Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Winston Churchill: Founding Father of the European Union.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 18, 2010 in European Union |

"Let Europe arise!"

"Let Europe arise!"

Winston Churchill’s famous 1946 Zurich speech where he calls for a federal United States of Europe with a common European citizenship. Admittedly, he did not expect the UK to join, but nevertheless, pretty embarrassing for British eurosceptics.

Nearly as embarassing as the fact that only one British prime minister brought Britain into the anteroom of the euro, the EMS: Margaret Thatcher. The same Margaret Thatcher who agreed to the abolition of the national veto in the Single European Act. Two facts that are airbrushed out of Tory eurosceptic history these days.

” Yet all the while there is a remedy which, if it were generally and spontaneously adopted by the great majority of people in many lands, would as by a miracle transform the whole scene and would in a few years make all Europe, or the greater part of it, as free and happy as Switzerland is today. What is this sovereign remedy? It is to recreate the European fabric, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, safety and freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The process is simple. All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong and to gain as their reward blessing instead of cursing.”

6 Comments

david morris
Feb 18, 2010 at 11:11 am

Writing as one saddo who has a copy of WSCs’ book “United States of Europe”, I can’t find anything in there which can be construed as recommending the situation we currently enjoy of an unelected, undemocratic EUSSR…………..

Kind regards


 
Jason O
Feb 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

When you say unelected and undemocratic, what do you mean? The Commission is appointed by elected politicians, as are permanent secretaries and judges in the UK. The laws passed by the EU are actually scrutinised by the Parliament and the Council, so where’s the problem? Or would you favour an elected president of the EU. Would that solve the problem?

As for the EUSSR, I was in the east before the wall came down, my friend, and that is not where we live. Well, not where I live, anyway. I can’t speak for you.


 
david morris
Feb 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Ah yes, the beloved EUKommisars (sorry, Commissioners). Can YOU vote to dismiss them ?

Didn’t think so. Don’t recognise that as democracy.

For a Country that was strangely overeager to consign their hard won sovereign currency to the dustbin in an unseemely rush to exchange it for the Euro, It has gone quiet on the realisation
that if it had kept the Punt, Ireland wouldn’t be in such a mess. The markets would have imposed their own corrective years ago.

Devaluation is not a long-term alternative to sound money, but it can be essential in the short term: the economic equivalent of an insulin injection. Ireland will shortly (after Greece & Spain,but possibly before Italy) be effectively ordered to impose IMF-style austerity measures without the balancing IMF boost: a revaluation of currency that would allow it to price itself back into the market.

Those on both sides of the debate who argued that EMU wouldn’t work without a degree of economic amalgamation are being proved right. The EU isn’t simply presently telling the Greeks what level of deficit they may run, and then leaving them to meet that target in their own way. It has activated new powers granted to it under the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty to impose a wholesale economic restructuring, covering everything from pensions to healthcare.

Greeks, understandably, have reacted badly: a general strike has been called. There is little sense that a nation is pulling together in time of crisis. Instead, Greeks feel that unpopular measures are being imposed on them from outside. Naturally enough, they are resentful. Will it play out any differently in Ireland ?

For the avoidance of doubt, I believe that tackling budget deficits are the most immediate issue in politics. But we shouldn’t need to be told what to do to by commissars whom no one elects. We should opt for the right policy as free and independent peoples who have the right to dismiss
politicos & their chums as & when required.

Hope this helps !

Kind regards


 
Jason O
Feb 19, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I can vote to dismiss my member of the European Council, who appoints and directs the commissioners.

The Greeks have a choice. They can quit the Euro and spend to their hearts content. Or they can stay in the Euro and be responsible. It’s a free union, you know. You seem to be standing up for the right of the Greeks to fiddle their books, spend like mad and expect someone else’s taxpayers to pick up the tab? Sorry, but that socialist nonsense went out in the 1970s. As for Ireland’s sovreign currency, we still have it. It’s called the Euro. Pre 1979 our interest rates were decided in the Bank of England. Ireland has (rightly) imposed austerity measures because our spending exceeds our revenue. Problem? As for Britain’s much vaunted freedom outside the Euro, let’s see how that works out for you. I suspect it’ll just cause you a different set of problems. After all, we’re not having any problems with exchange rate instability within the eurozone, are we?


 
david morris
Feb 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Well, up to a point Lord Copper, and BTW,

good luck with your vote to dismiss your member of the European Council.

Free union ? In the UK we had a vote on joining into an economic & free trade area – since then (1973) we – the pipple – have been deprived of anything resembling an opportunity to decide on
further commitment to integration.

You will recall that in the run up to the Euro’s inauguration, Greece (amongst others) stood up
& swore that their economy had passed the stringent “kick the tyres” test to enable them to
join the project. Completely laughable, and yet the Euro’s supporters waved them in.

Otmar Issing, one of the fathers of the euro, correctly states the principle on which the single currency was founded. As he wrote in the FT last week, the Euro was meant to be a monetary union but not a political one. Participating states established a common central bank but refused to surrender the right to tax their citizens to a common authority. This principle was enshrined in the Maastricht treaty and has since been rigorously interpreted by the German constitutional court. The Euro was a unique and unusual construction whose viability is now being tested.

The construction is patently flawed. A fully fledged currency requires both a central bank and a Treasury. The Treasury need not be used to tax citizens on an everyday basis but it needs to be available in times of crisis. When the financial system is in danger of collapsing, the central bank can provide liquidity, but only a Treasury can deal with problems of solvency. This is a well-known fact that should have been clear to everyone involved in the creation of the Euro. Mr Issing admits that he was among those who believed that “starting monetary union without having established a political union was putting the cart before the horse”.

So makeshift assistance should be enough for Greece, but that leaves Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland. Together they constitute too large a portion of Euroland to be helped in this way. The survival of Greece would still leave the future of the Euro in question. Even if it handles the current crisis – and thats a big if – what about the next one?

Whatever measures Biffo et al (acting as the premier tier of local guvmint on behalf of the sovereign EUSSR ) have introduced are as nothing compared to what will be required to steady the ship in the coming financial tsunami.

Kind regards


 
Jason O
Feb 23, 2010 at 8:10 am

In fairness, isn’t Britain about to sack its European Council member on May 6th?
As for what passes for British “democracy”, a moronic first past the post voting system that lets someone win a majority with 35% of the vote, and keeps a genuinely eurosceptic party out of the parliament of the most eurosceptic country in Europe, that’s the British people’s problem, not the EU’s. Europe doesn’t elect your lousy leaders for you. Elect Nigel Farage if you want, we won’t send a gunboat up the Thames, we promise!


 

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