EU stealth bomber rolls slowly along the runway

Whether we like it or not, the Financial Transaction Tax and the European Stability Mechanism are a reality.

The EU moves in mysterious ways. In many of those ways, it moves like a mollusc on beta-blockers, but this can at times be to its advantage: the progress being so mind-numbingly slow, most people give up watching the claymation process.

But sharp-eyed Sloggers and dedicated leakers don’t – and hurrah for that. I’m indebted to one of them for drawing my attention to this latest confirmation of our worst fears. It’s from the latest set of FinMin minutes in Brussels, and these are the highlights:

1. Financial Transaction Tax.

‘At the June ECOFIN, it was concluded that it would not be possible to reach unanimous agreement on the FTT proposal. However, many Member States expressed an interest in moving ahead with this tax as a smaller group, through enhanced cooperation. In order to do this, at least 9 Member States must write to the Commission, formally requesting a Decision for enhanced cooperation, and setting out the scope and objectives of what they want to proceed with. A number of Member States have already formally written to the Commission, on this basis, asking to move ahead with FTT on the basis of the Commission’s proposal. Once the required minimum has submitted an official request, the Commission can present a decision for enhanced cooperation to be voted in ECOFIN through QMV.’

If I can just translate the above, “We have bribed, blackmailed and otherwise threatened 9 minnows to vote for it, after which it will go through on the nod anyway”.

2. The European Stability Mechanism (ESM)

Regular Sloggers will recognise this as the evolving successor to the EFSF, thus far designated Sort of Legal We’re Not Really Sure by the German Judges of Karlsruhe. They may also recall my post of a month ago on its draconian power to do anything it wants – up to and including selling every firstborn into slavery.

Well, as from tomorrow, it exists:

‘Please note that there will be an Inaugural Board of Governors Meeting of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) on Monday, 15.00 and an Inaugural Board of Directors Meeting of the ESM on Tuesday, 08.00.’

So by the time Merkel lands in Athens on Tuesday, the ESM will be ready for action. Interesting timing, nicht wahr?

* * * * * * *

The EU continues on its way towards assured fiscal disaster, economic stagnation and social meltdown with all the insouciance of Mickey Mouse in the role of the sorcerer’s apprentice. But it remains able to do so because Member State governments (and MEPs dedicated to self-aggrandising tweets) talk a good game about opposing it, but do nothing.

This morning, David Cameron dismissed UKIP as “a joke, obviously” on the Marr Show, despite that organisation being more in tune with what ordinary Brits want to do about the EU than any of the Westminster Parties. Faced with an obviously autocratic Union harbouring totalitarian tendencies, the British Prime Minister refuses to countenance breaking away from it.

I suspect this says more about him than any other single character trait ever could. And given those traits involve supping with Newscorp, defending Jeremy Hunt, and engaging in donations-for-houses corruption, that really is saying a lot.

31 thoughts on “EU stealth bomber rolls slowly along the runway

  1. Mr Cameron, I didn’t watch the said programme, but if what you are reported to have said is true, then, you are the joke. And a very sick joke too. I thought Mr Brown was a joke – in fact, he’s a mental illness, but that’s a different matter – but you were elected to not be him. What is it about the EU that you people are willing to sell us, the English, down the river? What have we done to you that you hate us so much? What is it that the foreigners in Europe offer you that makes you a traitor to your country, your nation and your gene pool?


  2. John, the longer it all goes on, the more I think there IS NO chance of escape. There is probably some document somewhere that some politico signed on our behalf years ago, that is water-tight. DC, GB, tom, dick and harry, none of them can tell us this- they don’t have the required mens’ bits, let alone the ability to control us if word got out.
    Unfortunately, it was ever thus; power corrupts, and absolute power….

    The smoke, mirrors, closets, half truths and non truths, they all discombobulate the average ‘bloke’. Mission accomplished. :/


  3. This is as good a time as any to remind ourselves of Cameron’s ‘Cast Iron Guarantee’ prior to becoming PM, to hold a referendum on our membership of the EU , once he became PM.


  4. @Robert and to concur with Joanna, the short answer is that all of them do in opposition and all of them renege once elected. Funny that, eh?


  5. So true. And if I might add, a similar memory loss seems to characterise much of the British electorate …………


  6. What seems clear to me is in some way or another there is going to have to be a brand new EU treaty in the next six months or so…..(if it can be worded in such a way to please both Club Med and the Fins and Dutch will be facinating to watch)….. what is pretty much for certain is that it will have to involve a massive erosion of nationality and centralisation of ‘soverenty’ for fiscal policy….not only for the 17, but also by proximity, the whole 27.

    The exceptionally large elephant in the room therefore for British Politics in General and this weeks Conservative Party Conference in Particular is surely that the question of if a referendum is going to be forced on the UK by our European Bretheren within the next six to twelve months..or so …. The Coalition agreement itself has this in stone…and from this there is no escape through fudge. This renders UKIP sidlined unless there is a really stupid attempt to duck it until 2015, in which case the Conservative party can expect to loose 50-70% of its heartland to UKIP as the situation worsens … or………..will a much sooner referendum forced on Cameroon by media and Joe Public split the coalition asunder long before 2015,… this is suely Camrons Rock and hard place right now.

    If the Torys felt forced to hold an EU referendum before the next General Election Due date….and were to get a resounding No !..can anyone see Cleggy and Co being able to continue to support the present Govt… general election long before 2015 and all bets off on the result.


  7. John in Cheshire, he’s selling the British down the river, please remember the Northern Irish, Scots and Welsh.


  8. @Robert, we live in a Parliamentary [Dictatorship] Democracy. We get to vote every 4- 5 years for the same people, who regardless of Political Party, tell us what we want to hear. Get elected then do what they wanted to do in the first place, whilst the majority of us moan, groan and go back to sleep.
    Unlike the US you get to vote for 50% of your senate every 2 years so you can move the chairs around a bit and vary the scene.


  9. About Financial Transaction Tax. Why UK opposes FTT?
    Is it bad for EU? Bad for UK? Bad for just The City?
    As i read on the net:
    “A survey published by YouGov suggests that more than four out of five people in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy think the financial sector has a responsibility to help repair the damage caused by the economic crisis.”


  10. Nick, most of the ‘common’ people would vote for the FTT but I doubt whether the City would, even if it was introduced the costs would be passed on to the rest of us in some shape or form. It’s hardly surprising that France, Germany, Spain and Italy have voted for it given that the UK would contribute approximately 80% of the total.
    So, you see the UK being not in the eurozone hardly wants to bail it out by yet more EU tax.


  11. Pingback: John Ward – EU Stealth Bomber Rolls Slowly Along The Runway – 7 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  12. I will tell you what they are too cowardly to explain. Any attempt to stop anything substantial from the EU gets a quiet phone call to remind them of two things. (a) That ANY attempt to thwart the EU’s ambitions will result in NO job in the trough after leaving the national arena; or, if you have EVER held any position in the EU, then you will lose your pension & benefits immediately, if you EVER criticise the EU or it’s policies at any time. (b) The entire body of fellow-travellers known as “Common Purpose” (Google it) will be mobilised to destroy your career. This means that few are willing to oppose the corrupt, mendacious, insidious, crypto-fascist organisation.


  13. Everybody should oppose this FTT tax. Not because the banks are cuddly and would never hurt a fly, but because this tax is specifically-designed to destroy the City, and/or move the financial centre of the world to Frankfurt and away from London. (Although it will probably go to Singapore or Hong Kong instead). If any country is going to get this revenue, it should be us. Better the devil you know… You cannot tax an organisation that operates using world-wide electronic networks, it will simply move to a juridiction that doesn’t tax it. The salaries are so high, the traders will simply follow the money. Same as extremes of income tax; the targets simply will not hang around to be hit. Unfair? Maybe, but better to be realistic than live in a childish fairyland like the LibDems or similar.


  14. Thank you. True & well said.
    Look how Tony Blair expected to be President of the EU last time, was disappointed, and now expects it this time.


  15. @JW. You forgot to mention Cameron’s disgraceful support of Chief Whip Mitchell’s foul-mouthed rant to the police, with the inference that the police were lying.
    He really is a slimy toad who needs to decorate a lampost.


  16. The biggest risk, and the most likely cop-out by Cameron, is to agree to offer a referendum, but with a question that doesn’t have a satisfactory “Get Out of The EU Now” answer. He is far more likely to offer to “agree all EU demands” as the pro-EU answer, or “re-negotiate some powers” as the Euro-sceptic answer (in which case, the re-negotiation will be left to wither on the vine).

    However, as Frederick Forsyth has repeatedly said, this answer is not on offer, and cannot be had from the EU. Unless 100% of all countries are willing to re-negotiate every treaty, agree to the request, we are stuck. Unless we leave. No “reduction” in EU powers will ever be agreed or be possible, and the politician who says so, is an utter liar.

    The only practical alternatives are to allow the stealth bomber to continue to the final goal of full political union – which is the aim, regardless of the lies along the way; or to leave the whole rotten, corrupt mess behind. There are no possible adverse consequences which would make it worse leaving than staying in.


  17. Doesn’t Cameron’s utterence about UKIP tally with many of the dissmissive put downs of UKIP made by the dear old Slog himself?


  18. I understand your point, but then the situation looks like a vicious circle.
    Industrial production is already gone to Far East.
    The rich, the big corporates, the financial services sector etc cannot be taxed cos they can easily pack and move elsewhere.
    Government squeezes mid and lower class, and the Small Medium Enterprise.
    Government system is corrupted, so even those squeezed taxes are not spend wisely.
    It all looks like a disaster recipe. That is exactly what happened to Greece in the past decades. Combined with other local pathogen factors, see where we are now :-(
    UK still has time to reverse this – don’t let your country take that path.


  19. Niko, we should ALL be against the Financial Transaction Tax, which is just another ‘Thin Edge of the Wedge’ like airport tax. Remember how airport tax started as 5€ on each ticket, was 10€ within 3 months, and now accounts for 55-60% of all european air tickets.

    The theory of the Financial Transaction Tax was to add a small tax to all the daily trades and sales in the financial sector – including banks of course – so that we the people / governments could finally extract our little pound of flesh. It appears like a social provision.

    The reality will be that the cost of the tax (plus “administrating the tax”) will be passed on to every buyer or seller by companies, banks, hedge funds and governments.

    Where are the limits of the “Financial Sector”? Intended for the markets and banks, it will inevitably be extended to every mortgage and loan payment, every bank transaction – and who knows, maybe the potatoes we buy in the laiki. These are all “financial transactions”…..
    WE will be paying this tax.


  20. Eleni, the potatoes we buy in laiki (open market should be in English?) are already taxed. VAT is there, in everything that we buy, and is huge!
    So the average person has to pay VAT for basic needs – food, clothing and is living in dire straits.
    I have to pay taxes because i just own a house. Which i inherited from my father – i had to pay 1500 euros to accept the inheritance and transfer the house officially in my name.
    Meanwhile, the Greek super-rich ship owner, or The City business tycoon, does not give a damn about how high VAT is. It’s breadcrumbs to him! He is happy that all he has to pay is the same taxes that middle/lower class pays.
    They have taken the airport taxes to extremes. So we should go to the other end and make it zero? Yes it’s very true that irrational measures eventually kill the cow. All i’m saying id that we should try to find a balance in milking the cows.


  21. Of course we should leave the EU. (We never should have entered and I voted against joining the EEC). Cameron will dissemble for his political life on the referendum (he’s already started). The Plan has been all along that we become a fully integrated part of this hegemony run by and for the corporate and financial oligarchy. Cameron is just one of their glove puppets.

    Perhaps someone au fait with these things could explain how trade tariffs/agreements etc concerning imported energy and food would be affected if we did leave the EU, and whether in fact, it’s feasible. Personally I doubt it. And I hardly think the rest of the EU would make it easy for us. Dishes best served cold springs to mind.

    I’m all for increased UK sustainability as outlined by JW yesterday but this ship will take too long to turn round I fear.


  22. All the more reason to know that any solution/movement that enables the majority to live a decent live and dare I say it, thrive in this world, will be from the bottom up and not from the top down.


  23. Personally, I do not want a referendum, I want HMG to do their job and what is right by the Country. A referendum will be high jacked and fear sowed ( see Ireland , Greece etc)
    Dear Mr van Roumpy, we are out off here, affective imeadiately.


  24. OS,
    That the City is so scared of the FTT gives a lie to the problem surely, any service that fears that its customers will desert them because of of minute Transaction tax being imposed has no ‘added value’ or ‘USB’ in management speak.

    The risks involved in young quants getting their algos wrong and flash crashes occurring are not worth the risk to the UK Tax payer in IMHO, as we will surely have another round of ‘socialisation of the losses’ for the benefit of the Tory City wide boys.

    Andrew Haldane, a Director at the BOE has, in the recent past opined that the benefits to the UK’s GDP of the Financial Sector is extremely overstated.

    Remember the Banks employ the majority of their staff in the utility function of high street banking still (although branches are disappearing faster than the increase in identity theft due to insecure internet banking).

    Finally the Financial Sector is basically an extractive industry (rentier) rather than a productive one so the benefit, if any, is in the profit they derive from foreigners


  25. With reference to the FTT Sweden are also opposed to it. This is because they tried it in the 1990’s. It was a complete disaster, much financial business relocated to London, so it was duly scrapped. Enough said.


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