Monday, December 12, 2005

Good for EU Cameron

Let's hope Ken Clarke's worst fears are realised and David Cameron does become "the [Conservative] party's most eurosceptic leader ever".

Ken Clarke must be the test by which European policy is determined, if he opposes it, it's the right policy!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

By that same irreverent logic, any policy which Ken opposes must surely be opposed by the wider electorate, given the enormous popularity of the ex-Chancellor.

Leaving the EPP is no bad thing in itself; it's simply a question of who the Tories are going to sign up with next in the European Parliament. An alliance of Tories and proto-fascists from France and Italy? Labour won't even have to try hard to paint Cameron's Conservatives as a hardcore bunch of right-wing nutjobs.

chris said...

However sceptic leaving the EPP may seem, I wish he was willing to take the next step and leave the EU!

Snafu said...

Anonymous, I have the greatest respect for Ken Clarke when he was Chancellor, however, I believe his views on Europe are fundamentally wrong. I have never supported the Euro, Ken Clarke still harbours a desire for Britain to join the Euro which would condemn the UK to the same sclerosis that affects the rest of Europe.

I fail to see why the Conservatives need to ally with anyone in the European Parliament if they disagree with them fundamentally. I am quite happy for them to be aloof from their fellow Parliamentarians. European Conservatives should follow the European policies determined by the Parliamentary Conservative party in Westminster, anything else and they are not representing the people who vote for them across the UK.

Apologies if my logic in this case is overtly irreverent, but it is the same logic that I apply to the trade unions!

DV said...

IF they had any guts they would be out of the EU farce..

Lone Primate said...

I've been watching Britain flop around for years now. You guys have got to come to grips with it. This whole idea you can play on both sides of the Atlantic equally is a pipedream. Look at the map. You're not in North America. You're in Europe. Get used to it. Most of your trade is within the EU. The vast majority of your tourists are from the EU. These people by and large use the euro, which is about to become a much more important currency once Iran begins denominating petroleum in it next march and breaks the petrodollar monopoly. For heaven's sake, drop the whole "fog fills Channel, continent cut off" crap and get on with it. You made your choice in 1973. See it through; adopt the euro and start taking your responsibilities seriously. Europe will be stronger with a committed UK, and the world will be a better place with a stronger EU.

Snafu said...

Lone Primate, Isn't it about time Canada merged with the United States and scrapped the Canadian Dollar as most Canadian trade is with the US?

Or would Canada, like the UK, prefer to be responsible for her own destiny, own interest rates, tax and benefits policies?

The UK has more in common with our North American cousins, hence the constant reference to the Anglo-Saxon model, than the European Socail model. Why join a sinking ship?

I have no problem wih other European countries adopting the Euro, it is beneficial for trade and certainly makes travel around Europe cheaper as transaction costs are lowered, however, the European countries have given up a lot of the powers to determine their own economic policies to achieve this.

I believe they have given up too much power!

Lone Primate, don't forget that the choice made by the British people in 1973 was to join a common market, this has now morphed into an institutional behemoth!

Lone Primate said...

Lone Primate, Isn't it about time Canada merged with the United States and scrapped the Canadian Dollar as most Canadian trade is with the US?

Yeah, like I didn't see that one coming. :) There are those here who do periodically propose it. But the cases aren't the same. You're an English-speaking country culturally insulated from the rest of Europe by a different language, different legal systems, even different TV standards. Your culture is not going to evaporate or melt into France's or Germany's anytime soon, if ever. Our differences from the US are slight but real. The day may come when we see fit to merge with them, but that will have far deeper ramifications for us if we reach that point than getting serious about Europe has for you. Given the beating the US dollar is taking -- they're due to raise interest rates a quarter point again today just to maintain its value relative to the euro it once managed at a much lesser rate of interest prior to the war -- this would be just about the worst time in modern history for us to enter into a currency union with the United States. The euro, on the other hand, stands on the verge of emerging as the peer of the US dollar on the world stage. Your situation vis-a-vis Europe in no way resembles ours vis-a-vis the United States. Gallant try, though.

The UK has more in common with our North American cousins, hence the constant reference to the Anglo-Saxon model,

I don't dispute that. You're entirely welcome to come visit... us, the States, Australia, whomever. But you're living in Europe. You're eating in Europe, sleeping in Europe, trading in Europe. Culture's nice; the Beatles were fantastic and Spitting Image was a hoot -- but reality's a clincher. You do nothing like the volume of trade with us you do with the EU, and that's very unlikely to change. We finally joined the OAS, we're in NAFTA (for all the good it does us when the US abrogates the rules anytime a ruling goes against them); we came to terms with living in the Americas. Well, I look around and I don't see Britain here.

Why join a sinking ship?

That "sinking ship" is now a larger exporter than the US. It has a positive trade balance overall in the world. It has a currency that, within a year or two, will be used to denominate major commodities. If you'd rather cuddle in with your poisonous xenophobia, I guess that's your right. But far from joining a sinking ship, you're about to miss the boat.

If you want to know what a real sinking ship looks like, look at the deficits the US is racking up as it exports its manufacturing capacity and acumen to China. And you want to get closer to that just because they speak the same language as you? We have to live next to them. Your position is enviable.

Snafu said...

Lone Primate, which part of valuing UK Sovereignty is "poisonous xenophobia"? I love visiting Europe and North America and experiencing what the different countries have to offer. If you consider that a wish not to be ruled by them but for the UK to determine it's own future nor to have a currency union with them is "poisonous xenophobia" then I am guilty!

You are right about now not being an opportune time for a Canadian currency union with the US as they are suffering from severe budget and trade deficits. However, if were these problems to be overcome in future decades, could you foresee a time when you would support a currency union with the Greenback?

I fail to see why the UK should ever join a currency union where countries "abrogate[ ] the rules anytime a ruling goes against them". The UK is not struggling economically as a result of being outside the Eurozone.

PS Thanks for the comment, longest one ever and I'll be adding you to my blogroll if that's ok!

Lone Primate said...

Lone Primate, which part of valuing UK Sovereignty is "poisonous xenophobia"? ... If you consider that a wish not to be ruled by them...

Well, that, see. That's the telling point. How does being a voluntary member (and one of the three largest at that) of an economic community aimed at forging mutually-beneficial standards and co-operating on matters that touch on the lives of all Europeans boil down to "being ruled by" the others? You talk about the UK... isn't it just a larger version of that? Is Scotland "ruled by" England? Is Wales? Northern Ireland? Or would you insist they have the same rights as the English, an equal say as individuals, that the whole country is run for their benefit as well? Well, then why can't you extend the same benefit of the doubt to the EU you'd ask of your partners in the UK?

You are right about now not being an opportune time for a Canadian currency union with the US as they are suffering from severe budget and trade deficits. However, if were these problems to be overcome in future decades, could you foresee a time when you would support a currency union with the Greenback?

No, not the greenback. George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Abe Lincoln were all fine guys. But they're not my country's guys. I wouldn't want to adopt some other country's currency; I'd want a new one we shared. Like the euro is. But yes, if things changed enough, I could imagine some kind of political union with the US. But a lot would have to change. They'd have to dump the death penalty, stop bombing anyone and everyone they feel like, tone down the religious aspect of their politics... and pay down some of that bloody gigantic debt. If they'd join the rest of the Western world in modernity, it would become a whole lot easier. Right now, they're an extremely unattractive partner, and I'd like to diversify our trade, especially with the emerging markets elsewhere here in the Americas.

The UK is not struggling economically as a result of being outside the Eurozone.

No, just rather gutlessly letting the rest of Europe do the heavy lifting establishing a reserve currency for you to comfortably slip into whenever you please. As for not struggling, neither were France or Germany... but they've put aside their pride and their age-old currencies for the benefit of all... why are YOU too good for that? I've always been an anglophile (I'm ethnically British) but your stand on the euro has really disappointed me. That, and cynically giving Hong Kong democracy as you reach for your hat on the way out the door... but that's another story.

PS Thanks for the comment, longest one ever and I'll be adding you to my blogroll if that's ok!

Please do. And BTW... I wanna be proud of Britain too. :)

Alison said...

Lone Primate - ive only time to skim read the comments of yours and not the follow up responses but id like to say i agree on the whole. we should get a grip of it and start directing it instead of meandering directionless.

Those young europeans i have as friends dont share the same antequated pov as fat cats Chirac and formerly Shroeder.

Its the biggest club in town, lets direct it, lets decide what we want out of it and manage it instead if it managing us. After all London is the capital of europe. I can see you are way ahead on the complexities of what we do and dont do already but you want a job? Come to London. Wanna retire and benefit from the fantastic French health system modelled on the NHS but which curiously works - go to France. Fair exchange.

i dont see why we need sacrifice any of our culture. Further down i noticed you mention something about poisonous xenophobia. A cliche. Its stands to reason that a people who have contributed so much would not want to be absorbed into a land mass of bigoted old european farts as they are now. Best directed towards Chirac - a xenophobe of the highest order. You might think that they have put aside their countries to usher in the EU but currently in practise they are far wilier.