Great Britain vs the European Union – The Troubles

 

This continues the post on the history of this unhappy union from yesterday –

Great Britain vs the European Union … The Background

 

by Mustang   (Our man on the beat in the UK)

 

Germany was happy to partner with France, either owing to its guilt about World War II, or its ability to game Charles De Gaulle for their own purposes.  Whatever the reasons, the EEC finally did extend the hand of friendship to the UK, and in 1973 British Prime Minister Edward Heath was happy to lead his people down the road of romantic idealism.

 

But, if there were differences of opinion among EEC members, it was nothing compared to differences among British people themselves.  On the one hand, pro-European Brits championed this notion of hands across the channel —though giving no thought to the long-term costs of such an arrangement, and on the other hand, anti-union Brits feared the loss of their national sovereignty.  Their (reasonable) fear of high taxation without adequate representation (in what would become the EU Parliament) was, as history shows us, well-founded.  Thoughtful Americans might recall a similar refrain from the days of the British colonies in 1774.

Nevertheless, conservative leaders led the UK into the EEC in 1975 when membership was put to the British people in a national referendum.  At that time, EEC membership enjoyed the support of all three political parties, all of the national newspapers, and 67% of the British people.  The debate was far from over, however, because membership offered no immediate economic benefit to Great Britain.

The UK was plagued with labor strikes, which required the government to cut power from its coal-dependent energy grid, and faced rising oil prices that resulted in double-digit inflation.  Membership in the EEC (soon called simply the European Community (EC) (headquartered in Brussels), not only became a toxic issue in British politics, it also created deep divisions within the political parties themselves.

One college professor observed, “Some might argue that the fundamental conflict in post-war Britain is not so much between the left and right, as between those who believe that Britain’s future lies with Europe, and those who believe it does not.

By 1984, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recognized that Great Britain received much less in agricultural subsidies than did France.  She successfully negotiated a rebate on its EC contributions.

The 1980s was a period of power struggle between London and Brussels, when French socialist Jacques Delors became president of the EC.  His goal was to achieve a more federalized Europe and a single currency.  Thatcher, in rejecting the European super-state, was uncompromising —even though these positions fueled conservative inter-party warfare.

Eventually, Thatcher’s unwillingness to compromise national principles led to her political downfall.

In September 1992, Great Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Norman Lamont, withdrew the UK from the Exchange Rate Mechanism.  To some, “Black Wednesday” became one of the lowest points in Britain’s relationship with the European Union.  Although Thatcher was unable to stop Europe’s march toward political union, her successor, John Major did sign the Maastricht Treaty.  This treaty allowed for a massive transfer of power from Britain to the European Union.

The British did achieve “opt-outs” from the single currency mandate and European Social Charter, but the treaty undermined the British tradition of an sacrosanct sovereign parliament.  The British people were not happy, and this led to a landslide victory for Tony Blair in 1997.  Among the Brits, the greatest enemy of the UK resided within both political parties.  Blair signed his country up to the social chapter, which made the communist left happy, and conservative minded citizens wary of being eventually forced to accept the Euro as their nation’s currency.

In 1998, however, the British economy was doing well; there was no reason for any thinking Brit to support adoption of the Euro.  The plan to accept the Euro was placed on hold and, in time, the British people were proved right to distrust it.  The Euro Crisis put to rest any prospect of the British adopting the single currency rule, and, what’s more, fueled a sense of Euroscepticism that permeated both the conservative party and most British citizens.

Late in 2011, EU leaders attempted to establish new budget rules.  Prime Minister David Cameron demanded exemptions, and when he did not get them, he vetoed the pact.  His critics claimed that Cameron cut his country adrift from the EU, but the Eurosceptics were delighted —and wanted more of the same.

Accordingly, Cameron promised a referendum on continued British membership in the European Union.  Personally, Cameron wanted the UK to remain in the EU and when the British people (by a small margin) demanded withdrawal … Cameron resigned.  It then fell upon the shoulders of Prime Minister Theresa May to figure out how to do it.

Pro-British factions today blame the EU for everything that is found wrong with domestic policies.  This is probably unfair.  Most of what is wrong within the Home Office results from self-serving politicians who —much like our own— are only capable of operating on two cylinders.  Also —like ourselves— the British people are quite easily led by their politicians.

In the 1970s, they followed their political pied-piper down the road to Shangri-La —the land of tariff-free, cross border, social justice happiness.  All that the British people really needed to do to achieve utopia is pay ever-increasing taxes for services enjoyed by the citizens of other countries.  In Spain, for example, extra-wide sidewalks have been divided into three lanes: one for pedestrians, one for bicyclists, and the other reserved for humans pushing baby carriages.

Did the British people understand that their tax dollars were funding such nonsense, or that under EU regulations, Europeans rather than the British would decide who is allowed to migrate to the United Kingdom?

I doubt it. 

Nor did British politicians ever admit to their constituents that a federalized Europe would make culturally incompatible demands upon the insular nature of the British people.  In this, De Gaulle was right —and it does make perfect sense that the European Union should offer legislation that suits the majority of its members, and/or that hardly any of these directly benefit the British people, even though they’re paying for them.

 

Conclusion

 

Brexit won’t be done with for many more years.  The British people were right to demand disentanglement from European politics, and I think that the United Kingdom will, in time, benefit from separation.  It won’t be an easy road, however —most divorces never are— but at least the British will have learned an important lesson: one cannot trust politicians further than you can toss them, and it doesn’t even matte what political party they belong to.  One day we Americans might learn this lesson, as well.

 

Mustang has other great reads over at his two blogs – Thoughts from Afar

with Old West Tales and Fix Bayonets

Great Britain vs the European Union … The Background

 

 

UK vs. EU … The Background

by Mustang   (Our man on the beat in the UK)

 

 

Coat of arms of the House of Mountbatten

The entire history of Great Britain is one involving conflict.  First among the early British tribes, and then with its many invaders, which history suggests began with Celts long before the Romans in 55 BC, and then continued with Germanic tribes, Vikings, Normans, the French, various combinations or alliances of these, and that all of these ended up becoming British.  The official language of the British sovereign was, for much of this history, either French or German.

Today’s royal family name is Mountbatten-Windsor, a derivative of two traditions: Battenberg, from Princess Alice of Battenberg, wife of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who were the parents of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Windsor, which is the name of the royal dynasty established in 1917.

Coat of arms of the Duke of Edinburgh

Despite the roots of the royal family, hostilities have clouded Britain’s view of Europe throughout its long history, and there is little doubt that this favor has been returned in full measure by Europeans.  In modern politics, French and German interests appear to go out of their way to block British intentions at every turn.

Resentment, perhaps?  In World War II, Britain stood alone as the British people faced an overwhelming Nazi war machine and would not succumb.  This singular event, particularly following World War I, may have led to the British to conclude that the United Kingdom is its own best friend —that if anyone can be relied upon as an ally, it must be the United States of America.

The face-off between the United Kingdom and Europe continues.  Is this because Britain is an island nation, one that has over so many years developed an arms-length attitude toward Europe?  Given the amount of European tourism that originates in Great Britain, and the number of British citizens who now live in Europe (estimated at 1.5 million), the answer is probably not entirely.  But I do think the British enjoy their relative isolation and that most British do not wish to have close ties with the Europeans.  Maybe this attitude results from the days of the British Empire, when the British dictated the terms of relationships rather than considering the directives of others.

In any case, the British and most of Europe faced devastating rebuilding challenges after 1945.

European Coal and Steel Community Map 1952

The formation of the European Union had at its beginnings a desire to bind European nations so tightly together that another world war would be unlikely.  Then Prime Minister Winston Churchill agreed with this thinking.  He proposed for Europe “a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety, and in freedom … a kind of United States of Europe.”  The first step toward this goal was in the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, formed in 1951.  Although invited to join the six-member founding nations, Great Britain declined.

 

A few years later, under the financial stagnation of Harold Macmillan’s government, Britain’s parliament recognized that both France and Germany were experiencing the beginning of a strong post-war economy and had formed a strong political alliance.  Great Britain wanted in.  French President Charles De Gaulle vetoed two British applications for membership —De Gaulle having accused the British of having an abiding hostility toward Europe.  He must have forgotten the substantial contributions the British made to European liberty in two world wars.

Bonn- Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle

De Gaulle also did not like the fact that the British and Americans had formed a close relationship.  In any case, even if the British had selfish motivations for joining the EEC, this was the entire purpose of the EEC to begin with … which is to say, gaining mutual benefits from an economic alliance.  Besides, while true that the British and Europeans were at each other’s throats over a period of several hundred years, the British and Europeans have also found opportunities for political and economic agreement.

It would be an understatement to suggest that Charles De Gaulle was no friend of the British.  Among several foundations for his apparent animosity, he claimed that during his exile to England during World War II, the British treated him shabbily.  At a press conference in 1969, De Gaulle said:

 

 

England in effect is insular, she is maritime, she is linked through her exchanges, her markets, her supply lines to the most diverse and often the most distant countries; she pursues essentially industrial and commercial activities, and only slight agricultural ones.  She has in her doings very marked and very original habits and traditions.  The question is, whether Great Britain can now place herself like the Continent and with it inside a tariff which is genuinely common, to renounce all Commonwealth preferences, to cease any pretense that her agriculture be privileged, and, more than that, to treat her engagements with other countries of the free trade area as null and void —that question is the whole question.”

 

Even though the British Commonwealth today isn’t what it was in 1969, De Gaulle’s attitude toward Britain prevails today within the European Community.  Thus, we able to see that even at the start of this relationship, the UK-EU were always going to have a rocky relationship.  In trying to understand the foundations for these difficulties, we must recognize that France (embarrassed as it should be over the loss of its Empire and dismal defense of its own country during World War II), found new opportunities for leadership (or what passes for leadership in France) within the European Economic Community.

Germany was happy to partner with France, either owing to its guilt about World War II, or its ability to game Charles De Gaulle for their own purposes.  Whatever the reasons, the EEC finally did extend the hand of friendship to the UK, and in 1973 British Prime Minister Edward Heath was happy to lead his people down the road of romantic idealism.

This concludes Part One. The conclusion tomorrow.

Mustang has other great reads over at his two blogs – Thoughts from Afar

with Old West Tales and Fix Bayonets

 


French Conservative Le Pen is mightier than the Sword!

 

Think this can’t happen here? The trial balloons have already been set loose regarding Trump’s mental fitness and the use of 25th amendment. Let’s take a look at how the Conservatives are doing over in France regarding this issue.

They must be afraid Le Pen will run for President again, and win this time.

By Mustang

I’m not sure that many people in the USA care all that much about European politics —and perhaps even less about politics in France, and yet what is happening in France today is uncannily similar to the antics of the American left.  Activities, by the way, that seem to demonstrate that the leftist movement is indeed one of global proportions.  I would not be surprised to learn that the founder and financier of the so-called Open Society Foundation has a hand in the anti-Democratic/anti-Republican shenanigans unfolding in France today.

Marine Le Pen is a French politician and lawyer who serves as President of the National Rally Party (formerly known as the National Front).  She is a member of the French National Assembly and the youngest daughter of the founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen.  She additionally serves as a regional councilor and a member of the European Parliament.  In 2012, she placed third in France’s contest for the presidency, and in 2017 she placed second in the first round of elections.  In certain American publications, Le Pen is regarded as among the world’s most influential people (2011, 2015, 2016) and ranked in Politico as the second-most influential member of the European Parliament.

Marine Le Pen may be described in several ways, but she is unmistakably pro-French.  She received extensive media attention during her run for the presidency in 2010 when, during a speech at Lyon, she compared the blocking of public streets and squares within French cities, in order to accommodate Moslem prayer, with the Nazi occupation of France during World War II.  She said, “For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it’s about occupation, then we could also talk about Muslim prayers in the streets, because that is occupation of territory.  It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply.  There are, of course, no tanks, there are no soldiers, but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents.”

Naturally, the media did flip-flops and the Moslem’s who have come to believe that they are allowed to do anything they wish —because they are Moslems — rioted.  Apparently, Le Pen is made of sand; she doesn’t care what Moslems think —or the press either, for that matter.  She speaks directly to the French people.  It is my belief that Le Pen wants to regain large swathes of French territory lost to the Moslem horde and it will be interesting to see whether she will eventually make it to the presidency.

It will be a rough road.  In 2015, the French government instituted an investigation for “distributing violent images.”  The images she publicized were pictures of the murder of American journalist James Foley —which came only a few weeks after jihadists murdered 130 people in Paris attacks (November 2015).  Ah, but as a member of parliament, Le Pen has immunity from prosecution.  No matter … her immunity was lifted in order for her to face trial for posting images that her political enemies claim will “incite terrorism, pornography, or harm human dignity.”  Were she ever convicted for this crime, she could end up in jail for 3-years and face a hefty fine.  Le Pen isn’t giving up, though …

“I thought I had been through it all: well, no.  For having condemned Daesh [ISIS] horrors in tweets, the justice system is putting me through psychiatric tests.  Just how far will they go?”  Later on, Le Pen appeared on BFM-TV, a French 24-hour news broadcast stating, “Totalitarian regimes use such methods against opponents to make them look like their crazy.”  She told reporters that she would not submit to such tests.  “I’d like to see how the judge would try and force me to do it,” she said.  Apparently, magistrates in France do have the power to order psychiatric tests —but Le Pen is having none of it.

Why did she share “horror pictures” of Moslem atrocities?  She did it in response to a French journalist who drew a comparison between ISIS and her own political party.  She later deleted the picture of James Foley after a request from his family to do so.  She said that she had been unaware of the identity of the individual in the murder picture.

So, what is going on in France?  I think it’s politics as usual.  Le Pen represents the conservative right; her enemies are on the communist left.  Her claim that she is being politically persecuted has been picked up by other European conservatives, as well … and they have rushed to her defense.  While Le Pen is attempting to regain popular support after her defeat to President Macron in 2017, her party is facing separate legal inquiries into allegations over the misuse of EU funds.

There you have it, folks.  The leftist assault on conservative (traditional) values is not just happening in the United States.  I can only conclude that George Soros (and his minions) is a very busy little bee.

 

Leftist Blueprints for America

 

Leftists Blueprints for America  – Guest post by Mustang

In a recent article published by Gatestone Institute, Guy Millière wrote the following:

1.      The French government and its justice system claim to treat all religions equally, but they treat Islam as if it were more equal than others—which is to say that Islam enjoys special privileges.  Those who criticize Islam —especially as it is tied to terrorism— become victims of fierce prosecution.

2.     In the words of the spokesman for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, Marwan Muhammed said, “Who has the right to say in thirty or forty years, France will not be a Muslim country?  No one in this country has the right to extinguish our hope for a society that is globally faithful to Islam.”

3.     President Macron recently said that he wants a law against “fake news.”  If such a law is adopted, all on-line magazines in France that do not broadcast what the government defines as “true news” could be subject to government sanction or suspension.  If such magazines are found outside of France, then access to them could be blocked within France.  Islamic on-line magazines and websites are not on the list of “fake news” providers.  What magazines and websites appear at the top of the government’s list?  Those that question Islam.

Mr. Millière may have missed the point of what has happened to France —indeed, most of Europe.  The issue isn’t Islam; it is that France has become a collectivized society where the rights of individuals (to have and express an opinion, no matter how unpopular it may be) must take a backseat to the right of the state to regulate and control human thought and behavior.  In France, citizens are no longer treated as individuals who are endowed by their creator to have certain unalienable rights, they are treated as rather insignificant cogs in a much larger wheel designed to define society and mold culture according to the will of an elitist oligarchy.  France today is a nation in which government strives to stifle thinking and any expression of intelligence that contradict the political elite.

Unhappily, France has become a Hegelian-Marxist state.  Worse than this, however, is the fact that the United States is now embarked upon this exact same course.  To see this, one only need give cursory attention to the leftist-progressive agenda.  To understand how this is even possible in a nation of more than 330-million people, look to what is occurring inside public classrooms, and has been for the past fifty years.  At the top of the leftist structure are those who think that it takes a village to raise a child, who believe that the role of parents must take a backseat to the primacy of government in the role of shaping national culture.

Frankly, this reality should scare the hell out of thinking Americans, and it ought to serve as a catalyst for a massive and long overdue change in our direction.  It cannot begin with national political leadership, such as choosing one presidential candidate over another.  No, taking America back from the brink of its extinction must begin within neighborhoods, communities, counties, and states.  Joe and Sally Citizen must reclaim their classrooms from the communist agents who now control them.

Note: the architects of our present social and cultural demise include Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), Karl Marx (1818-1883), along with a host of their acolytes.  One doesn’t have to be a philosopher to understand that these were mentally disturbed men writing convoluted theories wrapped up in meaningless verbiage, but a freedom-loving individual should recognize that their demented notions are today central to the American progressive movement.

Kerry brings on James Taylor to fight the terrorists

I can’t think of anything more absurd than this little number. James Taylor singing flat without a mike with Lurch standing in the background. A new method to fight the terrorists. Enjoy

Jarrett: ‘Obama hasn’t forgotten a thing’ about Constitutional Law

As much as I cannot tolerate any more visuals of Obama, I find Valerie Jarrett even more offensive to my sensibilities. Valerie managed to find her way over to CNN for an interview. I give you a couple of clips. This first one is rare when trying to find the logic. Poor Barry, he has been “waiting, waiting, and waiting” for Congress to act. So what is Barry to do? It would be so unkind not to act and help out those poor souls flooding our country. Then we have excuse for why no one made it to France for the march..

Valerie Jarrett: Obama “hasn’t forgotten a thing” about Constitutional law

 

 

Published on Jan 15, 2015

“I think we certainly got the substance right but it would have been great to participate in the parade and we’re delighted Secretary Kerry is there now,” said Jarrett.

Al Jazerra E-Mails show contempt for French murder victims

Through the years I have done numerous posts concerning the administration’s determination to have Al Jazerra fill our homes via cable T.V. with their often anti-Israel pro Islamic rhetoric. While other countries are kicking them out, Egypt for one, we embrace the enemy. Even worse, our State Department under the leadership of Hillary Clinton demonstrated her naiveté at the least. Now we hear how Al Jazeera thinks about the latest terrorist attack in France. I include a few snippets of earlier posts just for a refresher. Here we go:

While citizens around the free world embraced the mantra “Je suis Charlie” to show solidarity with the murdered employees of a French satirical magazine, a top editor at a Muslim-owned news organization had a different message for his colleagues: “We are Al Jazeera.”

A leaked email from Al Jazeera English Editor and Executive Producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr used the twist on a viral phrase used around the world to show support for victims of Wednesday’s Islamist terror attack on Charlie Hebdow in Paris. The magazine was targeted for its penchant for publishing forbidden caricatures of Prophet Muhammed, which it did in addition to poking fun at other religions.

“Was this really an attack on “free speech?” Khadr asked his subordinates in the email blast. “Who is attacking free speech here exactly?

“Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile,” wrote Khadr, quoting Time magazine, as he urged Al Jazeera staffers to consider that “I am Charlie” is an “alienating slogan – with us or against us type of statement – one can be anti-CH’s racism and ALSO against murdering people.”

Keep reading…

Uploaded on Mar 3, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.

“Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,” You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”

Al Jazerra calls West’s action ‘A new crusade’ against ISIS’ September 29, 2014

Via JPost:

Mansour accused the “extreme Right” in Britain of “corresponding” to the Islamic State in terms of extremism.

And just as US president George W. Bush referred to the war on terror as a “crusade,” it is clear now that “the story is not the Islamic State, but the real story is what is happening is a new crusade dressed in new clothing,” he wrote

Egypt kicks out Al-Jazeera, U.S. embraces news source   July 12, 2013

Every good organizer knows that control of the media is paramount. The good news is that Egypt has had enough of Al-Jazeera.

In the U.S., Soledad O’Brien and other journalists have flocked to Al Jazeera,  but in the Middle East, the network  for the past week has been facing a  major challenge to its credibility  including mass staff resignations, a  raid of one of its offices, its reporters  kicked out of a news  conference by fellow journalists, and the arrest of some  of its staffers  by Egyptian security forces.

The dramatic developments are the  result of widespread perceptions in Egypt  and in the Arab world that Al  Jazeera has shown a pro-Muslim Brotherhood slant  in its reporting.

Obama urges Cable Companies to Carry Al-Jazeera? even though there is no question that they support the Muslim Brotherhood? That they are anti-American? Anti-Israel?

AJE’s battle with the cable carriers is major news in the Middle East. Not carrying the network sends a message to the Arab world about America’s unwillingness to accept information, unfiltered, from the very region we spend so much time talking about.

Al Jazeera America Pitches Cable – Plans To Become A “Voice Of The Voiceless”

The news channel backed by the government of Qatar plans to launch late August following its $500M acquisition of Al Gore’s Current TV.

Al-Awalaki Praises Al-Jazeera, Wikileaks and Media Jihad

In his latest message to the world, Al-Awlaki defends the journalists of one such “trustworthy” Muslim source, Al-Jazeera, and praises the Western media source WikiLeaks. The message, a six-minute video of his speech “A Message to the Members of the Media,” was released February 14, 2011 by the jihadi forum Shumukh Al-Islam.[4] In it, Al-Awlaki also accuses the U.S. and the West of using liberty and freedom of expression as a pretext to take over the world’s resources and treasures, and to oppress and deprive people of their rights. He said that whenever anyone tries to expose “the truth about the U.S. and its agents,”

 

Obama sends 10 Million bucks to France to help with African Terrorists

Because we have so many extra bucks, and France loves to fight more than we do, let’s lead from behind and help them out. Anyway, Zero is at the Vineyard and can’t be bothered with detail. France really pulled their weight during WW II, so we really owe them anyway.

Via USA Today

The United States is redirecting $10 million in Pentagon spending to help France fight terrorists in northern Africa.

President Obama issued the order Monday while on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

“I hereby determine that an unforeseen emergency exists that requires immediate military assistance to France in its efforts to secure Mali, Niger and Chad from terrorists and violent extremists,” Obama wrote in a memorandum.

Keep reading

Many French companies stop with 49 employees

Anyone wonder why France is going down the tubes? Yet these are the same plans the Obama administration would have us follow. First off course. it starts with Obamacare. If a company has 50 employees, they must pay a penalty if they do not provide Health Insurance, and I am sure there are other penalties as well. Is this what we want for America? With the election of Hollande it will only get worse for France, and they are determined to repeat history.  We are well on our way, and here is the lesson to be learned. This was written prior to the election.

While polls show job creation and the economic crisis are the top issues for voters in the May 5 second-round vote for president, neither President Nicolas Sarkozy nor Socialist challenger François Hollande are focusing on Breton’s concern. Companies say the biggest obstacle to hiring is the 102-year-old Code du Travail, a 3,200-page rule book that dictates everything from job classifications to the ability to fire workers. Many of these rules kick in after a company’s French payroll creeps beyond 49.

The code sets hurdles for any company that seeks to shed jobs when it’s turning a profit. It also grants judges the authority to reverse staff cuts years after they’re initiated if companies don’t follow the rules. The courts even deem some violations of the code a criminal offense that could send executives to jail.

Here’s a curious fact about the French economy: The country has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50. What difference does one employee make? Plenty, according to the French labor code. Once a company has at least 50 employees inside France, management must create three worker councils, introduce profit sharing, and submit restructuring plans to the councils if the company decides to fire workers for economic reasons.

More at  Business week.

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