Coffee House

Campaign to junk Juncker continues

2 June 2014

8:52 AM

2 June 2014

8:52 AM

The campaign against Jean-Claude Juncker becoming President of the European Commission continues, with Martin Callanan (who might hope to benefit from another campaign against someone getting a job, namely Andrew Lansley becoming the UK’s European Commissioner), telling the Today programme that the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg is the ‘business-as-usual candidate’ who is not the ‘reformer who will institute bold and radical change’. Callanan argues that members of the European People’s Party are not bound to support Juncker, because ‘less than 10 per cent of the electorate in any of the countries that the EPP are now saying they have the votes from actually knew they were voting for anybody at all, never mind Jean-Claude Juncker’.

David Cameron is certainly keen to show that he’s serious at least about making his concerns known, even if he fails to block Juncker’s rise. As James said yesterday, his tough stance on this issue is important foreshadowing of the way the Prime Minister could behave in the real renegotiation (which will be much harder if Juncker is at the helm, but Tory MPs fear it will also be less effective if Cameron does appoint Lansley as Commissioner).

His overall case for reform is perhaps helped by a normally pro-EU voice calling today for reform. Tony Blair is speaking now to the CBI about the case for change in Europe, arguing that while Europe is ‘absolutely necessary’ for our future, the European election results mean EU countries must consider their future together very carefully. What Cameron needs is his credibly tough stance to meet a genuine appetite for change in Europe. He suspects that the latter will be rather quelled if Juncker succeeds in taking the top job.

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
  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    The only concern I’d have about this older chap becoming the EU Commission pres. is really regarding the nutter that is the EU digital commissioner. She’s rather too pushy for me and I should be concerned as to whether she’d be a bad influence on any EU Commission president.

  • RAnjeh

    Either Christine Lagarde or Helle Thorning Schmidt should be President of the European Commission. Schulz and Juncker are Eurofederalist elitists who are completely out of touch with the people of Europe. Unless European leaders want to see Marine le Pen or Nigel Farage continue to rise in their respective countries, they should support David Cameron on this one and back Lagarde or Schmidt.

  • tres66

    Be clear; Juncker is no friend of this country. And he has no inclination to change the EU’s direction because of any annoying recent electoral discontents.

    • Fred Smith

      Do you think it’s even distantly likely that the person they choose will be anything other than fully signed up to the federalist aims of the EU or take the slightest bit of notice of recent election results or Cameron’s reform talk?

      I don’t.

  • Augustus

    “We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens,” he explained. “If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don’t understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.”
    -Jean-Claude Juncker, on pushing forward the European project.

    He might also just as well have said: “Democracy in the EU is just theatre, and whatever the people vote for the EU elite will carry on with business as usual.”

  • Denis_Cooper

    “As James said yesterday, his tough stance on this issue is important foreshadowing of the way the Prime Minister could behave in the real renegotiation (which will be much harder if Juncker is at the helm, but Tory MPs fear it will also be less effective if Cameron does appoint Lansley as Commissioner).”
    Ignorant twaddle.

    • Fred Smith

      I can’t see the question of who is appointed as President of the EU Commission being anything other than a storm in a tea cup.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Europe is absolutely necessary for our future, if it disappeared for some reason then even if we didn’t disappear with it we would still be very badly affected as the oceans flooded in to fill the space it presently occupies.

    On the other hand, the EU, an international organisation established by treaties between sovereign states located in Europe, is neither necessary nor desirable.

  • Will Rees

    Think that 10% stat is pulled from thin air, and getting Martin Callanan,the first ever sitting chairman of a European parliamentary group to lose his seat, to make it less than helpful

  • FailedEvolution

    Juncker-Verhofstadt: Lobbies and groups of interests in the EU are unavoidable!

    A good example of neoliberal “rationalism”

    http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/05/juncker-verhofstadt-lobbies-and-groups.html

  • dalai guevara

    Ah yes, we note a fatuous campaign with three purposes:
    – to insinuate no one knew Barroso had to be replaced by ‘someone’.
    – to divert from the fact that the Tories won the EU elections, why else would they be in the position to send both the great bureaucrat and privatiser that is Landsley.
    – to gloss over the fact that democracy on home soil and the Newark polls are not looking good, are they?

  • itdoesntaddup

    Will he bomb before he gets to 88?

  • Odar Berkley

    Surprised no one else is mentioning that this is very obviously a manufactured argument, with Junker as a straw man. All so Cameron et al with Eurosceptics on their flanks can claim a victory when the one that the establishment really wants is Wolfgang Schäuble. Some victory for the anti federalists that will be.

  • global city

    Everyone automatically assumes that when politicians talk of ‘reform’ that they support less EU, more intergovernmentalism and sovereign rights, less ‘Ever loser union’, but!

    The sorts of reforms that the Lib Dems desire are of the ‘great leap forward’ type, ones shared by Guy Verhofsdadt. He has said recently that HE is a Eurosceptic who desires reform. What he means is that he is sceptical of the current arrangement .and he wants reforms asap to make the EU a proper functioning country.

    Don’t be fooled by the weasel words. Our MSM should drill down on the statements made about reform, demanding that they outline how the EU would work once their unstated ‘reforms’ had been implemented.

    This is a good document that should have more publicity.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/documents/BrexitPamphlet001.pdf

    • Denis_Cooper

      When Merkel first proposed decanting almost all of the legal contents of the rejected EU Constitution into an amending treaty, later to become the Treaty of Lisbon, what did she initially call her new treaty?

      https://www.google.co.uk/#q=merkel+%22reform+treaty%22

      • global city

        Exactly. You have to be a Kremlinologist to be able to decipher precisely what the EU elite mean when they use a word….er, rather appropriately.

  • Grey Wolf

    ”Tony Blair is speaking now to the CBI about the case for change in Europe”
    Do people still listen to this lying, filthy, unpatriotic ar$e-h0le?

    • Kitty MLB

      Good god, the man with sinister eyes. No indeed.
      Blair and the socialist iron fist of the EU are two peas in a pod,
      two dark little succubus’s that wreck havoc.
      Blair should be charged with treason and sent to the Tower of London.

      • Grey Wolf

        Absolutely!

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Juncker is not he ‘business as usual candidate’ in the sense that his accession would mean marking time. He means more and more Federal Europe and less and less democratic input to it.

    So what if dave or others succeed in blocking him – at best it is a smaller defeat as there are no candidates with concrete intentions to reverse the juggernaut.

    • global city

      As ‘ever closer union’ is the day to day (business as usual) drive behind every single piece of regulation, every issue raised and every action of every Commissioner and the ECJ, the two are not exclusive, they are the same thing.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Agreed – but I doubt that the writer, judging by her past work, intends to that meaning to be conveyed.

  • Hello

    “Tony Blair is speaking now to the CBI about the case for change in Europe”

    Classic Tone, eh? To quote Hague, “building coalitions like only he can”.

    • DWWolds

      And making a play for the job of the President of the EU Commission himself?

    • allymax bruce

      Typical opportunism; throwing his hat into the ring, but nobody notices the sad clown.

      • Andy

        He is a somewhat diminished figure.

  • Colonel Mustard

    “Monetary policy is a serious issue. We should discuss this in secret, in the Eurogroup. I’m ready to be insulted as being insufficiently democratic, but I want to be serious. I am for secret, dark debates”

    — Jean-Claude Juncker, 20 April 2011.

    Although his party is nominally of the centre-right it was in coalition with the Socialist Workers Party for several years. Nowadays of course the European centre-right has all the appearances of the centre-left.

    • Grey Wolf

      So true.

      In fact, on a few issues, contemporary centre-right is to the left of the old far left. E.g. marriage equality issue.

    • HookesLaw

      You do not see the head of the Fed wontanly musing over his future policy decisions.
      We are not in the eurozone.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Irrelevant. No policy that affects the public should be discussed in secret. Parliament does not debate in secret despite the best efforts of Blair, Brown and Cameron to create secret sofa government. It might be the Eurozone but the Eurozone deserves better.

      • Aberrant_Apostrophe

        ‘We are not in the Eurozone’.

        Yet, although not part of the European Stability Mechanism, the UK had to cough up £20bn+ to the IMF so they could continue their mad experiment by bailing out those countries that should never have joined the EZ. Not to mention the separate £14.5bn loan to Ireland.

        • Grey Wolf

          HookesLaw lost his mind several years ago. So he cannot be blamed for the idiocy that he spouts.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    May I take an opportunity to ask Isabel to find out for us what the actual aims of the various players are. Never mind the grand guignol of day-to-day political arguments, what do they want to happen?

    What is the ideal EU for Juncker? For Merkel?

    What is the ideal relationship between the UK and the EU for Cameron? For the CBI? For Miliband?

    And I don’t want the answer in airy-fairy aspirational bollocks, but in clear statements mapping out a clear position.

    Can I get that? I won’t be holding my breath. But is it not reasonable to have such statements from the various players? Surely they know what they are aiming for? Or can’t they tell us in case we don’t like it?

    • Colonel Mustard

      I doubt you will get it. This is the era of a new feudalism. We are the peasants outside the castle walls, toiling away, hoping we won’t be oppressed or taxed or regulated or persecuted too much. Inside the castle a new class of political Barons meet to decide our fates, to jostle for power and to gossip and squabble over their hierarchies.

      Instead of the Church the Barons have the religion of Corporate Big Business with the new Bishops of CEOs to whisper and nudge, to squabble over powers and to scratch each others backs.

      Well, it’s back to me plough and oxen up to me knees in mud.

      • Charles Martel

        Keep the scythe sharpened, Colonel, keep it sharp…

      • Grey Wolf

        Well stated, Colonel.

        But I think it’s worse than old feudalism in the sense that the new feudal lords are globalists. The old feudal lords at least had some interest in their lands, in their realm and its people and culture. The neo-feudal lords are ”global citizens”, at once moving their wealth globally and their affinities.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Agreed. I would rather live under the benevolent despotism of a William Marshall than the sort of overlordship that Barroso, Van Rompuy and Juncker represent.

      • The Laughing Cavalier

        Absolutely right, but how did those beggars get inside the castle walls to begin with?

        • Colonel Mustard

          Those who were supposed to represent and protect us either went over to the enemy or were asleep at their posts. A great parliamentary tradition of questioning power on behalf of the people and legislating circumspectly was transformed into a biddable one of exercising power over the people on behalf of a bureaucracy and legislating promiscuously to that end – all for our own good of course. Careerist wonk politicians, sundry single issue crusaders and grievance monkeys went into Parliament to change society rather than to represent its diversity and freedom and to leave it be to evolve naturally as it should. The age of deference did not disappear. It just transitioned from deference to old rank to deference to ideology and therefrom to new rank. The establishment is dead, long live the establishment (comrade).

        • allymax bruce

          The Labour Party, with Tony Bliar & Crash Gordon, Pontius Mendhellson, were the ones who ‘bought-into’ Levi’s Capitalism verses Communism ethos; but all they got was Crony Capitalism. Typical Labour ignorance; they didn’t see the ‘bankers coming’!
          It woz Blair, Brown, & The Labour Party wot did it.
          I wouldn’t trust any Labour Party member as far as I could thrown them. They’re all too stupid, too ignorant, and too self-ingratiating to notice their first two faults!

          • Grey Wolf

            You won’t trust Labour Party but will you trust the contemporary ‘conservatives’?

            I am not sure what these people are ‘conserving’. I am not sure they know what they are ‘conserving’. In essence, both Labour and Tory are playing the exact same game of globalist finance capital with social progressivism thrown in and some Frankfurt School Cultural Marxism for good measure. Both the parties have their neo-cons which is the vilest form of progressivism with a middle-east fixation.

        • Aberrant_Apostrophe

          … and who built it, and why?

      • Count Dooku

        Nothing wrong with Big Business (or a business being big), blame the politicians who pass laws granting special favours.

        As an example, Microsoft spent nothing on corporate lobbying for a decade in the 90s until Washington started a giant witchhunt lawsuit against them. They subsequently became the biggest lobbyist funders in America.

        At the end of almost every ill on this planet you will find a politician.

        • Colonel Mustard

          “Nothing wrong with Big Business”

          Really? I worked for one briefly. It was bloody awful and most of the people who ran it deserved to be taken out and shot. The few decent and foresighted mandarins were relentlessly conspired against and eventually ousted by the nasty sh*ts. Really bad practice was imported wholesale from the USA and whilst the BS and boasting about service rose the actual service diminished on the bottom line.

          • Count Dooku

            If the company was so terrible they would be out of business (providing they are not bailed out).
            Business’ #1 ain is to serve their customers, not employees. And if their customers don’t like the service they can vote with their feet. This is the beauty of the market.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Plenty of terrible companies in UK doing fine.

              • Count Dooku

                If they are doing fine without subsidy then they can’t be that bad. Natural monopolies excluded of course.

                • NotYouNotSure

                  I think that two different things are being argued here, even if companies are completely free market and independent from government, that still does not mean they are always well organised. Why do you think so many management books are written, because often they are not well run and can be improved.

                • Count Dooku

                  There are bad companies everywhere of all sizes. My argument is that in a free market without govt intervenion the bad ones will eventually fail.

            • fundamentallyflawed

              Some companies are too big to fail. They hold so much of the market share that there is little alternative on a national scale. Having worked for one (no names obviously) I can agree with Colonel Mustard whole heartedly on bad practices and bad management

              • Count Dooku

                It’s not necessarily about market size. Lots of companies with massive market size have subsequently collapsed. Think Nokia, Kodak, Sony etc.
                There are bad companies of all sizes. Eventually, competitive pressures will put them out of business.

                • fundamentallyflawed

                  Your examples are of companies that failed to respond to shifts in the markets and competitors and are right that competitive pressures may eventually cause a collapse. But there are many companies who do not have this competitive pressure and will continue on regardless. These are the types of companies we were referring to. I think you could include a bureaucratic government (such as labour left us with) in that same bracket as an example

                • Count Dooku

                  Think of the companies you refer to and name them. The rate of business change in the UK and US in particular is staggering, namely because both countries tend not to protect their firms from competitive pressures.

                  It is a general perception (and an incorrect one) that big business is permanent. Excluding utilities (which have natural monopolies and are heavily regulated) and banking (massive barriers to entry, bailed out and heavily regulated), you will be hard pressed to think of a company that was consistently terrible and managed to survive.

            • cromwell

              “Business’ #1 ain is to serve their customers” Actually its not business’ #1 aim is to maximise profit for shareholders.

              • Count Dooku

                And how do they maximise their profits? By selling products to customers at the highest price their customers will bear without being undercut by the competition.
                You don’t make profits without pleasing your customer unless you are part of a govt protected racket.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Actually it is to maximise the return to shareholders whilst protecting the value of their capital.

          • Grey Wolf

            Count Dooku is the kind of count who sits in his couch and drinks Kool-Aid the whole day while reading the trash published in National Review Online.

            • Count Dooku

              Nice ad hom. Did you have an argument?

              • Grey Wolf

                ”Nice ad hom”
                Thanks.

                ”Did you have an argument?”
                Not needed. Your existing posts confirm what I have said.

                • Count Dooku

                  Well no one can accuse you of having any manners.
                  PS: I don’t read the National Review, it is very far from my politics. Reason magazine on the other hand…

                • Grey Wolf

                  Ok,Ok, Count Dooku. I will try and watch my manners now. Don’t give up on me so quickly. Ah! Reason mag. I don’t like libertarians too much but I prefer them to the ar$e-h0le neocons.

          • Makroon

            The Co-operative Society ? (wink)

      • allymax bruce

        Don’t worry Colonel Mustard, their dastardly New World Order-ground is about to disintegrate around their feet. They will try to force us into their ways, but we, the big three European nations, will completely disown & reject the evil of this old Bolshevik-styled EU. You see, Juncker’s EU is premised on 1980’s old-style Communist dictatorship, of which, the super-elite corporate banking hegemony of powers, ‘used-to’ have the impetus; not any more. They literally ‘broke their own banks’ trying to screw us out of our money, and, also, forcing us into a kicking-corner.
        They have nowhere to go since they abused their own NWO ‘agenda’; the ‘brain aristocratic’ were supposed to be above the farm animals, while the ‘blood aristocratic’ were supposed to inbreed; American Zionism greed has broken all the ‘spiritual’ unwritten rules & ethics; and awoken the many headed hydra of the Eurasian and Occidental East.
        The Nation-State is back in fashion in Europe because of this; Scotland is going Independent, Germany and France are ‘regressing to type’, and England will be a Nation again, right in time for the World Cup.
        David Cameron will reform the EU, or, ‘Britain’ will tear itself out of the Mammon control that is the EC.

        • Kitty MLB

          My esteemed leader will at least try and reform
          the EU. He may fail, indeed he probably will.
          But there is honour in trying to do the right
          thing, regardless of certain failure.
          And we will also have a referendum as you
          are in 3 months. Dear Ally.

        • dalai guevara

          that must have been fun to write.

          • allymax bruce

            Hi dalai guevara, yes, it was fun to write. It was basically an intro’ to what the Jimmy Reid Foundation, (an organisation of Communist Labour Communist fascists in Scotland), have expounded in The Herald yesterday; ……… “The 130-page book is the culmination of the 18-month Common Weal project started by the left-wing think tank, the Jimmy Reid Foundation. Touting “practical idealism” and a raft of policies borrowed from Germany and the Nordic countries, its stated aim is to dispel the idea that the only political choice facing voters is “varying forms of extreme market economics”.

            Now, if you know anything about Politics, you’ll know ‘Practical Idealism’ is what started both World Wars; it’s Absolute Communism, that cons the trusting and ‘dutiful’ excellent, but young minds; the bright young things, into thinking the natural antithesis of Capitalism is Communism; not so! The Labour Party are liars; and all they’ve done is abrogated the good name of Jimmy Reid, and manifested their Marxist Communist policies packaged as something good; same as Bliarism! And this is what Jimmy reid was against! he actually absolved himself of The Labour Party because of these Communist ‘dark-packaging’ processes for Communism.

            • dalai guevara

              Hi allymax bruce – you are arguing way above my grade or levels of comprehension. I have never associated either Germany or any of the other Nordic countries with ‘absolute communism’. This must be my error, I will have to read up on that.

    • HookesLaw

      Have you a brain of your own? If you are so interested why not do some research if your own.
      BTW … the benefit of research is when it is objective.

      • Rhoda Klapp8

        They never make it clear. Always couched in pie-in-the-sky sunlit uplands stuff but never any explicit statement of what the desired end is. Do you know? Help poor old Rhoda out with links. You are a tory, what is the desired end in the eyes of the conservative party? OK, the conservative part of the government? Now the whole coalition? Now Merkel.

        IMHO, every damn one of them only has a plan to get to the weekend without getting found out.

      • NotYouNotSure

        Or perhaps one would could hope journalists would do such things, you know, trying to find out what those rule us believe in.

      • southerner

        “If you are so interested why not do some research if (sic) your own.”

        That’s comical from Mr CCHQ cut and paster.

        By the way, still waiting for your comments on your hero Dave’s third place in the euros last week.

    • Ringstone

      Goodness sakes, what do you want….journalism?

    • Inverted Meniscus

      I think you have just answered your own question Rhoda.

  • swatnan

    Cegg would be a good compromise. Proven credentials. Send him.

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      Cegg? He is diminished by 20% even in Swatnan’s eyes.

      • swatnan

        Ceg, ‘The Shrinking Man’.

  • Andy

    I fully expect Juncker to get the job. And I fully expect he will be a gift to UKIP and other Eurosceptic parties.

  • monty61

    What gives this nonentity (Luxembourgh has a population smaller than Glasgow city) the right even to be considered? These people’s sense of entitlement is staggering.

    • Frank

      Ha ha look at the population of Malta!!

    • Grey Wolf

      You are about to unearth the secret.

      You are right L’bgh is a non-entity demographically but have you had a look at its banking industry balance sheet? It’s even more staggering. It’s one of the banking havens of the world where globalist wealth is parked from all over the world. EU has deep connections with the globalist bankers and is in effect run by them.

      • allymax bruce

        Grey Wolf; all we need to do is exactly what Jesus did; ‘overturn their money-changing tables’. In other words, don’t ‘deal’ with them. Money that is unproductive, is unprofitable; thus a deteriorating asset.

        • Grey Wolf

          We need to overturn a lot of things aside from the money changing table, mate. Some of us are traditionalists and know the meaning of ”Indo-European”.

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Agreed. Look at GDP per capita etc then you get a feel for why this flea bite on the a**e of Europe has so much influence.

  • misomiso

    Best way to stop him is for Cameron to find an East European Candidate.

    • Grey Wolf

      Better still – a black, Muslim, gay dwarf

  • beenzrgud

    I doubt Juncker will be stopped from dipping his snout in our taxpayer funded trough.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here