It’s very hard to be inspired to write about British politics these days. The whole thing is a charade being played out purely as a distraction from what is going on in Brussels. Every now and then Cameron seems to be trying to break the spell, but before long he’s back in his box threatened by his party’s own eurocompliant wing, and a drubbing from the BBC. The charade plays on day after day, now reinforced by Lib Dem Clegg, acting out the Last of Britain’s Summer Wine, while the cloak of Brussels darkness descends.
If the Conservatives had backed IDS in 2003, Britain might have been saved, but I fear we are now lost.
Many commentators overcome by political torpor, are avoiding mention of the UK, and instead finding their voices by closely following the US Primaries. If Barak Obama makes it to US President, that would certainly provide an interesting new start, but otherwise the whole show seems like business as usual, Democrats acting like Democrats and Republicans like Republicans. Obama has a cocktail of policies which are not easily classifiable, and could set the cat amongst the pigeons, and bring a new spring to American public affairs.
In the UK, on the other hand, democracy now only exists as theatre, and theatre with little in the way of vitality. Many put up as strong resistance as they could, but those who once hoped that they could halt the EU’s advance with a referendum, starting with Sir James Goldsmith in 1997, are no longer confident that any referendum will ever be held. The only way the EU will be felled now is by its own hubris, by taking on too much and seeing its ambitions crash to the ground.
How would that happen? There is always the tension between Berlin and Paris about the correct way to run economic policy. France cares little about inflation, preferring a looser monetary policy. Berlin always wants to keep inflation pegged to the floor. But unless and until there are hungry people on the streets, or some religious fervour in play, revolutions have a habit of being less than dynamic. Europe provides only yawns at best.
Italy’s economy is said to be unstable with excess borrowing, and financial market players occasionally declare that the Euro cannot last like this, but after speaking out so forcefully, they then continue behaving as if it will last, and buy more Euros. Until fear takes over at a more powerful level, Italy will just coast along unaffected by her near bankruptcy, protected by a blanket of eurohypnosis.
And that is the problem. The EU is a political disaster of massive proportions, but it is so far a comfortable political disaster, where no one can really say that they feel their existence is threatened, and their food will not arrive each day. All that is happening so far is that growth is half what it should be, inflation is far higher than the figure being reported and unemployment is double what it should be. For regimes to collapse. poor performance is not enough. Even with the USSR, which was completely bankrupt, people kept loyal right to the end, and beyond. It took a political leader in Gorbachev to realise that the game was up, and he collapsed the edifice before there was blood on the streets. Even now the USSR’s ways are quickly reestablishing themselves as Russia becomes oil and gold rich. Evil, it appears, is surprisingly durable, and the human spirit is extraordinarily able to be suppressed.
The problem with totalitarian regimes is that they usually find a way to justify their being brought into existence, but they have no way that they can be brought to an end. Outside forces are usually required to bring them to their knees, and that is extremely dangerous. The EU claims that it exists to bring peace in Europe, but history tells us that collapsing undemocratic regimes bring bloodshed, if not war in their wake. The EU is a disaster because it is creating the scenario where people in the future will feel compelled to fight each other – not to regain their freedom (which they seem to give away with remarkable ease) – but to prevent power from falling into the hands of their perceived enemies. The EU is gradually perverting friendship and trust through corruption and lies into economic loss and fear.
Collapsing empire, ethnic tensions are economic failure – the three E’s – will all be present in spades as the bureaucracy grinds itself on to its ultimate destiny. Those who want to live free should get out while they can. Our original nationalities are being destroyed. Make freedom your new nationality, and think beyond Britain and Europe. Britain sleeps now, but will ultimately awake to the horrors of the real nightmare being created in secrecy, which will throttle the last ounce of human spirit from her people, suck the dynamism out of her economy and suffocate the inventiveness of her independent-minded culture.