What to make of yesterday? Britain wields its veto at the EU Summit to reject changes to the treaty that this Tory led government deem to be ‘not in the national interest’, despite stating that saving the Euro is in the UK’s interests and arguing for the last three months that fiscal unity for the Euro was part of the answer.
After three days of press comment there is a view that this is a disaster for the European right wing. Cameron’s veto stops nothing and the British no longer influence the future of the European Union.
Cameron chose to represent the interests of one square mile against those of the remaining 90,000, and he failed to win any protection for those interests. It’s also a personal failure, Merkel & Sarkozy should be allies; if the UK demands were reasonable, and Clegg claimed last week that they were designed to be, then he should been able to close a deal, but he couldn’t. He looked over his shoulder at the Eurosceptics who elected him and UKIP who threaten him, and made the grand gesture of a pointless and failed veto.
It’s a Road to Nowhere!
The Labour front bench’s line is the powerful, “Vetoes stop things, this hasn’t” and they’re right.” Douglas Alexander in his article for the New Statesman called “Labour will make a big, open offer to the Lib Dems on Europe” says, the Summit
…should have taken the vital decisions needed to stabilise the eurozone and boost growth and jobs but, instead, it was economically inadequate and politically damaging. There was no plan for growth agreed, no credible plan for reducing deficits agreed, no plan for recapitalising the banks agreed and no plan agreed for the European Central Bank to act as the lender of last resort.
Ed Balls argues in the FT, that we all know that this failure started during Cameron’s campaign for the Tory leadership when he promised to leave the European People’s Party, the original Centre-Right European parliamentary group; both Merkel’s CDU and Sarkozy’s UMP are members of the EPP. Merkel is a partisan conservative, leading the largest pro-business party in Europe, having grown up in the GDR. I suspect she wasn’t impressed, and I suspect she hasn’t forgotten. Also let’s not forget that she led the European right in excluding the Labour nominated UK’s nominee on the commission from an economic portfolio. It was made clear that Blair would not gain support of the right led European countries as President of the European Council of Ministers, a position now held by Herman van Rompuy.
Merkel needs to demonstrate that she has outlawed fecklessness before she can ask the German workers and taxpayers to shoulder the commitments necessary to stabilise the Euro. They are the only country in the EU with a balance of trade surplus. I have some sympathy in that the Greek and Italian deficit problem is compounded by a massive unofficial untaxed economy which in the case of Italy is better armed than the police. Her attempts to outlaw fecklessness by imposing austerity will however make recovery harder. Germany isn’t growing either, but at least it’s exporting more than it imports; it is part of a weakened currency zone but imposing the harsh deflationary terms of the Maastricht Stabilisation Pact is not the way out, it will crush growth in the rest of the EU.
The Right’s lack of intellectual tools means that Merkel & Sarkozy stick to the religion of austerity, and seek to embed the economic “Stabilisation Treaty” into the basic treaties of the EU. They are trying to outlaw Keynesian economics. This is opposed by France’s Socialist Party (PS) and the German SDP, both of whom could be in leadership positions in their countries by the end of 2012.
The EU Presidency, of less importance since the Lisbon Treaty, when a President of the Council was created is taken over by Denmark, now led by Social Democrats. Denmark has a strong euro-sceptic voice, but we need to organise as a Left.
This is not about for or against Europe, its Right vs. Left, and for once, Britain’s Tories are too stupid to see it but it was for domestic reasons that Cameron cast the veto. This is manufactured crisis of the European Centre-Right. Berlesconi’s gone, but the three clowns are left. This isn’t going to be easy.
Fuck triangulation, if you tell the truth with passion, people will change their mind. The sirens of globalisation don’t understand this.
Personally, I am brushing up my German, or I might start Spaish or Danish. Despite thier macabre story lines, the Killing makes Denmark look like a great place to live, and Danish not to hard to learn.
Another article found when tidying up my hard disk, published in May 2017 and back dated to about the time I wrote it.