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Saturday, 12 November 2011


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"Our politicians must decide"

They must, but I'm not confident in either their honesty or sanity, especially Clegg and co. The only thing in our favour seems to be the fact that we are outside the Euro, but that's double-edged if our leaders don't acquire a backbone from somewhere.

And if we remain inside the EU but outside the euro-zone which is now running things then we will be even worse off.

XX is run entirely for the benefit of Germany and France, XX

I can assure you, no German (Or Frenchman) outside of the Reichstag and whatever the Frogs call their Parliament, has seen ANY "benefit" at all.

In fact quite the opposite, considering all our health insurance, amongst other things, is set to raise because the firms and banks have been forced to pay the lazy bastard Greeks to sit on their arses drinking Ouzo all day.

One of our top priorities should be to bring the troops home. Get 'em out of Afghanistan before the USA goes down the gurgler; get 'em home from Germany where they could otherwise end up hostages to fortune. Anyway, if things get bad enough we might need 'em here. Bring them home.


The political leadership of the UK will have to do something that any political leadership hates to do. Make a hard definite non revocable decision that is sure to cause short term pain.

The need to quit the EU cold turkey with no warning , just repudiate all treaties, agreements whatsoever, even the one that may be seem positive. This will cause a loud crash but leave the UK in a position where it can rebuild.

The choice is to be dragged down slowly and be so tied up in the problems that they can't recover.

Where is W Churchill when you need him?
Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

Hank: Mr Churchill is still dead, sadly.

DM: We're all over Afghanistan. We want our boys home too, while we still have some left.

FT, I'm not sure I agree with you totally. Germany has certainly prospered by using a currency which has been kept low by the antics of the other nations using it. Of course, there being no such thing as a free lunch an invoice has now arrived and the Germans, sharing everyone's desire to have a cake and eat it are now jibbing at paying the bill.

I think, DM, it was announced in the last few days that the remaining troops in Germany are indeed being withdrawn.

Hank, I'm not sure we need to be quite so abrupt, after all, the Europeans are not our enemies (in the old-fashioned sense of the word) and we should try to stay on reasonably good terms with them. Someone during the week was suggesting that we should declare an emergency when we tip into the fast approaching second recession and use that as an excuse to unilaterally suspend all those irritating and useless EU rules on this that and the other which make businesses suffer. That would be a good beginning. It's known in diplomatic circles as kicking the other guy when he is down!

Allow me to disagree.
The new responsibles of Greece and Italy have been elected by the same parliaments that elected the former ones. No more or less democracy here. Maybe some part of the people of those countriss do not like that, but that is what they are elected for. And do not we keep complaining that politicians never dare to take unpopular actions?
Of course, the change comes from pressure from the EU leaders that have demanded to have people on charge that do not lie sistematically to them, as M. Berlusconi and M. Papandreu have kept on doing. That is the usual way in any 'club' you are member of: there are some rules, and you must follow them or leave. And paying one debts do not seem a hard one to me.
Had those nations been more honest, probably these group you mention, wich I should call simply 'Germany', maybe would have already agreed to let the ECB to help them, but experience has shown time after time that they cannot be trusted and that once they have taken the money they forget their commitments.
I think that today people often mistake democracy for actions having no consequences. Of course Greece could have its referendum (wich, by the way, is not the most usual way to dcide things in a parlamentary democracy: here in Spain Franco loved them), but they cannot expect that if it means another delay and, maybe, a rejection of any chance of paying their debts, creditors will keep on giving them money. That is not a coup d'etât, but what any of us would do with a debtor, who comes to ask for more money and says he has not yet decided wether he will pay the former one. Grrece, in this case, is free to do what ever it wants, but so are the others.
Here in Spain, M. zapatero, wich is not exactly my cup of tea, at least has done almost anything that he commited to and so today we are talking less of us and more of Italy and Greece. And, by the way, we are having very democratic elections next week, and the rest of Europe knows now that, who ever wins, pacts will be abided.

There's an "old Arkianism" which, though I hesitate to add given D&N's so very proper British metaphors but in this case, it might be helpful for my "cousins."

(In Arkansas it generally means someone who is in a tight situation but it also occasionally refers to someone who is extremely stingy.)

Tighter than a preacher's prick in a calf's ass!

I'm uncertain as to etyomology - but it seems applicable.

Allow me to disagree back again, Ortega!

I do not deny that the Greeks were profligate (like just about every other nation in Europe including Britain) but the Greeks had a particular medicine, one of a choice of two, forced down their throats by 'Merkozy'. After the third (or was it the fourth?) dose their democratically elected prime minister suggested a referendum so that the people could decide. Immediately action was taken by 'Merkozy' and their puppets to have him removed. Should such a thing happen here, despite the fact that I despise David Cameron, I would be out on the streets throwing stones!

The Greeks, and all the others, had a choice, they could have withdrawn from the euro, gone bankrupt and with a new and almost worthless currency begun to work their way back - just as other nations have done. But the Euro-fanatics, and some of their Greek Quislings, refused to allow this to happen.

You must understand this, Ortega, the Greeks, Spanish, Irish, Portuguese and now the Italians are gripped in a German trap which allows German industry to prosper by selling its goods abroad(including into your own country!) very much cheaper than if the Germans had to operate alone with a hugely expensive D-mark which, if it was on its own today would be equal to the Swiss Franc!

The Germans have you trapped, Ortega, and they will never let you go. You and the rest of the Mediterranean countries will remain the poor cousins of the New Frankish Empire, completely dependent on their charity.

JK, behave yourself!

"I think, DM, it was announced in the last few days that the remaining troops in Germany are indeed being withdrawn."

Aye, but much too slowly. This mess is developing far too quickly to be talking about getting troops home by 2020 or whenever it is.

Allow me this time not to disagree, but to make some of my points a little clearer.

1. My disagreement was about the idea that those changes in governement in Italy and Greece were a coup d'etât. Well, maybe, as much as removing Chamberlain to put Churchill instead. Parliaments have decided wich people is best to face what they consider their most urgent problem: to keep receiving money.

2. Another thing is to ponder how have they reached this situation. In my view, each country has a different story, all coming, mainly, from a period of abundant and cheap money. Some have a debt problem (public in Greece, private in Spain and Ireland). Others are paying for not making the necessary reforms beforehand: Italy and Portugal.
Of course that Germany must learn that it cannot keep acumulating actives but those countries must understand that they have to pay what they owe. And until now they have put it all too easy for Germany to say no to the ECB acting as a real central bank, and favouring a deflationary exit of the crisis, instead of a inflationary one wich would be better for them.

3. The negative of Germany to let the ECB to be a real central bank has two sides. One, is the 'chiken game' (remember James Dean in Rebel without a cause?) it is playing with the south countries, to force them to make the reforms before getting the money. Since they have been lying that is understandable, but this game very often ends with both players dead.
The other side is that, in my opinion, this is not a Frank-Gerrman axe. They are together, and will remain together, for this is the main reason the EU was created for: to avoid another war between them. But Germany knows too well that very soon the pressure that is now on south Europe will be on the french banks, and then France will have to recognize who is the boss (no tunisian adventures then). Even in the case, far from impossible, of a break up of the EU, France and Germany will remain together, but it is clear that then France will be the south.

4. You are right about the disadvantages that poorer countries have with a single currency. Probably Spain would be better now, althogh quite poorer, had we not had the euro as currency, simply because nobody would have let us so much money! Our 'numbers' today are better than those of the UK, but it has the advantage over us of the pound and its own central bank.
But to explain in this way industrial decay is far too simplistic. The UK is also a good example here. Or take north Italy: they are as rich and productive as any germand lander, and their problem is not the euro, on the contrary. Their problem is that some ten years ago they had already Berlusconi instead of chancellor Schröder, whose reforms paved the way for todays german economic power.

5. It is very clear that things are seen very different from a poor part of Europe, with only about 30 years of democracy, than from a rich country, one of whose identity signs is political independence. But you know much better than me that WWII consequences are still working today. That is why those little chats of ours are so interesting for me.

Maybe you'll like to read those two articles:

(note: I do not agree with what Roubini calls 'modest inflation'; now we are above the 3% and to face a hole the size of the italian one we should go to a two digits inflation. I mean: sometimes even the germans are right on something).

Ortega, thanks for your time and trouble and I think I will write a new post on the subject later because I think it is an important issue. In it I hope I will deal with you rpoints raised here.

If you think our politicians have not yet decided on this matter, then I have a bridge you may be interested in.

Look at their actions, not their words.

They do NOT believe in British independence, they do NOT believe in democracy, and they ALREADY bow the knee to the Frankenreich.

And Ortega, yes indeed, the niceties were observed and the technicalities followed carefully. They always are: the shells of our former democracies are always left intact for purposes of show, and to deceive those who don't pay proper attention.

But let there be no doubt - these were EU coups. Democratically-elected governments have been unceremoniously shoved aside, and trusted placemen parachuted into their places. These are alarming, if not unexpected, developments. Which country will be next?

Andrew, see new post above.

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