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EU Politics - Hamsterwheel

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EU Politics - Hamsterwheel

Old 26th Sep 2013, 08:07
  #3441 (permalink)  
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It certainly is, but nevertheless a very true and apposite saying under the circumstances.
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 08:43
  #3442 (permalink)  
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Just as tedious as first time around
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 09:20
  #3443 (permalink)  
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And just as true, but something the lefties fail to recognise. They carry on with their destructive policies regardless, pouring more and more money into the ever increasing black holes.
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 09:56
  #3444 (permalink)  
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Give Draghi some credit - he's also said that he'll close down banks which fail to meet new capital requirements. Also, the ESM is gearing up to conduct a line-by-line forensic audit of banks to weed out those which are still thought to be hiding stuff. The powers that be are determined to see this through.

As for your "throwing away other peoples' money", well it doesn't really apply when you're in charge of the printing presses.
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 12:15
  #3445 (permalink)  
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"As for your "throwing away other peoples' money", well it doesn't really apply when you're in charge of the printing presses"

Yes, it does. Printing money affects everybody's wealth.
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 14:51
  #3446 (permalink)  
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Very saddly it seems that not printing money doesn't work neither nowdays... Not in Japan, not in the US, not in EU... Choosing between something that doesn't work, and something that is dangerous, what to do?
Anyway EU seems to print much less money than its little friends...
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 21:56
  #3447 (permalink)  
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lt`s all notional anyway.

"l promise to pay" is all it is. When it fails l hope you lot have a bigger

garden than me. You may need it.
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 22:01
  #3448 (permalink)  
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Also, am l alone in finding Angela strangely erotic ?
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 22:05
  #3449 (permalink)  
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Also, am l alone in finding Angela strangely erotic ?
I would suspect that you are in a very very tiny minority .... possibly a minority of one. Of course I couldn't possibly speak for others though ............
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 22:12
  #3450 (permalink)  
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The problem with Socialism is that sooner or later, other peoples' money runs out.
I'd contend that our problems started with some pretty unrestrained capitalism. Also, governments of all persuasions across the globe are trying to sort out this mess, not just those on the left.
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 22:23
  #3451 (permalink)  
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Also, am l alone in finding Angela strangely erotic ?
I'm looking forward to reading the new biography on her when it comes out in paperback. Apparently she's quite fond of Mr Cameron...
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 22:27
  #3452 (permalink)  
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am l alone in finding Angela strangely erotic ?

I think it's the same factor involved that (used to) apply to Glenda Jackson.
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Old 7th Oct 2013, 13:00
  #3453 (permalink)  
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Will the European Union survive in 2024?

Europe was a beautiful idea. It was to be a space for peace and
reconciliation between the combatants after a particularly brutal
war; a third way between the superpowers who were squaring up to
each other in the Cold War, even while the founder countries
belonged to the western bloc; a space for social progress and
prosperity, thanks to a common market; a welcoming haven for the
Mediterranean countries emerging from the fascist-leaning
dictatorships, easing their way to democracy; and then a welcoming
haven for the former members of the Soviet bloc for the same
reason; a space for solidarity, helping the impoverished regions to
catch up; a mechanism to stimulate the sharing of fundamental
values and for harmonising social rights on a higher level, in other
words to ensure that those who had never enjoyed such rights
would acquire them.

European integration was to take place in a wider context of
relaxing borders, limiting sovereignty when peace was threatened
(hence the creation of a UN Security Council), of decolonisation
and development aid to the Third World. It was to be a constructive
utopia, generating real progress, albeit partial and fragile.

The success of European integration has created its own obstacles.
Even before the current crisis, some regions or wealthier nations
had begun to wonder why they needed to continue working towards
such long-term solidarity, especially as new members were
burdened by serious needs. Oblivious of past mistakes and
particularly of the lethal effects of unrestrained nationalism, some
nations claimed the right to stand above it, thus freeing themselves
of the obligation to negotiate with their partners and to accept

The temptation to turn in on themselves was especially buttressed
by the economic transformations brought about by poorly
understood and over-rapid globalisation. Some nations experienced
greater difficulties than others in substituting their former activities
which had fled to the emerging economies with new economic
sectors, and the fact is that some countries have simply failed to do
so. The transfer of skills to non-industrial jobs was not easy for
many workers, and for some was simply impossible, despite
occupational training schemes. Many found themselves doomed to
long-term unemployment leading into difficult retirement. Neither
the European Union nor the national governments had any idea
how to set up an industrial and economic development policy
capable of managing the changes which were the outcome of trade
liberalisation policies which had triumphantly and even blindly
marched in, only to profit a handful of huge industrial and banking

The crisis born of the sub-prime mortgage shock (the outcome of a
deregulation policy actively implemented by governments) made
things much worse. The thoughtless nationalisation of banking
losses led to an explosion of national debt, or in other words, of
taxpayer debt. The banking crisis morphed into a financial crisis,
then into an economic crisis. This was a cataclysm that was all the
more terrifying for Europe’s citizens as the Union publicly
spotlighted its impotence and incompetence at summit after
summit. Each European summit produced statements announcing
solutions which were speedily followed by a further deterioration
in the situation leading to yet another summit. The solutions
adopted became more and more painful for the people of some
countries, which attempted to cope with their bankruptcies by
exorbitant fiscal pressure, slashing retirement pensions, axing jobs
and recently raiding the people’s actual bank accounts. Nor are the
citizens of the countries spared in any way comforted, because it is
all too clear that the threat can swiftly spread to other nations. The
European social model is under serious threat. Even in the wealthy
countries the order of the day is sustainable austerity. And now
Germany herself, so far the top of the class, has begun to worry
about the potential consequences of her unpopularity among the
other countries.

Incompetence is twinned with illegality. The Troika is a symbol
this. A mysterious concept whose name hints at Soviet despotism,
consisting of technocrats with no peoples’ mandate to command,
unpopular measures, scorn for the democratic Institutions they are
supposed to protect, the recipe is almost perfect. The European
Union, with its complex Institutions which ignore the separation of
powers and the answerability of the executive to a lower Chamber,
its Council taking the most serious of decisions unmonitored and
beyond appeal, has none of the democratic characteristics which
render political power acceptable to the citizen.
Is this accusation unfair? After all, it must be admitted that
incompetent action notwithstanding, the Euro has been saved. Does
the illegitimacy of what has happened cloak the fact that the
governments sitting in Brussels are themselves democratic?

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Euro has been saved,
but at what cost, and for how long? And what prospects of
economic recovery has it left us with?

Decisions are taken in Brussels, but who takes them, and how? No
minutes are taken of European summits, the reasons why decisions
are taken, the positions adopted by this party or that remain secret,
barely hinted at by tortuous official statements or by press articles
drafted by correspondents carefully kept at arm’s length from the

The European Union seems all the more like an untameable
monster, indifferent to the people’s wishes because in the countries
which comprise that Union, citizens can vote as they please, left or
right, and it has absolutely zero impact on the course being
followed by the Union.

It is hardly surprising that such a political vacuum creates
Euroscepticism. Institutions which have no real added value which
the people can see with their own eyes are doomed. Experts will, of
course, explain that only Europe has the critical size needed to
interact with the large economic blocs which occupy a globalised
world. But nobody pays any attention, because in the first place
there is no shortage of small states which display a highly
satisfactory economic performance, and in the second, the
European Union has utterly failed in its mission to defend an area
of shared prosperity.

The disillusionment expressed by the people regarding the
integration of Europe reveals a movement which is thoroughgoing
and powerful, and it will be very hard to turn it around. We have
already reached a stage where all appearances suggest that if a
referendum were held today in the United Kingdom, as the present
government has promised, it would choose to stop spending right
now. And indeed, Eurosceptic movements exist in all the other
countries, some of which are gathering considerable momentum
and are in a position to be able to help forge a negative majority
opinion as to the pursuit of European integration.
So will the European Union still exist in 2024? If current trends
continue, nothing could be less certain. For a long time now, the
national governments have nominated boneless figures at the helm
of European Institutions, have been riding roughshod over
Community decision-making processes and the feeble powers of
the Parliament, taking powers back or duplicating them, indifferent
to the ensuing budgetary waste. They encourage local corruption by
the misappropriation of funds, made possible by deliberately
complex procedures, thumbing their noses, year after year, at the
reports issued by the Court of Auditors. The EU has already become little more than a shadow-play, a structure which is little
more than a puppet which can conveniently take the blame for
decisions taken by national governments. They have murdered the
European dream.

And yet a genuine European Union has never been more essential.
No solutions exist for any of the grave problems which bedevil
Europe which are not common to all. Only a single unified
European voice can really carry any weight in the global
discussion. The a contrario demonstration of this is provided by
the simple fact that although they may have this voice, the EU
governments never stop coordinating with one another, their
managers never cease meeting. They are very aware of the fact that
a return to the nation states in Europe would mean that decline
would accelerate, that although it might seem comfortable at first, it
would swiftly lead to the destruction of values, wealth and even the
identities of the nations of Europe.
Is it possible to reverse the trend?

The European Union must rediscover its relevance to the citizens,
and such relevance can only emerge from a European political
project. This will not be achieved with fancy words and sententious
expressions, in which nobody believes any more. A European
political project must offer real solutions for the huge challenges
which face us all: unemployment, retirement pensions and social
protection, education, economic and financial governance, and so
on. This political project must be credible, in other words it must be
supported by a budget and a structure capable of putting it into
effect, unlike the pathetic ‘Lisbon strategy’ or ‘Europe 2020’.

The structure of EU governance must become a democratic
structure, a structure which complies with the constitutional
principles followed at the national level in the Member States. The
principle of one person, one vote, must be respected at the level of
the Lower House, that is, each Member of Parliament must be
elected by a roughly equal number of citizens. The Upper Chamber
can represent the States. The executive power must be separate
from the legislature, but must be answerable to the Lower
Chamber. A constitutional monitoring mechanism must be in place
so that the respective powers of the Union and the Member States
can be protected. The Union must have its own budget and its own
resources. This democratic simplification is the necessary condition
for electors to be able to understand the issues and genuinely use
their votes to press for the policies they have chosen.

For the EU to survive until 2024, the foundations will have to be
rebuilt. An important step in 2014 will make it possible for us to understand whether survival is possible: the European elections.
Will these elections witness the absence of usual debate on
European issues to the profit of purely national issues? If the
answer is yes, the EU will be dead in 2024. Shall we see the
organisation of political parties as European groups with shared
political tendencies, presenting a genuinely European programme
and putting forward a team which will form the future European
Commission if elected? If the answer here is no, the EU will be
dead in 2024. Will these elections hear of the lessons learned from
the crises and the re-establishment of an EU equipped with the
powers, structures and budget needed to frame a genuine European
political agenda? Again, if the answer is no, the EU will be dead in
2024. Will the European families of political parties be proposing a
genuine European programme crafted to provide a response to the
major issues which beset us today? If not, the EU will be dead in

The 2014 European elections are almost upon us. If those who still
believe that a political Europe is essential to preserve our kind of
society fail to organise at the European level, fail to present their
solutions to the electors and let things fall apart, then there is every
likelihood that between now and 2024 the EU will disappear.

GRASPE, October 2013
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Old 7th Oct 2013, 16:49
  #3454 (permalink)  
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I think it's the same factor involved that (used to) apply to Glenda Jackson.

Batshit loony razor licking insanity?
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 09:55
  #3455 (permalink)  
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Influential former Czech President calls for EU exit, says EU doomed anyway

As scepticism grows across the European Union and debate thickens in Britain, former Czech President Vaclav Klaus says the EU is in any case doomed, like empires of the past, including communism

The architect of formerly communist Czechoslovakia's economic transition from communism has called for his country (now the Czech Republic) to quit the European Union.

One time finance minister, prime minister and president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus made his appeal at the launch of his new book in Prague, the Czech capital. Mr. Klaus caused ructions within the EU during his time as a senior politician but he has rarely been so bold as to compare the European Union with his country's former imperial masters, including the Soviet Union. The Czech news agency CTK quoted Mr. Klaus, the country's leading voice on the political centre-Right, as saying: "It would be a great victory for our country if they did not control us from Moscow, Vienna, Berlin or Brussels."

Echoing the views of eurosceptics in Britain, which is due to hold a referendum on quitting the EU in 2017, he said: "Absolutely nothing", would happen if the Czechs gave up their EU membership," CTK reported. Mr. Klaus added, in remarks that will cause consternation in Brussels: "The whole Europe will leave the EU sooner or later and it will leave (European Commission President) Jose Barroso and (European Council President Herman Van) Rompuy sitting alone in Brussels. And the continent would develop in a different way."

Vaclav Klaus is among the last of the generation of political intellectuals that inaugurated and then saw through the transition from Communism to Capitalism. He is an avowed supporter of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He is also a professor of economics, and he is regarded in Brussels as a trouble maker, a description which he openly acknowledges. His book has not yet been translated into English.

His remarks will cheer eurosceptics in Britain.
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Old 12th Oct 2013, 10:03
  #3456 (permalink)  
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His remarks will cheer eurosceptics
They have certainly cheered this Eurosceptic! Thank you for posting that.
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Old 14th Oct 2013, 17:20
  #3457 (permalink)  
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Time to take bets on Frexit and the French franc?

We have a minor earthquake in France. A party committed to withdrawal from the euro, the restoration of French franc, and the complete destruction of monetary union has just defeated the establishment in the Brignoles run-off election. It is threatening Frexit as well, which rather alters the political chemistry of Britain's EU referendum.

Marine Le Pen's Front National won 54pc of the vote. It was a bad defeat for the Gaulliste UMP, a party at risk of disintegration unless it can find a leader in short order. President Hollande's Socialists were knocked out in the first round, due to mass defection to the Front National by the working-class Socialist base. The Socialists thought the Front worked to their advantage by splitting the Right. They have at last woken up to the enormous political danger. The Front National is now the most popular party in France with 24pc according to a new Ifop poll. Both the two great governing parties of the post-War era have fallen behind for the first time ever. The Gaullistes (UMP) are at 22pc, and the Socialists at 21pc.

I am watching this with curiosity, since Marine Le Pen told me in June that her first order of business on setting foot in the Elysee Palace (if elected) would be to announce a referendum on membership of the European Union, with a "rendez-vous" one year later:
I will negotiate over the points on which there can be no compromise. If the result is inadequate, I will call for withdrawal. Europe is just a great bluff. On one side there is the immense power of sovereign peoples, and on the other side are a few technocrats.
Asked if she intended to pull France of the euro immediately, she hesitated for a second or two and then said: "Yes, because the euro blocks all economic decisions. France is not a country that can accept tutelage from Brussels."

Officials will be told to draw up plans for the restoration of the franc. Eurozone leaders will face a stark choice: either work with France for a "sortie concerted" or coordinated EMU break-up: or await their fate in a disorderly collapse.

"We cannot be seduced. The euro ceases to exist the moment that France leaves, and that is our incredible strength. What are they going to do, send in tanks?"................. [more]
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Old 14th Oct 2013, 17:31
  #3458 (permalink)  
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I've been wondering for sometime if Cameron's delay tactic with the EU ref in the UK has been part of a larger plan of his to allow another major country to do his dirty work for him. The signs seems to be there. He knows what's happening in all these EU countries that are turning against Brussels.

Yet he just sits and weasels and eels and says "oh today kids we are going to review ONE EU rule and see if we can improve it..." Drop in ocean method.

To be as dismissive as he's been to the polls in Britain that usually show a majority of British want shed of Brussels, he must have a reason to ignore such a ground swell less than 2 years from a general election. And I just don't think it's all The City doing his thinking for him.

But the way he's delaying it until 2017 (well until an MP revolted last week), it makes me wonder if he's simply suffering from a deficit of leadership from the front and wanting France to do his leading for him.

Then he can do a Columbo and say, ahhh, well, gee whiz, the EU is falling apart, so.........
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Old 14th Oct 2013, 17:45
  #3459 (permalink)  
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More good news. Euroscepticism seems to be gaining popularity. It will snowball.
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Old 14th Oct 2013, 18:36
  #3460 (permalink)  
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According to [former] Fed Chairman Marriner Eccles, the root cause [ of the Great Depression] was the concentration of wealth resulting in a stagnating or decreasing standard of living for the poor and middle class. These classes went into debt, producing the credit explosion of the 1920s. Eventually the debt load grew too heavy, resulting in the massive defaults and financial panics of the 1930s.

Sound familiar?

Anyone see the rich people no longer trying to dodge taxes? Anyone see their political minions doing anything effective to close the loopholes?

You have 10 years. Tops.
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