Although many very good but relatively narrow websites like Zero Hedge continue to explain in simple terms why the idea of eurozone survival is complete bollocks, the average EU and US citizen continues to be almost entirely let down by the traditional media. Outside of London’s Daily Telegraph (where reality is largely restricted to Liam Halligan and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard) it’s well nigh impossible to find any MSM title or programme prepared to do anything beyond regurgitation of the sovereign spin put out by Washington, London, Berlin…and especially Brussels. Murdoch-controlled Australia is little better: South America I don’t know about, but I assume it’s the same.
As more and more evidence has piled up of criminal negligence and deception inside the ECB and the US Fed, I see (and hear) no evidence that Mr & Mrs Voter have any realisation or understanding of whats going on. They have heard so many optimistic sheep and crying wolves over the years, there is an idee fixe which says, “It’ll blow over and we’ll muddle through”. But perhaps bloggers need to learn the lessons of Hackgate: that is, nobody out there is very interested in malfeasance on a grand scale until it harms something they hold dear. And in order of importance, the important things for these folks are are kids, animals, health, house values and (for over 55s) their pension potential.
Not until the posthumous hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone was anyone beyond the Guardian, the Independent, Private Eye, some media bloggers and the Groucho Club interested in doing something about the Murdoch empire of covert invasion. And not until something equally immediately evil can be laid at the door of the Brussels-to-Banking conglomerate will enough people get off their backsides and apply some pressure.
What are the chances of this happening? Actually, I think they might be increasing. Last month in Greece, the Papademos government did steal money from the hospitals in order to pay some English Law bond stragglers; but that part of the theft (which in total included the emptying of most University and some post office bank accounts) was vehemently denied by the regime in Athens. My sources stick to their story: and they’re backed up by ordinary Greeks who have noted that chemists too have been getting prescription cheques that immediately bounced. What’s interesting though is how the Venizealots chose to deny only that part of the embezzlement. They too know the rules: don’t mess with the sick.
In this sense, Germany and its actions represent an interesting – perhaps unique – case. The British have always had a love/hate relationship with the Germans: on the one hand, we admire their guts and ethics and feel more culturally at home in some ways with them than we do with the French. On the other, we dislike their arrogance and distrust their motives: between 1939 and 1945, German ambition effectively (and pointlessly) bankrupted Britain – and then got bailed out by America. We didn’t.
In the First World War, the British propagandists invented entirely untrue tales of the ‘beastly Hun’ bayoneting babies, and even eating them. Unfortunately, what the Nazis did in the Second was almost beyond belief. Now today, here we are again: the arrogance, the insistence on imposing quasi-Gauleiters on the Greeks, and the hubristic ambition to run things. Yet so far, the Germans have escaped any real criticism in Britain for double standards. In the ClubMeds – quite rightly in my view – such reporting of Berlin’s hypocrisy is a daily affair. Greece is, after all, being effectively screwed into the ground in order to save just as many German as French banks.
But this too is removed from the experience of the average mass market reader or viewer. And Britain is not in the eurozone, so we’re “not involved”. Except that of course we are; and it will be even worse for us in time, because when it’s our turn, there won’t be any bailout monies. But when that does happen, very few will blame the Germans for our plight. I think they should: German intransigence and Brussels’ arrogant incompetence have together ensured that, once again, Britain is going to end up bankrupt. (Before I get complaints, let me once again make it clear that Britain made its own bed in the eighties and the naughties, and must bear the brunt of blame for its own condition now).
It may seem like I’m wandering a bit now, but I’m not: the EU meltdown in particular and the financial mess in general are the subject of a non-stop cacophony of contradictory essays, press reports and TV programmes. As with the climate debate, it is this wall of noise that makes it too dull, distant and difficult for most people to bother listening to. Thus the need to bring home the micro effects on the vulnerable becomes even more acute for those of us who want the sociopaths behind it gone at the earliest opportunity. This doesn’t mean inventing horror-stories (which is what the Guardian or the Hard Left would do) but rather making a direct and credible connection between insane macro-policy and the devastating effect on many innocent people.
It’s just a thought. I see nothing else so far that’s concrete in the sort of areas I’ve outlined above. But some sources suggest that Spain will produce them: no title in the MSM has yet reported this, but as I’ve maintained for some time, the Madrid Goverment has emptied both the public employee pension fund and the Social Welfare budget in order to comply with Troika austerity measures. When the money ends, so too will pensions and welfare. People in Spain are going to starve for the first time since the Civil War. Hopefully, before that becomes necessary, the Germans will have backed out, and the Troika will be no more.