By Dark Politricks
For those of you that have a worldview that exists outside your national boundaries (I’m talking to you USA) then you might have heard about a little thing called the European Sovereign Debt crisis that is moving once proud nations from democracies to mere subsidiaries of Eurocrat / German power.
For the UK, this is worrying to many people for many reasons. Not only are we not members of the Euro, and have no wish to be, but the thought that Europe is going to end up being controlled by the same nation we fought two wars against to prevent having the same power that we are now edging towards horrifies many of the older generation.
For the younger generation the fact Germany is a powerful country is not so much a problem as the lack of democracy that is inherent in the European institutions that encroach on our daily lives more and more year by year.
Forgetting that Germany is actually the only real industrial power making quality goods left in Europe, we should be concerned that this financial crisis is being used by Euro fanatics and bureaucrats to bring about their dream of a United States of Europe – something that has been dreamt by many from the time of the Roman Empire.
So far we have seen two once proud nations, the originators of democracy and the form of government we still see used across much of the planet fall to the diktats of Europe and the Bond vigilantes.
Both Greece, the home of democracy and Italy, the last country to rule the whole of Europe and who’s republican government has been the basis of many others including the USA, have crumbled under the weight of their sovereign debts.
The threat of unsustainable debt levels and high interest rates has seen their governments fall and their democratically elected leaders replaced with more pliable and “acceptable” leaders, much to the disgust of their nations people.
This last sumit of Europeans leaders was meant to be the final drink in the last chance saloon and during the run up leaders of France and Germany, Sarkozy and Merkel, were both declaring that there was only a few hours to “save the Euro”.
Many people were hoping that they would fail for reasons other than financial instability and it seems David Cameron, the UK PM has delivered their desires on a silver platter by vetoing an EU-wide treaty change designed to tackle the euro-zone crisis.
He claimed changes to the much hated Lisbon Treaty that would have given up even more UK sovereignty to the EU was not in the countries interests due to due to it’s tougher budget rules and a plan to implement a “tobin” tax that would have affected the City of London unfairly.
“We were offered a treaty that didn’t have proper safeguards for Britain, and I decided it was not right to sign that treaty,” he told the BBC.
“We’re still in the single market. That is the best safeguard of keeping markets open,” he said.
Its main provisions include:
- A cap of 0.5% of GDP on countries’ annual structural deficits.
- “automatic consequences” for countries whose public deficit exceeds 3% of GDP.
- The tighter rules to be enshrined in countries’ constitutions.
- The EU’s permanent bailout facility, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to be accelerated and brought into force in July 2012.
- The adequacy of 500bn-euro (£427bn; $666bn) limit for the ESM to be reassessed.
- Eurozone and other EU countries to provide up to 200bn euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help debt-stricken eurozone members
Being outside the Euro it is understandable that the UK does not want to join a fiscal union with Euro using nations but a tax on financial transactions could have been an ideal solution if implemented world wide for many reasons.
- The financial crisis was mainly caused by large financial institutions going crazy with their speculation and risky behaviour which a tobin tax would help reduce.
- The tobin tax would go a long way to help fill the coffers of nations who are now suffering “austerity” measures due to the taxpayer bailing out these financial institutions therefore it would placate many people who are currently outraged that the banksters have been able to bankrupt whole nations, place the burden of paying the debts on the back of the taxpayer and who continue to pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses.
- The large majority of financial trading is automated, computers trading with other computers and the practise of high frequency trading and front running legitimate trades has been a major source of concern for those who are aware of the practise. A tobin tax on trades that were only held for a few seconds at most would not hurt legitimate investors, pensions firms and other long term investers but it could help reduce the amount of risk that comes about from computers making trading decisions.
- The UK economy is too unbalanced towards reliance on financial services. The governments supposed plan to help reduce the deficit and restore growth to our stagnated economy was to increase high tech industry, increase exports and reduce our reliance on financial services in the City. A tax on the very businesses that make our country the most money which are companies that can obviously afford to pay it (as their recent profits and bonuses reveal) plus companies who caused the mess we are in, in the first place would go a long way to helping restore public trust in that part of our economy whilst satisfying a wide public lust for some form of justice in the face of massive cuts to public service, tax rises, rising inflation and rising unemployment.
Obviously at the moment our governments plan to re balance the economy has gone nowhere and the UK is still overly reliant on the City for revenue generation and in this regards it was probably wise for Cameron to put our own interests above those of the Euro members.
However much commentators have lamented his actions as destroying Britain’s place in Europe at the decision making table it was always going to happen sooner or later unless we joined the single currency.
No-one can expect a non member of a monetary union between multiple states to have an equal say over how that group of states is run and how close they work together and in the same way that closely integrated group of countries cannot expect to apply the same rules they obey to countries outside their common fiscal and monetary policies
If the rest of Europe wishes to give up their national sovereignty to save a doomed currency then so be it but I doubt many citizens across Europe will be happy. Little by little their national governments are becoming little more than talking shops and real decisions about their economy and other key policy areas are now made by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and Strasbourg with the Germans having the loudest voice.
As the BBC Editor Gavin Hewitt succinctly put it:
“For the European people, they are in a closer Europe than they ever voted for”.
From this point of view David Cameron has pleased his Euro-sceptic back benches and many UK citizens who have never even had a chance to vote on their countries participation in a political pipe dream that was concocted during the ashes of the second world war and was designed to prevent Germany from ever again becoming the dominant power within Europe.
Whether or not Cameron and the UK go their own way, the other 26 members of the EU seem to be willing to sign up for closer economic and political union which will be done by multiple inter-country treaties instead of a single EU treaty due to Cameron’s veto.
However countries such as Ireland which have already been enslaved by Euro debt relief have to put any European treaty to a referndum so there may be more countries standing with the UK than there currently are and the talk of the UK being isolated could just be a temporary situation.
More and more people are realising that the Euro is slowing crumbling and whilst a disorganised disintegration may cause immense distress and disruption the UK should be better placed than it’s European partners to weather the storm that in undoubtedly brewing.