Friday, July 22, 2011

One nation, under...

A while ago, an Irish friend involved in politics told me that the EUrocrats are going to be taking full advantage of the instability created by the economic crisis to solidify their plans to abolish the nation state in Europe and unite the EU member states into a single socialist European superstate.

Apparently, that happened on Wednesday, while no one was paying attention. Which, in my experience, is the way really big things are brought about by politicians who know the public doesn't want their really big things. It is an axiom among lobbyists: if there is a huge news story breaking, it is wise to watch with extra care that day what the government is doing in Parliament.

European politicians have developed the same superstitious attachment to the single currency. They are determined to persist with it, no matter what suffering it causes, or however brutal its economic and social consequences.

There is only one way of sustaining this policy, as the International Monetary Fund argued ahead of yesterday’s summit in Brussels... Admittedly, the IMF should not be regarded as an impartial arbiter. Theoretically, its responsibilities stretch around the globe, but it has become the plaything of a reactionary European elite, of whom its latest managing director, Christine Lagarde (a dreadful and backward-looking choice), is the latest manifestation. However, the IMF was entirely correct when it pointed out that the only conceivable salvation for the eurozone is to impose greater fiscal integration among member states.

This advice was finally being taken yesterday – and it is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of the decision which European leaders seemed last night to be reaching. By authorising a huge expansion in the bail-out fund that is propping up the EU’s peripheral members (largely in order to stop the contagion spreading to Italy and Spain), the eurozone has taken the decisive step to becoming a fiscal union.

So long as the settlement is accepted by national parliaments, yesterday will come to be seen as the witching hour after which Europe will cease to be, except vestigially, a collection of nation states.

It will have one economic government, one currency, one foreign policy. This integration will be so complete that taxpayers in the more prosperous countries will be expected to pay for the welfare systems and pension plans of failing EU states.

This is the final realisation of the dream that animated the founders of the Common Market more than half a century ago – which is one reason why so many prominent Europeans have privately welcomed the eurozone catastrophe, labelling it a “beneficial crisis”.


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