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Monday, 10 March 2014

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Yes, well, it's the case, is it not, that almost all the (other) Europeans have faced an existential crisis of one sort or another within living memory, which they were unable to solve without outside help (National Socialism, German invasion, fascism, civil war, rule by colonels, communism etc. etc.). The Swiss avoided all that and the EU too. Only the Swedes, it seems to me, of the current members can claim a reasonably tranquil recent history, and they will have to speak for themselves!

Another factor, 'H', is that many of the people in the Med countries are wise enough to operate cash-only economies precisely in order to avoid the corruption and waste by government.

Also, I was taken with Mr. Nixon's opinion that the austerity insisted on by Berlin is absolutely forcing the Med governments to put their houses in order. The minute the European Bank starts buying individual government bonds they'll be back to their bad old ways.

Sometimes I wish the markets would put a real squeeze on us and force Osborne & Co to live within their (our) means!

You are spot on DD. However I believe another factor is that we now have a culture of entitlement and dependency brought about by politicians promising everything and anything to gain power and keep it. To keep this promise requires wholesale redistribution of wealth we see this domestically with public sector jobs and state hand outs all paid for with taxpayers money. We also see it in how the EU operates in that richer nations are subsidising poorer ones and when the euro-zone crisis happened how richer nations stood surety for the ones worst hit. Greece and others recognise that as badly hit as they were without the EU or had they renounced the euro in favour of their own currency it would have been a considerably lot worse in the short term at least and at the end of the day they also know that the EU will keep passing them other peoples even if they are unlikely to ever pay it back.

Ahoy Duff!

Figured you could use a little cheering up.

http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/29512

You must have noticed you live in a tower of babel. There are no 'people'. Just a people parking lot.

The lesson of that tale, JK, is don't mess with Cambridge swots - as DM will confirm!

But the most gloomy truth, Antis, is that we get the government and politicians we deserve.

"Just a people parking lot"! John, I never thought of life like that before. It sounds like something out of 'Waiting for Godot'!

JK's link is a wonderful coincidence, because I was chatting on Saturday with a Cambridge swot who told me about ancient Chinese musical instruments, especially a set of bells, and lamenting the lack of knowledge about what music was played on them. Whether the music in that book is as ancient as the bells I rather doubt, but disgracefully the university website doesn't tell us how old the "ancient" music might be.

S'not exactly a coincidence DM.

(But thanks for verifying our surveillance techniques seem promising.)

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