Or How Britain’s David Cameron Could Smash the Lib-Con Coalition, Win an Election on the Promise of an EU Referendum, and Restore the Thatcherite Agenda Without Maggie’s Streak of Lunacy
|Up EURS: Cameron in Churchill pose|
Britain has refused to join an EU fiscal union under the tutelage of a banker from Goldman Sachs.
This has enraged the Liberal left who know that exclusion from the fiscal union means ultimate exclusion from the emerging Union of European Soviet Socialist Republics, with its cosy unthinking political conformity, its windmills and other boondoggles, and its abundance of comfy well-paid births in the nomenklatura for those of the politically correct tendency.
This outrage provides Cameron with a chance that can come only once in a premier’s lifetime.
When Niall Ferguson happens to agree with me, I am reluctant to admit this as proof that great minds think alike, whatever the exceptional force of my own mind. Still, I have to hand it to Ferguson that he quite independently sketched the scenario that I have outlined above. Writing in the Wall St. Journal he has an essay about Europe in the year 2021, which contains the following paragraphs:
David Cameron—now beginning his fourth term as British prime minister—thanks his lucky stars that, reluctantly yielding to pressure from the Euroskeptics in his own party, he decided to risk a referendum on EU membership. His Liberal Democrat coalition partners committed political suicide by joining Labour’s disastrous “Yeah to Europe” campaign.
Egged on by the pugnacious London tabloids, the public voted to leave by a margin of 59% to 41%, and then handed the Tories an absolute majority in the House of Commons. Freed from the red tape of Brussels, England is now the favored destination of Chinese foreign direct investment in Europe. And rich Chinese love their Chelsea apartments, not to mention their splendid Scottish shooting estates.
Ferguson also offers in this essay a concise explanation of how bankrupt Britain managed to weather the European debt crisis so easily:
With a fiscal position little better than most of the Mediterranean countries’ and a far larger banking system than in any other European economy, Britain with the euro would have been Ireland to the power of eight. Instead, the Bank of England was able to pursue an aggressively expansionary policy. Zero rates, quantitative easing and devaluation greatly mitigated the pain and allowed the “Iron Chancellor” George Osborne to get ahead of the bond markets with pre-emptive austerity. A better advertisement for the benefits of national autonomy would have been hard to devise.
He also projects what seems eminently sensible, a re-union of the British Isles:
At the beginning of David Cameron’s premiership in 2010, there had been fears that the United Kingdom might break up. But the financial crisis put the Scots off independence; small countries had fared abysmally. And in 2013, in a historical twist only a few die-hard Ulster Unionists had dreamt possible, the Republic of Ireland’s voters opted to exchange the austerity of the U.S.E. for the prosperity of the U.K. Postsectarian Irishmen celebrated their citizenship in a Reunited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with the slogan: “Better Brits Than Brussels.”
His anticipation of a Nordic union also seems both plausible and desirable:
Another thing no one had anticipated in 2011 was developments in Scandinavia. Inspired by the True Finns in Helsinki, the Swedes and Danes—who had never joined the euro—refused to accept the German proposal for a “transfer union” to bail out Southern Europe. When the energy-rich Norwegians suggested a five-country Norse League, bringing in Iceland, too, the proposal struck a chord.
These ideas lead naturally to the conclusion that Europe will be transformed into a German-dominated block. This was essentially the arrangement envisaged by Neville Chamberlain in the 1930’s as he worked to set Germany against Russia, the goal being to create a central European German Empire that would be balanced to the East by a truncated Russia and to the West by an Atlantic bloc comprising Britain, France and the US. Ferguson’s prediction differs only in the assumption that France will go with Germany not Britain. But who knows. Do the French really wish to submerge their identity in a German-dominated union? We’ll see.
This explanation of Cameron’s foreign policy from the BBC sitcom Yes Minister via Mish:
Episode Five: The Writing on the Wall
Sir Humphrey: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it’s worked so well?
Hacker: That’s all ancient history, surely?
Sir Humphrey: Yes, and current policy. We had to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn’t work. Now that we’re inside we can make a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased; it’s just like old times.
Hacker: But surely we’re all committed to the European ideal?
Sir Humphrey: [chuckles] Really, Minister.
Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?
Sir Humphrey: Well, for the same reason. It’s just like the United Nations, in fact; the more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up, the more futile and impotent it becomes.
Hacker: What appalling cynicism.
Sir Humphrey: Yes… We call it diplomacy, Minister.