As more and more of what’s left of European Sovereignty moves towards Berlin-am-Brussels, it’s increasingly clear that the rules are being made up as we go along.
Thus the word from Berlin this afternoon is that a deal is under the table allowing Spain to recapitalise its stricken banks with aid from its European partners – but avoid the embarrassment of having to adopt new economic reforms imposed from the outside, German officials say.
What one might also observe is that, as the debtors become more and more impossible to lose from Angela’s Fiskal Union (or bail out) bullying is less and less noticeable.
Thus, while Berlin remains firm in its rejection of Spain’s calls for Europe’s rescue funds to lend directly to its banks, German officials said that if Madrid put in a formal aid request, funds could flow without it submitting to the kind of strict reform programme agreed for Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
Instead, Spain would only have to agree to new conditions tied to the reform of its banking sector. I will give you just the one guess as to how that’s going to go down in Dublin, Athens and Lisbon.
A Slogger has pointed out an interesting (in the Chinese sense) piece by Richard N. Haass, President of the US Council on Foreign Relations. His subject is the relationship between globalism and sovereignty, and these are the key extracts:
‘The world’s 190-plus states now co-exist with a larger number of powerful non-sovereign and at least partly (and often largely) independent actors, ranging from corporations to non-government organisations (NGOs), from terrorist groups to drug cartels, from regional and global institutions to banks and private equity funds….This is not to argue that Microsoft, Amnesty International, or Goldman Sachs be given seats in the United Nations General Assembly, but it does mean including representatives of such organisations in regional and global deliberations when they have the capacity to affect whether and how regional and global challenges are met…..Globalisation thus implies that sovereignty is not only becoming weaker in reality, but that it needs to become weaker. States would be wise to weaken sovereignty in order to protect themselves, because they cannot insulate themselves from what goes on elsewhere. Sovereignty is no longer a sanctuary….sovereignty must be redefined if states are to cope with globalisation.’
The flaw in the argument lies right there in the tail-end – that is, the assumption that Globalism is here to stay, and will increase. Me, I’m looking through the other end of this telescope: Globalism has been a terrible mistake, and so have supranational States. We need to get back to devolved self-suffiency at and below national level.
But at the moment, what we need is not what we’re getting; and nowhere is this more apparent than in the complete screw-up formerly known as the EU’s eurozone. Having created the original Common Market with the aim of caging the German invasion habit forever, we have allowed a single currency’s total imbalance to not only set Germany free from its enclosure, but also ensured that it now has a new non-violent form of invasion called Fiscal Union. (In German, Fiskalpakt…..which oddly enough rhymes with Krystallnacht. As Twain remarked, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.)
Merkel’s vision (if her meeting with Scameron is anything to go by) is a Europe where everyone speaks English (one needs clarity when dealing with one’s servants) and all the edicts are in Made in Germany. The French will do the farming and cooking, the Italians will cook the books, and the Greeks will be there whenever any Teutonic coward feels like giving them a good kicking. As Kathimerini reports today, “German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she supports a two-speed European Union, with a core group in the euro pressing ahead with deeper integration and the U.K. among the others relegated to Europe’s margins”.
“Those in a monetary union will have to move closer together,” Merkel said in an interview with ARD television today. Closer my God to thee and all that, but it still comes down to the same result: the collection and centralisation of power. Ed West wrote a piece somewhere recently (the links are good here, aren’t they?) observing that the governments would screw up first, followed by the banks, and then the media and security services would run everything. Although not an attractive prospect, I’d say the banks will go first and that’ll do for the Governments. Specifically, the ISPs and the security services would be in a near-unassailable position then, but they won’t be able to keep the lid on things. I still believe something better will come out the other end, but if it’s OK with everyone else I may hibernate until we’re there.
I am increasingly coming round to what I call the MIM explanation of contemporary weirdness. The MIM stands for Malignancy, Incompetence and Madness. My hypothesis is that the elite 7% is made up of folks who have one of these dimensions predominating. Thus Bob Diamond is so malignant, he could fend off jointly-emitted chemo and radiotherapy going at full belt, Herman van Rompuy is incompetent enough to merit being thought of as outcompetent, and Christine Lagarde is clearly madder than any of them. Some players have two dimensions at once – Venizelos is malignantly incompetent – but only a select few have the full, three-dimensional MIM ticket. Merkel is one, Putin another, and Wolfgang Schäuble is shaping up nicely in that direction. Above all, the Greek bloke who runs Golden Dawn is truly and deeply a poisonous half-baked fruit-cake.
The only thing remaining is to get some decent shrinks and people-watchers to work out why the MIMs rise to the top. Or better still, develop a sort of ‘anti-recruitment’ questionnaire to shoot each one as they’re discovered. Perhaps soon it’ll be possible to detect them in the womb, so they can be either aborted – or stolen from their parents in order to build the final bulwark against Islamism. Fire with fire is a detestable idea, but sometimes (after the liberals have let things drift too far) it is the only way.
Don’t get upset by the darkness of this posting, there’ll be a lighter one along in a minute.