Democrat January-February 2013 (Number 133)
Questions raised by Arthur Smelt
Whenever there is talk of a referendum on EU issues, the same old tactics are adopted every time. First we have the politics of fear which tell us of the adverse consequences of voting against the machinations of EU. Then we are told of the wonderful benefits we can expect or are already receiving from EU membership. The latest promise is that we can have a referendum if a Tory government is re-elected.
Jose Manuel Borosa head of the European Commission claims the Euro is now out of danger and no longer at risk. The threat has been overcome he told a conference in his native Portugal where, in earlier years he was said to have been a left wing progressive. The Portuguese people are in a mess and must think Borosa is talking absolute nonsense.
Recent reports indicate that 20 million people in the Eurozone are without work. Up two million on last year. This tells its own story.
Then we have the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy reported as saying that the crisis in the Eurozone is over and the worst is behind us. Independent experts in Europe and elsewhere are at variance with Boroso and Rompuy. Angela Merkel has also said in a New Year message that the crisis is far from over. The facts are that the severity of the crisis is creeping Northwards from Southern Europe. Germany and France are beginning to experience growing destabilisation. Boroso, Rompuy et al choose to ignore the abject failure of the political and economic systems they give their servile support to.
There has also been interference from US sources. Reports indicate that the US assistant secretary for EU affairs, Phillip Gordon has said Britain should not leave the EU or play a diminished role in Brussels. The US has tremendous domestic problems of its own and those in responsible positions would do well to deal with these horrific problems instead of interfering in the affairs of others.
On the home front we are witnessing the closure of multiples like Comet, Jessop. HMV, Blockbuster and others resulting in thousands being made unemployed. According to some in government these workless people will be able to join the ranks of skivers and benefit cheats.
Recent reports state that half the world's food production is wasted. Reasons given are marketing techniques, over-buying by consumers and harvesting difficulties in developing countries. What has not been mentioned are EU regulations emanating from the CAP which over the years have arranged for hundreds of thousands of tons of edible food to be destroyed to keep prices up. There have been butter mountains and wine lakes. At one stage sugar surpluses in the EU were dumped in Kenya which had an adverse effect on the Kenyan sugar industry. There has also been a policy of paying farmers not to grow food along with subsidy scandals. In addition EU fishing policies have resulted in tons of fish being thrown back into the sea and many fishermen have lost their livelihoods. There have also been EU factory ships fishing off the African coast thus robbing the native population of their main food source. This has resulted in piracy and holding people to ransom to replace income formerly made by fishing.
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) of Blankenberg, Germany, was a philosopher, schoolmaster and author of a book entitled 'The Decline of the West' (2 volumes). Spengler contended that civilizations pass through a life cycle, blossoming and decaying like natural organisms and that Western culture is past its creative best and headed into eclipse. The question arises as to how true this is and what readjustments must be made. The EU is certainly not the answer.