This is an excerpt from a US paper yesterday – it could’ve been any one of many, as there doesn’t seem to be much debate about the migration problem Europe now faces:
‘Human traffickers profit from the lucrative trade of transporting migrants from the poverty and political instability of North Africa to the security of European shores….Migration is today a global phenomenon. Economic, social and political forces are operating around the world to push impoverished individuals from fractured, dysfunctional countries to more prosperous and law-abiding ones….The unrest in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, together with the increasing instability across Africa, has created a growing pool of men and women desperate enough to undertake any risks to find a better home.’
For some reason, the author left off Libya (a colossal problem for Italy) but more importantly, he failed to join up the dots that go from that unfortunate country to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan: for these are all places subjected to the persuasive bombing techniques of the US ‘Campaign against Terrorism’….to which our own political class also signs up.
What a long way away the ‘Arab Spring’ media nonsense of 2011 now seems: just over four years ago I posted this piece which concluded as follows:
‘My bottom line on the Middle East’s ‘new dawn’ remains simple. Western reporting of it is posturing, naive bollocks. It is a blow for the West, a triumph for Putinesque foreign policy, and an encouragement for the mad folks in Islam’s rainbow of schisms. It can only end in tears.’
So it has proved. But the EU/EC nutters didn’t see it that way. Unbelievably, Van Rompuy’s first reaction was to table a paper in Brussels wondering if his Empire might be in a good position to offer some of these States membership. Since then – as the predictable emigration began to gather speed – until a couple of weeks ago, the EC had done, um, nothing to deal with what’s been a major problem for over two years.
The American State Department hasn’t offered any relief monies beyond UN and other humanitarian sources for these people, despite the fact that their trigger-happy foreign policy (spearheaded by McCain the Mad Military Consultant) is the single most blameworthy factor in this mess.
And ISIS of course (or whatever it’s called this week) casually draws the conclusion that the escapees are obviously infidel-sympathisers, and thus to be dismissed as beneath any duty of care. That’s the trouble with yer non-Jihadists, see – burn the buggers to death in a Church and their mates run a mile. Trial by fire, innit?
Ed Moribund tried earlier this week to pin the Libyan fiasco on Cameron’s air intervention there, but this really won’t wash: the Labour Leader is as signed up to the WOT and the Special Relationship every bit as much as the Prime Minister. Oh…..no, hang on: Ed did say he was happy to bomb the shit out of Iraq, but not Syria. He’s a man of principle is Ed – Hell yes!
My view on all such issues is that it simply isn’t enough to chuck money at problems in the hope that the press (‘EU to treble help for migrants’) will make one seem somehow generous. The important thing is to ask how we inherited this insoluble problem in the first place. And the answers are, more or less, America’s oil-obsessive foreign policy, hopelessly inadequate analysis in Brussels, liberal media seeing pies in the sky, Islamic schisms, and radical Islam.
Draw your own conclusions, but don’t hold your breath waiting for a quick fix: the root causes will, I’m sure, remain unaddressed….probably because the main players don’t see them as problems, but opportunities. Doubtless Senator McCain’s next campaign will be for an all-out US invasion of North Africa from Algeria to Iran, whereas the Jihadists will continue ratcheting up the fear factor by decapitating anyone showing signs of being even slightly less tonto than they are.
All of which brings me to what the EU sees as its biggest problem at the moment – Greece. Here too, the Western press show not the slightest curiosity about how we’ve arrived where we are: their sole concern is to bring us the up-to-the-minute-breaking-live-developments-as-they-happen…but not why they’re “needed”. So by way of contrast, let’s see if The Slog is up to having a crack at it:
* If the IMF hadn’t lent bailout money to an already hopelessly indebted Greece in 2011, they wouldn’t be facing the loss of it now.
*The same goes for the EC and the ECB.
* If haircuts and forgiveness had been forthcoming immediately (to reflect heavily discounted bond ownership and mis-selling) alongside a criminal action against Greek Ministers and Goldman Sachs for conspiracy to defraud the EC, Greece would be out of the woods now and nobody would be on the line for anything.
* If the German arms industry hadn’t employed the arm-twisting of vast pay-offs to sell Greece €150bn of military equipment, the chances are there wouldn’t have been a crisis in the first place.
* If French banks hadn’t exposed themselves to Greek debt at such a ridiculous and foolhardy level, Sarkozy wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to give the Greek banks a bailout.
* If Schäuble wasn’t so deviously cunning and Georgie Papandreou so thick, the exaggeration of the debt-hole by Elstat could’ve been avoided.
* If the Samaras/Venizelos coalition had demonstrated some spine over the last three years – and the professional classes of Greece had resisted the kopout of voting for them – the cruel and destructive austerity policies could have been diluted and allowed the economy some breathing space.
* If the Greek governmental class had addressed its tax evasion and corruption problems years ago, there would be no Greek deficit today.
* If the senior EU players and Wall Street consultants hadn’t disguised the real nature of Greece’s fiscal and economic situation in 2002, the country wouldn’t be in the eurozone in the first place.
* If the 2007/8 analysis of one Yanis Varoufakis had been noted and acted upon, none of the ClubMed catastrophe would’ve happened. But if that same Varoufakis had caught the Draghi/Schauble ambush unawares seven weeks ago, the noose wouldn’t be tightening around Syriza’s neck today.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and all that, but the truth is that the EC turned a blind eye to the credit boom, and then beheaded Greece as a sacrificial gift for the Gods of Wall Street. Instead of recognising that, the MSM contents itself today with accusatory pieces about Greek arms purchases, accuses Syriza of being unreasonable, and continues on a daily basis to pretend that a thing called ‘Grexit’ really exists as an option.
Has anyone yet asked who is supplying the plane updates to Athens, and why they’re necessary in the first place? Are words like ‘missing German submarine’, ‘Siemens’, ‘Erdogan pushing his luck in Greek waters’ or ‘NATO commitments’ coming even to mind, let alone onto news websites? They are not.
Time now to move on from short term symptoms and causes to broader observations about This Great European Project of Ours.
From the day it moved on from EEC via EC to EU, Brussels has shown over and over again that its decision-making, predictive and analytical skills are somewhere in the ‘poor to useless’ area of the spectrum. Promotion, contract awards and trade deals have been performed in a manner so corrupt and anti-excellence in nature, 20 years on the Commission’s accounts remain unaudited…a criminal offence under European Law. The EU has developed a currency with no sovereign issuer, no escape mechanism, and woefully poor surveillance and regulation.
Being unelected, the Commission has to have on-the-ground realities forced upon it…and always too late. We will never get a truly democratic Europe until the roles of the Parliament and the Commission are reversed – such that the elected MEPs frame the policies, and the unelected gargoyles put them into action. That means having a Euro-Cabinet accountable to MPs and far more delegation down to member-State level. Not only are we never going to get that (as David Cameron uncomfortably discovered last week) it would be pointless anyway: the sole advantage of such a construct would be to stop Belgium from imploding.
Not only is the Commission’s surveillant role incompetent and disgracefully corrupt, it is also painfully slow. Everything, in the end, turns into a panic, a crisis, an emergency…in fact, an endless stream of summits, deadlines and ludicrous optimism, after which begins not the search for the guilty, but the ruthless hounding of the scapegoat.
Finally, as we can see, much of what the original European ideal stood for has been hijacked. Thus, all States are equal but some are more equal than others. The two big EEC founders France and Germany simply remove themselves from exposure to the rules Wolfgang Schäuble insists must be obeyed. The Chairman of the Central Bank answers to nobody, ignores conventions of investment, and runs a coach and four through the Lisbon Treaty at will. Instead of celebrating diversity of culture while harmonising economic and fiscal methods, Berlin wants everyone to become German and keeps refusing at the fence of FiskalUnion. To be blunt, the chances of France, the Netherlands or even Italy ever agreeing to submit to German hegemony are zero.
Yet despite this drive towards central control freakery, we see only dissension and division: Juncker v Dijesslbleom, Merkel v Draghi, Draghi v Weidmann, Schäuble v ClubMed, and Britain v the Euro. And look at these people! Juncker an ineffectual drunk, Dijesslbleom a failed Dutch finance minister, Merkel a former Communist DDR Youth leader, Schäuble an ex-spook, Draghi a banker with many clouds in his past….and before them, Van Rompuy the execrable poet, Barosso the rebranded Portuguese Trot….an infinite stream of the commercially inept and financially crooked.
The Greek, ClubMed and migrant issues are merely the latest symptoms of obvious dysfunction. Soon there will be others to add to the appalling mis-reading of the Ukraine situation. We delude ourselves if we think the euro is the beginning and end of the European problem: the EU is the problem…an EU with huge amounts of other people’s money to waste, but somehow clueless about how to invest.
Far from creating the anti-US bulwark envisaged by Charles de Gaulle, the EU has been goaded by the Americans into an effective invasion of former Soviet territories….all of which are costing a fortune already in terms of welfare, tax evasion and job losses – but remain rightly unwilling to submit to a euro they can see only as a millstone. Equally, American blunders in North Africa have now created a human and financial disaster – for which Washington displays no sign as yet of accepting responsibility.
Normally, my main concern in such judgements as those offered above would be the cost to our species in terms of lost liberty, lost values of self-reliance, lost entrepreneurial spirit – and lost lives. But Greece is being hammered on the dubious issue of unpaid fiat debt, and my former country of residence faces an election being fought on the utterly specious grounds of austerity somehow reducing the National Debt. So today, I want to ask the likely four biggest Parties in terms of seats after May 7th why:
1. You the SNP imagine being in the EU will be cheaper than being part of the UK, or likely to offer you more independence
2. You the Conservative Coalition members want austerity and growth, yet seem desperate to be part of a wasteful and declining trade bloc with a knackered currency
3. You the Labour Party want to bring more humanity and health/welfare benefits into Britain, when the EU you almost unswervingly adore shows neither when dealing with its peripheral members
4. You the Liberal Democrats, being the most fanatically pro-EU of all the UK Parties, do not mention anywhere in your media-pack the existence of the EU at all. No issues, no reform suggestions, no euro crises, no ClubMed…..yup, nothing at all.
“There’s no tellin’ wi’ folk,” as they say in Yorkshire. History will see the grandiloquent hubris of those behind the EU as anthropological insouciance on a hitherto unknown level. It will see the Eunatics as selling out their social democratic standpoint to the neoliberalism of anti-democratic forces. And in the end, I suspect, they’ll will be condemned for waking up the Sleeping Bear – and opening the floodgates to religious fanaticism.
Those same historians will also see the 2015 British General Election as an unsuccessful attempt to ignore the catastrophe the EU has been, and the disaster it will bring upon us in the near future.
And finally, hypocrisy of the year to date: unreformed Eunatic and Executive Guardian thingy Alan Rusbridger tweets HSBC warnings about the dangers of leaviing the EU. Yes,that’s right HSBC. How on Earth does this bloke enjoy the reputation he has for principles and objectivity? It’s a mystery to me.