Saturday, July 2, 2016

Peter Saunders: Britain has rediscovered its liberty



Since the 1950s, the Eurocrat dream has been to impose a federal union onto the old, historic nations of Europe.  Since the creation of the common currency in 2002, this dream has become an imperative.

Nineteen of the 28 EU members dumped their national currencies in favour of the Euro.  Since then, unemployment in the southern European countries has surged.  Youth unemployment rates are staggering (49% in Greece; 45% in Spain; 39% in Italy).  These economies are being sacrificed to the Euro-federalist totem.

To solve the problem, the 19 Euro-zone countries must proceed rapidly to fiscal (effectively political) unification, or break apart in conflict and acrimony.  But where will unification leave the 9 non-members?

Nearly all voting in the EU is now decided by a 'qualified majority' (a complex system weighted by the population size of member states).  The Euro core will increasingly vote as a bloc, because as a monetary and fiscal union, it will share the same economic concerns and interests.  This will deliver perpetual majorities meaning the other 9 members will always be out-voted.

Why would a country like Britain want to remain in such a system?  Most of the other 9 are required to join the Euro in the future, but the Brits decided a long time ago they were not prepared to lose the pound (nor to dismantle their border posts as part of the Shengen agreement).   These opt-outs meant the UK would always be a peripheral member, subject to every EU law, yet outvoted on every key issue.  Britain's future was to be a province of the super-state emerging across the Channel.

Just as Australians and Americans would never put up with this, nor did the Brits.  In the referendum, the government machine, all main political parties, the civil service, big business, the unions, the Bank of England, the IMF, the 'impartial' BBC and even the President of the United States were all mobilised behind the 'Remain' campaign.  Yet in an exhilarating assertion of democratic self-determination, Brits faced down this propaganda barrage and voted 52-48 to leave.

The Guardian-reading middle class is livid.  It's not used to losing and it's in no mood to defer to the popular will.  Those who voted Leave are dismissed as 'chavs' (Pom-speak for Bogans) and 'racists'.   They want the result over-turned -- pace Bertolt Brecht, they want 'the people' dissolved and another elected.  Self-proclaimed 'progressives' who for years boasted of their 'tolerance' are, it turns out, only willing to tolerate those who think like them.  It's all getting very nasty. 

But when the dust settles, the Brits will find they have rediscovered their liberty.  They may not be the only Europeans to do so. 

Professor Peter Saunders is a senior fellow at The Centre for Independent Studies. 

1 comment:

Brian said...

The Price of Liberty...Eternal vigilance?
It seems very evident that since its conception the European Union has been concerned principally with its own internal expansion into a One Party state, A single entity. The only winner out of all these countries is the strongest economic one, namely Germany. The Teutonic drive of this nation which has to be admired since the Second World War, has shown the rest of Europe clearly the folly of the dominance with the welfare debt ridden oriented socialistic state.
In its drive to be the economic master it reverted to what Adam Smith in his “Wealth Of Nations” alluded to as a “Stationery State” with the exception that, it became the powerhouse within the E.U. Knowing full well that a United Europe would be so economically dependent on Germany; that in time, this would lead also to being dependent politically as well.. Its leadership ambition was a cover for a form of dictatorship that became evident as time passed with the ever increasing demands for one currency, one Parliament and the ultimately one single political policy. Any independence from the Treaty of Rome was unforgiveable, and seeing Frau Merkel’s response to Brexit any negotiations over Britain’s exit will be costly and aggressive in reality.
What is clear within Britain and also in New Zealand, is that whenever a referendum or vote goes against what a vocal minority dislikes; at once demonstrations occur with slogans of racist, fascist and ethnic oppression banded about and shouted from the roof tops. The essence of any functioning democracy is the will of the majority in a vote. One can but wonder at how these people with their desire to be governed “by the people” can treat democracy as merely an object to gain their wishes fulfilled even at the expense of the majority?
It is high time we all had a lesson in what Western democracy is all about, and what this democracy stands for and is willing to deliver whatever the cost. As Winston Churchill apply stated “United we Stand, Divided we Fall.”
Brian