As the Prime Minister’s plans for EU reform continue to transmute from concrete to dust, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that – even if the electorate is infinitely more interested in The X-Factor than the European Union – Britain as a Sovereign nation on the verge of Brexit is way, way down the list of EC priorities compared to the capricious needs of Recep Erdogan. David Cameron and his advisers are obviously aware of this: but is the PM underestimating the political damage he is suffering within and without the Conservative Party?
During July 2015, Carl Herman (the man behind Washington’s blog) opined as follows:
‘Because of its deleterious impact on personal freedom and initiative, centralization of both economic and political power is the critical issue facing society. The primary obstacle to reversing this growing concentration of power is an almost universal ignorance of the manner in which the existing financial system renders the price-system increasingly non-self-liquidating, making impossible the recovery of industrial production costs through sales. Institutions and individuals attempt to resolve this problem by resorting to bank debt, thereby obtaining access to the products of industry by the self-defeating expedient of mortgaging our future–i.e., transferring these costs as an exponentially growing debt charge against future cycles of production–and by engaging in an orgy of wasteful and destructive activities, effectively culminating in continuous war.’
I’m a long way from agreeing with every Herman opinion, but this extract (while a little too complex for my taste) strikes me as pretty much on the money: the EU continues to move at a rate of knots towards a centralised banking, militarised joint security force, and federalist governmental structure. The following winds of ISIL and Jihadist attacks in Paris have, however, accelerated the trend even more than Herman might have imagined.
In the last 36 hours, The FT has reported that ‘Brussels is to propose the creation of a standing European border force that could take control of the bloc’s external frontiers — even if a government objected…..The move would arguably represent the biggest transfer of sovereignty since the creation of the single currency.’
The FT is about as blindly pro-EU as any media title anywhere. So it would appear that The Slog’s Mogherini post wasn’t europhobic paranoia after all.
But one thing’s for sure: you can always rely on Brussels-am-Berlin’s ability to hand the Brexit camp half a million votes a week. Now David Cameron is preparing to climb down yet again after his negotiations with the EU/ECB/EC Troika on welfare rights reform led to a blanket ‘No’ from his European, ahem, “partners”.
Mr Cameron must by now be the only member State PM negotiator in history to have started at the peak of the Eiger, and then climbed down to the foothills via the North Face. Control of borders was a deal-breaker. The never-ending Pound was a deal-breaker. Freedom of Movement optout was a deal-breaker. Retaining the sovereignty of local Parliaments was a deal-breaker. And then having failed on all the above, making European migrants who move to the UK wait four years before they can claim state benefits was a deal-breaker: a ‘key pledge’ no less, to follow the four core demands previously tossed into a remote ditch when nobody was looking.
But yesterday, it seems, ‘senior government sources’ told the Torygraph that Mr Cameron was ready to ditch the key pledge….as heralded by the Polish PM’s reaction to it. And I have it on very good authority that the leading source was Boris Johnson.
It could well be that Mayor/MP Johnson is closer to the pulse of the coldhearted Tory power brokers than the Party leader. For with every failure, David Cameron seems to be proving the eurosceptics’ hypothesis….that the engorged egos of the European Commission know only how to dictate: they don’t do listening.
The only thing protecting the Prime Minister at the moment is that the Party Opposite wants to stay in the EU even more than he does. Were that not so (and/or the British media set were not onside) Mr Cameron would be a laughing stock. I must confess to finding it odd that the pro-EU majority within Labour aren’t praising the EU’s hardline against Cameron the Nasty Neolib….although I think it quite likely that some spin rottweiler somewhere has told the Corbynistas that taking that line could be a vote-loser.
However, for those few of us left with enough experience and no political axe to grind, it is still eccentric bordering on surreal to pretend that Dave (as a dyed in the sheep-wool eunatic) has either the motive or the mandate to ‘shake up’ the European Union. As with Tsipras, the Troikanauts take a Churchillian view: “Madame, we have already established that you are a whore….all we are doing now is haggling about the price”.
For our Prime Minister, the price could end up being his crown as King of Camerlot rolling across the killing grounds of Bosworth Field.