothes (with an economy based largely on fluff). It is Greece writ large. It will be fun (for some) to watch. Don't say I didn't tell you so.

moscow said...

Oh and before I lose interest again in our dialectical fencing...here is article from a Briton which sums up not only what I think but also almost to the word what I have tried to tell you all these years(it is from Jonathan Faull in the Guardian today) to very deaf ears (or blind eyes):

"So what should the UK do? Stand by and watch a continental system built largely on German principles develop? Here is the challenge for British eurosceptics: what is your strategy for the country in the 21st century? We hear incessantly what you don't like or want. From the xenophobic rants of the blogs and the tabloids to the reflections of those who question EU policies and are more deserving of the honourable adjective "skeptical", I see little constructive thinking about the future.

Hong Kong, Canada, Norway? Who are we and where are we going? Is this a British problem or an English one? These issues are bound up with national self-consciousness, a sense of self which the UK needs to define more clearly for itself and in its dealings with the rest of the world.

Europe has too often been a scapegoat for post-imperial disappointments and failings. It can be a catalyst for serious thought about where the UK is going. The pro-European view is clear. Britain is a European country with similar challenges and opportunities to those facing its neighbours. It should be involved in major political developments, the latest of which is likely to be a thoroughgoing coordination of economic policies. It should influence that process, not suffer it. Otherwise, Britain will be the Channel Islands of the EU. Formally apart, with lovely pageantry and some economic successes, but following rules and policies made elsewhere.

Colin said...

@Moscow

"Don't say I didn't tell you so. "

I wouldn't dream of it. !'m just pleased to know you're still reading my blog.

And thanks for the citation.

Here's one for you -

http://michael-hudson.com/2011/12/europe’s-transition-from-social-democracy-to-oligarchy/

Mike the Traditionalist said...

@Moscow
Britain is not a European country and if it were it would be running everything in Europe now much to the displeasure of European countries. At the moment Germany is playing the part that Britain would have been playing. Britons are not Europeans and never will be. They have a different character and ideas to that of Europeans. Of course that doesn't stop them trying to put their nose into everything European. Having an Irish background I find it amusing to hear Irishmen calling themselves Europeans.

Ferrolano said...

@MtT

I don’t for one minute agree with you that Britain is not a European country. I believe that you will find that all member states to the EU and to Europe will put their national pride ahead of a European pride – but that does not make them non European.

As far as running the show, well, perhaps that was decided some 40+ years ago when the British application to join was vetoed by De Gaulle – maybe that is really what he was afraid of…

And please don’t forget that Britain has been intricately involved with and part of Europe for many hundreds of years – for both good and for bad.. I for one wish to see that continue.

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