The EU doesn’t like democracy

The news from Italy takes my breath away. The President has vetoed one of the appointments to Ministerial office because he has expressed some Eurosceptic views, in line with the views of the winning parties in the election. He wishes to impose a government of unelected officials instead, which is unlikely to command the confidence of the Italian Parliament. He is challenging the winning parties to vote his government  down and go for another election, when the results of the last one were clear and produced a potential coalition government with an agreed programme.

As the leader of the Lega has said, this is a direct assault on democracy and threatens a constitutional crisis. I am not an Italian voter and do not agree with some of the things Lega and 5 Star say, but I do see why their coalition programme wishes to cut taxes and boost the incomes of the poorest, and how the voters expect some change of approach. For the last decade the Italian economy has languished with little growth and high unemployment. The Euro scheme offers more of the same.

Their problem is simple. To do what they want they either need substantial reform of the Euro system , or they need to take their country out of the currency. The EU is determined to block either of these courses, and has allies deep within the Italian establishment to prevent change. It was this feeling by electors that the scheme did not work and the traditional parties were not prepare to challenge it that led to the election results. Now the establishment intend to make it worse by seeking to thwart the will of the voters. The Euro scheme needs to have better ways to route money from rich to poor and from surplus to deficit countries. Its refusal to provide the grants and loans on the scale needed is leading to the demolition of traditional parties in the zone, and to a clash between those who want reform and those who defend every detail of the Treaties and Euro architecture.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    one hopes to the contrary, but I expect all this is lost on their lordships..

    • G Wilson
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      From the speeches they made, I’d say it’s more likely it’s not lost at all.

      More likely the majority of them think having unelected officials over-ruling a democratically-elected government is a fine idea, and wish to copy it here.

      Achieving that was the objective of creating the EU in the first place.

    • Woody
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Self interest rules with the establishment, democracy is not their priority

      • Peter
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

        Johnny Rotten

    • Hope
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      And the difference between Italy president and that of May, Clarke, Soubry, Grieve, Rudd, Hammond, Hunt, Fallon, Morgan etc, HoC and Lords is…..?

      Letwin made it clear to all of you that acting on the public vote is more important than any issue before parliament. Yet the few MPs there think they can ignore the majority of public voting to leave the EU and use weasel words to leave in name only.

      Is the abortion vote in Ireland going to be delayed for 2-7 years with a scone referndum. If not what not? Ireland PM does like democracy when it suits him.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        No difference really at all. May (and most of the rest) is an electoral disaster, a remainer, a virtue signaling big government, high regulation socialist who clearly holds the brexit voters in complete contempt.

        • Peter
          Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          And I wonder if Italians will be any more successful in having what they voted for delivered than the British?

          You said Rees-Mogg was not sincere in saying supportive things about Theresa May. I am not so sure. He seems a straightforward type and not in least a duplicitous schemer. He did say some strong things (for him) about May’s delivery of Brexit as opposed to her words. This was somewhat coded and very polite, as we have come to expect from him. In any case it was not that widely reported.

          No Rees-Mogg is capable and clever but he is not a leader. He lacks strength and ruthlessness. To uses his language ‘his fine words butter no parsnips’ and he will not attempt to take the big parsnip anyway.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 30, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            He has to say supportive things of May if he ever hopes to lead the Tory party, stuffed as it is with dire, dim, greencrap, remainer socialists and Libdims.

            He clearly is not sincere in this as he is too bright to think that May and Hammond are doing sensible things. Almost every single thing they do is in totally the wrong direction. He understands this very well.

            On Brexit negotiations, over regulation, the self employed, the Taylor report, the gender pay drivel virtue signally, the punishment manifesto, the failure to debate on TV, the robotic delivery, her unpleasant go home immigrant vans, her anti-business agenda, the endless tax increases, the attacks on pensions and landlords and tenants, her dreadful record at the Home Office, Windrush, Hammond at no 11, Hunt at Health, the gesture bombings, Greg (Libdim) Clarke with a daft energy policy ….. she is a complete and utter, misguided robotic joke.

    Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    It isn’t that the EU doesn’t like democracy, it is that the EU despises democracy because democracy represents an unpredictable and at times uncontrollable variable which the EU cannot manipulate.

    Political chicanery and direct intervention in a member state’s political and constitutional affairs is the most effective method of circumventing the inconvenience of a democratic vote by the people.

    The EU’s tried this tactic also with Poland and Hungary.

    It defies belief that the Italian people should stand by and watch their country being abused and humiliated in this manner. They must now either assert control over their nation’s political, institutional and constitutional arrangements or they will lose their country forever

    The Italian election result as exposed the EU (German Empire) for what it really is. An authoritarian construct masquerading as a civil and democratic body.

    Political control by a powerful, embedded elite is slowly strangling national democracies. This never ends well.

    There are politicians who will never learn the lessons of history.

    In the UK the voice of the British people has been expressed and is being ignored in No.10. In Italy the voice of the Italian people has been expressed and is being ignored.

    A political and administrative class across Europe need a lesson in humiliation.

  3. Mark B
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Italian politics has always been chaotic.

    Whilst you have a European (Euro) economy totally geared to just one member who refuses to transfer wealth in the currency union, and imposes austerity on others to keep its own people from demanding reform or leaving, things will only ever get worse.

    It will be interesting hearing from the trolls and flamers that wish us to remain in the EU their defence of their beloved EU.

  4. Nig l
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    So no different to the U.K. then although our elite are not quite so blatant.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    IIRC Mr Juncker once said “There is no room for democracy in the EU”. This will be the second time a government has been imposed on Italy.

  6. Peter
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    That’s Italian politics for you.

    I will admit that an Italian PM resigning after four days is a more rapid turnover than usual but stability is not a strong point of the Italian system.

  7. Stephen Priest
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Yesterday the BBC barely mentioned this. Today they dress this direct attack on Italian democracy as “talks have collapse”. The only democracy the EU believes in is a permanent coalition between right of centre Christian Social Democrats and left of centre Social Christian Democrats. Any colour you like as long as its beige or magnolia.

    A recent New York Times Survey: “Centrists Are the Most Hostile
    to Democracy, Not Extremists”

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      The Brussels Broadcasting Corporation BBC once again. They had some “expert” on yesterday assuring us how pro EU and pro Euro the Italians really were despite this. They are not at all judging from my wife’s large Italian family and our many Italian friends.

  8. alan jutson
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    When people get this frustrated by the system, then some people may tend to circumvent the system, and start to take matters into their own hands.

    The Italian President is treading on very dangerous ground indeed, which could lead to absolute chaos in his Country.

    As for the EU, they feel they are safe in the knowledge that they are far enough away from the problems, and so will not be directly challenged.

    • Adam
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Presidents tend to swear an oath before being appointed. If the Italian President has broken his, firm ground exists to reverse his bad decisions & intent.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        Dear Adam–Little to do with his (platitudinous) oath, which you can be sure he will not have broken–It is his opinions and what he is able to do in line with his oath to implement those opinions that are the problem. Maybe he can be impeached but that sounds unlikely. To think that Italy has a worse process of Government than ours–That takes real skill.

  9. Iago
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Just like here then. In fact I can’t see any difference.

  10. Richard1
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The Italian President stated that he sees it as part of his role to protect the country’s position in the Eurozone – in other words the euro has become part of the constitution and is above democratic politics in Italy. Of course the elected politicians should now demand another election and let the people decide. It is going to be fascinating to watch. As in the EU’s dealings with the U.K., I suspect their strong-arm tactics will work and the population and their elected representatives will be cowed into submission.

  11. mick
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    “The Eu doesn’t like democracy “that’s a bit rich with all the turncoats in Parliament who were voted in on manifestos by labour and conservatives to up hold the referendum result and get us out of the dreaded Eu , well come a GE this year or next a lot of the referendum deniers are going to be picking up there p45’s for the refusal to carry out our wish, we put you there and we can remove you 😁

    • Timaction
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Especially if we place a Brexit champion in every seat occupied by a “remoaner”!!

    • old salt
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      No chance!

  12. agricola
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    If it is technically possible, the Italian president should be impeached for his denial of democracy and his powers reduced to that of supermarket opener.

    It is interesting to reflect that the EU did not dare take on the UK in such open a manner. Maybe they realised that our democracy is too firmly embedded. They left it to the fifth column of vested interests and political has- beens of strident voice, plus of course (? ed) I think many of purely political persuasion in the EU would be pleased to be shut of us. We ask too many questions for their comfort. Those countries in the EU that trade with us may see it differently. However having experienced the shambles on both sides over the past two years, and still the pettiness continues, I ask do we really need them. They are in terms of democracy the very antithesis of everything we stand for. Why associate with them on anything but WTO terms.

    We achieve 60% of our trade with the World on WTO terms, and it is in surplus. Why are we fighting for 40% with the EU, which they appear not to want, when it is in deficit. Better do it under WTO terms and make a profit on the imbalance of duty under WTO terms.

    I dare not predict what bucket of worms our negotiators will try to sell us as leaving the EU. Italy is the first internal domino probably to be followed by Spain, the Eastern European countries and dependency Greece. The EU is proven to be, as currently constructed, totally unfit for purpose.

    • agricola
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Is there anyone else in the Scottish play you like.

    • robert lewy
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      excellent post

  13. Andy
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    This was the decision of the Italian President – it had nothing to do with the EU.

    Mr Mattarella made a choice he is perfectly entitled to take – something his predecessors have done too.

    His objection was simple.

    He said that the proposed finance minister was unsuitable because he wants to leave the Euro – and that there has been no national debate about leaving the Euro.

    On that matter he is clearly right. Italy is perfectly entitled to leave the Euro – but it is import a decision like that is made by voters and not by a randomly appointed minister after the event with no debate.

    We see a similar anti-democratic trend from the Brexiteers here. Brexit, they demand, means leaving the single market and the customs union. That, of course, was not what many of them said during the referendum campaign. Farage, Hannan, Owen Paterson among those who spoke of the virtue of the single market. The Brexiteers nearly all unaware even of the existence of the customs union until months after the referendum
    AND general election. They are simply making up policy as they go along when they actually figure out how things work.

    The trouble with these self-proclaimed populists is that, actually, their real policies are not very popular. This is why they are gutless and afraid to face the electorate with their genuine policies.

    Instead they sneak and they lie – in the hope they will be able to force their extremists views through by stealth. It ain’t gonna work in Italy. And it ain’t gonna work here. And as for the US – it ain’t gonna work for Trump either. A one term president at best, if he is not impeached first.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Wrong on many points Andy.
      1.Yes they supported leaving the Euro but they were nowhere near implementation of that process.
      For all we know they would have had a debate Or a referendum.
      2. There were many different ideas offered by different people during the debate prior to the referendum vote day.
      By both sides.
      But, and it remains a fact that the PM and the Chancellor and the Leaflet made it perfectly clear that leaving meant leaving the SM CU and ECK
      Otherwise you are still in the EU.
      3. If a majority of voters vote for a particular party and its policies then plainly they must by definition “popular” or “populist” if you prefer that term.
      Their policies are set out for voters to choose.
      There is no stealth.
      4. President Trump is popular with voters who elected him and many American political commentators predict a second term in office.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink


    • robert lewy
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      DEranged but INsane.

      “The trouble with these self-proclaimed populists is that, actually, their real policies are not very popular. This is why they are gutless and afraid to face the electorate with their genuine policies.”

      Have you perhaps heard of a party called UKIP and their talisman role in producing a demand for a referendum?

    • NickC
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Andy, It was well established during the Referendum debates that leaving the EU meant abrogating the treaties (TEU & TFEU) in which the single market and customs union and agricultural policy and fishing policy, etc, etc, are all integral. “The” customs union has never been separated out of the treaties (unlike the EEA). Your Remain leader David Cameron reiterated leaving the single market no less than 28 times according to Guido.

      If your Remain campaign failed to raise the issues you now raise, that is Remain’s fault. Did you? If so, where? I have been arguing since 2003 (I still have the copy of the letter) that in order to leave we should annul the treaties. I wasn’t the only one by a long shot. If you missed that ongoing debate it is your fault. It is not Leave’s job to make you pay attention. Actually the detail was so comprehensive that many people felt they had a surfeit of debate and information.

      One of your many false assumptions is that Leave voters made their minds up only as the result of the campaigns in early 2016. Not so. Opposition to the EU was grounded in the evidence of how the EU behaved over the previous years, even decades. In my experience of 6 months of leafleting, most people had already decided because of that evidence.

      As for sneaking and lying, Remain became a joke in its own lifetime. Austerity budgets? Financial crashes? WW3? Getting £10 back for every £1 we put in? Did you really think you could get away with such tripe? And finally you still cannot justify why your second referendum is valid where the first was not.

      • Andy
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        We ALL know that none of you had heard of the customs union until well after the referendum but you feel obliged to pretend otherwise.

        It’s kind of painful to watch people deny their own ignorance in a vain attempt to save face – but it hasn’t worked.

        It is evident NONE of you had a clue until well after June 2016. Embarrassing.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink


          Unlike you quite a few of us on here have run very successful businesses, which involve trading via the customs union, so drivel as usual from you. Meanwhile top businessman Andy , the one who is far cleverer than all of us dullards on here is about to sack all 30 of his staff because he cant run his business without the EU. You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh

        • Edward2
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Totally wrong again Andy
          The Leaflet sent to every home contained details of the CU and SM
          The PM Foreign Secretary and Chancellor spoke about it on TV several times.
          It was a feature of all the debates over six months before the date of the referendum.
          You are just being silly and deliberately provocative.

        • NickC
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          Andy, That’s a no then. You failed to raise the issue of the customs union before the Referendum. To complain that others similarly failed (if they did) is rank hypocrisy. Actually people did, but it was a fairly esoteric issue so not widely discussed.

          The EU has very many “competences” that control us, though you are loathe to admit it (see Lisbon, TEU, TFEU). We did not vote on the customs union as a separate issue any more than we voted on the EU’s social fund (Art162, TFEU) as a separate issue.

          Since you have failed to discuss Art162, it is clear that you haven’t a clue. It’s kind of painful to watch people like you deny their own ignorance in a vain attempt to save face – but it isn’t working. See what I did there? – I artificially generated part of the treaties as a separate issue. But it is fake – like your CU issue – and you don’t get to control the debate like that.

  14. hans christian ivers
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink


    You are absolutely right democracy is not working in Italy and that should be stopped as the vote of the people should be respected and implemented.

    However, that does not mean that the EU does not like democracy as this does not account for all countries in the EU. (as you seem to be stating.) According to the EIU the most democratic countries in the World are northern EU countries and Switzerland with the UK not being among the top ten, so let us not jump the gun here, please.

    • Timaction
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      ……….according to the EU??!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Delicious irony.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        EIU, read the text you before you comment

        • NickC
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          Hans, The irony is that if the EU applied to join itself, it would be rejected as being undemocratic. The EU not only doesn’t like democracy, it doesn’t do democracy.

      • hefner
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Economist Intelligence Unit, doh!

        • Timaction
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

          Oh, that well known Unit!

          • NickC
            Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            Yes, the Economist is as rabidly pro-EU as Hans.

          • hefner
            Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            You didn’t have a clue, did you?
            That’s part of the problem on this blog; a number of people clearly know what they talk about, but another very sizeable fraction is basically clueless, but that has never prevented any of them to share their “wisdom”.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink


      Its the EU itself that lacks any form of democracy, not EU countries individually.

      The EU is not elected ( the sham parliament has no powers) , there is no official opposition, in fact the EU states that people who criticise it are punished by having funds withdrawn . That is not democracy in any shape or form. Its an Oligarchy.

      It is out of touch with the new localism movement ( in a global market) . Happy to explain future trends to you

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        thank you so much

  15. Edward2
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Predictably the BBC has no mention of the Italy story on its website this morning and Sky make it the 35th story on their website with an article saying “Who is Italy’s new PM”
    Those of us who remember the USSR see the similarities of how Moscow used to sack and replace leaders of satellite countries if they stepped outside the party line.
    They had a dislike of elections too.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      See also the USA with regime change over many decades.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Red herring.

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Quelle surprise!

  17. JoolsB
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    For a UK Government that believes in and preaches devolved Governments and self determination for the rest of the UK and western world but denies the very same for England out of reasons of pure self interest, we can hardly call ourselves a democracy can we John?

    People in glass houses and all that springs to mind!!!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Hear hear.

  18. Adam
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    A president who opposes democracy presides behind a sham of worthlessness.

    His self-destructive behaviour removes his authority. The people he is supposed to support, but dislikes, are destined to remove him from office too.

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Indeed the EU hate democracy the whole EU structure is profoundly anti-democratic. The president of Italy obviously thinks he is employed by EU not the Italian voters and tax payers. But we have exactly the same here with T May, P Hammond, Mark Carney, the Lords, the Soubry, Clark, Grieve, Morgan types …. plus even inland revenue employees and indeed the majority of the civil service.

    The main problem is a lack of proper leadership from May or, it seems, active encouragement from T May for this outrageous, remoaner resistance.

    • Andy
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      The main problem is that Brexit is an incoherent policy espoused mainly by the economically, politically and socially incompetent.

      Come up with a coherent plan for making the country better and we’ll listen. Carry on with your fact free ranting and we’ll, rightly, dismiss you as nutjobs.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        You are entitled to your opinion but it is wrong? Were you in favour of the ERM and the EURO? Are you in favour of more and more tax, more and more regulation and more and more government? Most with your types of views were in general I find.

        • Andy
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          Tax is the price of a decent society – and it is right that those of us with the broadest shoulders should pay the most.

          And I say that as someone whose small family pays far more of it than the vast majority of you who whine about tax on this blog.

          I tend to find that the majority of people who complain about tax a) do not pay very much if it and b) take more out of the state than they put in.

          That includes most with your type of views, I find.

          And, yes, I would be more than happy to use the Euro – there is far more to being British than the name and colour of your banknotes (most of which are electronic nowadays anyway).

          • Edward2
            Posted May 30, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            The rich do pay progressively more tax than less well off people already.
            The more you earn the more you pay.
            And with higher rates at the top end, the more you earn the even more you pay.
            I don’t mind paying taxes.
            But if it goes over 50% I consider it theft.

          • NickC
            Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Your continual ignorance as a Remain astounds even me. The “Euro” is about much more than the colour of the banknotes in your pocket, it is actually EMU. By the time you’ve finished with us there will be no UK left. It can’t be good for the UK to cease to exist.

      • piglet
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        In other words, despite the result of the referendum, you know best and those who disagree with you may be dismissed as “nutjobs” and should not be listened to. Probably your most arrogant comment on this website to date. I can see why you love the EU so much – you share its contempt for democracy.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        I think we are still waiting for your list of reasons why we should remain in the EU. Why so reticent if you have such a good story to tell?

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        Is this what passes for argument in your estimation?
        When it comes to fact free, look at your own output.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Low taxes, light regulation, free trade, balanced budgets, sound money, openness to the world without discrimination: against the background of the rule of law and a robust approach to external enemies and terrorism.

      • NickC
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Andy, It is perfectly normal to be free of the corrupt EU empire – most of the world is. Your EU empire EUtopia has just removed the democratic choice of the elected coalition government of Italy. Aren’t you ashamed? You should be.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink


        Be honest….the EU is not your real play here….you hanker for a Communist State “imagined eutopia?” Corblimy is your hero and Venezuela is your personal dystopia…ops I mean your Garden of Eden?

      • B Lane
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        Andy, This is what happened when people put forward ways to leave the EU. They were either ignored, pilloried or silenced.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      Completely agree LL

  20. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Very similar to what is happening here. We have EU lovers leading the government who are supposed to be getting us out. What a joke. Do they really think the public can’t see what is going on. There will be civil unrest in Europe big time soon and who will be to blame?

    • Timaction
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      There already is. Just not being reported in the mainstream media. France demonstrations and general strikes, AFD marches in Germany . Demonstrations in Spain. Hey ho. It’s going to start to get interesting here if May betrays us. Time is running out for her and the remainiacs. The quiet majority outside the bubble are getting angry.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      are you really sure about that or are you just guessing ?

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        hans christian ivers

        No more guessing than you do….and your erudite reasons for Remaining in the EU are?

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The EU is a protectionist club and often behaves more like those who run other such organisations than a democratic government. As has been seen on numerous occasions democracy is anathema to the EU. Dictatorship seems more to their liking.
    Meanwhile here in the UK instead of relishing the opportunity to throw off those shackles, regain independence and self-governance we are governed by people who it would seem care more about remainiung under this sinister influence and control.
    At the same time we hear of an arrest and imprisonment in this country which the media are banned from reporting but is resonating around the world on social media and painting our country in a very poor light.

  22. formula57
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The lesson from Italy (learned in Greece) is never underestimate the Evil Empire’s tenacity and certainly do not expect democracy to be an effective weapon against it.

    Our own liberation, despite being thwarted to the fullest extent it can be by local quislings, cannot come a day too soon.

    • old salt
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      formula57 “Our own liberation” no chance!

  23. TR
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Don’t why you are surprised, the EU installed a continuity leader in the Tory party.

  24. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Perhaps this is a good thing for Italy – becaue this will only harden opinion against the EU. If I was Italian I would be furious with ‘The President’ and be demanding his head.
    Of course the EU doesn’t like democracy – how many times doe we have to repeat it until it gets across to all concerned… It gets in the way of their plans, which ultimately will exclude voter opinion.
    The people of Europe may have favoured a European wide political union, but I doubt any wanted a revived version of the old USSR dictating to them.

  25. Phil
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    If that’s how a member is treated who is not at this moment flying the nest, what chance have we got of any sort of a reasonable deal?
    No chance whatsoever.

    • NickC
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Phil, It is a fundamental of negotiation that if, say, Theresa May wants something from the other party (Brussels) then she will have to compromise. The only way out is to want nothing – that is, to walk away from the EU by unilaterally annulling the treaties. The only options, as always, are to remain controlled by the federal EU superstate, or get out of the EU into the world. There is no third way.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink


        no facts, no figures, just new sentimental emotions whilst negotiations are still going on, take a rest and let the steam out

        • NickC
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Hans, No facts or figures from you, just sentimental emotions. Don’t be so afraid of being out of the EU, most of the world is.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink


            Yes, that is why it works better than a WTO no deal agreement for the UK

          • NickC
            Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            Hans, By definition the WTO deal is not a “no deal”. And the WTO deal already works better for us than the EU – we sell more and it costs a darn sight less.

    • Woody
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      We have an increasing chance of no deal … and that’s a great deal.

      • Peter
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        Continuous purgatory seems a more likely scenario.

  26. sm
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    There are so many issues bound up in this latest development.

    Italy has been a country of internecine State struggles from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the Risorgimento, less than 200yrs ago. It has a very mixed history of types of government, whether Kingdoms, Duchies and Republics or the Papal States.

    Most of the state boundaries within Europe (and hence much of the EU) have been bitterly fought over and redistributed for centuries, with little or indeed absolutely no regard for the wishes of the inhabitants of the areas involved, leaving an inheritance of mutual distrust, eg the inability to fix the site of the European Parliament in Brussels.

    Many of the founders of the European Union concept believed that too much democracy (along the lines that Britain and the Scandinavian realms have become accustomed to) leads to the rise of terrifying fascist or communist dictatorships, and therefore the ‘populus’ cannot be entrusted with full electoral powers.

    Unfortunately, the EU seems to have been unable to learn the lessons of the past, other than attempting to cloak their goal of a single political entity ruled by appointees under a tissue (or should that be a heavy canvas) of lies.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Dear sm–But the appointees are experts and technocrats so that’s all right (not).

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 31, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Since the deposition of the last Roman Emperor in the west in 476,Italy in substantial parts has frequently had Germanic rulers-from the Scyrrians to the Ostrogoths to the Lombards to the Franks and ultimately the Austrians-it was only in 1918 with the conquest of the last Austrian-ruled fragments that “Italia Irridenta” was achieved and geographic Italy united under Italian rule.

  27. Cis
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Who appoints the President? Can Italian electors get him out?

  28. Anonymous
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I had a converstation with a Dutch lady at the weekend about why I voted Brexit. She raised the topic and was passively intolerant of my answers.

    As we see with Remain contributors here. Intolerance.

    • Andy
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      I understand her frustration.

      I voted Remain and have given Brexit voters the benefit of the doubt for nearly 2 years.

      In all that time all I’ve heard from the quitters is fact free ranting, a lot of abuse and no ideas.

      • NickC
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Andy, Pot, kettle, black.

  29. William Long
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Well at least it exposes the EU dictatorship for what it really is. Italy may have thought it got rid of Fascism with the end of the War; it looks as if they are going to have to do it all over again. I just hope they keep their neve in the elections that must (surely they must?) follow.

  30. Prigger
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    “The EU doesn’t like Democracy”
    Go on!

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      and coming from a country that according to the EIU is more democratic and the UK, I fundamentally dis agree, in this case DK part of the EU

      • NickC
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Hans, Denmark cannot vote out of office its top tier of government (the EU); therefore it fails the most fundamental test of democracy.

  31. Iain Moore
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    It is hard to believe our Government has managed to manufacture such a losing hand at the Brexit negotiations when the EU is in such a mess.

    In light of Italy’s troubles, I suppose it would be a bit cruel to mention that when Mrs Thatcher proposed a reserve currency for the EU, instead of the Euro, it was Mario Monti (I think) who took great pleasure in rubbishing her proposals .

    With the problems of the EU project writ large, it would be too much to hope the EU supporters here would take note, but as they haven’t when there has been all the other crisis created by the EU which has done so much damage to Europe, it would be a fair description to call them etc ed.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      A fanatic is defined as a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause, as such an appropriate description of the EU supporters who want to obstruct the referendum result and engineer our continued membership of the EU.

  32. VotedOut
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The EU has for 40 years used taxpayer’s money to bribe the European elite; MPs, media, industry etc.

    Our politicians have grown decadent in this easy life where all their decisions are directives from afar. Like the slave who gains unexpected freedom, they are terrified at the prospect of making their own decisions.

    The Italian electorate like the British before them, have not obeyed instructions. They are rebellious plebs who should take instructions not issue them. Laws will be passed in the guise of ‘anti-terror’, to suppress freedoms. The media will denounce non-conformists as ‘swivel eyed loons’ or even ‘bastards’.

    The end state that these EU elite and their fifth columnist stooges want is where there is no democracy except on local issues like what day of the week your bin gets emptied – if at all. They see a central hub of decision making and one man at the top who is appointed by a praetorian guard of commissioners who in turn are answerable to Berlin.

    An individual who colludes with a foreign power against his own nation and by extension his fellow citizens is defined as a traitor. That such treacherous actions are even considered let alone done, is a sad reflection on us. There is almost no accountability for such deeds. We Europeans have grown so weak, so used to slavery that we do not have the willingness or strength to say what is as plain as the nose on our faces.

  33. BartD
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Yes we can all be concerned about Italy but it’s economy is deeply in debt and so the president is right in calling a halt to the populists feckless agenda. A few years ago I was out in Italy and was amazed to see the number of men in their middle to late fifties strolling about and when I asked I was told they were all public service people retired on pensions..all of this nonsense will have to be challenged and just like in France that is what is happening now. When it comes down to it democracy for the people is only a veneer, and just like at home here the establishment rules- they always have had a way to thwart the public will when it suits, problem this time is Cameron went too far in giving the referendum to the people without doing his homework- he messed up- and so what’s new?

  34. Left march
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Who would have believed right in the middle of our Brexit negotiations that a major EU nation like Italy and the “Elite” in Europe would have boldly and clearly opened up the Book of Truth about the EU.

    They confirm absolutely everything we Brexiteers have informed our people about. The total lack of democracy, dictatorship,interference in every facet of nation states up to and including when they can, a direct and open refusal to accept a democratic election.

    Remoaners in our Parliament look so foolish in light of Italy.

    The Labour Party was silent a while ago by challenges to democracy in Spain even though it involved a sister leftie party of theirs. Will Corbyn remain silent on this utter flouting of basic democracy in Italy when it also involves leftists like himself. Is he going to , this time, stick up for his own European comrades that he has made such a fuss about in the recent past “showing solidarity” with them at Brussels??

    Corbyn is now on test. If he fails to criticise it he will lose his Momentum people. Even they will not be able to stomach this blatant dictatorship of the EU , surely?

  35. Original Richard
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Why would Germany want to make changes when the Euro scheme is working so well for them ?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink


    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      and for lots of EU nations as well

  36. BOF
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning John. Yes, what is happening in Italy is an attack on and an affront to democracy but we have a mirror effect here.

    We voted to leave the EU. We then had a remain PM foisted upon us who appointed a mainly remain cabinet. Other than her Mansion House speech, every action taken and everything agreed to, has been to give way to EU demands. If reports are to be believed, the civil service has failed to prepare the country to leave. Now the Chancellor is preparing the UK to be as closely aligned as possible to the EU. We have people in Government actively working against democracy.

    We are being sold out as surely as Italy and the people of the UK will be justifiably as angry as the Italians.

    For Italy to reform and make economic progress they need ditch the Euro. For UK to regain sovereignty we need to leave the EU fully. If that means No Deal, then that is best for Britain.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Including her Mansion House speech, in which she generously took on responsibility for solving whatever problems the EU may have over the Irish border …

    • A Morton
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I have just read that the UK have been invited to the Budget meeting. I also read that the EU have penciled in the UK for there next budget. Some one is taking the piss, is it May, what does she know that we don’t.

      • NickC
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        Worse, if we are involved in the next 7 year round of the MFF, we are then legally trapped into continuing to pay until it expires in 2027.

  37. forthurst
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The first duty of the President of Italy is to uphold the Euro; obviously some people mistakenly believed that his obligation was to the Italian Constitution.

    It will be interesting to see the opinion polls reported on Europe Elects as they reflect this period of extraordinary political machinations. Lega are already well ahead of their election support: will they or Berlusconi benefit from the later’s support for the President’s antics? Its definitely popcorn time for all those that loath the Brussels regime and its supporters both here and abroad.

  38. old salt
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I guess they didn’t vote the right way as with many others. UK soon next?

  39. NickC
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    One of the authors of the 1689 Bill of Rights, Sir Robert Howard, wrote this: “The Rights of the people had been confirmed by early Kings both before and after the Norman line began. Accordingly, the people have always had the same title to their liberties and properties that England’s Kings have unto their Crowns. The several Charters of the people’s rights, most particularly Magna Carta, were not grants from the King, but recognitions, by the King, of rights that have been reserved or that appertained unto us by common law and immemorial custom.”

    Although Mrs May is making a complete dog’s breakfast of Brexit, and if she has her way we will not properly Leave, at least we will not be going back to the ongoing Remain car-crash subservience of 2015. Democracy is not possible without sovereignty. Democracy – people rule – is not possible unless the people are sovereign. As the Italians are discovering; and our own Remains have yet to realise.

  40. John Finn
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure we should be too critical of this move by the Italian president. I’m just wondering whether it means the queen could veto the appointment of John McDonnell as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  41. DaveM
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    There can’t be this much smoke without fire. Your party leader and the country’s PM is an absolute disaster. With so many competent people in Parliament, how can you all let the current situation continue?

  42. E.S Tablishment
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Things are not looking good with Italian Bank stock prices taking a nosedive despite their economy “being rescued” by their General Election result smashed to bits and totally ignored by the EU. In such circumstances, paradoxically, the EU is empowered to intervene to RESTORE democracy not thwart it.
    We should leave the EU as soon as possible. No transition period at all. The further we distance ourselves from the EU economies the safer we will be. The British Parliament has a duty to make that happen irrespective of their silly Remoaner attitudes. Failure to do so by MPs will lead to trouble.

  43. Kenneth
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I think it has been a stain on our country that we have been members of this torrid “European Union” firm.

    I think many Italians may be feeling the same…

  44. E.S Tablishment
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Mr Carney (BoE Governor ) should be asked by Parliament to make provisions and plans for insulating the UK from possible contagion of Italy falling. Quick!

  45. Mark Nottingham
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    So same as the UKs political classes just our PM is a little more devious in subverting the will of the people. She has got to go along with most MPs and Civil Servants who have turned a plebiscite vote into a party political issue. The people have spoken and it is the job of all politicians both here and in Italy to comply if this does not happen then there can be no democracy only anarchy.

  46. Tad Davison
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    ‘Now the establishment intend to make it worse by seeking to thwart the will of the voters.’

    That is pretty much what is happening in the UK with Brexit. The establishment doesn’t want it and will try to stop it any underhanded way they can.

    I am ever hopeful, but not very confident, that the people will educate themselves to this subterfuge.

    With other events over the weekend and the outrageous and inappropriate application of D notices to stop journalists even reporting the facts, it is patently obvious to me that the ‘establishment’ is really just another word for ‘authoritarian’. Democracy in the UK hangs by a thread.

    Tad Davison


    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      My contribution at 7;32 a.m. is still awaiting moderation!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Tad, I think the thread will snap shortly.

  47. Mockbeggar
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Perhaps we should take a lesson from the US President and tell the EU negotiators that we are breaking off negotiations over leaving the EU and that we will leave under WTO rules after 29th March next year.
    I don’t like extreme positions as a rule, but the intransigence of Brussels has led me to this conclusion.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I am quite sure that businesses in the EU wish to continue trading with the UK (as explained in previous posts by more knowledgeable contributors than I am) and that they would prefer to know that they will be obliged to trade under WTO rules than have all this uncertainty about what may or may not happen.

  48. Mitchel
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I was watching a timely interview with former Italian PM Matteo Renzi yesterday (RT’s Sophie & Co) where he was suggesting that he was waiting for a grateful public to recall him to office.

    Out of bemusement or mischief,Sophie Shevarnadze suggested “like Churchill?” (in his wilderness years).

  49. Juiliet
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Correct. Democracy is not in the EU vocabulary. They want to acquire European countries weaken them and form a state.
    EU is a cult

    • Adam
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      If the EU is a cult, Juiliet, we don’t need a Negotiator, we need a Brexorcist!

  50. Colin Hart
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Nothing about either Italian politics or the EU’s behaviour towards its satraps should take anyone’s breath away.

  51. politico
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    At 11.08 Hours today 29th May 2018 it looks like the new unelected leader of Italy Carlo Cottarelli is going to elect himself also as Finance Minister. Perhaps he will elect himself be Foreign Secretary, Minister of Health, Minister of Funny Walks, Minister of Defence?
    Can’t remoaner MPs in our Parliament not show their faces for some time at Westminster? It’s one thing to get it wrong as a MP. It’s another thing to be exposed as a complete dumpling. They should not have anything to say about Brexit again. Fools!

  52. Christine
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    What a sad week for democracy and freedom of speech. Europe is becoming more like the USSR with people being thwarted at the ballot box and imprisoned because they dare to speak their views. This is not going to end well.

    • A Beauty
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Very un-pc to quote Putin, but he got it right when he said he was confused why Europe created the EU which is a recreation of the USSR when the latter failed so terribly.

  53. Barry Hughes
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Another day in the EU and all perfectly normal.

  54. ferdinand
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Did you expect anything else from an EU enthusiastic President? Interesting to see a possible impeachment charge but I can’t see that sticking with a europhile judiciary.

  55. Sticking plaster
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    “Jeremy Hunt launches independent inquiry into 15 per cent gender pay gap for NHS doctors”
    Of course it is good science to do umpteen “control experiments” ( or control inquiries ) That is, investigate , not flippantly,whether there is a percentage difference in pay between doctors who drive red cars and white car, of those with dark hair or light hair, of those who wear say brown coats and not ( in comformity with such an arguments presented by Edward de Bono,physician, psychologist, philosopher, author, inventor and consultant. He originated the term lateral thinking )

  56. Jacey
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    It is a cause for deep concern when the Italian President feels able to dispense with 2 elected parties who between them received a substantial majority of the votes and were ready to form a coalition government and then replace them with……. with who ? A group of ” technocrats ” . In the dubious tradition of the EU the voters who voted the wrong way will be asked to vote again. This time however when the Italian people go to the polls again as it seems inevitable that they will they may not be so compliant.
    Has a fuse been lit ?

  57. graham1946
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    ‘The establishment intend to thwart the will of the voters.’

    As Mrs May said to Corbyn in one PMQ’s ‘Remind you of anyone?

    Didn’t the EU impose technocrats in either Greece or Italy once before? How did that go?

    Italy is a shambles, always has been with 60 odd governments since the war. The people deserve better and should be looking to a good future, but the elites always thwart it and manage to get defeat from the jaws of victory. They don’t need bailouts which is what was imposed on Greece. They have good industries and are the third largest economy in the EU. What can they do but keep voting, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. They need to come out of the Euro, but won’t. Their elites are even worse than ours with their own agendas and corruption.

  58. rose
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    For the first time in a long time North and South have come together with one aim – and they are torpedoed by the forces of anti democracy. Very shocking too is the way the MSM here, especially the BBC, are presenting the coup d’etat. We have here the corporatist equivalent of the Soviet tanks rolling into Budapest and the BBC louts sneer at what they call Italian chaos. There was no chaos. The duly elected parties had come together with a programme and a government, in a shorter time than Germany or Holland took to form their administrations – and the EU stooge of a president vetoed it, and instead parachuted in an IMF economist wedded to the EU and the Euro to be the PM. Now they are forming his administration. The Italians did not vote for this. Presumably the elections they are talking of will be postponed and the President will say now is not the time…

  59. ChrisS
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    A perfect example of everything that is wrong with the EU.

    The Italian President may well be acting within his remit ( although the parties are expressing some doubts over this ), but he is certainly acting directly against the democratic will of the people as expressed in the general election, less than three months ago.

    Mr Mattarella has said he acted because it had already taken too long to form a government, yet Merkel took longer than 86 days to re-establish her Grand Coalition.

    The President’s nomination for PM is unlikely to get the support of either house of parliament as the Lega and Five Star have a majority in both. So why did he even bother, one wonders ? There can be little doubt that Mr Mattarella’s actions have been bolstered by increasingly acrimonious phone conversations between Brussels, Berlin and Rome.

    On more than one occasion Juncker has openly expressed his distaste for democracy and this move in Italy has all the hallmarks of another Brussels attempt to subvert democracy in a member state in order to prop up the Euro.

    In this case, it will only make matters worse because the Brussels elite simply don’t comprehend the degree of dissatisfaction they have caused, nor do they understand that, far from knuckling under, Italian voters are likely to vote in even higher numbers for the two Eurosceptic parties.

    If his proposed puppet Government falls at the first hurdle and new elections are called for August, would the Italian President dare try to usurp the will of the electorate and again try to impose a government favourably inclined towards Brussels ? I doubt it.

    No matter how much the Euro-fanatics have tried to keep the march towards a single European state on track, I have always been certain that the electorate were going to win in the end.

    If, as seems very likely, new elections strengthen the hand of The Lega and Five Star, Mr Mattarella will have no choice but to tell Merkel and Juncker that the game is up.

    Not just for the Italian Establishment but for Brussels and the Euro itself.

    Better for this to happen sooner rather than allow the flawed currency to limp along for another few years until the next crisis.

  60. NorthbyEast
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The president was quite right to vetoe the appointment of a minister whose stated intention is to bring back the Lira loosen the purse strings and turn the Italian economy on it’s head. If the Italian economy in all it’s sectors was in a good position I would say yes let them have a refèrendum on anything they like but the economy is in such poor shape and so in this case the president, who I believe is an Italian constitutional expert, was quite right in acting as he did. Italy is otherwise a large economy and anything untoward happening to it’s banking and financials could have huge knock on effects to other countries in the region and beyond. The bottom line is that populist ignorant type politicals just cannot always be allowed to do as they please..and here I havn’t even mentioned the demrocacy word yet

    • forthurst
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      What do you think would have happened here if the thieving banksters had wrecked the banking system as they did in 2008 and we had been in the eurozone? The pound responded by a precipitous exchange rate decline without which our economy would not have recovered. What about the Pound Euro exchange rate since Gordon Brown vetoed our membership during which time it has declined substantially? Had we been locked in the Euro, how would our economy have faired? The Italians have been locked in this economic straightjacket all along. People who blather on about populist politicians need to experience for themselves the economic sabotage inflicted on southern Europe since this euro experiment was inflicted on them.

    • Hope
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      You are so wrong on every front it would take too long to educate you.

    • rose
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      You couldn’t get much more ignorance and irresponsibility than shown by the politicals who set up the EU and the euro.

  61. Drachma
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Why are you so concerned about Italy..the Euro and the Eu..we are leaving so best to just concentrate on house building and water delivery

    • NickC
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Drachma, Well, having a modern European country’s democracy overthrown by Quislings to the EU may be run-of-the-mill to you, but it is rather remarkable to me, even given the EU’s well known horror of democracy. In any case according to Remains the EU is so overwhelmingly important to us that we ought to give up our independence merely to trade with it.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        You are now getting sentimental on the so-called Remainers behalf that is very big of you

        • NickC
          Posted May 30, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Hans, No, I’m not. The EU isn’t Europe.

    • old salt
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Drachma – “we are leaving” are we really? When and how?

  62. Rien Huizer
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I am sure the EU (the North-western core) could exist very well without Italy, especially given the type of politics there. There would be some financial pain but that was expected anyway also in the case of this coalition. Why?
    Step one, imagine a man who is famous for his extremely offensive views re Germany representing Italy in the Euro-committee. Step 2 imagine the market response to that sort of government playing with rather dangerous concepts like “writing down” Italian debt on the books of the ECB. That would be a default, would make Italian state debt instantly ineligible for normal market operations. Eevn before Brussels could issue warnings etc the markets would force a sovereign default and Italy would be forced to leave the Union, more or less. No one familiar with the business community in Northern Italy (the bedrock of Lega support) wants a financial crisis or lack of access to EU facilities. The lalk is two thirds theatre and one third rivalry over access to spoils.

    So, it is not too bad that the Italian president uses his constitutional powers to avoid this scenario. However, this may not be enough. Fortunately, the next elections will be under new, better rules and Berlusconi will be freer to get involved. Not that everyone likes him, but at least the business community understands him. Lega plus Berlusconi’s group should be able to prevent five star influence and then Lega could tone down the rhetoric a little and do what its core supporters want it do do, govern responsibly.

    Meanwhile Mr Trump and his sponsors must be very angry because the populism that they cherish turns out to be a two-edged sword: it does not kill the EU (may hurt the pride of some bureaucrats but that is not the EU, the EU is a utilitarian association of like minded states for mainly economic purposes) in fact strengthens the position of the core members and it depresses the EUR exchange rate vs the USD. It also plays into the hands of those who do not believe in a “project”. All in all, a reasonable innings I would say.

    • ChrisS
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Rien, have you any idea what would happen if the sick economies of ClubMed left the Euro (I include France here, as well as Italy ) ?

      The value of the Euro would soar by at least 30%, maybe as much as 60% against those currencies. Other Northern European States like the Netherlands and Finland would jump ship immediately because they would know that their export markets would be killed at a stroke by the new exchange rate. That would leave Germany on its own and a German-only Euro would climb even higher.

      It would be incredibly painful for a few years and cause a widespread recession in Germany. In the end, a more appropriate balance would be restored in European trade. A return to national currencies would ensure that the old checks and balances inherent in the exchange rate system would be restored, removing all the tensions created by the catastophically flawed Euro.

      Good for the unemployed all around the Med and for London : all the new currencies re-created would mean a huge increase in currency trading.
      With the strong move to electronic payments systems over the last decade, trade and tourism would be hardly effected.

      There is simply no need for the Euro :

      We now travel all over Europe by car, hardly ever using cash. A fee-free, contactless credit card which gives near-wholesale market rates, enables us to buy anything from a cup of coffee upwards without cash.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted May 31, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Leaving the EUR would not help Italy of course because it would still have to pay its debt in EUR or default and become a pariah state. Likewise, Finland and especially Holland are integrated in the EUR (you might say: German) economy. Besides no one in those countries seriously believes in that option. So, yes, the Italians could commit suicide at the hand of the financial markets or try to blackmail the rest of the EUR zone with a default. I am sure (and many knowledgeable Italians) that the Markets would kill Italy before the politicians could even issue a formal notice. Also: Lega Nord is not an irresponsible movement like 5*. It is allied with the European Chtitian Democrats and its members are mainly business people from the North. So Italy’s priority is ti deal with voter frustration, especially with their domestic policies. Try a bus ride in Rome. The EU has nothing to do with Italy’s problems, but is an easy scapegoat. Political charlatans love to use that. Sounds familiar?

  63. hefner
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Although the present Italian events are beyond belief, it should also be recognized that together Lega and M5S promised: end of austerity, flat tax, €780/month as citizen income, lowering retirement age, fight against corruption, partnership with Russia.
    I am just wondering how the coalition if it ever gets to power will be able to fulfill these promises, whether in or out of the Euro or the EU.

  64. Alan Joyce
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Elections in the EU are taking the same path as referendums. If they do not produce the answer that the Euro-Elite want in order to preserve the project then they must be re-run.

    As for allies deep within the Italian establishment it is obvious there are plenty such people here in the UK – in the very highest echelons of power.

    Alan Joyce

  65. Blue and Gold
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    The UK doesn’t like Democracy, either. Take a look at our disgraceful voting system, unelected head of state, unelected House of Lords.

    Please stop insulting the intelligence of citizens of the Dis-United Kingdom.

    Just because poll after poll is showing that the majority of voters do not now wish to leave the EU, is not a reason to EU bash at every opportunity, when being a member of said organisation is what has made this country very wealthy.

    Reply Polls show no such thing and the EU did not make us wealthy. Our growth rate in it has been a bit slower than our growth rate before we joined

    • Richard1
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      The behaviour of the House of Lords in trying to frustrate the referendum probably signals its end, at least in its current form. There remains strong support for the monarchy, a symbol of the independence of the U.K.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Sadly, I doubt it, when the solution proposed for the current situation in the HoL by a certain leading Leave MP is not reform of the whole Westminster system to make it democratic, but to stuff the HoL with 200 more members at a cost to the rest of us of £60,000 per day, plus expenses and subsidies.

    • NickC
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      The next time the unelected head of state or the unelected House of Lords prevents a popular vote being implemented you might have a point . . . . . oh, wait . . . . .

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Our voting system is not at all disgraceful.
      Anyone seeking election to parliament has to earn his/her seat by coming first in a constituency vote. No prizes for coming second.
      Exactly how it should be.

    • Blue and Gold
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      You have clearly have been extremely selective in your viewing of polls…..

      This country HAS done very well by being in the EU.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed more government, more regulation and more taxation always gives lower growth. We have far too much, both in the UK and then from the EU too. It grows like a parasitic tape worm year by year sucking the energy out of the productive. While delivering little of much value.

  66. Timaction
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    This will end badly and will be the EU and it’s quislings in Italy who are wholly responsible. The same will happen here unless the Government delivers Brexit. Not any softer version. Completely out as we debated adinfinitum!!!

  67. Bob
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink


  68. Peter Cartwright
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    The Italian crisis is of more fundamental importance than Brexit to the EU. The UK was already “semi-detached” by not joining the Euro but Italy is a founding EU member and among the Euro starters. It is also a net contributor to the EU budget, I believe (happy to be corrected). This could split the Euro in two – a “hard” Euro in the North and a “soft” Euro in the South, putting a spoke in the wheel of German hegemony.

  69. Mike Wilson
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    What gives in Italy? They have an election and a ‘president’ can veto cabinet appointments? Why bother pretending they have a democracy.

  70. Stephen Berry
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the events in Italy are remarkable, even by Italian standards. It’s as if the queen had been presented with a proposed government of two of the most successful parties at a recent UK election, said she did not like their proposed Chancellor of the Exchequer, and promptly recommended a government being formed which next to no one had voted for. What a stink that would rightly cause.

    In one sense it’s remarkable, but in another it is not. As the EU’s view on Europe diverges more and more from what the peoples of Europe actually want, we can expect more of this as Brussels attempts to manipulate the internal politics of its member nations. Short term it may paper over some cracks, but long term ‘the Italian Job’ will damage the EU both in and outside Italy.

  71. Ed Mahony
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but i think this is really important: the media are reporting ‘senior female Conservative MPs’ are putting pressure on Mrs May to liberalise abortion in N. Ireland. Can i just point out:

    1. More women oppose abortion than men in the UK (UKPollingReport back in 2012) – so this not the feminist issue some senior female Conservatives might think it is.

    2. Surely it’s for the people of N. Ireland to decide about liberalising abortion in N. Ireland or not.

    3. The moral argument is which is the greatest of two evils: 1. stress / truama pregnant women go through 2. the killing of the unborn. Essentially, the moral argument boils down to this – and whether the life in the womb is human or not.

    4. Conservatives of the past would be turning in their graves if they saw how we’ve introduced abortion in the rest of the UK, as well as gay marriage, and undermining the family in general. Every child has the right to life. And to be looked after by a Mum + Dad. This is England – for hundreds of years. Only in recent decades and in pagan Rome, did people kill the unborn, and other social violations.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I agree.
      Perhaps NI can become a UK haven for women who’ve had a termination to seek psychiatric help, as the horror of having killed their own baby gnaws at them for decades to come.
      The medical establishment in the UK is in denial that they should have any consequential mental illness.

      Abortion is a tragedy, and nothing to be celebrated.

      • sm
        Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        That is a foolish comment, Mr Andrews. I have known many women who have had abortions and none have had consequential mental illnesses.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      I see devolution is fine for these progressives until it doesn’t work for them, then some colonial imposition is just as good.

    • Andy
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      I agree.

      The people of Northern Ireland should decide about abortion (and gay marriage).

      And, in the absence of functioning local democracy, the people should choose in a referendum.

      The DUP has made clear that it is not prepared for Northern Ireland to be treated differently to the rest of the UK in Brexit talks.

      We should make it clear to the DUP that, in return, Northern Ireland will not be treated differently in terms of social rights

      If the medieval Unionist dinosaurs want to be like the rest of the UK then we need to drag them kicking and screaming into the new century.

      And, in the not too distant future, we will.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        And if in that referendum the people of Northern Ireland choose not to alter their current laws would you respect that decision?

        It is a devolved matter.

    • Norman
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear Ed and Dave. I’m’ just sickened the way our senior politicians rushed to congratulate this move, and to put pressure on NI in its wake. Feminism? A very warped and perverse form of it, I’d say!

      • rose
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        How many baby girls have been aborted for being female?

  72. getahead
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Establishment versus the proles again John. It’s becoming too familiar.

  73. NorthbyEast
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand this has to be good news for us because despite what the May government might intend to propose for a deal the EU brussels crowd will surely cast us adrift now at the first opportunity..they are not going to want to fight a crisis on two they may decide to deal with the UK in quick fashion and then stare the Italians down..ok for us..not so good for the Italians

  74. Dennis Zoff
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink


    Earlier today a tweet from the German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, which quoted an EU Commissioner on the Italian crisis.

    As reported by Deutsche Welle’s Europe correspondent Bernd Thomas Riegert: “Quote from EU Commissioner – Günther Hermann Oettinger: “The markets will teach the Italians to vote for the right thing”. Oettinger is a German politician and a member of the Christian Democratic Union.

    Brussels/Germany are not even trying to hide the truth, they are so cocksure of themselves. Their arrogance beggars belief!

    Source: Deutsche Wella and Facts4EU

  75. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Italy should not have been permitted to join the euro, but having done so it cannot now revert to issuing its own national currency without leaving the EU altogether.

    The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte proposed that the EU treaties should be changed so that a country could leave the eurozone without having to leave the EU, but the Empress Angela slapped him down on the basis that eventually all EU member states must join the euro and therefore no going back can ever be allowed.

    Back in 2010 David Cameron had an excellent opportunity to push for that treaty change among other EU reforms but he chose not to do so, while the obsession of his Chancellor George Osborne was that the eurozone countries should “get a grip” and push ahead to form a strong federation, which of course would then be ready and waiting for us to join as he and other senior Tories really wanted but would never openly admit.

    There was a brief retrospective here in March 2015, during a previous eurozone episode, that one involving Greece:

    “I could refer back to numerous relevant comments that JR has been generous enough to allow me to post here over the past years but I will limit it to just five, starting with one on December 12th 2010 here … “

  76. nigel seymour
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    The EU unelected elite and bureaucrats like very little except when it’s in their own interests. Let’s hope our parliament and/or TM don’t veto Brexit, although anything is possible given the political climate in the EU. I would like to know who our real friends are in the 27, if indeed we have any!! Anyway, RIGA brisling sardines selling in Sainsburys from Latvia are indeed excellent…

  77. Brit
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Soros is said to have said “Europe is in existential crisis” To ordinary mortals that reads “the EU is in crisis ” or simplier still, “The EU” and in the superior Indian variety of English “EU”

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 30, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink


      For the avoidance of doubt……

      Soros said “EU is in “existential crisis”

  78. Chewy
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    It does seem to follow a regular pattern, which we can also see being carried out here. The tighter these establishment pro EU politicians grip the more likely countries will slip through their fingers. It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to work out that such a move will stoke resentment including from the electorate who didn’t vote for 5 star and Lega. They should have a bigger majority in the next election.

    • old salt
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Just like Ireland didn’t!

  79. George Brooks
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    If we don’t get a clean Brexit that is where we could end up in 10 to 20 years time. We have a nasty undercurrent amongst the remainers who have a similar aim to destroy democracy in this country

    The Lords had a ‘dry run’ at this during their debate on the ”Withdraw Bill” and fortunately it should not get very far. However this house of unelected members needs to be put back in its place before it is too late.

  80. zorro
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Indeed, could you imagine there being a vote in the UK in favour of Brexit and then the governing party votes in a remainer as PM who wants to stay wedded to the EU. That would surely never happen. It’s not as if the UK would not respect the largest ever vote for anything!!


    • Timaction
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Then that Prime Minister allows her own party members to travel and meet with the opposing negotiator to brief him on how best to harm Britain’s post EU economy, without sanction. Then that Prime Minister agrees £100 billion in gratis payments and assets for nothing in return. Agrees a 2 year extension where nothing changes, allows unfettered mass migration to continue and promises chain migration for those from the EU, forever. Payments and free public services, pensions, social care and benefits to be sent abroad, even if the children aren’t born yet or family not arrived yet. Oh, and as a backstop, lets give away Northern Ireland as a backstop whilst the EU will never agree any IT solution. Whilst about it, allow unfettered access to British waters for no return? Just couldn’t happen could it????

  81. Edwardm
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    The contempt that the EU and its supporters show to democracy when the result is not to their liking would be contemptible if it weren’t so serious in the EU’s pursuit of power over European peoples.
    Yet Mrs May and many of our MPs demonstrate a craven desire to turn us into supplicants and obtain the worst Brexit deal possible for us. Surely it is obvious that the EU is an organisation we need to be completely separate from.
    When is the Conservative party going to remove Mrs May, and when are the local parties going to remove remoaner MPs as candidates ?
    Let’s hope the Italians arrive at their desired destination quicker than we are.

    • Andy
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

      So your claim to support democracy is supported by a call to remove anyone who disagrees with you?

      Is it North Korean style democracy that you advocate?

      • NickC
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Andy, That’s what you advocate.

      • Edwardm
        Posted May 30, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Let me explain. There was a national vote to leave the EU. Instead of putting the result into effect, the government and parliament are obfuscating the issue.
        My hope is that there are sufficient Conservative MPs who respect the will of the electorate and who will consequently choose to vote to install a leader in tune with majority public and conservative opinion as expressed in the referendum (restoration of full sovereignty and leaving the single market and the customs union). Similarly for local parties.

        As one can see in Italy, those who deny the popular will push opinion further from themselves.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted May 29, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Don’t hold your breath, as they say. The most important thing to the Tories is the preservation of the party. It comes above everything. The nation can go to the dogs and Mrs May can go on her visits to Europe to pleasure the EU leadership, the people can go hang. Its MP’s who claim to believe in freedom of expression suppress it. Hypocrisy rules.

      The Tory party is the biggest threat to our freedom and our nation than anything else, especially under this leadership.

  82. A Beauty
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Mrs Sturgeon at Brussels recently was banking on Italy’s economic plan as a blueprint for Scotland. She probably still is.

  83. old salt
    Posted May 29, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    As our economy is heavily reliant on the financial sector dare I suggest one peruses Italian bond spreads.

    Could we withstand another financial crisis considering our loans to other financial institutions and exposure to foreign debt bearing in mind Italy is, currently, another major net contributor to the EU.

    Compare any possible default to Greece, Lehman Brothers, and the Asian financial crisis.

    The EU will do whatever it needs to survive and will never let us Leave, they can’t afford to, not forgetting the pending 40bn leaving charge for starters, with many integrated institutions and defence etc well on the way for some time. Dare I mention Galileo (GNSS). The EU have us in a stranglehold. So much will be thrown at the next GE/Referendum, assisted by other financial backers, by the time to be sure of success.

  84. rick hamilton
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Was it Monnet or another of the ‘founding fathers’ of the EU who said that the people would never vote for a European federal state ? In which case they had to be conned into it by the stealthy march of bureaucracy which would ignore their wishes. That’s exactly what we see happening and we are well out of it.

    Remainers have never faced up to the fact that the EU is a political project designed to subvert democracy and an elite club for politicians and bureaucrats. They whine about lost trade after Brexit, but trade will continue and businesses will adjust to whatever the final conditions are, because that”s what international traders have always done. Believe it or not, business managers know more about exports and imports than civil servants !

  85. mancunius
    Posted May 30, 2018 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    The view is gaining ground that Soros and above all his money will succeed in persuading the Westminster MPs and Lords to mount a referendum to decide between the terrible and humiliating ‘deal’ that the EU will offer the UK, and…not no deal, but not leaving the EU.
    It works like this: Parliament votes for a referendum. The result is that the people reject the deal. A subsequent vote in Parliament demands we stay in the EU and rescind Art. 50. The PM (supported by most Labour MPs) then says the referendum was only yes or no to the deal, and requests Brussels to arrange to remain in the single market, customs union, tutti frutti.
    Miraculously the EU Council of Ministers is suddenly unanimous that the UK can just carry on as it is – with enhanced annual contributions, no rebate, ad hoc top-ups as demanded, commitment to the European Defence force and budget, preparation to join the euro, etc.
    But no say whatsoever in EU policy.
    Such a scenario seems perfectly plausible.

  86. APL
    Posted June 1, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    JR: “The EU doesn’t like democracy”.

    Here is a sincere question for you Mr Redwood.

    Can you have a democracy without free speech?

    Reply No, but nor can a democracy thrive if any amount of hate speech is allowed

    • APL
      Posted June 1, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      JR: “No …”

      Which is what I’d hoped you would say.

      JR: “But …”

      Which is what I’d expected you to say.

      Now that you’ve admitted you don’t like free speech nor democracy. What sort of Police state are you hoping to achieve in the United Kingdom?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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