True Finns offer democratic shock

 

              The True Finns suprised the complacent EU establishment with their strong showing in the election. They immediately had to offer interviews to assure everyone they are “not extremists”, anticipating a welter of vituperative commentary from those who dislike Euro scepticism.

            I do  not support their whole programme – nor am I a Finn. I do support their clearly stated view that there should no bail outs in the Eurozone. Those forming a government in Finland should listen carefully to them, and the rest of the EU would also be wise to think again.

              Doubtless much effort will go into ensuring Finland does not end up placing a veto on any Portuguese bail out. It would never do for an electorate in Europe to express a view and for that view to then derail the carefully crafted train journey to European Union. After all, the True Finns are a minority within a small country. How dare they assert that the EU has got this debt and deficit issue wrong.

             The trouble with that approach is that many people throughout western Europe disagree with the current EU debt and deficit strategy. Many share the True Finn view that lending  more money to countries that cannot afford their current levels of debt is not a winning idea. Others take the view that Germany and the richer states have to be more generous. For them EU solidarity requires the rich to subsidise the poorer on a larger scale, as happens in unitary states between regions of differing income levels.

            The markets are betting on Greece failing to make all the payments on its debt. The EU strategy of locking problem countries into large EU/IMF loans sentences them to years of poor performance in ways which will make local electorates restless. The EU policy is unlikely to produce faster growth or an early end to the rolling debt crisis. We should expect more “rogue” political results as pressures build up against the present policy on both sides of the argument.

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27 Comments

  1. lifelogic
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The EU policy is a direct attack on such democracy as remains in member states. Without major control of the member states governance then just providing more loans simply cannot work.

    It is a power grab by the EU and they will demand more tax raising powers and more undemocratic control in the process. Pleasant but misguided people like Shirley Williams and the rest will doubtless be wheeled out to defend this embryonic, undemocratic, suffocating, socialist super state.

    • Alte Fritz
      Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Memories of Shirley Williams joining the anything but pleasant Grunwick picket line in the 70’s always colour my view of the lady.

      • rose
        Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        And her destruction of our schools. Yet she was given an honorary degree by Oxford and Mrs T was denied it. The home of lost causes is paying for that twice over now: they can’t recruit the PC intake they need, and they don’t get as many charitable contributions, from Americans especially, as they would otherwise.

  2. norman
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Hopefully they, and others, can build on this success.

    Has No.10 offered to send advisors on how they can deconaminate the brand to ensure they’ll never achieve it?

    I’d like to think we’ll see more and more right wing (in the old fashioned, small state, low tax, individual responsbility, taking responsbility for our own actions sense) parties gaining in Europe. It’s a pity the Modern Conservatives won’t gain a single vote by the growing sense of outrage as people wake up and realise that those xenophobic fruitcakes who bang on about Europe all the time may have had a point.

  3. Boudicca
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    An amazing result for the True Finns – and for Eurosceptics everywhere. Let’s hope the arrogant and usually deaf EU apparatchiks are forced to take notice of the ‘little people’ for once.

    The bailouts, as Hannan said on Newsnight yeseterday, are illegal. The EU’s own Treaties expressly forbid them. So why is our Government participating in them? Apart from the fact that we aren’t in the Eurozone and shouldn’t be paying anyway (thanks Darling and probably Osborne), as a nation we should not be breaking the terms of a Treaty which we ratified.

    • rose
      Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      I think you are a little over optimistic Boudicca. Surely they will be told to vote again until they get the result right. And they are bound to be punished in some way or other.

  4. Alte Fritz
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    We remain in the position that nothing but a comprehensive economic calamity will derail ‘the Project’. It is so depressing. At least during the Cold War, the enemies of freedom looked like enemies of freedom ought to look.

    • Posted April 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Quite right.

      We are heading for a car crash and these people know it. The ‘European project’ has too many careers and reputations tied up in it – as well as our money – for anyone to admit it is all going wrong.

      They are extremists. I hope most people realise who the true rogues are before it is too late.

  5. Posted April 19, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Perhaps The Conservatives will take a long, hard look now. You are likely to be in the same position with UKIP. Labour are already worried as this article shows.and this piece in The Guardian by Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin, even though it uses the term “Far right radical” which is nonsense of course. Why is it considered radical to ask the people of Britain how their country should be run?

    Unfortunately, everytime Cameron opens his mouth, the air of insincerity just gets thicker and thicker. His article in The Express entitled “Keep control of your democracy” literally stunned everybody I know. How dare he lecture us on democracy when he is the one that is denying us the referendum weall really want!

  6. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Bail-out opposition at the ballot box is democracy and thus good as such.
    Once more people in Germany and other “wealthy” EU countries will be told more honestly how much their own banks are exposed in Portugal, Ireland and Greece, (how much of their pension funds and savings are tied up over there) they may or may not see more self-interest in the bail-outs. Der Spiegel argues for restructuring in future, once the banks will be strong enough to take the losses ( http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,756848,00.html )
    I wonder whether, in theory, would it be possible for Portugal were to treat UK banks different from German banks in case the UK refused to take part in the bail-out? (UK exposure in Portugal is £29.5bn)

    • norman
      Posted April 19, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I’m sure we’re all aware that anything that is possible in theory it is not beyond the mendaciousness of the EU to implement.

      Are any USA/Canadian/Chinese/….. banks exposed to debts in Portugal? Perhaps we should ask them to participate in the bailout on the same reasoning?

      Or if we’re not considering blackmailing non-EU countries it’s another reason why we’re better off out and make our own decisions, a lot of which wouldn’t change from where we are now (trade agreements, free movement of labour, etc.) but at least it would be up to Parliament to decide.

    • Jose
      Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      In theory, they can do whatever they choose but we all know in practice the EU will, irrespective of ballot boxes, do whatever is in the interests of the larger countries such as Germany. As the largest contributor how can the EU ignore the Germans’ wishes?

  7. waramess
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    What exactly are we and the EU “bailing out”. For certain we are not bailing out the people of Greece, Portugal or Ireland; on the contrary we seek to impoverish them, and for what?

    No, we are bailing out the German French and British banks who made these highly doubtful loans in the first place. No good reason for the Irish people to bail out their banks, that’s the job of shareholders and bondholders.

    Portugal and Greece are another matter but asking the population to bail out bankers who made reckless loans does not seem to me to be a fair and reasonable thing to do.

    This is all just another vain attempt to save banks and the imminent default of Greece and then Portugal will be to the benefit of their people. Ireland on the other hand should not have done what it has done and should now be renegotiating its debt into very very long maturities.

    What about the Banks? Well that will be yet another excitement waiting to fill these pages.

  8. GJ Wyatt
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Oh dear! There’s now a spat between Portuguese and Finnish newspapers. The Helsinki paper Ilta Sanomat notes that Lisbon’s Diário de Notícia makes reference to Portuguese support for the Finns in the Winter War, but Ilta Sanomat notes that there is no mention of such help in the Finns’ official war archives.

  9. cosmic
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    ” For them EU solidarity requires the rich to subsidise the poorer on a larger scale, as happens in unitary states between regions of differing income levels.”

    This is exactly the point of the Euro, to force the situation where Greece and Portugal are regarded as ‘development areas’ of the same large state and the citizens of Germany, Holland and the more affluent provinces subsidise them in the same way that the South East subsidises other parts of the UK. For this to work, it is necessary that Greece, Germany and others have control of their own affairs removed in all important matters.

    In the UK the development areas have remained much the same since the 30s , so this sort of macro-economic intervention doesn’t really work. The Finns, Dutch Brits etc don’t regard Greece as an impoverished part of their country.

    We’ve none of us been asked if we wanted this sort of arrangement anyway, it’s been brought about by mainstream politicians and Eurocrats flying false colours.

    Who could be surprised when eventually, an electorate says no?

  10. Liz
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    It took 70 years for communism to fall – it may take as long as that to deconstruct Europeanism as it is driven by the same tunnel visioned mind that thinks it knows best on how other people (who are absolutely despised) should live their lives. Aside from the EU dismantling democracy we have trouble with the judiciary here – who seem determined to bring in press censorship and secret courts through every more draconian injunctions intent upon taking over Parliament’s role in creating laws. Do they not understand the importance of separation of powers – they obviously don’t care? It is shameful that there seems to be only one MP who is standing up to them to defend Parliament and open justice and one notable journalist – Christopher Booker.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 19, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Liz

      Once the State starts spending more than 50% of GDP it is clear democratic government is the wrong word to describe it.

      We are not having to line up for bread yet, but with so many rules and regulations, CCTV, the State requiring personal information for travel, Tax Authorties and other edepartments assuming guilt (manditory fines) until you prove you are innocent, Government departments having the power to access anyones personal details, including your financial details, we are getting closer to communism and further away from democracy as we used to know it.

      The EU is the motorway vehicle to a completely Socialist state of Europe and its speding up.

      • rose
        Posted April 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        And the latest census gives them the information they need for billeting and requisition of property when the accommodation runs out.

        The most depressing thing is the way the EU folk talk of “solidarity” with the revolutions, by which they mean not going and fighting with them, but that we must take in ever more “refugees” into Europe, on top of those from other continents who have already arrived. Looked at rationally and traditionally, these are not refugees but armies of fighting fit young men – not a woman or child to be seen, and they are nearly all heading here. Why can’t twenty-five thousand young men arriving on a tiny Mediterranean island be recognized as an invasion? Because everyone has been completely brainwashed into thinking there is no such thing as a nation, no such thing as a border, and above all no such thing as a national interest or national security.

  11. Duyfken
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Do I detect a growing EU-phobe uprising within the Tory Parliamentary Party?

    I read more frequently of Conservative MPs prepared to incur the PM’s displeasure by questioning the path that this “Blue Labour” government is taking, and by showing antagonism to the appeasment of the Left and of the EU federalists.

    Soon, perhaps, it will be time for a Tory rump to mount an overt attack. The Finns are showing the way.

  12. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Is the EU bothered? No not slightly. They will simply disregard any form of democratic decision.

    My own feelings: W Mannerheim!

  13. Hilary Hough
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    It is difficult to believe that people can still think we would be better standing alone and not doing what we can to help out our near neighbours. We no longer live in a world of independent states – even America needs out support. All our economy is linked to others and if we pulled out of the EU we would be down the pan in very short time. Stop thinking we are still a major nation; we are very small fry and the sooner we learn to work together with others the better.

    • Posted April 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, Hilary, and “our task now is the management of decline”. We used to hear that nonsense in the 1970s.

      Britain is certainly a major nation even now. And we would be stronger not weaker if we weren’t being dragged down by the EU.

      Why on earth do you think we would be down the pan if we pulled out of the EU? What benefits do we get from it??? None actually – only costs.

    • rose
      Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      We can work with others better if we control our own affairs. Look how well we co-operate with the French when we need to.

      Our trade has always been with the world. The EU was yesterday’s solution, which we joined too late and on rotten terms. We have lost our fish and betrayed our farmers. Now we risk losing command of our services. VAT only came in here because the French and Italians wouldn’t pay their income and property taxes. Now they are talking about an EU financial services tax, among others. Who would pay the lion’s share of that? We have been subjected to the wrong interest rates in the past, and the wrong exchange rate, at the behest of the Germans. It resulted in mass bankruptcy and unemployment, and put the conservatives out of office for 13 years. They still aern’t fully back.

      Look at tiny Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan for inspiration in going it alone. They all co-operate well when they need to, with different blocs, and are all respected. Small fry are better off swimming freely and deftly.

      • rose
        Posted April 19, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Oh, and I forgot to mention the loss of our borders and national security, as well as of our lawmaking.

    • alan jutson
      Posted April 20, 2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Hilary

      Happy to help out neighbours in trouble, but would like to make up my own mind about what sort of help, if any, I give.

      What I certainly do not want, is to be forced to help out whether I like it or not, at my and my familes expense, when perhaps the neighbour in question has had a higher salary than me, and has just p-ssed it up the wall.

      Yes we all are part of a global economy, so why do we not just try free trade between nations for a change, yes of course there will be imbalances, as no two countries rules, regulations, laws and tax systems are the same. but what are you suggesting, a World Government where all the rules are the same for everyone, where everyone is paid the same, where this world state controlls everything !

      I cannot imagine a worse nightmare.

  14. Brigham
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    It really doesn’t matter what Finland votes. If the result is not what our european masters want, they will keep having votes until it is.

  15. Jarno
    Posted April 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice to see that election in my little home country has been creating debate and commentary all over the world. I found your blog through google and it’s also nice to see it getting some support. Clearly you have some knowledge of Finnish politics unlike majority of people commenting on it. Many of the voters of “true finns”, as you all might call them, doesn’t support all their agendas. Even the English version of the name is in wrong form. More accurate would be “common finns” and maybe that will explain more of their agenda. Some of the elected representatives are very right winged, maybe even a little bit racist. That is wrong and already Timo Soini, head of the party had to straighten one out, cause he was speaking about “ni****” in tv. Majority of the party are still common people and the election went this way cause we’ve had enough of super rich elite, that doesn’t even represent the people anymore or knows nothing about them. You have to understand that some of the representatives came from countryside and didn’t even know the location of the parliament building.When it comes to baillouts, Uk is one of the biggest freeriders of the Euro State. Finland is seen as a stepping stone for these programs. I don’t even know why cause we are a small player in this game. I would be more worried of the elite isolating themselves and you must know what I am talking about, since you’ve worked in Rothschild. I also assure you that “true finns” will not crash the baillout program. What would it solve if everybody keep giving their hard earned money to these banks? You as politician an businessman must see where it’s all going in long run. And I don’t mean to be offensive,I respect the debate of our election, I challenge the author and all you to come in Finland and we will welcome you to our beautiful little country.

    P.S. I think after all we can build better and united Europe for all of us to live in and head to the future together.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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