Another Europe is Possible

the rotten heart of europe

It is surely not irrelevant that for many left-wing Britons, ‘Europe’ exercises a grip on the imagination similar to that of the Soviet Union on the Philby generation at Cambridge in the 1930’s.  Nor is it illegitimate to seek a parallel between the apologias for the Soviet Union issued by the British intelligentsia in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and today’s wilful closing of intellectual eyes to the realities of ‘Europe’.  The left-wing fellow travellers of the 1930’s constantly made unfavourable comparisons between Britain and the supposed paradise to the east.  Today, the same is true of the British Euroenthusiasts.  The head of the Commission’s representative office in Britain, for instance, seems to view ceaseless denigration of his own country as the most effective way of selling ‘Europe’ to his fellow Britons.

Bernard Connolly, from The Rotten Heart of Europe  (1995), Introduction, p xvii

The ‘left-wing’ Britons to whom Connolly refers are les faux gauchers, the Negative Nationalists, who denigrate anything British in favour of anything ‘European’, whether that be food, drink or just arty-farty foreign language films over any Anglophone ones.  They are self-loathing Britons who have never forgiven themselves the unpardonable sin of having been born on an offshore island of their favourite continent.  They are fools, incapable of judging anything on its merit; they are the mirror image of the Little Britons they claim to differ from.  They even continue to extol the ‘virtues’ of European Monetary Union, despite the shockingly high youth unemployment in Southern Europe that has resulted from that failed experiment.  So when you are told that hundreds of economists oppose Brexit, these are largely the same ones that told us that we must join the Euro.  At this juncture I have to say that I don’t necessarily share many of Connolly’s political views, but he is one of only a small number of economists (including Roger Bootle and Liam Halligan) left with any degree of credibility following the financial crash of eight years ago.

I’d like to think that I have an international outlook in life.  I’m happy to defer that most of the best beers in the world come from Belgium, a result of trade dating back centuries between the hop growers of Kent and the monasteries of Flanders.  We didn’t need a ‘European Union’ then and we don’t now.  (I still think the best cider in the world comes from Somerset though).  There are many French films, arty-farty or otherwise, that are pretty good, though some are based on ‘hommage’ to American genres (Mesrine, for example, starring Vincent Cassel, is a superb two-part gangster movie).  I’d rate Italy as my favourite country to visit for an autumn holiday, something which will still be possible whether or not the EU exists and if it does whether we are part of it; and there is a world beyond Europe of course – Montreal, with at least a day in Quebec City, being a great place to visit in the summer – though you’d never believe it from the endless stream of EU propaganda we have pushed at us.

All of this is by way of introduction to Brexit, The Animated Movie, which is succinct and far, far better than the over-hyped, but underwhelming, lengthy piece written and presented by Martin Durkin, weighted down as that is by political fossils such as Nigel Lawson and John Redwood.  It was Lawson’s previous fixation with maintaining a fixed exchange rate between the pound and the Deutsche Mark (as detailed in Chapter 3 of Connolly’s book), which was one of the principal reasons behind the Tory boom and bust, referred to in the previous blog post.

Where I depart from the synopsis in this short film is over NATO, which shares with the EU the same expansionist policies in The Great Game, as has been apparent from the destabilisation of Ukraine, which was always previously in the Russian sphere of influence.

Finally, those of us well into middle-age, the pissed-off post-boomer tax slaves, old enough to have voted in 1992, when we should have had a referendum, but too young to have voted in 1975, need to appreciate that the millennials have a totally different outlook to us.  We have to stress to them that the ‘European Union’ may have been an appropriate concept in the 20th Century, but that in the era of the World Wide Web – invented by a resourceful Brit working at CERN in Geneva (not in the EU) – international commerce does not depend on geographical proximity.  We can trade with any other country in the world without having to seek permission from bureaucrats in Brussels.  Oh and not everything about Brussels is bad, yes it does have awful traffic pollution, but if you are a comic book geek, it is the place to go to; and those little cafes near the Grand Place where the waiter brings you a beer menu and serves you your special beer in a special glass are one of the hallmarks of European civilisation.  Another Europe is possible, let’s start by demerging the EU and bringing democracy back to the nations of Europe.

IRA USA

Those who finance terrorist atrocities from the comfort of their homes thousands of miles away are the dregs of humanity. Most Americans must feel this way about those behind the ‘9/11’ attacks; but they looked the other way at those within their own midst who supported terrorism, financially and otherwise. After an aeroplane was hijacked in Boston and crashed into the World Trade Center, New York, did anyone in either of those two particular cities have a twinge of conscience about the fund raising activities that had gone on to finance bombings and shootings thousands of miles away? I am of course talking about IRA Incorporated and its legal wing ‘NORAID’.

Whilst hostility towards Britain is part of the USA’s national identity and has been from day one, for most Americans, Britain is irrelevant, a small island thousands of miles away with which they have no connection and no feelings one way or the other. The so-called ‘special relationship’ is a British invention. Those Americans who get off on hatred of Britain and British people, specifically hatred of England and English people, have adopted the identity of the adjacent small island thousands of miles away, as a vehicle for their hate. These pseudo ‘Irish’ Yanks are no more Irish than the Pope is; they insult genuine Irish people by claiming to be Irish themselves.

Intellectually Retarded Americans

It is on this particular day of the year whilst they dress up in green and pretend to be Irish, that Intellectually Retarded Americans display ‘England get out of Ireland’ banners. England is not in Ireland, but millions of pounds of English taxpayers’ money is, courtesy of the Barnett Formula, which apportions Northern Ireland the highest per capita government expenditure of the four parts of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland, with a population level less than one quarter that of Greater London, has a devolved elected assembly, its own civil service and an economy highly dependent on the public sector, all financed by ‘perfidious’ English taxpayers.

By contrast the economically deprived post-industrial areas of Northern and Central England remain neglected by Westminster. Our taxes have been used to bribe the IRA scum so that they don’t blow us all to Kingdom Come. This bribery cannot go on much longer as the Barnett Formula is in the long-run, untenable. So Northern Ireland will have to become self-supporting or unify with its southern neighbour, taxpayers in the Republic of Ireland picking up the tab; and therein lies the rub, it will cost Irish taxpayers more than they can afford. The IRA’s campaign to destabilise Northern Ireland was so successful that the place is an economic basket case.

‘English Taxpayers Stop Subsidising the Six Counties’ wouldn’t look too catchy on a banner and wouldn’t fulfill the ‘victim’ status that the pseudo ‘Irish’ Yanks like to afford themselves. Perhaps they’d like to explain to the taxpayers of the Twenty Six Counties why the latter should pay more. In a United Ireland there would be no need for the Six Counties to have a separate elected assembly, civil service or public sector, but there would be need for structural investment to make up for the job losses and for that it would be taxpayers in the Twenty Six Counties who would have to foot the bill; a hard job for a formerly independent state which is now owned by the Troika.

After all, the ‘independent’ part of Ireland no longer has its own currency, its leaders having given that up when the Irish pound, the punt, ceased to exist and control over interest rates was gifted to the European Central Bank. It was at this point that Irish banks gained access to greater levels of capital and loaned it on to Irish property developers whilst Irish politicians looked the other way. The ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy overheated. Plenty of Irish people joined in the resultant borrowing binge. The post-bubble depression has resulted in thousands of Irish people emigrating with England again one of the top destinations. ‘England get out of Ireland’, yes, quite.

However the principal issue with the island of Ireland becoming one administrative unit is that it requires the agreement of the majority on each side of the present border. Most of those north of the border will not willingly give up the National Health Service or other aspects of the British welfare state, they will not give up having a currency and a taxation system with which they are familiar and why should they? They will not willingly give up the indirect economic benefits of being part of the United Kingdom, such as flat rate postal charges. As specified above, those south of the present border are unlikely to agree to pay yet more taxes. Would you?

But it is not just that those with their ‘England get out of Ireland’ banners haven’t thought through exactly how a United Ireland would come into being, they fail to make a case as to why it should and who would pay. The cost certainly won’t fall on them. More than that, their ideology is that they want to impose how they feel Ireland should be, free from all foreign influences, except their own of course. For want of a better term, they are Gaelic Zionists, for whom Ireland has become their ‘Israel’, a place with which they have only tenuous ancestral connections and of which they wish to claim ownership; only without paying any of the financial cost.

The litany of murders carried out by the IRA would require a blog post several times the length of this one. They include the eleven people murdered by the bomb at the Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen in 1987, two Australian tourists in the Netherlands in 1990, who committed the ‘crime’ of driving a British registered car; and two young boys in Warrington in 1993. In particular, the wave of revulsion against these two boys being ‘legitimate targets’, led to protests by ordinary Irish people who had just had enough outside the Dublin office of the IRA’s political wing Sinn Fein, putting them on the defensive to explain themselves.

It was from these protests, more than the initiatives of any career politicians, that the impetus came for the ‘peace process’; it certainly didn’t come from the IRA’s Yank supporters, who had no interest in ending the carnage that they had helped to finance and from which they were and remain so far removed. Twenty years after the murders of those two boys in Warrington, a young boy in Boston, USA, was murdered in a terrorist attack, the trial for which took place last year. Now that a terrorist attack has happened on their own home turf, some of IRA Incorporated may even belatedly examine their consciences, if they are capable of doing so.

If you have read this far then you’ll realise that not all terrorists or their supporters are Muslims; nor are all Muslims terrorists. One of the two men murdered in the IRA’s bombing of Canary Wharf in 1996 was a Muslim, a Pakistani newsagent who was locking up his shop when the bomb exploded. He and his English employee, the other murder victim, were ‘legitimate targets’ simply for having the audacity to be ordinary people going about their daily business in England’s capital city; a city and a country in which many thousands of ordinary successfully assimilated Irish people also live and work, the real reason that the IRA’s Yank supporters hate England.