The EU must change

26 January 2013

12:11 PM

26 January 2013

12:11 PM

I have been out of the country for a couple of weeks and away from the sweet furore of the internet. I’ll be posting in the coming days on some of the bigger things which have gone on while I have been away.

In the meantime, readers who are interested can read here a piece of mine published last week in Die Welt. Written before David Cameron’s recent pronouncements, it is an attempt to explain the legitimate reasons for British EU-scepticism to a German audience.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.

  • rtj1211

    I think the thing that should be pointed out is that there is a far greater likelihood of Auschwitz befalling EU Commissars and their apparatchiks than there is for it happening to the Jews.

    What is really tragic, not just in Europe, but in the UK also, is the virulent hypercompetitive destruction of whole swathes of economies, leaving behind dependency, futility and bail outs.

    We really must find a more stable and constructive way of managing ourselves.

    Conquest won’t do. Economically, militarily or politically.

  • Daniel Maris

    The UK should stop its disruption of the EU party (do we really want to be the unwanted drunk uncle at the wedding reception?). Let’s either get out or do the decent thing and try and make the superstate work.

  • TheOtherTurnipTaliban

    “Trotz aller Dementis, Ausflüchte, Halbwahrheiten und regelrechten Lügen
    will die EU eine volle politische Union und eine Fiskalunion werden.”

    (Trans: “Despite all the denials, evasiveness, half-truths and outright lies: The EU wants to become a full political and financial union”)

    The funny thing about this, Douglas, is that ON THE CONTINENT this is taken as a given, people realise this and are if not generally ok with it then, at the very minimum, much more open-minded as to the creation of the full-fat United States of Europe.

    It is only to the British that this is a surprising development.

    • Baron

      Before the fighting that ended with 60mn dead began in earnest in 1939, it was the pliable masses, the weakness in institutions of the state in two big European nations that let in dictators, here, it was the masses endowed with the British DNA and their time tested institutions that stood up to the threat to freedom and liberty. That alone should be a hint whom to trust now.

  • TheOtherTurnipTaliban

    In German no less!! Smashing stuff Douglas!

  • Bob Thomas

    “an attempt to explain the legitimate reasons for British EU-scepticism to a German

    How about the fact that the British people have been consistently lied to by politicians and a supine media class who, even now, refuse to explain just how many powers the
    politicians have already given away and continue to elide the European Union and
    the Common Market/EEA/EFTA.

    “We have to be part of ‘Europe’ in order to secure access to the Common Market,” say the politicians.

    No we do not. The European Union is a political project intended to subsume the (formerly) sovereign nation states of Europe within a supranational body governed by an executive that does not (and cannot be made to) account to the people. Britain can can continue to trade and have intergovernmental co-operation with European Union member states without being part of the same political union.

    British sovereignty and the rights of the British people to elect their own democratic representatives is a precious freedom only won after centuries of struggle and bloodshed. That sovereignty is the sole property of the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and no government has the right to dilute, diminish or give away that hard-won liberty.

    I am not an aficionado of the German press, but based solely on the comments made by continental politicians that get reported here, there is no mystery as to why people in other European countries fail to understand British intransigence on this issue. The politicians in those countries have been much more (although not fully) open about what the EU really is. Of course, given the chance to vote on the issue, even our friends on the continent have said, “no”. France, the Netherlands and Ireland on Lisbon. The Danes on the euro. The Norwegians on ascension x2. One suspects that so-called ‘euroscepticism’ is far from the solely British phenomenon some media commentators like to pretend.

    The fact that British politicians are a bunch of witless, cowardly, lying dissemblers, consistently outmanoeuvred and by their continental counterparts and doomed to always loose a game they do not understand (and should not be playing) is troubling for those of us who propose we leave the European Union, but not insurmountable. Once our elected representatives have to account for their actions – rather than the power without responsibility that they currently enjoy – they will have little choice but to reflect the genuine divisions that form the basis of public debate in this country – and we can get back to running our own affairs.

  • global city

    Aside for the fact that land owners get huge subsidies, in addition to the protection of their business, just what is the difference between the CAP and the Corn Laws? Not a lot I’d suggest.
    How could anybody, apart from said landowners, defend it at all?
    How could those who consider themselves as ‘socially caring’ put up with it?
    Why are lefties so full of contradictions?

  • James Mackenzie
  • Redwood509

    for the English version?

  • Augustus

    If politicians are supposed to be trusted by the people they govern it’s certainly quite refreshing that Cameron has embarked upon a matter which forms the main focus of citizenship, namely the design and future of the state itself. Can anyone in their right mind, whether in Germany or Britain, really want to be governed by the type of political union as envisaged by people like Barroso and Van Rompuy?

  • Tubby_Isaacs

    Can’t read German very well. Does it say “the EU must change so it can’t ever form a counterweight to me and my neo-con mates”?

    • Curnonsky

      Du ist ein moron.

      • Ty Kendall

        Du bist*

    • David Lindsay

      They are all for it, and always have been.

      Nor was it a bulwark against Thatcherism. Which privatisation did it prevent? Which dock, factory, shipyard, steelworks or mine did it save?

      On the contrary, even now it enforces austerity and privatisation (of the Post Office, for example), it attacks worker’s right, it is militarising itself into a de fact merger with NATO, it imposes “technocratic” dictatorships on member-states, and it maintains its own democratic deficit, which is inevitable, because it does not and cannot have a demos.

      No wonder that the neocons love it. They run it.

    • global city

      No, it reads ‘people who dislike thinking for themselves love the institutions and its drive to ever closer union as it decides everything for them’ In another part it states ‘scaredy pants are easily swayed to support by talk of all those nasty big players out there and the monsters in the sea’.

    • Hugh

      China and Russia already form such a counterweight, and with about the same level of democratic legitimacy.