Now that democracy and freedoms are clearly disappearing right across Europe, I thought a brief Slog audit might be in order…purely for those who insist it is all a mountain fashioned from a mole-fart by Blogosphere fantasists.
Rewind first of all to those long-gone days when Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou still thought he was an equal member of a liberal democratic union of European States. French minister Francois Baroin has just released his memoirs about this period, and the bottom line is this: in November 2011, the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Papandreou that the Greek bailout would be scrapped if he went ahead with plans to hold a referendum on the austerity package demanded by the country’s lenders. Baroin notes:
“Papandreou sweats more, jumbles his words, then collapses. Cornered, he has no choice. I attend his political death live.”
This was merely the latest in a long series of attempts by Berlin-am-Brussels to subvert the EU Constitution, and tell the People to butt out. Not long afterwards, the severely unlikeable and swivel-eyed Wolfgang Schäuble went a step too far (for now at least) by saying that, following the bailout, the Greeks couldn’t have their general election. Even Sarkozy suggested he shut up at that point: but it doesn’t alter the fact that Wild Wolfie felt able to say it….and didn’t grasp what the fuss was about once he had.
Not a single eurozone referendum has been held since that time….a period during which both Italy and Greece had their democratic processes prorogued by unelected Goldman Sachs technicians, and another of the brood took over at the European Central Bank (ECB). Mario Draghi has since purged all those Board members he finds disagreeable, and concluded the illegal subordination of Greek bondholders. And finally, Germany (and this is Berlin and Frankfurt, not Brussels) has first posited and then driven the concept of a Fiskalunion, where the Finance boss will be….the very same Herr Schäuble from the previous paragraph.
The thoughtless humiliation of George Papandreou led to the ascendancy of the incorrigibly corrupt Evangelos Venizelos, a man who has done more than any other to remove the Greek faith in liberal democratic politics. As a result, his Party PASOK has seen a collapse in support, reflected in turn by rapid growth in the more radical Left under Alexis Tsipras, and the further embedding of Golden Dawn into the country’s police and parliamentary structures.
Although until recently distracted by the ominous rise of Nazism in Wiltshire, The Guardian has at last caught on to the real thing being available to write about in Athens. It pains me to say this, but their coverage of the Golden Dawn phenomenon is spot on, well-informed and realistically expressed with a minimum of strained polemic syntax. The Slog posted about this a fortnight ago, basing the piece on direct experiences of real people both high and low in Greek society. It is as plain as a pikestaff that the European Union is now relying on Fascist police repression to get its work done – the repression being carried out by the very group that most hates the EU and all its works.
What’s obvious now, however, is that the process of shutting down discontent in the eurozone is accelerating. In the last week alone:
* Two presenters on Greek State TV were censored for criticising the torture used by police (aka Golden Dawn).
* The journalist Costas Vaxevanis was detained by police for publishing the names on the norious Lagarde list of those in the Greek elite evading tax, and his trial for invasion of privacy will begin on November 1st (Thursday this week). He faces a year in jail and a €35,000 fine.
* The Troika of Technocrats agreed a deal with Yannis Stournoras a week last Sunday, reneged on it last Friday, and the EU’s FinMin will now discuss whether Greece gets a further bailout. Objections from Samaras about the double-cross were steamrollered, and he in turn drove another flattening vehicle over the boneless form of Venizelos. Not a single Greek elected representative has been allowed any say whatsoever in the process.
* Yesterday Greek police stood accused of using one protester as a human shield against rioting citizens.
* I am receiving increasing numbers of emails from Greek sources alleging that the EU is strongarming Government statisticians into falsifying figures – especially export figures. As fiddling numbers is a national pastime, I would imagine not that strong a twist on the arm was necessary.
Berlin-am-Brussels knows exactly what conditions it’s creating here. But it remains ruthlessly focused on The Great Project, and determined to drag everyone else along even if freedom dies during the journey. Now we have Prime Minister Antonis Samaras also stripped of the negligee of dignity that was his before all this started, the Greek coalition in disarray, politics veering towards the extreme edges, and every likelihood that – at the last minute – the EU FinMins will withhold the next tranche of aid – because the IMF insists the Greeks will need a third bailout by the Spring.
There are two conclusions any empiricist must draw from this sorry business. First, the Germano-Belgian-Goldman Sachs axis – the real Troika running the EU – has no respect at all for the Law, press freedoms, dire social consequences, politically neutral police, national sovereignty or democratic rights of its Member States or their creditors. While the bullying approach is well personified by the peevish frown Frau Doktor Merkel affects, the uncaring cold-fish bureaucratic crypto-Nazism of this forced march to the Fiskal Union of silk and money is most exactly reflected in the idiotically obedient features of Herman Van Rompuy.
A number of German commentators (and threaders) find my allegedly anti-German satire unattractive, but if the cap fits, then Berlin must wear it I’m afraid. What we are witnessing here is the brazen replacement of flawed democracy with a form of insouciant technocracy that would’ve rendered Reinhard Heydrich tumescent. The Germans are leading this charge, and a coterie of Belgian fools are their collaborators.
One wonders at what ‘stage’ David Cameron would deign to grant such a thing to we his subjects. But setting that aside as yet another imponderable in Camerlot, let me offer two consequences that are far from unseeable as a result of the Westminster and Whitehall determination to ignore the popular will.
First, the British Establishment’s continuing inability to see the ten-foot writing on this wall is now getting beyond a political issue and heading towards a constitutional crisis. This is because they too are choosing to ignore every last indication from opinion polls: surveys that consistently suggest a very clear majority in the Country for departure from the European Union at the first opportunity.
It seems that the Prime Minister is perfectly happy to grant a referendum to Alex Salmond about the break-up of the United Kingdom (I don’t see any sign of anyone consulting the rest of the Union about this, by the way) but unwilling to even countenance “at this stage” a plebiscite offering the plebs – if I may apply the Mitchellian argothere – the chance to say what they obviously will: leave the EU now before it’s too late.
Second, it is very clear to those of us playing with a full sack of marbles that, when (not if) the brutal insanity of the eurocrats finally delivers a Europe of scorched earth and drowned rights, the immediate effect upon Blighty is going to be a banking and fiscal disaster of near unimaginable proportions. There will be no shortage of people at that point helping shocked and impoverished knuckle-draggers to the conclusion that bonkers EU migration and currency hubris accelerated the demise started off by mad bankers. Those same people will also point out that the entire British Establishment went along with all of it. Not only that, they actively colluded in using our money to save these dysfunctionally greedy institutions…and banning us from having a say in EU Membership….just as they banned our ability to influence a lunatic immigration policy before that.
Words like ‘traitor’, ‘coward’ and ‘corrupt’ will start being bandied about.
From Day One, the senior UK Coalitionistas have believed that EU membership was at best an issue to be avoided where possible, and at worst – God forbid – something that could split the Tory Party. They have never seen it as a game-changer. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.