Monday, January 21, 2013

Why Britain Needs the EU Less than the Rest of Europe

This is the subject of a stimulating piece in The Current Moment.  The short version, embellished with my cynical spin, goes like this: more or less all of Europe inherited a mixed economy social contract from the ruins of WWII.  This remains generally popular among the public.  Nevertheless, elites want to unwind it.  In France, Germany and elsewhere the way to do this is through EU directives; this way you can make a show of resistance as if it were not your idea all along.  But Britain has gone neoliberal on its own, domestically, without any push from Brussels.  They don’t need the fig leaf.


Wil Guilfoyle said...

More importantly, stop going to war with only oil-rich countries. If we want to get the economy going, we need to be willing to war with countries who have other types of resources.

I’m happy we have drones now, so we don’t have to risk anymore American lives. Let’s use drones from now on and hurry up and take over as much as possible before the dollar crashes. I think we all know that’s what’s coming if we don’t act fast.

Myrtle Blackwood said...

Re: "Britain has gone neoliberal all on its own".

How can any nation do this? Particularly Britain.
The UK is a major importer of food, importing over 40% of all the food it consumes. The land area of the UK is 60 million acres. The population is 60 million. However, the arable area of the UK is said to be 5.7 million hectares.

And Britain needs genuine sovereignty to be able to genuinely make decisions for itself. The banks are gone, it's financial system is a branch of Wall Street. What's left of British nationality and purpose?

In the early 1990s "the American investment banks had wiped out their London counterparts and dominated the Square Mile’s asset markets, with the City [London] acquiring an increasingly ‘wimbledonized’ role within the New Wall Street System. Gordon Brown institutionalized the new relationship in 1997 by creating the unified Financial Services Authority, which claimed to operate according to ‘principles’ rather than binding rules: one central principle was that the Wall Street banks could regulate themselves. London thus became for New York something akin to what Guantánamo Bay would become for Washington: the place where you could do abroad what you could not do back home; in this instance, a location for regulatory arbitrage.""

New Balls Please? Tuesday, 6 January 2009

In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good.

– Sun Tzu

Myrtle Blackwood said...

Britain's central bank and government played a pivotal role in the early 1980s providing cheap finance to American transnational corporations. At that time American citizens were paying extraordinary high domestic rates and many family businesses went bust.

As the Mid West farming crisis kicked in and farming families sold land (land that had been in their families for generations sometimes), this resource was snapped up by TNCs who were fed their cheap money lifeline from Britain. The policies of neoliberalism allowed an unfair and unproductive global playing field. Some call it 'Neofeudalism' now.

Napoleon Bonaparte:
When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.