Another avalanche of evidence from The Slog about why – on every kind of moral, egalitarian, legal, democratic, libertarian, fiscal, financial and economic measure – a completely clean break with the European Union is the only safe option for Britain.
Four days ago I posted about press intimidation by the French Secret Service. Fly north with me now to Germany, where a survey, conducted by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach recently discovered that fewer than 1 in 5 Germans feel free to express their views in public.
The study has to be the most gripping text I’ve yet come across illustrating just how commonplace politically correct fascism now is in the founding nations of the EU. Nearly a third of Germans avoid expressing contrarian views among even their closest associates, and a terrifying 83% will not express their philosophical musings on the internet.
This is hardly surprising: I was ridiculed six years ago when pointing out that The Slog blog (on trying to access Alternativ für Deutschland and similar sites in Germany) was diverted to a Swiss site celebrating homosexual leather fetishism. While I fully accept that this suggests Angela Mirakle at least has a sense of humour, it does not bode well for the “democratic free speech values” so treasured by our good friend Guy Verhofstadt.
The German Sicherheitsdienst doesn’t approve of The Slog, because I posted as long ago as 2012 about the reality of Mutti Merkel’s powerful role as a Communist Youth leader in East Germany – the DDR.
This is the reality of united Germany under Merkel: Berlin is extending its curbing of ‘dangerous’ views on the Internet. The Bundestag has just imposed a fine of up to €500,000 per day on any online social medium that ignores a diktat to delete any story the State deems (without defined restrictions) to be “fake news”.
Cue sound of laughter from within Eric Hoenniker’s DDR coffin. Cue weeping from the resting place of Eric Blair aka George Orwell.
You can dismiss this as conspiracoid bollocks: but seven years on, the link above still looks prescient.
I recognise that neither the UK’s neoliberal Right nor its neocommunist Left gives too much of a damn about such niceties as objectivity, freedom of speech, direct democracy or the plurality of genuine econo-political debate. But surely there are still enough decent folk around who want to give every citizen an equal opportunity to excel, fulfil and enrich the four score years and ten we all seem to expect these days.
Asuming that to be the case, it is hard to understand how, day after day, genuine One Nation Conservatives and traditional Centre-Left voters in the UK can deny the reality of sheer unaccountable economic incompetence in the European Union.
The European Central Bank’s currency stability target is 60% off, and since last August the eurozone growth outlook has been cut six times. It now stands at 1.1%. Mario Draghi continues to insist he has the tools and firepower to deal with these problems, but the truth is that he doesn’t: in the Autumn he proposes to launch another subsidy to banks so they will lend to business, but the last effort flopped for the same reason it will fail this time: lack of demand for loans, and nervousness among eurobanks about lending in the current environment.
SuperMario is widely expected to be “doveish” at today’s June presser with the ECB, which is a benign way of saying he has nothing to be hawkish about.
The monetarists remain in denial about the eurozone’s real problem, lack of consumer demand. Higher indirect taxes and Schäuble’s insane ClubMed austerity put paid to such demand as there was. Germany in particular is feeling the pinch, because it’s durable-biased export economy has slumped in the face of falling orders. Having forecast 1% growth last September, Berlin now says it be be just half that…but the MAT for the first quarter of this year was even worse at 0.4%.
Another factor in the EU’s slowdown is structural and insoluble: having (with NATO encouragement) annexed several former soviet satellites in Eastern Europe, a flood of cheap Polish, Slovakian and Hungarian goods have headed West, while broadscale immigration of Eastern workers into the West has slashed wages, lowering disposable incomes in France still further. That plus the Gilets Jaunes problem has saddled France with an ongoing total deficit which is going to be way beyond eurozone rules by the year-end.
The gallic monetary deficit is the cul de sac that dare not speak its name, but while it is much bigger than Italy’s, the urgency of the latter State’s sovereign and banking debt problem is considerably more pressing. Yesterday, the European Commission officially declared that Italy hasn’t made sufficient progress in reducing its mountain of debt in line with the bloc’s fiscal rules, and so a fine is to be sent their way. Bloomberg sources reported that the sum involved is likely to be in the region of €3.5 billion.
Because Brussels is mad, it seems unable to grasp that fining Rome is pretty much like kneecapping a patient with a broken foot. Italian 10-year bond yield spreads are now 280 basis points higher than Germany’s; put another way, it’s twice as expensive for the Italian coalition to borrow the money it needs to service the unrepayable debt than it was nine months ago. This is a trend that is only going to proceed in one direction.
Last but not least, what looked like a remote possibility a month ago – Prime Minister Boris Johnson – is now rather more on the cards than most people (including me) thought. If Brussels flatly refuses to reopen the UK Withdrawal Agreement – which it will because, as I say, they are mad but also daren’t set a precedent* – then the UK will leave with no deal at the end of October and the Commission will be €39billion off its expectations….before they start counting the cost of lost UK fees and contributions amounting to some €50billion….and lost trade income of €67billion if no free trade reciprocity is agreed.
It is only when one reads these numbers – and they are freely available at the EU’s website, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal or the FT – that the sheer degree of lying and denialism involved in the Remoanoid “conviction” that Brussels is in a stronger negotiating position than the UK becomes apparent. It truly is the greatest mélange of ignorance and mendacity I have ever encountered during 71 years on this, our only planet.
We all have our Remain or Leave doubts and blind spots to one degree or another. But I would lay odds that, on both sides of this seemingly canyonesque divide, a good 70% of people are perfectly decent sorts motivated by different things and with a variety of sound reasons why they feel an attachment to (or a revulsion for) the European Union.
For myself, if I thought there was the remotest chance that Brussels, Strasbourg and Frankfurt would reverse the Brussels Commission v EU Parliament power balance – and dump the politically federalist goal in favour of being a truly mutualist community based on the shared interests of peaceful citizens – I would happily revoke Article 50.
But hardnosed observation and bitterly disappointed experience have shown me, since 1975, that the aims of the founding fathers and prodigal sons of the European Union represent little more than totalitarian geopoliticism by stealth. Standing Armies, unelected repression, corporatist inequality, flouted Rule of Law, German industrial dominance, French agricultural protectionism, northern cultural supremacism, fiscal illegality, bureaucratically corrupt incompetence and the counter-intuitive suppression of national identity….all these are there to be freely observed by those with eyes than can see dungeons on Earth rather than just Castles in the Air.
I look at the destruction of Greece, the demonisation of Hungary, the denialism about Italy, the bad faith on Brexit, the favouritism shown towards France and the wilful desire to embrace cheap labour via unrestricted African migration. I do not see anything in the way of human compassion in any of it. I see only the simplistic expansionism of Napoleon, the dysfunctional power mania of Hitler, and the crushing cynicism of Stalinist ideology.