Angela Merkel Ate My Hamster

Back in the 1970s I voted NO in the Referendum on the Common Market as it was called then. The rhetoric at the time was that the Common Market was a “rich mans club”. I have seen nothing in the past four decades to change my mind.

Garret FitzGerald…generally regarded as Garret the Good let the cat out of the bag a few years ago. European integration was always the plan and Garret and his fellow Europhiles knew that European electorates would never agree to it….European integration has been achieved incrementally (certainly) and by stealth (as I would have it).

Now of course, that might be for the General Good. Maybe Europe has benefitted. Certainly the Republic of Ireland has benefitted. But the downside has been A Big Lie.

We were constantly told that there was no effect on Sovreignty…until we were told well it was far  too late do stop the process.

Europe is not ruled thru is ruled from Berlin and Frankfurt. Emotive as it sounds…and it’s hyperbole but “come to the Cabaret old chum”….Wilkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome….to the Fourth Reich.

I don’t know if the Germans have a word for Schadenfreude…but they certainly need a word to demonstrate that feeling that many of his had in 2004 when there was all that hoopla under the Presidency of Ireland…about the expansion of Europe…bringing in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta.

Romania and Bulgaria are admitted as semi detached. But surely a lot of people saw that it was too much to bring in the former Communist bloc and too much to bring in nations with a completely different economic pedigree.

If Nobody saw the banking crisis of 2008, it is compounded by the fact that nobody saw every financial institution from Liechtenstein to the Cayman Islands due made rich by a lot of money with dubious provenance…from Afganistan or Colombia or Saudi Arabia or….Russia.

Seemingly the Russians have a fondness for banking in …Cyprus.

Now Cyprus is the latest country to be bailed out by the kindly souls in Europe. At a price of course. The wheeze to simply raid the bank accounts in Cyprus and impose a tax on saving…won’t work….not because it would inconvenience Cypriot families….but because it would seriously inconvenience Russians and lead to a flight of capital from Cyprus. The Russians might use the money to buy a football club.

Frankly I preferred the Russians when they were threatening to drop nuclear weapons on Western Europe. The fall of Communism has allowed the Russians to destroy Europe and the bankers in Frankfurt and London have been complicit.

Eurocrats have valued shareholders in banks more than they value their own so-called citizens. It turned out that it was a “rich mans club after all”.I hate to say I told ya so….but……well I did.

Is Europe really at peace tonight? What started as some noble experiment at ending war between Germany and France is now in chaos. The biggest ever experiment in Conflict Resolution is in tatters.

Cyprus has little option but to withdraw from the Euro and re-issue it’s own currency. It has to move to protect it’s own citizens. Spain and Italy will probably end up doing the same. A Europe of Equals???

That European expansion of 2004….it DOES have a precedent. Lebensraum….the Germans have done this before in the 1930s. That didnt end well either.

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13 Responses to Angela Merkel Ate My Hamster

  1. factual says:

    That blog entry is very far indeed from SDLP approach to EU

    • I base my vote on my principles (high minded) and self-interest (low minded).
      My interests are socialism, republicanism and socialism……..and civil rights.
      I am no different to anyone else.
      When I go into the polling booth for the Euros, I will be voting #1 SDLP and #2 Sinn Fein.

  2. Up to a few years ago I was very much a stereotypical young and enthusiastically pro-EU citizen of Ireland. I genuinely had some sort of feeling for the idea of a European Union and all the political, economic, social, legal, cultural and environmental benefits I believed stemmed from its existence. However the two Lisbon referenda and the EU-dictated bailout changed all that. As did the EU’s anti-democratic “regime changes” in Greece and Italy (and to a lesser extent Spain).

    Now I find myself for the first time in my life opposed to the European Union, sceptical of its democratic credentials, wary of its institutional intent and suspicious of the motivations of the major EU nation-states. And articles like this don’t help. If the EU can’t break the Cypriots bring in the Russian heavy mob? One despairs.

    • Exactly…we are second class citizens of the Fourth Reich.
      And perhaps we should start using the rhetoric …replacing “Europe” with “Fourth Reich”.
      Of course it WOULD be unfair to the Germans. It would be hyperbole. But it would maybe get the message across.
      People of my generation were conned into pro-Europe stance much longer than yours.
      But down the road…five, ten or twenty years this WILL end badly…..War.

      • Don’t know about that FJH. Think we might need a steward’ inquiry I. To that WWII thing.

        In the noughties, Ireland deluded itself in to thinking it was culturally continental European and fiscally British but now they are back where they belong with Cyprus, Greece etc. thing is, what was wrong with Ireland being ireland or Greece being Greece.

        The crash was built on debt and te debt was built on the insane personal delusion that everyone should have the same thing, house, car, foreign holidays, designer goods just as the nation thought it had the right to play with the big lads.

        I used to spend a lot of time in Thailand and it was remarkable that they have policies to actually stop foreign businesses and are the richer for being Thais, no matter how poor or rich they are. They’re not unique, with Bhutan being the ultimate, if slightly extreme, example.

        In short, time to pull out of Europe and let the big boys (actually, mostly they aren’t anymore eg. Britain) be big boys and let the Irish return to being Irish.

      • factual says:

        Paul that would be expensive as we in the south are a net contributor. (Are you based in the six counties?)

      • factual says:

        Sorry I mean we are a net recipient.

  3. First, apologies for the infrequent contact FJH, an indecent connection in my new place, will email you further.

    I’ll not lie, I have to disagree with you on a number of points though I want you to know we’re not that far apart on these matters.

    First of all, the whole European Project and integrationist something I’m actually for, but I have my objections to certain matters.

    Sticking to the EU in general, tbh, it deserved the Nobel Peace Prize but got it 20 years too late, it’s been a great vehicle for peace and reconstruction in Europe, it’s a resounding success IMHO.

    In relation to Cyprus, well, I have a number of reservations. 1st, through the joy of doing some off shore financial work, yes, Cyprus is something along the lines of a Russian financial haven so i dont find it hard to lop some money off them and their ill gotten gains, but I think the Troika has not prepared the ground for their fait accompli and now they’re screwed.

    Further, the news media has been reporting this in some kind of ‘southern Europe BAD, northern Europe GOOD!’ type manner when Finland was bankrupt 15 years ago and Germany 60 years ago (short or non existent memories?). It’s almost as if they are doing everything to destroy the Euro themselves.

    Will the euro survive, I think so. What I would like is some kind of hoest debate, where we say ‘yup, Irish banks were crap but they borrowed money off German banks who did NO die diligence and they don’t want to get burned’, that’s my problem with this whole matter.

    • There is certainly a North-south fault line in Europe going back to Reformation times and a tendendency for Protestant North to see themselves as hard working and efficient while the Catholic South is work-shy and lazy.
      Arguably the 2004 expansion has given us a three tier Europe.
      North is “best” the South a poor second. The East is the third. And arguably Romania and Bulgaria an embarrassing afterthought
      Our differences here are largely generational.
      Your first experience of EU is how it was in the 1990s.
      But I can go back to the 1960s and Charles de Gaulles veto.
      So I’ve seen more twists and turns and really it’s the stealth and the lies that I object to.
      An over-large beaurocracy was a consequence of a Europe of nation states.
      The consequence of integration has been a United States of Europe….and Ireland, Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia reduced to the level of Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Delaware.
      There is no Sovreignty…and the only debate is whether it was worth it.
      And the Bail Out undermines Sovreignty forever.
      Is my Fourth Reich metaphor…a metaphor too far? Yes but rhetorically justified.
      Is the American metaphor justified? Actually I think in terms of History…it is.

      Essentially the South clung to the 1770s definition …deliberately vague about the relationship between central government and states. And the North clung to a belief that events had overtaken the old 1770s definition. Throw in western expansion (eastern in Europe) and an economic crisis where there are northern banks and southern debts….and yes I don’t think it’s too much to think that it will all end badly.
      In 1861 it was looked on that the USA was an experiment …noble…which had failed. I say the same about Europe now.

      • Again, I’m going to have to disagree here. Overly beaurocratic? It has some 30k civil servants for an area with 340 million inhabitants, that’s anything but overly beaurocratic, it’s a Thatcherite wet dream lets be honest here.

        Also, what do people expect from an extra-national organisation of close on 30 nations? Are we overly large? Is it a United States of Europe? That would be giving the impression of some kind of control which has been absent now for years and likely never existed ever.

        What I see is a Europe with Germany having 20 years of integrating a crap economy into its own with a €100 billion bail out and spending and now being asked to do the same elsewhere because some of us went nuts on property. Now, I could also note that Germany is most certainly not a party free from blame here, it’s banks did no kind of decent due diligence on its investments and should be taking a hit n these investments but seeing as we need money and bad our objections appear to have been over looked.

    • On the specifics of Cyprus.
      The dirty secret of all banks seems to be where is all this money coming from.
      There is some VERY dirty money…drugs.
      There is some GRUBBY money…tax avoidance/evasion….
      And Banks, finance industry insiders, governments simply don’t care.

      I’m bemused by the notion of “hard working families” saving £100,000 or lotus eaters (60,000 British ex pats in Cyprus) losing £10,000 because of the Cyprus tax.
      That some …many…of the ex-pats are blameless individuals who worked a lifetime as a teacher or in NHS I don’t doubt and I wish them well in their retirement.
      But there is an uncomfortable feeling that too many are wide boys and girls who played the tax system well in England….as self employed builders, taxi drivers, property developers before heading off to a carefree life in the Cypriot Sun. No sympathy for them.

      A certain irony. The British…and indeed all…ex pats change a country. The Daily Mail…the chosen newspaper of British eX pats laments the fact that Eastern Europeans have changed Britain, while defending the rights of the ex pat community in Cyprus.
      It would be nice if the Daily Mail referred to Romanians as “ex pats”.

      • Little to disagree with there. What always amuses me in my line of work is how finance is talked of being global now, when in fact this is something of a nonsense, it’s local. There is always some preferred off shore jurisdiction for the rich of particular countries. For the uk and Ireland its the isle of man, guernsey and jersey, the French it’s Monaco, Luxembourg or Geneve, Germans, Liechtenstein or Zurich and Russians, Greeks and those in the eastern med it’s Cyprus. Why? It’s a flight away, familial connections, cultural similarities and corporate history as in knowledge of customers etc.

        As for governments not giving a monkeys, it’s hilarious cos it’s true, hell we even had the Bank of England advising companies of which British Overseas Territories to use and for what (Cayman for funds, Bermuda for insurance, BVI for high net worth individuals)

  4. Pingback: Cypriot Bailout: ‘it may also mark at least the beginning of the end for something much bigger: the era when unrestricted movement of capital was taken as a desirable norm around the world.’ | footballcliches

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