It’s not the markets but the people who could break the Euro

 

            If Greece leaves, many pro Euro spinners will claim they were a victim of the markets. The markets are only doing what they are doing because  of the way people in the Euro area  are acting.

            Every Greek or Spaniard who transfers their money out of a Euro bank account in their country to a safe haven or into a foreign currency  is helping undermine the Euro. If no-one did that, there would be no market worry about a run on the banks, no reduction in bank deposits.

            Every Greek who decides to trade in cash to   evade Greek taxes is helping undermine Greek state finances. Every Greek public sector worker who understandably resists cuts in spending makes it more difficult for the Greek state to live within its means. If Greeks generally paid more tax and demanded less public service there would no state debt and deficit problem.

               Every German who says this is not our problem, who says they  have no wish to pay any more, is behaving understandably but is thwarting the security and understanding of the weaker economies. They were expecting German support and rescue.

               Many of the people will claim they were a victim of the politicians. That is always a popular explanation. In one important sense they are. It was the political class who drove them into the Euro, and the political class who told them it would work just fine. In another sense they are victims of their neighbours.  If you vote for the vision of the Euro, you have to live with its many problems and imperfections, and do your bit to help offset them. That means paying the high taxes the scheme needs, accepting financial obligations to all parts of the zone and keeping your money in your  home banks whatever the rumours.

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111 Comments

  1. Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    If the Greeks withdrawing their euros from Greek banks put them all into German banks then Germany could lend Greece more money. Simples.

    • Posted May 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Greece should just short Facebook, all of it, then offer the $80bn or so it’ll have in a few month up[ in full and final settlement.

  2. lifelogic
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Yes but if your paying a bit more tax and leaving your money in the local bank will, in any event make no difference, other than to delay the inevitable or keep the state sector for a second longer before your hard won earnings are robbed by the bank and devaluation. So why bother?

    The politicians needed a system that made people act, both in their own interest and those of the country. Not this absurd system the EU has created. Where the over paid state sector lives largely off the sweat of the declining number of worker bee slaves.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Listening to Cameron promoting his mad “parent training” plan it is impossible to think of him as anything other than a nanny state, socialist from top to bottom. Someone the BBC had dragged up today even thought such parent training should be compulsory. I assume any children would be put in one of those government homes (that have such a fine record) should the parents fail to attend regularly or make the right appreciative gurgling noises.

      We have no growth (after a huge government caused recession), no normal banking, huge taxes, huge government waste, huge unemployment, absurd regulations, quangos everywhere, a huge increasing deficit and huge debts, a EURO breaking up and Cameron’s priority is going on about parent training and a happiness index trial in three tiny areas.

      Also flying a flame (in a cheese grater) on a charter plane from Athens to Cornwall with a few celebs whom, one assumes, flew to Athens just to get on it and come back.

      It’s funny how C02 emissions are only a selective concern for these fake “greens”.

      • Single Acts
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps your best ever post LL and it’s a high bar indeed.

        My congratulations.

      • APL
        Posted May 19, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        lifelogic: “Also flying a flame (in a cheese grater) ”

        It was a Davy lamp, a former miner I recognized it immediately. I thought it a bit incongruous the Princess carrying the miners lamp, all she needed was a hard hat to round the whole thing off.

        lifelogic: “It’s funny how C02 emissions are only a selective concern for these fake “greens”.”

        Yep, hypocrites the lot of ’em.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      The bee analogy is a good one.
      In a healthy colony the drones form a relatively small proportion of the total number of bees. Drones (male bees) have very little use apart from helping to ventilate the hive during hot periods. At the end of summer the drones are evicted and die. They are useless mouths to feed during winter.

  3. Sue
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    ” If you vote for the vision of the Euro, you have to live with its many problems and imperfections, and do your bit to help offset them”

    We didn’t get to vote for any of it, why do with have to live with it’s problems? It’s the politicians that got Britons involved in this mad hatters tea-party… it’s your job to get us out.

    We want out of this Ponzi Scheme!

    reply: Even in the UK voters backed the pro Euro Labour party in 1997, 2001, 2005 and did not back the anti Euro anti Nice, anti Amsterdam anti Lisbon Conservatives, let alone the pull out UKIP.

    • Sue
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Of course they did but it is also true that none of us were aware of the ultimate implications. Indeed, ever since the vote on the “Common Market” all those years ago, we have been lied to by whichever government is in power.

      • Timaction
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        True. All politicians have lied to us from all mainstream parties about the EU and its implications for our democracy and sovereignty. Please read FCO 30/1048 where a “Sir Humphry” was advising Ted Heaths Government BEFORE the EEC vote in 1971! They lied to us then and continue until the present day. We need out of the EU at the earliest opportunity. Trade and friendship, nothing more!! 62 million want out, at best 650 MP’s want in.

        • Mike Stallard
          Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          I totally agree that we need out PDQ.
          But the EU is very clever.
          Have you, for example, read the Lisbon Treaty? Or waded through the reams of Directives that automatically, through Statutary Instrument, become law?
          The EU deliberately sets out to be boring and to hide behind the most ridiculous propaganda barrage.
          That, of course, is why people aren’t that bothered about it. Even now, they are bored. Just like 1939!

          • APL
            Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            Mike Stallard: “Have you, for example, read the Lisbon Treaty? Or waded through the reams of Directives that automatically, through Statutary Instrument, become law?”

            And neither have most of the Europhiles, I may be mistaken but the Rotten Kenneth Clarke (perhaps it was another of his ilk) boasted on not reading any of the treaties before voting for them.

    • Yudansha
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood – We didn’t have much choice as I explain in reply to your response to Georgej later in this thread.

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Yes but in a general election there are countless important issues, not one. Also probably only two potential MPs with any real chance and one vote for one potential MP who, as we have seen will not do what they promise anyway usually.

      Your vote goes for the lease worse option or the stop Mr Blogs vote.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m not making excuses, but I really think the people didn’t so much vote for a pro-EU Labour party, as against a duplicitous pro-EU Tory party, that had virtually made themselves unelectable. Blair’s message was there’s a ‘third way’, but as we’ve come to see, that was just tosh. He just took advantage of the hapless, unrepresented public who were desperate for strong leadership. Something they hadn’t had since Margaret Thatcher’s departure in 1990.

      In 1993, Blair even encouraged me to join the Labour party (and I’d willingly let you see the letter for your verification) and I have to say, I was sorely tempted!

      It would appear from more recent elections, the Tories still aren’t trusted, which is a shame, because they do have one or two really honest, decent men of principle. But I wouldn’t give a candle for the rest. Only last night on the BBC’s Question Time, the minister for the disabled said now would be a bad time for a referendum on an in-out vote on our membership of the EU, so when would be a good time?

      Have we got to wait for an eternity for a referendum, in the hope things will improve, and thus favour the Europhiles?

      That isn’t going to happen, because it simply can’t. The EU is unworkable because it is based on a wasteful, feckless, borrow and spend policy that had no clear direction, or a means to pay it all back. But it just goes to show that even with the mass of evidence of the utter misery the EU is causing, there are STILL people in ministerial positions who want more of it!

      Absolutely unbelievable!

      Little wonder there are so many disaffected, unrepresented people in Britain!

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • Susan
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Tad,

        Is the UK unworkable as well then because it was based on feckless wasteful borrow and spend policies with no way of paying it back under Labour. The Coalition has been left to deal with all that debt just like the EU has to deal with their indebted Countries, there is no difference.

        The reason the EU is unworkable at the moment is nothing to do with their debt it is because they adopted the single currency without the necessary integration between Countries for it to work. However if they solve this problem by pooling the debt and solvent Countries help the indebted ones there is no reason why the Euro cannot work. Of course for the future they will have to look along the lines of having a Federal Government or similar, I believe.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

          By spreading the eealth beteen countries, do uou mean the responsible ones who do the right things, subsidising the irresponsible ones eho don’t?

          The countries like Greece who lived well beyond their means, and had perks that even people from wealthy countries didn’t have?

          Of course Britain got it wrong too, that’s why we’re in such a fix now. The government of the day were profligate and feckless, and their crazy borrow and spend policies were simply not sustainable.

          I agree that our people were encouraged to go on spending borrowed money too, to make the economy look good in the short-term, but that again was irresponsible and unsustainable long-term.

          Then there’s the small matter of Britain’s hefty contributions. I can think of a great many uses for that right here at home.

          In your last part, you seem to be saying that a federal Europe would be a good thing. Sorry if I misunderstood you, but I can’t quite see it myself. What benefits might that bring were Britain to join one?

          Tad

          • Susan
            Posted May 19, 2012 at 7:31 am | Permalink

            Tad

            For the Countries of the Eurozone a Federal Government or something similar would be a good thing if they want the single currency to succeed in the future. Britain is not in the Eurozone, so there is no suggestion of Britain becoming part of this nor did I even mention such an idea. That is just you reading something into my reply that is not there.

            A stable Eurozone is important for the sake of the UK economy and of course for the people living in the EU.

            Yes the solvent Countries who did the right thing, particularly Germany, will have to help the indebted ones, it is the only way forward. However if you look at it on a small scale, people who have done the right thing by saving and not taking credit they could not afford in the UK are having to pay the price for those who did not.

      • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        “the minister for the disabled said now would be a bad time for a referendum on an in-out vote on our membership of the EU, so when would be a good time?”

        A good time for a referendum as far as a minister is concerned would be:
        A: 24th December
        B: 31st January
        C: During a World Cup England Match.

        Basically whenever everyone’s attention is focused on other things.

        The federal Reserve was voted for on 23rd December 1913.
        “The Federal Reserve Act (ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251, enacted December 23, 1913, 12 U.S.C. ch.3) is an Act of Congress that created and set up the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States of America”

        The 100 years since the FED was created saw massive devaluation of the US Dollar, the 100 years prior to the FED saw virtually no devaluation.

        Central Banks are the Meccas of DEBT. The ECB is no different.

        • zorro
          Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          Of course, the only way they can show nominal growth is by the inflation they cause…..and they are very good at that! Think how much US tax goes on paying off the interest on money created by the FED over the last 100 years.

          Zorro

          • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
            Posted May 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Zoro.

            It’s About $342.9 billion on Interest Payments for money that the US Government use to print – United States Notes incurred no requirement for income taxes.
            http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_budget_11.html

            If the US Government create Dollars instead of renting them off the Federal Reserve, there would be no need for Income Tax, for which there is no defined Law.

            Off shore Tax Havens push the burden onto middle income Americans making the Tax burden worse and discouraging Productive work.

    • Susan
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      I am sorry, this is such nonsense. The public did vote for pro EU parties, Mr. Redwood is quite right. If the EU was the most important issue for the voters they would not have voted for Labour for 13 years who were determined to drag the UK further into the EU. Or perhaps the public were too busy spending all that easy credit through the Labour years to care about what effect the EU, through rules and regulations, was having on Britain. It is same with immigration, the public now complain it is too high but were happy to vote for Labour even though it was they who had an open door policy which they could easily have capped for new entrants at the time of Poland joining the EU. The public should take some responsibility for both the economic crisis, by borrowing and spending too much themselves and the fact the UK is further integrated into the EU.

      Now the EU is to blame for everything, according to some. In fact they are not, Labour is, for overspending and not regulating the banks properly leading up to the crisis.

      The debt in the UK would be exactly the same if the UK was in or out of the EU. The UK Government spent the money not the EU.

      We better all hope that there is a sensible solution to the Eurozone crisis for the sake of the stability of the UK economy. This idea that it would be good if the EU just collapsed and somehow the UK would be free again is ridiculous. Quite frankly if I were the EU and I am not a fan by any means, with the attitude coming from the UK towards this Eurozone crisis, which is causing more problems than it is solving, I would be pretty annoyed too.

      • zorro
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        All the main parties were pro EU including the Tories! There was no real choice / sensible debate around the European issue. It was a done deal for our political class to carry on with integration.

        So we are saying that it was the previous government’s fault for messing up the regulatory framework ….that still does not exonerate the bankers who appear to have enriched themselves overtly without any social conscience.

        Yes, Labour did overspend but we have been badly let down by our financial sector and everyone is having to bail them out.

        Zorro

        • Susan
          Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Zorro

          That is just not true Zorro. All the public were aware that the main pro EU parties were Labour and the Lib/Dems. There had always been people in the Conservative Party who had campaigned to come out of the EU. It is in your imagination that there was some kind of conspiracy by the political class to force the UK into further integration. There was a belief by the Lib/Dems and Labour and still is, that the EU was were the UKs future lay, that is something quite different.

          The banks would not have been able to cause the financial crisis in the first place if the proper regulation had been in place so your point on this is not valid. I suppose you exonerate all those members of the public who borrowed money they knew they could not repay, forcing people who have worked hard and saved to pay for their irresponsibility. It is all the bankers fault or the politicians, even those who were not in Government at the time, anybody will do, just not the publics fault.

          I note you do not mention the point about immigration, which you have had plenty to say about before. It was the open door policy by Labour again, which the public voted for by keeping them in Government for 13 years which caused the much complained about high immigration levels. So again the public is as much to blame as Labour for this.

          • zorro
            Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            Really?……Maybe I have been living in a dream world for the last 40 years but I also read the Treaty of Rome and did not vote to the enter the Common Market.

            I also seem to remember that Ted Heath took us into the ‘Common Market’ having been made fully aware of the aims of that organisation. He was the Tory PM wasn’t he?

            I am certainly not a Labour voter but I do recall that they opposed entry then…..It is not in my imagination that this political class exists (if only!). It was in the 1980s that a consensus on Europe took place with Labour and Lib/SDP thinking that they could ride the beast.

            I also seem to recall that there was a Conservative Party in government which voted in European regulations including the Single European Act (the clue is in the title) and the Maastricht treaty (albeit with some totemic opt outs).

            If you do not think Cameron wants us to be so deep in Europe, let us see what he will do under the ‘whatever it takes to protect Britain’ banner and how much more he commits to keeping Greece in the Euro……

            The banks were still responsible whether or not Labour bodged the regulations. They are also responsible for recklessly lending to people who were a risk. Why were the banks not allowed to carry the can for the risk? It’s not a question of blame, it’s about good business sense. The banks were stupid enough to lend depositors money on basket cases and the government has let them get away with it. You’re having a laugh if you think I have any truck with this.

            Your point on immigration is moot. Immigration has gone up under the Tories and the current Border Farce is an omnishambles. What responsible government pays people to leave in the full knowledge that business will increase, and then they will have to re-employ people to try and deal with the extra workload?….Double omnishambles, no business sense at all whenn they should have used natural wastage and restructured their business.

            Zorro

          • Tad Davison
            Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

            Susan,

            This was posted on the Express blog today. Please read it then tell me there wasn’t a conspiracy to get Britain further into the EU than the Europhiles had a mandate for!

            BBC QUESTION TIME – 1 NOVEMBER, 1990
            18.05.12, 3:03pm
            Lest anyone forget who was responsible for all this mess.

            Peter Sissons: “The single currency, a United States of Europe, was all that in your mind when you took Britain in?”

            Edward Heath: “Of course, yes”.

            Traitor!

            • Posted by: John_Bull • Report Comment

          • Susan
            Posted May 19, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            Tad,

            Well one could look at Edward Heath as a traitor as he had taken us into the EEC/Common Market. Except that the British public voted in 1975, by a large majority, in a referendum, to remain in.

          • Susan
            Posted May 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            Zorro

            All I can say to you is that if you believe in conspiracy theories you always will and nothing I will say will make any difference.

            My point about immigration was not about how the Coalition are dealing with the problem, they are merely attempting to close the stable door after the horse has bolted, it was about the amount of people Labour allowed in. This whether you like it or not was with the blessing of all the people who continued to vote for Labour despite the fact that immigration was reaching very high levels. It seems immigration only becomes a problem with the public when the UK economy is not doing very well.

            I have already said what I think about the banking crisis and nothing you have said has changed my mind. However bear this in mind, the financial sector has earned and still does, the UK an awful lot of money.

            I have answered the Ted Heath point to Tad so I will not repeat myself.

          • zorro
            Posted May 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            Susan,
            I don’t get your point on conspiracy theories which is a bit of a red herring really. Everything which I mentioned in my reply occurred in the last 40 years whether you like it or not.

            Do you read the papers? Do you think the Coalition are securing our borders with filing clerks? As I mentioned Immigration went up in 2011. Nowhere have I suggested that I supported the level of immigration over the last 15 years, far from it!

            Yes, of course somem parts of the financial sector make us money but a big part also nearly bankrupted us if you care to remember. I suggest that you do a little research on how much we are having to pay to sort out the mess made by the financial industry overall…..

            On the Ted Heath issue, the point is that the true aim of the treaty was misrepresented to the British people. I distinctly remember the arguments at the time and I can assure you that Ted Heath said nothing about political union or a common currency during that campaign.

            zorro

            Reply: The referendum campaign happened under the Labour government – Heath was no longer PM and he regarded the vote for his government in 1970 as a vote for joining the EEC. He did acknowledge we would lose sovereignty – it was the others who denied that. Of course I disagreed strongly with him and remember arguing with him over it when he visited Oxford where I was at the time.

          • Susan
            Posted May 20, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            Zorro

            We can go round and round this issue, however the point we started with remains the same. The public continued to vote for a party over 13 years, Labour, that were pro the EU and had an open door immigration policy.

            Now if as you suggest the most important issue for the voting public was immigration and the EU, why did they do that? The Conservatives have always had people in their party fighting against the EU, why did they not vote for them. The same is true over immigration. I distinctly remember the Conservatives in the 2005 Election and before that saying immigration needed to be controlled.

            With the best will in the World you cannot blame the Coalition for the Immigration problem the UK already has, no matter how they are dealing with the problem now. or the further integration into the EU which happened under the Labour Government.

            As to banking I understand it very well, I do not need to do any research, perhaps you should on what occurred during the Labour years on regulation etc. However, as I have said to others, Michael Howard identified the problems with the banks and private debt at the time of 2005 Election, the public were just not listening. They were to busy spending all that easy credit to care.

          • Susan
            Posted May 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            Zorro

            I just want to add one more point. I have friends who believe passionately in the EU and of course others that do not. I just happen to be a person who does not. We have many discussions on this subject and those that believe still believe, despite the crisis, that eventually the UKs future should be in the EU. Their thoughts are mainly along the lines that the UK is a declining Nation and will need to be part of a bigger structure in the future. Also that Countries are beginning to form Unions all over the World so the UK should. All of this is true and if they are right would make me wrong for thinking differently. However, I tend to look more towards the UK being a Global player in the markets far beyond the EU borders. The rules and regulations of the EU would restrict the UKs ability to tap into these.

            Therefore there is no conspiracy it is really a matter of belief. Politicians are no different, they either believe in the EU or they don’t.

          • zorro
            Posted May 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply…..

            http://www.conservative-party.net/manifestos/1970/1970-conservative-manifesto.shtml……..some cracking commoents in the prologue…..’We must create a new way of running our national affairs. This means sweeping away the trivialities and the gimmicks which now dominate the political scene. It means dealing honestly and openly with the House of Commons, with the press and with the public.’…….Yes Ted, plus ca change!!

            ‘…..negotiate with the European Community confident in the knowledge that we can stand on our own if the price is too high.’…….too high….hindsight.

            This is what the 1970 manifesto said……..

            ‘A Stronger Britain in The World’

            ‘If we can negotiate the right terms, we believe that it would be in the long-term interest of the British people for Britain to join the European Economic Community, and that it would make a major contribution to both the prosperity and the security of our country. The opportunities are immense. Economic growth and a higher standard of living would result from having a larger market.

            But we must also recognise the obstacles. There would be short-term disadvantages in Britain going into the European Economic Community which must be weighed against the long-term benefits. Obviously there is a price we would not be prepared to pay. Only when we negotiate will it be possible to determine whether the balance is a fair one, and in the interests of Britain.

            Our sole commitment is to negotiate; no more, no less. As the negotiations proceed we will report regularly through Parliament to the country.

            A Conservative Government would not be prepared to recommend to Parliament, nor would Members of Parliament approve, a settlement which was unequal or unfair. In making this judgement, Ministers and Members will listen to the views of their constituents and have in mind, as is natural and legitimate, primarily the effect of entry upon the standard of living of the individual citizens whom they represent.’

            Not too much on sovereignty there…..I remember that he used to talk about ‘pooling sovereignty’ but always in the sense of making us stronger rather than ‘losing’ something.

            zorro

      • lifelogic
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        But all the parties were pro EU (some pretended not to be at elections) but acted pro EU never the less. Major and even Thatcher signed absurd treaties Cameron is clearly on the same path to an undemocratic socialist “super” state.

        You say “If the EU was the most important issue for the voters” well clearly it never will be for most voters. Many probably do not even know anything about the EU. They are more concerned with pensions, the price of petrol, benefit levels, housing and the rest. Or just vote as they always have done.

      • APL
        Posted May 19, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Susan: “Now the EU is to blame for everything, according to some. ”

        Fifteen years ago, the EU may have been a pheripheral issue. But times have moved on, the ratchet of EUropean Union obligations has clicked ever higher, not one notch has been reversed.

        So, today, fifteen years later – the EU is to blame for everything!

        • Susan
          Posted May 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          APL

          I don’t know what you mean about 15 years ago. Labour only went out of Government in 2010. Therefore the public were voting for a pro EU party up to that point. Even then they still voted in such a way to bring about the Coalition which brought to power another pro EU party the Lib/Dems. This surely means that the public do vote in parties that support membership of the EU and it remains a peripheral issue.

          The EU is not to blame for everything as you claim, especially not the state of the UK economy, Labour are. The debt in the UK would be the same whether the UK was in or out of the EU.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      I voted for the Referendum Party in 1997. You can’t call John Major a Conservative. Do you remember your own campaign slogan in 1995? ‘No change, no chance’. You were absolutely right.

      And it was pure joy watching Jimmy Goldsmith and David Mellor on election night 1997.

    • eddyh
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      It was the “conservative” Edward Heath who lied us into this mess in the first place.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Repy to John’s reply
      This argument is disingenuous as no party made the EU an important part of their manifestos – quite deliberately in my opinion because there has been a conspiracy to deny the public any real say on our future in this anti-democratic organisation. Nothing has changed since Heath’s act of betrayal except to take us closer to his hidden objective – a United States of Europe and the destruction of national democracy.

  4. mitch
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    The whole idea was idiotic and politicians are not smart or honest enough to build something like this. All the fiddling of figures and just plain lying that went on made this collapse inevitable, as usual the tax payers foot the bills and the criminals who built it escape unscathed.
    This is why , as a class politicians are reviled.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    John

    The simple answer is to question why people behave in the way you describe.

    Politicians have promised too much to the people
    Politicians have spent and wasted too much of the peoples taxes
    Politicians have borrowed too much and mortgaged the people future

    Perhaps every Country should have within its constitution that a Government cannot borrow any money without a referendum first.

    If Governmments lived within their means (annual tax income) then there would be no need to borrow at all.

    • Geoff M
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Manifesto promises are not subject to legitimate expection-Gordon Brown( I had to go to court for that)
      Don’t expect politicians to make them legitimate any time soon.

  6. georgej
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Not one voter in the whole of Europe voted for the euro. Not one.

    The only referendums on adopting the euro were held in Sweden and Denmark. They both voted no, and consequently neither of those countries joined the eurozone. Europols created the euro and imposed it on the plebs, not only without any democratic mandate, but in defiance of all evidence that it had any public support whatsoever.

    It wasn’t the markets or bankers or anyone else. The blame rests entirely on the heads of EU Politicians. I hope their entire grand project is destroyed as a result.

    Reply: The people kept voting for pro Euro parties.

    • zorro
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      As you know John, people vote on a range of issues and they had no immediate reason to vote against ‘pro Euro’ paties (until now). It is generally a benign issue compared to all the other important issues to people.

      To say that people voted for ‘pro Euro’ parties is to misattribute the reasons why people vote in general elections, and a cop out from laying the blame with the Europolitical class where it fairly and squarely lies….

      zorro

    • APL
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      JR: “The people kept voting for pro Euro parties.”

      Yep, the Blu Labour party pretending to be a Conservative party.

      And the Labour party pretending to be a patriotic party.

      Tweedledum and Tweedledee
      Agreed to have a battle;
      For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
      Had spoiled his nice new rattle.

      Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
      As black as a tar-barrel;
      Which frightened both the heroes so,
      They quite forgot their quarrel.

      Popular membership of both mainstream parties has dropped like a stone over the last thirty years, your particular hobby, the conservative party? Nobody cares about it, Mr Redwood, it is become an impediment to democracy!

    • Yudansha
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood – The peoples of some EU states gained clear advantage (at first) by joining the EU. So of course their people voted for it.

      As for the UK: for decades the only alternative to two Pro EU parties (Lib/Lab) has been the Tory Party which has been dysfunctional through its split on Europe and having been economically discredited because of Europe (the ERM fiasco.)

      It is clear that Eurosceptic Tories ought to have broken away. But you can’t blame the people when faced with dishonest and limitlessly ambitious pro EU politicians throughout our political systems.

      reply: I and some others changed the Conservative party after 1997 to a party which opposed every new Treaty and was against the Euro in principle.

      • Yudansha
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Further: Your party signed Maastricht. You don’t get much more Pro Eu than that and it was under the Tory Party that I saw my country begin to change drastically.

        I’ve distrusted your party ever since but I voted Tory throughout the Labour years (including 1997) but when Labour won I thought you deserved to lose.

        The leading Tories are most definitely Europhile, and Left-of-centre – we can now see that. Expect massive losses at the next general election as a result.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Good John, but not enough!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      In the past, people had no real choice. They either voted for a pro-EU party, or a pro-EU party. Others were in their infancy and had not yet established their credentials. But the Tories should be worried. I regard myself as a natural Conservative, and right now, UKIP are saying everything the Tories should be saying, except, the latter is riddled with social democrat gutless ‘yes-men’ (and women) who have no real resonance with mainstream man. To be candid, they make me want to puke!

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • RB
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Whatever happened in the past, Mr R, I really do now genuinely believe that all has changed in the last two years. The EZ debt crisis and the way the EU and our own politicians have dealt with it will, I believe, result in a massive backlash at the next European and General Elections.

        It was game over for me and the Tories when William Hague told me (and all of us) last week that the solution was that we should all “work harder”. I have never felt a stronger urge to throw something through the screen of my own television. We are already knackered, skint, stressed out about losing our jobs, with no pay rise, no decent pension, inflation, continual unaddressed massive waste in government, borrowing higher than ever, and we are all running flat out on the hamster wheel just to stand stillwhilst government reaches in and takes over half of everything we earn – having Hague shout “faster, faster” is the last straw for me.

        • stred
          Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          Especially when it comes from a career politician.

          • APL
            Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

            Stred: “Especially when it comes from a career politician.”

            Who is so inept he couldn’t lie about his piss ups in a brewery.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Well next time, the three main pro-EU parties just might drive us all to vote for one who is decidedly against it!

      The voters are heartily sick of politics, as shown by the low turn-out at the local elections. Moreover, they are sick of being cheated and lied to!

      Tad

  7. APL
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    JR: “The markets are only doing what they are doing because of the way people in the Euro area are acting.”

    Just now, ‘the markets’ are the politicians. The politicians own just about every major bank in Europe and the politicians have created the environment where ‘the market players’, the big banks, cannot lose money, …. until they do.

    Reply: The markets are also the millions of people moving bank deposits and other savings.

    • APL
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      JR: “The markets are also the millions of people moving bank deposits and other savings.”

      Oh yes. But then the politicians have tried their hardest to make sure that these millions of people are act form misleading cues. Making irrational panic more likely rather than less.

    • stred
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Firstly, the Greek and other people would not have understood that their politicians were fiddling the EU figures using derivative accounting. Even the Germans didn’t and the Commissioners ignored the scam. In the UK most of the people still don’t understand the ‘cuts that aren’t’ or the inflation tax.

      If you were a Greek businessman who had 100kE in a Greek bank and had another account elsewhere, where would you stick the money? If you leave it in Greece it may be worth 40% less soon. If you put it abroad, you can bring it back and invest it for maybe 40% more. It is the savers and retired who will suffer. Like the previous well to do lady on Michael Portillo’s programe who was now at a soup kitchen.

      Their politicians have forced this situation on the people and they can’t be blamed for trying to find a way to survive. It would be interesting to know how much Greek money is already in other Euro accounts, waiting to return to buy up devalued assets. Probably billions, and much of it in accounts of the elite.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Spot on, but I feel sorry for the Germans in a way, especially the ones who wanted no part of this in the first place. They’re the ones who are having to fund Greek fecklessness. The Greek people voted for whoever promised them the most, regardless of how this ‘lavish prosperity’ was to be paid for. And they still want to live beyond their means which is why they won’t accept austerity, and don’t want to ditch the Euro. Talk about wanting to have your cake and eat it!

        Sunshine, beaches, olives, and feta cheese aren’t sufficient to fund a massive public sector and early retirement on such a scale.

        Tad Davison

        Cambridge

  8. Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    There is a dilemma that arises from what you have written, particulalrly as it relates to Britain and its place within the EU. The section I refer to is the following statement:

    It was the political class who drove them into the Euro, and the political class who told them it would work just fine. In another sense they are victims of their neighbours. If you vote for the vision of the Euro, you have to live with its many problems and imperfections, and do your bit to help offset them.

    We in Britain were spared the Euro but driven in to the EU by our political class, grouped within the three main parties, which with our first past the post electoral system and refusal of meaningful recent referendum, made any alternative an impossibility.

    Now even a supposed opponent of our EU membership, in the party supposedly containing most such insightful individuals, gives continued support to a completely EU subjugated executive, even when the fact of a Coalition has finally empowered such small group of rebels to force a re-appraisal at the very moment when the whole EU edifice is clearly collapsing.

    What value may we thus place on your written blogged words, you are in Parliament, you have the mandated power, please, please do something, the entire world sees Cameron and Osborne for what they are, they must be neutered!

  9. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Please let us not play the blame game.

    What is troubling me is the BBC last night when Robert Peston, whom I very much respect, led us through the familiar paths of the EU crash.

    What was disturbing was the senior bankers who casually explained that the City and all our banks had been lending to Greece wholesale and that they were now “exposed”. The coming crash, they kindly explained, was going to be even worse than Mr Brown’s heroic crash.

    Do you know what? I don’t want to lose all the precious savings which I use to see my children who live abroad. I do not want to live off my inflation busting state pension. I do not want my dear little country in the Jubilee Year to go the same way as Iceland.

    Call me old fashioned……..

    But I am very worried.

    • A Different Simon
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      Why should Greece exiting the Euro precipitate a crash on such a scale ?

      It’s certainly not due to the amounts of money Greece owe because the sums are insignificant in the scheme of things .

      I just don’t buy it .

      Looks like scaremongering to me .

      If these sums have then been magnified 100 times by replicating synthetic credit default swaps then the Govts of the world should declare synthetic CDS null and void .

      Why haven’t politicians taken this obvious measure ?

      If people were told that CDS losses aren’t going to be socialised , they will change their tune and get on with fixing what is really broke .

  10. Alan
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    But the euro does not require high taxes; there is no obligation for any nation to pay the debts of another – quite the contrary, there is an express undertaking not to pay another’s debts; and there is no reason at all why a private individual should keep his money in a bank that may go bankrupt in a country where the government may seize his savings and devalue them.

    One of the advantages of the euro is that, up to now anyway, it has been a currency whose value was not being adjusted to meet political ends. Governments could not devalue it and take away the value of people’s savings. Economists and politicians may not like that, but people who want to save money do.

  11. zorro
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    This phenomenon is quite a wondrous thing because it show how human nature works – let us be generous – enlightened self interest. When people are faced with a reality they act appropriately. They look after their money and spend/invest wisely insyead of seeing it disappearing. People investing with their own money generally make wise decisions unlike politicians who rarely do when they invent a currency which they think will drive the impetus for their political union. We also know that they waste money on silly energy schemes, lost causes, foreign aid etc etc…..This is because it is not their own money.

    When faced with these political class inspired schemes, as George Orwell wrote in 1984…..’If there is hope….it lies in the proles’.

    zorro

  12. Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    One not only has responsibilities to the State, but also to one’s family. Safeguarding the financial security of one’s family is a responsibility which most would consider exceeds loyalty to the European dream. It is not for me to criticise them for protecting their savings. Politicians consistently fail to recognise the important effect of family relationships have on shaping society, but when others let you down, your family should be there for you, so it is not surprising protecting the family unit comes highly in the list of priorities, higher than the survival of the euro if tough times lie ahead.

    • Susan
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      measured

      The problem is though, that members of the public no longer think for themselves and when anything goes wrong they look around for someone to blame. It never occurs to them that they may have contributed to the problem. They panic when the financial news is not good. Northern Rock for instance, I had a lot of money in the Rock but I did not draw it out when the run began. I admit Gordon Brown should have acted with more speed to stem the run by guaranteeing deposits much earlier than he did. However keeping a level head and not believing everything you are told seems to be something the public is no longer able to do.

      All the Greek people are doing by their behaviour is making the economic situation of their Country worse. They then will have to live with the results of that afterwards. After all not everyone will be able to leave the Country. It is the same as the belief in Greece that if they vote for a different political party it will somehow cure the problem, it won’t. Debt is debt and the only solution to this is a long period of austerity to pull the economy back into balance to have a smaller state and less Government spending. This is something the UK population still cannot get their heads around as well it seems.

  13. Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Surely it is the politicians fault for failing to properly govern the country in the past. They failed to set up appropriate systems to ensure that the government collected the tax due; they failed to keep expenditure within the limits of their income; they “gave away” money they didn’t have in the form of benefits of some kind in the hope of getting re-elected. You can hardly blame the people for that. Nor can you blame individuals for trying to safeguard what they have by withdrawing cash from banks and trying to save it in other forms. I’m sure under the circumstances most of us would do the same.
    No it was the politicians who allowed the situation to arise in the first place who are mainly to blame, and those who failed to take remedial action soon enough. Just let’s hope Cameron doesn’t go down in history as the Prime Minister who failed to get this country’s spending under control and let us into a similar situation to the Greek crisis.

  14. Adam5x5
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I like (sarcasm) how the politicians always blame the “market” for failings.

    High bond interest rates? Market
    Single currency collapse? Market

    As though the market is some malevolent entity purposefully trying to bring down their carefully constructed plan.
    Not at all the problem that their plan was idiotic in the first place.

    Seems to me the Euro politicians are saying:
    “If only people would just give us as much money as we want without getting anything in return, our euro project would work? Why are people so selfish?”

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Amen!

  15. Atlas
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I think a run on the Banks is about the only thing that could overwhelm the Franco-German axis on the Euro. Mere constitutional politics in other countries does not seem able to influence matters.

  16. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Do you think that if there was enough cash in Greece, if everyone in greece paid off their debts, would the Economy function normally?

    If the Greek Government paid off their treasury bonds would that fix the economy?

    Reply: NO, and there will not be enough cash.

    • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your reply.

      Precisely. In fact, there would not be any Digital Money (Bank Deposits). The only money will be coins and notes located in Private Bank Vaults. If – by cash, you mean notes & coins; these would also have been used up to pay off debts.

      Instead of renting our medium of exchange, we could just create it ourselves (Government Issued Money):

      “Imagine a trading community which organizes its own medium of exchange by mutual agreement that certain authorized, but intrinsically worthless tokens should be used as money. For example, these tokens might be metal coins, hard-to-counterfeit pieces of paper or, if we assume the necessary technology, electronic digits within ultra-secure computer systems. The medium itself doesn’t really matter, so long as the money system functions conveniently, safely, transparently and honestly and enables efficient trade in real goods and services to flourish. Importantly, it should not be to the advantage of any special, privileged sector of the community, but should operate in a manner neutral to all economic participants”
      http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2012/05/no-more-national-debt/

      We don’t have ot imagine it, the English medium of exchange between 1100AD and 1826AD was created and controlled by the State, everything changed when the Bank of England was created.

      Why do we still allow private individuals to charge us rent on our National Currency? What is the Advantage to the UK Tax Payer for the Current System? Why is our money controlled by Private Companies – who charge the Government Interest on it’s currency.

      A Bank that has money deposited with it should be allowed to lend money that already exists, fair enough ?

      • zorro
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Conrad, I think that you know why this system exists…..These people are immensely powerful and, let us say, command the attention of politicians……enough to bail them out of the financial disaster, and buy up what’s left from the slump.

        Zorro

        • sm
          Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see much difference between big business, banks and politicians at the very top?

          The current fractional reserve banking model is broken. (QE/ZIRP is QED)

          The mostly private debt based money creation system which is private only when ‘so called profits’ are extracted during the bubble upswing, leaving the public with the debt in the bust.

          I only hope Positive Money,Land tax will arise out of the ashes, and not war which seems to perpetuate the current system.

          • Conrad Jones (Cheam)
            Posted May 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Treasury Bonds are the mechanism used to fund Wars. Without Treasury Bonds, the Government wouldn’t be able to sneek in massive Public Spending and Borrowing like they did with Libya which cost around £1.2 billion.
            http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/sep/26/uk-operations-libya-costs

            They say this comes out of existing MoD Reserves? If so, how much “Reserves” have the MoD got and how do they decide on the size of these Reserves, which apparently and draining Tax Payer money away from Public Services and targetting (literally) Women and Children in foreign Lands.

            Why does the UK Government Issue Treasury Bonds (which demand interest payments from future Tax Revenue) rather than issue Curreny directly (which do not incur Interest Payments) ?

            Can anybody provide an answer to this question?

            Interest bearing debt money in the economy has increased from 80% to over 97% of the Money Supply. If this Trend continues the inverted Pyramid will become completely unstable and topple over. This Trend also points towards a total reduction of Notes & Coins giving rise to the possibility of 100% Digital money, sold on the basis that it is “More Efficient” and “convenient”. There were plans to do away with cheques planned to be phased out by 2018.
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8414341.stm

  17. Electro-Kevin
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    “If you vote for the vision of the Euro …”

    Much depends on the ‘vision’ that was given by the politicians at the time of voting and I doubt that the negatives were spelled our properly. In the UK that vision was to join a common trading block and I am yet to meet a person of that era who thought otherwise.

    It is clear to me that our people were mislead.

    If not then why was it called the Common Market ? Why didn’t they call it the European Union from the outset ?

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Of course they were hugely mislead or conned, but why were these politicians so keen on ramming this Euro vision down voters throats without their informed consent? Why also is the BBC so absurdly biased on the issue.

      The nation has been bought and indoctrinated with its own tax payers money.

    • sjb
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      “It is not at all the case that we misled the people in the government’s literature on the referendum. We couldn’t possibly have avoided the sovereignty issue because they were always banging on about it. It is absolutely untrue, but it continues to be asserted by the Euro-sceptics with complete conviction.” – per Sir Michael Butler

      Source: http://www.chu.cam.ac.uk/archives/collections/BDOHP/Butler.pdf

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for that link, SJB.

        Then I must conclude that the average person at that time was thick if they thought it was just a trading area. As it happens those who admit to voting for it seem few and far between.

        Thank you too, Lifelogic.

        • Electro-Kevin
          Posted May 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          People will vote for politicians who promise jam today.

          That’s why Tony Blair was so successful.

      • APL
        Posted May 19, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        “It is not at all the case that we misled the people in the government’s literature on the referendum.”

        Ah hindsight and rose tinted spectacles. A lethal combination if a career civil servant is trying to touch up his autobiography.

  18. Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Another way in which the political nomenklatura are responsible, indeed the prime way, is their adoption of ecofascist Luddism and prevention of us having the growth in energy supplies that goes hand in hand with growth.

    If we had had even world average growth (6%) over the last 2 years, without any other cuts, that growth would have cut the deficit to about £40 billion, under the official EU allowed limit. In fact, with a government in favour of growth, we could have considerably exceeded the average.

  19. matthu
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    “If you vote for the vision of the Euro, you have to live with its many problems and imperfections, and do your bit to help offset them”

    Every major politcal party in UK went along with the “vision of the Euro” i.e. the politcal vision of ever closer integration, inevitability of politcal union etc.

    Else (for instance) why do we have our armed forces carrying out operations under the European flag? It is because all the major politcal parties were happy to slip and slide down this path regardless of what the electorate wanted.

    And no – you can’t pretend that any party had any electoral mandate to go down this route. It was never the right time, never the right question to put to the electorate.

    Rather wait until all the exist are bolted before explaining it to us.

  20. Dan McKean
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Hello,

    What are your thoughts on the estimated $1 trillion figure for Greece to get out of the euro? Realistic?

    Dan McKean

  21. Javelin
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    De la rue turns on the printing press for new Drachma.

    The end must be very close now. A huge bank run will follow

    http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKBRE84H0DH20120518?irpc=932

  22. matthu
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Canny observers might reason that the current Euro crisis came at just the right time to give the electorates reason to pause and think about getting out of this leaky boat.

    On the other hand it is William Hague’s considered view that now is “not the right time” to be considering whether to jump ship and neither is it the right action to be contemplating.

    No, we should instead be bailing water even as waves come splashing over our bow.

    Presumably when the bow is completely under water the CP will be proposing a vote in the next term of government, with the question as yet undecided and the date yet undetermined.

    Canny observers will not fail to notice that there will be no viable alternative on the table confirming the intention is to lead us ever further into political union.

  23. Normandee
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Reply: The people kept voting for pro Euro parties.

    So now it’s our fault ! Now we know how you politicians sleep at night, the sleep of the innocent. I don’t think you will be hearing from me for a while, I am off to examine my conscience, something I suggest you do after that statement.

    Reply: What’s the problem with the truth? Just how frustrating do you think I found it, to help turn the Conservative party into an anti EU integration party, a party which voted against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon, a party which ruled out the Euro in principle, only to find federalist parties kept getting more votes.

    • Paul
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      And it looks as though it’s a federalist party that may give us a vote on an in/out referendum. It’s now clear that Labour will put an in/out referendum in their 2015 manifesto and pro-EU Cameron has no intention of doing that. I doubt Labour will actually follow through with that promise, only UKIP will give the British people what they want, but we all know the voters will back Labour and they will win a massive majority because of it. I predict the Conservatives will be history at the next election and they will only have themselves to blame.

    • Chris
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      So many people voted for federalist parties because politicians in the main kept the truth from them about the costs of the EU to us, the extent to which the EU legislation (particularly the most important and most unpopular) rules our lives and how very little power the UK govt has or is willing to employ, the details of how our money is spent in the EU on fringe issues (promoting juggling), on propaganda and on ensuring key establishments are given so much funding that they are beholden to the EU e.g. the BBC, Christian Aid, how education is infiltrated by the EU, how so much money is spent on eurocrats, MEPs, EU quangos, grandiose new EU buildings, EU offices abroad, on a two centred administration with huge travelling expenses between the two, how the accounts are apparently so unsound that they cannot be signed off, how large sums of money are given by the UK to Turkey and other accession countries wanting to join the EU simply to bring up their systems e.g. sewage to EU standards and so on…………..If voters had been given even the smallest insight into how money is sucked away from the UK to disappear into the Brussels elite’s pockets they would not have voted for federalist parties. The problem is that required a concerted attempt by a very large numbers of MPs across parties willing to jeopardise their standing in relation to their leadership and to face ridicule from the pro Euopean elite to expose the truth but only a few were willing. William Hague and his campaign to save the pound was weak and totally inadequate.

      • Chris
        Posted May 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Another commentator on this site has posted about the latest issues that the EU is discussing at the moment, while turmoil reigns “outside”. See Daniel Hannan Tel blog: “As their world crumbles Eurocrats retreat into the familiar”
        How is the EU responding? What are the issues at the top of its agenda this week? A financial transactions tax, a common definition of homophobia, new rules on the fishing of bluefin tuna and gender quotas on company boards….
        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100158902/as-their-world-crumbles-eurocrats-retreat-into-the-familiar/

    • Normandee
      Posted May 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      and yet here we are ! but where is this Conservative party you describe ? All I and a lot of people see is appeasement, 3 line whips and more and more money going to Europe by some route or another, whilst Europe swirls faster and faster around the plug hole.

  24. Atlas
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Interestingly if the Eurozone goes for political union – as event are showing us it must – then this means that all those poor southern Europeans will be able to get their hands on the German piggy bank, by virtue of sheer voting power. I don’t think that is what Merkel has in mind…

    • uanime5
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      You do realise that if consensus is required the German piggy bank will always be safe.

  25. Tad Davison
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a good business tip:

    Buy shares in Canadian logging companies, because it’s going to take a lot of trees to make the paper needed to print all the bank notes and bonds to cover this mess!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  26. David Langley
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    JR you are right about us not voting to reject various politicians/parties who seem to be pro EU. The stuff I have read shows that all the top three did what they were told by the EU in their meetings and conferences. Sometimes because they thought they had Won!! some sort of opt out but when the fine print was read they had not. The Dreaded Aquitairre rules supreme and so we get diddled in the end.
    I am learning more every day about the technical aspects of what we did, and why we are in the EU Poo. I like the new UKIP and its main men and women, I do worry about the impression they are just a buzzing fly on the rear end of the main parties. The thing is the EU will go the way of all dictator ships but when it goes down like Greece it will be painful when it could be using procedures such as yours and revert less painfully. I am thinking of the population damage in the EU when it implodes eventually.

  27. matthu
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Daniel Hannan points out the issues at the top of the EU agenda this week:

    A financial transactions tax
    a common definition of homophobia
    new rules on the fishing of bluefin tuna
    and gender quotas on company boards.

    That’ll raise their popularity (not!).

    Remind me how much these guys are paid?

    • lifelogic
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      The usual insanity to further handicap us all.

  28. Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    The bureaucrats and the left know the answer – they will re-impose exchange controls just as soon as they can muster a big enough crisis. What better than to allow the bureaucrats to decide the price of currencies as well as labour, food and fuel.

    If only we would allow them to plan more they could soon achieve Soviet levels of efficiency with tractor production increasing year on year and abolish this volatility and free market mumbo jumbo.

  29. Bert Young
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    The Eurozone crisis and the market uncertainty and lack of confidence has to be put at the feet of the political leaders in Europe . This stalemate has been going on for far too long ; the devastation to the ordinary man and woman is at breaking point .There is talk of outright civil war in Greece . Merkel and Germany must give way to this pressure and authorise the use of its wealth through the ECB and the creation of Euro Bonds . Once recovery has gained reliable pace , tougher sanctions can be imposed on the de-faulting countries . The cost of Euro-bureaucracy has to be cut back by some 30% without further delay – if Hollande can take a 30% pay cut with his ministers , so can those in Brussels .

  30. backofanenvelope
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    This is just a variation on the well-known Brecht idea – if the electorate don’t vote the “right” way, get another electorate.

    I’m afraid that my view is that I didn’t vote for any of this rubbish. No one asked me if I wanted us to join the EU. And I haven’t voted for a pro-EU party since you lot chopped Mrs Thatcher down.

    As I keep saying – Mr Cameron doesn’t care what I think and I don’t care what he says.

  31. Acorn
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    “The need for a central bank response to the threat of financial collapse is clear:
    1.Print money
    2.Keep printing until the financial system stabilises
    3.Worry about removing liquidity later
    4.if removing liquidity stresses the financial system, go back to step 1”.
    (HT Dylan Grice).

    Imagine if a country had a central bank with no government and hence no taxes. Could the CB go on printing new money for ever? The ECB is the only place you can get a new Euro. Every promise; guarantee and bailout in Euros, has to come from the big boss of the ECB. Is he the true God? Does he know how to spell inflation in seventeen languages.
    “Two-thirds of the rescue money comes from the EU itself, which means that the distressed eurozone borrowers are to be saved by more borrowing by … er … the distressed eurozone borrowers”.

  32. Sally C.
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The problem with the headline of your article is that the people living in the periphery Eurozone states, and the governments of those states, overwhelmingly want to stay in the Euro. They do not want to give up the cheap source of financing that they receive from the ECB.
    Why would they want to leave – it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
    The only way Greece will leave the Euro is by some sort of force being applied, but I cannot see Germany supplying the coup de grâce.

    • zorro
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Indeed not, and the Greeks know this only too well that the Germans do not want to see their internal market fall apart….

      Zorro

  33. Barbara Stevens
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    We have a bigger problem emerging with the EU wanting to harmonise all social security systems over Europe. With the intention of giving a little way to Turkey before entrance to the EU. Just imagine, 72million+ Turks coming into Europe and having social security and pensions they haven’t paid one penny into. Of course it would cause chaos with our system and give a free ride to them all. This will be a bigger fight to starve off, for it’s the EU’s intention to destroy this country of ours, if we let them. Mr Hollande as principles on the EU, he intends stopping our rebate for starters, and then wants a tax on all City trading, to fund his programme for growth, at out expense. Nice work if you can get it. The problem is will he get it? Is Cameron up to the job of protecting this nation from this onslaught? They are cunning, and devious and get their way through the back door, so I hope he’s got the back and front door covered.
    This is only the beginning of the things Germany and France want to impose upon us, and of course its Britain who will pay the price, if we let them. For the protection of our system here, pensions etc, we should say a loud NO, if they refuse to accept it, then I hope Cameron does more than use his veto, I hope he walks away permantly. We now need a brave and intelligent leader, I hope Cameron steps up to the mark, if not he’s finished.

    • zorro
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear……I hope that you won’t be too disappointed.

      Zorro

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Susan, care to comment on Barbara’s wise words?

      Tad

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Always remember that Germany too has a high debt to GDP ratio and cannot afford to let it rise. So any transfers from Germany to other Member States must come out of German annual public expenditure and will be immediately visible to the German electorate. Why should Germany throw money into a bottomless pit when there is a perfectly reasonable alternative – Greece and other fiscally incontinent nations leaving the Eurozone one by one? It’s pure political bigotry that is preventing that happening.

  35. Chris
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    While attention is focused on how/when Greece might exit the euro, China is not just waiting in the wings. It is apparently building up its influence in Central Europe (and Greece) right under the EU’s nose. Fascinating article in Der Spiegel, indicating that China is providing credit/investment for infrastructure projects for individual countries simply because European investors in the eurozone are not competitive enough.
    “Here you could say that China is making its own format inside Europe,” said Parello-Plesnr (a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations). http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/with-10-billion-dollar-credit-line-china-deepens-presence-in-central-europe-a-833811.html

    • Tad Davison
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Oh what a tangled web of intrigue!

      Napoleons said, ‘leave China asleep, for when she wakes, she will rule the world.’

      Chairman Mao said, ‘swim like a fish in a sea of fishes.’

      Truth is, our politicians are such arrogant plonkers, they can’t see what is happening right under their noses!

      Tad

  36. merlin
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Democracy is of the people, for the people and by the people. The people of Greece want to stay in the Euro-let the people decide and butt out of deciding their fate for them, respect the wishes of the greek population and let THEM decide. Unless you are anti-democracy.

    • uanime5
      Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Just because the people want to live forever doesn’t mean they’ll all become immortal. Similarly just because the Greeks want to stay in the euro doesn’t mean they’ll be able to remain in the euro; especially if their country goes bankrupt because they didn’t comply with the austerity package in exchange for another bailout.

  37. Martin
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    In the midst of all these minor matters I’ve just seen Dave on the Channel Five news solving the world’s problems by giving some folk £100 vouchers from a well know chemist shop! http://news.sky.com/home/politics/article/16230368

    Now the Greeks know where they have gone wrong.

  38. uanime5
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Greece isn’t the only country where tax avoidance and evasion needs to be tackled.

  • About John Redwood


    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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