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The EU and the warning signs of Fascism

Kit Knightly

Image source – here.

Things are spiralling out of control in Europe, faster than many predicted. Outside of Brexit, there is strong anti-EU feeling in Hungary, Spain, Italy, Greece and France. The EU is in danger of crumbling, and people afraid of losing power are prone to extreme acts of dictatorial control.

How long before the EU truly becomes the authoritarian force that people from both ends of the political spectrum have always feared?

The EU Defence Force

Earlier this year, the EU voted to “punish” one of its own members, Hungary, for the internal policies of its elected government. To be clear about this – whatever you think of Viktor Orban, he was elected by the people of Hungary. He is their legally recognised democratic leader. Hungary voted for him – in contrast, Hungary did NOT vote for any of the 448 MEPs who supported the motion, posed by Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini, that:

The Hungarian people deserve better…They deserve freedom of speech, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice and equality, all of which are enshrined in the European treaties.”

Note that “democracy” is not included on that list. “Tolerance”, “justice” and “equality”, but not democracy. A Freudian slip, perhaps.

The European Parliament vote was, itself, a corrupt nonsense – one in which abstentions were disregarded so the 2/3rds majority could be reached. Forcing through a bill that, essentially, calls for a change of regime in Hungary via:

appropriate measures to restore inclusive democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights in Hungary”

One suggested punishment – “The Nuclear Option” – is a loss of voting rights. Hungary would still be a member of the EU, would still have to pay into the EU, would still have to obey all EU laws and regulations, but would no longer have a say in what those laws were.

This would, notionally, be in defence of “inclusive democracy”.

How long before disapproval and punishment of certain leaders turns into outright removal? Can we really say that would never happen?

This month, Paris (and other French cities) have seen the massive Gilets Jaunes protests against the fuel tax, austerity and income inequality. The violent repression of these protests has received no criticism from either individual member states of the EU, or the EU itself. However, an armored vehicle painted with the EU’s insignia was seen on the streets of Paris.

Both Macron and Merkel have talked, recently, of the need for an EU Army – will these protests in France be used as an excuse to implement those plans?

Let’s assume the EU Army is brought about – let us supply the European Union with its coveted “defence force”. 250,000 hypothetical men, drawn from all the member states. What is their purpose? What is their function?

For example, would they have been deployed to Catalonia last year to “keep the peace”? Would an EU army have moved against a peaceful vote to “defend” the integrity of the Union?

Would a possible step in dealing with Viktor Orban’s government be to deploy the EU Defence Force to Budapest and remove the man who is a threat to “equality”? Would that count as “appropriate measures to restore inclusive democracy”?

If Brexit is ruled a “threat to human rights” (or some other collection of buzzwords), would the EU army be rolling armoured vehicles along the streets of London to protect us from ourselves?

There have been, and could be, many situations in the EU’s recent past where military intervention was only avoided because it literally wasn’t an option. An EU Army would make it an option, do we trust Brussels not to avail themselves of it?

Some argue that an EU Army would be a good thing because it would decrease Europe’s reliance on NATO, and remove US influence. I don’t believe that to be the case, and as evidence, I supply the fact that the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a well-known US-backed NGO, is very much in favour of the plan.

The EU’s Ministry of Truth

Of course, the increasing possibility of an EU consensus imposed by force is only one part of the threat.

Outside of physical repression – both by the EU (of national sovereignty), and by the state (of the individual right to protest) – there are warning signs of intellectual repression. A coming crackdown on freedom of expression and opinion.

There is a scary article on The Guardian today: Russia ‘paved way for Ukraine ship seizures with fake news drive’ . It’s not scary because of the headline – it’s scary because of the motivations behind it, and the implications for the future of Europe.

The meat of the article is an unsourced, unlinked, evidence-free claim of Russian malfeasance, and as such, Hitchens’ Razor applies.

The first half of the article is riddled with lies, omissions and mistakes. It’s the Guardian, you expect that. Disregard the babble about cholera and nuclear bombs. Disregard the factual errors – many though they are. In this instance, none of it matters.

All that matters is the second half – the proposed “solution” to the “problem” to which this article is a “reaction”. Namely, online disinformation. Specifically, “Russian” online disinformation.

Julian King, former UK ambassador to France and now EU security commissioner, wants tech companies to take steps to prevent the spread of “fake news”. It’s a war against dissent, with three fronts.

One – establish the “truth”:

Last week the European Commission announced it would set up a rapid alert system to help EU member states recognise disinformation campaigns

Essentially, there will be an EU mandated list of acceptable “news”, and anything which deviates from that in the slightest way will be branded “disinformation”. This will allow people to dismiss, rather than engage with, views that differ from their own.

Two – eliminate dissent:

King said social media platforms needed to identify and close down fake accounts that were spreading disinformation.

By “fake accounts”, they mean accounts which spread “disinformation”. Being a “bot” is not about whether or not you are a real person, it’s about whether or not you have the right opinions. As has been demonstrated, they either do not know or do not care who is real and who is not. Perfectly real people have been labelled Russian bots in the media, when they are proven to be neither Russian nor bots. Whether this is incompetence or corruption does not matter, the point is governments have shown they cannot be trusted on this issue.

Three – control the narrative:

We need to see greater clarity around algorithms, information on how they prioritise what content to display, for example. If you search for anything EU-related on Google, content from Russian propaganda outlets like RT or Sputnik is invariably in the first few results….All of this should be subject to independent oversight and audit.

The Google algorithm is allowing news that either disagrees with the EU, or is directly critical of it, to be shown in their results. This is unacceptable. What the EU security commissioner wants is for Google to “fix” their system, to make sure news that deviates from the EU’s agenda does not show up in their results.

Now, if you think that sounds like censorship, don’t worry because [our emphasis]:

What we are not trying to do is to censor the internet. There is no suggestion that we – or anyone else – should become the arbiter of what content users should or shouldn’t be consuming online. This is about transparency, not censorship.

The EU wants Google to remove certain websites from their algorithm, but it’s about transparency, not censorship. So that’s OK.

Conclusion

To sum up:

  • The European Union’s two major figureheads are both in favour of an EU army.
  • The European Union’s flag is painted on armoured vehicles repressing anti-government protests in France.
  • The European Union is putting aside £4.6 millio (5 million Euros) to “help people recognise disinformation”.
  • The European Union wants to pressure social media companies into “shutting down” accounts that spread “fake news”.
  • The European Union wants Google to alter their algorithm, to promote news that praises the EU and demote sites critical of it.
  • The European Union wants us to understand that this is about “transparency” and is definitely NOT censorship.

Does this sound like an organization of which we want to be a part? Are we supposed to like the proposed multi-national EU “defense force” putting down anti-EU marches on the streets of Barcelona or Rome? To cheer on the idea that the EU Army could be sent into non-cooperative member-states to remove “dangerous” elected leaders because they are a threat to “equality”?

We won’t even be able to get to truth of those matters, because the EU will be supplying lists of “fake news” social media accounts to Twitter and Facebook, who will dutifully shut them down. While Google alters and re-alters their algorithm to make sure any news covering EU repression of democracy is pushed so far down the results pages it may as well not exist.

The British press, pundits and talking heads are constantly referring to the “Brexit crisis”, but that’s just hysteria and fear mongering. Re-negotiating your position in a trade bloc is NOT a crisis. A crisis is what happens when an unelected, bureaucratic power structure suddenly senses its grip on power is slipping, and acts accordingly.

And a crisis could well be on the horizon. The signs are there, if you want to see them.

Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

Filed under: Brexit, empire watch, EU, featured, latest, Russia, Ukraine

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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Vlad the Inhaler
Reader
Vlad the Inhaler

Here’s a scenario – so if the theoretical EU Defense force moved to ‘liberate’ a country like Hungary of its democratically elected leader because ‘equality blah blah’ (they have form here – look at what the EU did in Ukraine), I can only assume the Hungarian Army would remain under the command of Hungary’s democratically elected leader – well, that’s one scenario, in which case the rest of would be treated to the spectacle of a war in Europe between Hungary (and maybe some like minded allies?) and the EU dictators army. The media would of course brand one side the ‘axis of evil’ and the others the noble liberators, no prizes for guessing which would be which. I guess the other scenario would be the Hungarian military command being split between those loyal to the Hungarian PM and those prepared to collaborate with the EU to overthrow the PM, or the entire military being coopted to do so. Anyway, it would be interesting for sure, and pretty terrible whichever way.

Anthony Brown-Hovelt
Reader
Anthony Brown-Hovelt

Glad to see you only inhale now days but perhaps you need to get your sticks sharpened again! Your name sake conducted a pretty impressive gurrileur war against a vastly larger organisation for some time.

Peter
Reader
Peter

Like UK, Hungary is free to leave EU. Also Orban was not elected directy by the people of Hungary, just his party won the votes (by 52%) – mostly with false campaign. Currently many actions that Orban’s government are conducting are protested in Hungary.

Richard Frisby
Reader
Richard Frisby

Free to leave my arse! Hungary is a relatively small country (economically) compared to the UK and look at the blatant bullying that’s going on the EU have made it almost impossible for the smaller countries to stand up for their rights Greece and Italy are testament to that

Kent
Reader
Kent

What’s ther matter, Peter? Does people protecting their home nations from the reborn fascists in Brussels “offend” you?

Richard
Reader
Richard

I was banned three times from commenting on the Guardian.

Julian Kennedy
Reader

Scaremongering I fear but time will tell.

alaffcreator
Reader

Interesting, i just saw that Russian news source published this article, though i didn’t see any references to original piece by Kit Knightly.

http://ktovkurse.com/a-vy-kurse/es-i-nadvigayushhiesya-priznaki-fashizma

Hephaestus
Reader
Hephaestus

I say we take all the websites that governments and social media ban and visit them. I mean if they do not want you seeing them, then you should probably be reading them. Kind of like what happened with the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum

Stonky
Reader
Stonky

One of the things that amuses me on my increasingly rare visits to CiF is to see posters (often in the same comment) spewing out their hatred of the House of Lords while singing the praises of the saintly EU.

What is the EU Commission after all, other than the House of Lords with a staff of 25,000 and a budget of £150 billion, plus the sole right to propose, introduce and initiate legislation for the UK?

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

Lol life imitating art! We always suspected that Gary Numan was a bit of a seer?

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It’s the only way to live
In cars
Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days
In cars
Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you visit me please
If I open my door
In cars
Here in my car
I know I’ve started to think
About leaving tonight
Although nothing seems right
In cars…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldyx3KHOFXw

Steve Bell as usual on point too.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/picture/2018/dec/11/steve-bell-on-the-german-chancellors-refusal-to-reopen-the-brexit-deal-cartoon
(Sorry i try not to post links to the Groan if i can help it).

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Another staged atrocity in Strasbourg tonight, working to de-stabilise Macron, the French President who has recently called out the US for being a potential threat and therefore requiring a standalone EU army.
The US and Zionist NGOs are working hard to remove Macron, they thought he was one of theirs, in fact he was, but the boy finally woke up, smelt the coffee, and grew a pair.

John Jarman
Reader
John Jarman

I’ll have a pint of what he’s drinking ….

jag37777
Reader

Laughable.

John
Reader
John

The only reason they want and have a EU army (of sorts) is so that if the French kick off its much easier for a polish soldier to hit and possibly even shoot a Frenchman the same way it would be much easier for a British soldier to shoot a Hungarian down and have another tolerant European nation shoot down the British

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

The EU: hated by the neoliberals, hated by the Marxists, so they must be doing something right for the vast majority of people!

celt darnell
Reader
celt darnell

Well, according to much of the left, the EU is neoliberal. Most Marxists, meanwhile, support it. I think you’re confused.

jag37777
Reader

Most Marxists support the EU?

That’s a bold assertion that needs some serious fleshing out to be taken seriously.

Please.

lundiel
Reader

Obviously you’ve never heard of competition law, fixed budgets, running budget surpluses, or studied any of the treaties from Maastricht onward. The EU IS neoliberalism.

John
Reader
John

The EU are neoliberals you dimwitted buffoon

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Calling names rather than arguing your pointm as I have done several times on this thread.

jag37777
Reader

Maastricht is a neoliberal blue print, you troll you.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Troll? How charming. Is this site only for EU detractors?
The EU is ome biggest economic and financial threat to the US neoliberals, that’s why they are doing their utmost to break it apart: neoliberal UK on the western front, neoliberal Poland on the eastern front, classical pincer movement.

jag37777
Reader

You use exactly the same MO on the Grauniad, troll.
Bait and switch.

bob
Reader
bob

bollocks

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

While the IMF warns about the next huge financial crisis…
Something which people could see coming even as the last crisis was dying down (being glossed over by the mainstream media), since the people and organizations which caused the last crisis have never ceased to continue with exactly the same reckless behaviour which causes huge financial crises…
Perhaps they are hoping that a new crisis will reinstate the few criminals who actually went to jail for causing the last one…?

David Eire
Reader
David Eire

Good article and timely warning
I think the underlying problem is neoliberalism; not the EU per se. I think neoliberalism is classical fascism in the sense of the corporatization of the State. Neoliberalism is also dogmatic and totalitarian. It was best expressed by Maggie Thatcher at the beginning of it rise to dominance – There is no alternative.
Although I do not like the way the EU is developing at this time, I am not opposed to the EU in principle and I do not want to see it broken down or broken up. I want to see it fixed from within.

Simon Hodges
Reader

If there is no alternative according to Thatcherite Neoliberalism and Progressive Blairite imperialism which was the catalyst that drove all socialist parties in Europe to switch to Neoliberalism. Then how could it ever change within? Corbyn thinks they would listen to him. Why should they? Even the progressives in his own party don’t listen to him.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

I want to see it fixed too.
But criminally corrupt organizations rarely want to “fix themselves from within” …

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Standby for the upvotes for the Pavlovian EU hate.

The EU: hated by neoliberals, hated by Marxists, so they must be doing something right for the vast majority of people!

David Eire
Reader
David Eire

The neoliberals dont hate the EU. At the moment they control it. The neoliberals aka globalists are the problem; in Europe and in the US. They control the US too; that’s why their corporate media demonizes Trump. That’s what the Russiagate hoax is all about. Trump is an old fashioned bricks & mortar capitalist, not a neoliberal.

John
Reader
John

Sheep you’re a fucking idiot thinking the EU is your friend! You are either paid or very stupid and when we win we will hunt you down and find a place for you

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Disgraceful. Trotskyist?

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Admin – are you going to control the outright insults? I’m all up for arguing my case, several times on this thread, but if you are going to allow it to descend into the gutter then you’ll be failing in your mission, I would humbly suggest.

Joseph McGonagle
Reader
Joseph McGonagle

Silence the blasphemers!

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Yep, it feels like that here on any article to do with the EU, automatic reflexes from some people rather than discussion.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

If you really are up for arguing your case, you will stop assuming that I am either a neoliberal or marxist. I am neither of those. I am a run-of-the-mill noticer of organized EU corruption, and have no party affiliation at all. My gripe with EU corruption is also matched by my gripes concerning all kinds of other corruption in the circles of those who claim to represent us, but do not.
Neither do they intend to.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

My point was intended to be a general one concerning the thread and not specifically aimed at you. I was frustrated at the point of reading your post but I repeated my general point at the top level. Apologies that it was penned directly under your comment and therefore you and everyone else assumes it’s aimed at you, sorry.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

As for “Pavlovian”, making such assumptions really takes the cake there.
The incipient fascism, which is what this article is trying to warn us against, makes exactly such assumptions, and always has.
Thinking for yourself is to be recommended as an easily accessible antidote.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Let me pose a few questions:

1. the recent EU GDPR data protection regulation which introduces data protection of our details held online, whih has been heavily criticised by Google, Facebook and most US politicians – is this legislation logically a product of a neoliberal or fascist project, or is it a product of an organisation more concerned about the impacts of corporations upon people and society?

2. EU working hours directive which places a limit upon the total amount of hours a person can work – is this legislation logically a product of a neoliberal or fascist project, or is it a product of an organisation more concerned about the impacts of corporations upon people and society?

3. EU environmental regulations – are these regulations logically a product of a neoliberal or fascist project, or is it a product of an organisation more concerned about the impacts of corporations upon people and society and the planet?

4. EU reduction and eventual elimination of mobile phone roaming charges – is this legislation logically a product of a neoliberal or fascist project, or is it a product of an organisation more concerned about the impacts of corporations upon people and society and small businesses?

If I had time I’d pose more questions.

As far as the EU is concerned, I’m sorry to see a collective cognitive dissonance here. I genuinely think it’s due to lack of knowledge / facts about the EU and most people here apparently not living in the mainland EU and experiencing it on a daily basis.

Anthony Brown-Hovelt
Reader
Anthony Brown-Hovelt

Like a lot of people in Britain my head said stay in and reform from within my heart said leave! While Cameron made a huge mistake of not getting any kind of reform or help he set himself up for a fall. However, it was the arrogance of the institution and its disregard for peploes concerns that finally did it for me. e (the English, cut off the head of a monarch over the issue of “No taxation without representation” and then did the whole bloody thing all over again in the 13 Colonies! The Anglo-Saxon by nature want’s a say in the details of their lives. The EU is no longer a trade organisation it is an Empire building exercise for an illiberal elite based on Bismark’s Empire building ways. He used a single currency as his primary method of control and while Military power was important (Against Denmark and France in terms of regaining control of the Holy Roman Empire’s traditional land borders and German speaking people.) He set up a parliament as a talking shop with no real power to keep the middle classes occupied on worthy things! Sounds familiar? Most of Europe has no real experience of democracy and how to hold those who govern you to account! Junkers over saw the government of a country with the largest democratic deficiency in Europe! The head of the EU secretariat (Illegally appointed) is the son of a convicted Nazi war criminal who thinks Britain should be punished for Voting on our future! France and Germany have consistently kept Britain from the top table and now we don’t want to fund their 4th Empire/Reich it is hardly surprising they are making things difficult! This will be their 1812 moment. Napoleon’s empire came crashing down when he tried to stop trade with Britain! 60,000 Belgians rely on Trade with Britain for their livelihoods! I doubt they are going to be very happy about being made to suffer in order for the EU to punish Britain!!! The trouble is that the future of Europe has been cast i stone and it is a federal stone!!! All countries to move into the Single Currency, Border controls, etc… As for some of the other comments above well the continuing march to over regulation is creating an inability to innovate! Huge youth unemployment in the Med! Excessive immigration and an increase between rich and poor rising, lack of social mobility and sense of a future and leadership is the problem. As for being a moral organisation? Rubbish. Just look at the discard policy in the CFP! The stopping of the practice of joining up trawling nets ove miles of sea leaving no way out for mammals and sharks from the netting wanted by Britain but being stopped by France and Spain!)! use of electrical probe fishing (Ostensibly for research which is not being done).I could go on the soon as we are out of this dreadful organisation the better! And we should go without a deal as soon as possible. Then they will need to negotiate with us otherwise what will the Danes and Dutch do with all their pigs? Bulbs, Cut flowers, potted pats? France needs the British dairy industry trade, otherwise what will it do with all its milk!! I see no reason why we cannot have a sensibel relationship with them as the trade imbalance is against us, so they need our trade more than we need theirs and our trade with them has been falling consistently. We don’t need all the 1,400 EU trade tariffs that make other imports more expensive!

John White
Reader
John White

Frank, all of your points don’t show a fluffy benevolent state, they show a power hungry state desperate to tie up society in regulations. Regulations you clearly support. Regulations that have seen massive suffering imposed across western Europe, and have now sparked massive protests that are only going to get bigger. The EU is the very definition of big brother, only its worst that just a dictatorship, its a corporate oligarchy where the corporations make the rule and those regulations you love so much work for the global multi-nationals and against local competition. The EU is the very definition of the fascism it arose from: and is fast returning to. You like it so much, go live there, because we aren’t having it here. You don’t get to debate much do you, trying weak lines like this. Are you seriously citing roaming mobile phone charges as a reason to Remain? #SadJoke

James Newman
Reader
James Newman

“I’m sorry to see a collective cognitive dissonance here”

Yes, me too. I would answer your questions in detail but I too am short of time. Just to say that answers to all are not simple yes/no replies But let’s take the issue of EU roaming charges:

The EU was first asked to abolish roaming charges by a global body, the International Telephone Users Group (“INTUG”) back in 1999. The EU delayed and delayed such that eventually INTUG approached another global body, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD involved a third global body, the International Telecommunications Union (“ITU”) which used the rules of a fourth, the World Trade Organisation, to ensure that by 2013 roaming charges were being abolished right across the world. The EU eventually fell into line. (credit Dr Richard North).

The other three topics are equally complex with many of the rules and standards co-opted from member states and long preceding the EEC/EU. And things are rarely a question of liberal or fascist.

What is clear is that regulations and standards are moving inexorably albeit slowly towards global standards and rules set by intergovernmental agencies where members states have a right of initiative, unlike the present situation. .

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Well let’s ignore that the EU is probably the only free trade zone on the planet where mobile roaming charges are reduced / eliminated. That’s just a minor example. The other ones are stronger, and there’s far more.

Simon Hodges
Reader

Please explain the ESM for us all.

Simon Hodges
Reader

The people of Greece elected a socialist government with socialist polices to address their economic concerns. Please note these concerns weren’t mobile phone roaming charges – how bourgeois is that! The socialist proposals of Syriza were ruled out of court by the Neoliberal EU who see them as debt serfs to suffer the penalties of neoliberal justice. The rest is history but please let us all be thankful that the EU is concerned in principle about google and the rest of your defence of it.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Your point about Greek socialists and the EU misses the point. I am arguing a case for the EU, not the Euro curreny zone.
There are all sorts of issues with the Euro currency, however, once a country decides to join it, they give away a lot of decion making precisely because they are working in a collective currency which is as weak as the weakest link. Greece also fiddled its books in order to enter the Eurozone, so off course the ECB must take a strong stance.
The Greek socialists COULD have exited the Euro and returned to the Drachma, but the majority of Greek people did not want that; go figure.

Simon Hodges
Reader

So much to unpack here.

You did not answer my request to explain the ESM . I take it you do not know what the ESM is or if you do you really don’t want to talk about it.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/eurozone-esm-bailout-fund-on-the-road-to-expansion-a-1232958.html

The European Stability Mechanism is not a mechanism at all, it is the institutional application of the Neoliberal principles of getting countries into debt and then imposing austerity upon them and stealing their public assets etc and establishing those political and economic choices in the very heart and bureaucratic framework of the EU institution itself. It is a huge and growing secretive office within the EU that is prepared to implement extreme Neoliberal economic ‘medicine’ at its most convenient opportunities.

I bookmarked this article in 2013 when I read it in which you can see the EU and the ESM testing the water as to how it will be applied in the near future when GFC2 inevitably occurs.

“Greece dismissed a proposal by euro zone officials to hand over the management of its real estate assets to a holding company based overseas, saying over the weekend that the country would stay in charge of its privatization program.

The euro zone’s bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), proposed that some Greek real estate assets be transferred to a Greek-owned holding company outside Greece, run by foreign experts, to accelerate the country’s flagging privatizations.”

http://www.ekathimerini.com/153420/article/ekathimerini/business/govt-rejects-esm-plan-to-sell-assets-via-overseas-agency

It seems absolutely urgent from my position that we quickly educate people to the fact that the ESM is a highly political Neoliberal economic approach for country dealing with its economy and budget and that the secrecy and outsourcing of skills and advisers such as all the corrupted investment banks is a very dangerous policy. This is Neoliberalising the institution in the most fundamental way possible and we should all be shouting about it.

Lastly, ‘Greece’ or ‘The People of Greece’ did not fiddle ‘their’ books. It was following financial advice from the private sector firm of Goldman Sachs that helped further corrupt their political class as Goldman Sachs showed them exactly how to do it. What do you expect from utterly corrupt neoliberal investment bankers and the utterly corrupt political classes that we have everywhere in the West now? Your saying the Greek people fiddled their books, but also one reads others in so many places who say the Greeks are all a bunch of lazy tax dodgers etc. Isn’t all of this just bigoted racism based upon absurd stereotypes and caricatures?

You can see why establishment trolls would want to disseminate such views as they tend to erode any sympathy and solidarity that we should all be thinking and feeling for the Greek people. Funny how one sees none of this in the Guardian isn’t it?

Lastly the Greeks could not leave either the EU or the Euro precisely because of project fear and smear that was applied when the EU, their political class and the MSM held an economic pistol held to the people’s heads giving them no alternative but to bow to the EU and its Neoliberal economic principles of austerity as the only response to improving economic conditions. We can see that it leaving the membership of the single market and the customs union alone is supposed to be the UK’s financial Armageddon. Imagine if we were talking of leaving the Euro as well?

Not hard to figure at all if you have a clue as to what’s going on.

This notion that membership of the single market and the customs union is absolutely essential to a country’s economic survival is the economic proposition that keeps all the member states enslaved to it and most would leave tomorrow if it were as simple as that.

Myth and Paradox of the Single Market by Michael Burrage gives us an alternative economic view outside of the single market and customs union that has not been adequately discussed or considered. This research suggests that the UK government and the EU have overs-stated the benefits of EU membership and that the UK would actually have done better if it had not been a member. All of this was strangely absent from the EU debate. Now I wonder why that is?

https://www.civitas.org.uk/content/files/mythandparadox.pdf

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

I do have a clue, I’ve lived and breathed the EU for 45 years. What I don’t have is time to write long, nuanced posts here nor anywhere else. I’m also a pragmatic person, always looking for simple answers and effective solutions to complex problems which people or organizations have needlessly created.

You make very good points, however, fundamentally, a corrupt Greek government with the help of GS lied their way into the Eurozone, and unfortunately for the sake of the currency stability, the medicine is extremely unpalatable.

Furthermore, Greece has been mismanaged for decades and got itself in serious debt not just because of the Euro or even EU. Again, there are unpalatable consequences. If you or I can’t pay our debts after renegotiating them numerous times, and we don’t improve our income, then we’ll have our assets possessed.

The EU has helped them massively for a long time, but there comes a point when a government Is taking the piss, and the rest of the countries and their reps say enough is enough.

Greece is now taking responsibility for its past failures. Their left wing government have accepted the bailout terms, have chosen to remain in both the Eurozone and EU, that’s how democracy works, whether we agree with the way Greeks have chosen to do it or not. It’s utterly painful, but so is treatment for gangrene or cancer.

John White
Reader
John White

It’s what it always comes down to with the fanatic culted Remainers: they are selfish creatures who are only really out for themselves. Shame that while you were off sucking up to the EU for 45 years they did sweet FA for the people of Britain you turned your back on.

Jay-Q
Reader
Jay-Q

Where is mainland EU? It’s not a country. Nobody goes to the continent and says they are going to the EU and probably never will.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

By mainland i mean the EU excluding the neoliberal disUnited Kingdom.

Seamus Padraig
Reader
Seamus Padraig

One of the commenters on an article at theautomaticearth.com posted a response that is worth reading at length. It really summarizes perfectly what was wrong with the European project from the start–namely, the agenda behind it was so anti-European: https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2018/12/macron-heralds-the-end-of-the-union/#post-44265

Here’s a little excerpt:

“With a land as great as Europe, why would you wish to become like the United States? For unlike the American founders, the European founders hated Europe: hated its smallness, the unique pockets and traditions, hated its diversity, hated its languages, its cultures, hated that it could no longer colonize Libya, Africa, and Syria, could no longer invade and lose to Russia every few generations. They spent all this 20 years erasing flags, borders, traditions, cultures, budgets — whole peoples, the fathers of Europe and Democracy. They hate everything that makes Europe great, everything that makes its own people love and defend it, and so, besides economics, they were on a collision course with their own people that continues today.”

Ralph Musgrave
Reader

I’m more concerned about fasicsm than thou.

Female genital mutilation = fasicsm, murdering cartoonists = fascism, homophobia = fascism, mistrating apostates = fascism, desecrating 2,000 architectural gems = fasicsm etc etc etc.

Whichever organisation is responsible for these crimes is obvously a fascist organisation.

Haltonbrat
Reader
Haltonbrat

Islamophobia equals fascism. Oppression of the population of occupied Palestine equals fascism.

Stonky
Reader
Stonky

Islamophobia equals fascism…

Just for the sake of argument, Haltonbrat, let’s imagine you’re a white person. And again for the sake of argument, let’s imagine that you move with your family to a black African country, and you move in next door to a local black African family.

Shortly afterwards, your neighbours discover that you are teaching your 4-year old daughter and your 5-year old son that it is the literal truth that God hates black people so much that he’s going to burn their skins off in a fire, and then keep giving them new skins so he can burn them off as well.

Would you consider your new neighbours to be “fascists” if they took exception to your behaviour?

jag37777
Reader

Ha ha hasbara.

nwwoods
Reader
nwwoods

The western powers don’t waste time mutilating individual genitalia* when they possess the wherewithal and the desire to annihilate entire cities in which reside women, cartoonists, homosexuals and their families and acquaintances..with a few cluster bombs and some white phosphorous.

*most of the time

Molloy
Reader
Molloy

.

Reminder. FAs$hhitt UKU$ DS – for many year – pi$$ing on and intimidating most European countries. Most if not all of Southern America will confirm.

To suggest it’s an EU ‘thing’ – naz$ti fasshism – with no mention of the usual suspects is gobsmackingly naive. imho.
Where have you been the last 100 years?

The DS offshore crooks don’t like the idea of EU basic human rights or any other human rights (it reduces their global profits.)

Surprise surprise DS shhitt on EU have a go at the EU.
(Obvs bog standard DS psyops durrhhhh!!)

Sláinte

.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

I need dto add to my earlier comment. Most of those objecting here to the EU seem to be people not actually living in continental Europe and / or not fully understanding European history and the prime reasons why the EU was formed.

It was NOT a neoliberal project at all, it’s aim was to have greater cooperation between neighbouring States and aim to prevent yet another devasting war on its continent. To do that required the REMOVAL of fascism.

Try listening to what the right wingers and Brexiteers call the EU, they label it as the EUSSR, which is a reference to the communist Soviet state! Indeed, the EU can be validly accused of being a socialist cooperative endeavour, and I am entirely fine with such claims because they are correct.

This article is “arse about face”, sorry Kit, brush up on your European history, I really like your other work but this one is way off the mark IMO.

John White
Reader
John White

The EU was born out of Nazi Germany, and was structured to give Germany supremacy (=why Britain lost its steel and coal) how can you not know this and claim to know the history of the EU? Pulled the wool well and truly over your eyes Frank.

John
Reader
John

Remember when the EU forced Ireland to have several votes until it got what it wanted and throttled the Irish economy to get its own way and now Ireland has a ridiculous homeless situation?! Probably not! We will find you you know

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Stop threatening people.

Ireland was wrong to pay off the non-seured loans, it shoud have defaulted. That said, the Irish economy is now recovering well, powering ahead, and will benefit from Brexit as non-EU businesses relocated to Dublin and other parts of Ireland, principally because it is still in the EU and English is the first language.

vexarb
Reader

I agree with Frankly, the EU is a good man gone wrong. It is more criminal than Fascist. The first sign of this slide toward criminality (that I noted) was the revelation of a case of nepotism when Kinnock was selected. Instead of firing the malefactors, Kinnock reprimanded the _whistleblowers! It’s been downhill ever since. But I believe the original intentions and deeds of the EU were good, and the way is always open for sinners to repent.

Ken kenn
Reader
Ken kenn

A EU imitation of the US would require a replication of the Civil War that brought together ( violently ) into the USA we know today.

Cast your mind back to the two World wars in Europe and those alone were the reason for setting up the European Union.

Put starkly it was to contain German power and invaded France clings the most to that experience.

The problem for the EU is that it is still dominated economically by Germany with its economic surplus.

Germany therefore is the arbiter of where and when the theoretical surplus is re-distributed to the other EU nations.

The EU Central bank is run mainly by Germany.

The Gilet – Jaunes – the Brexit voters in the UK and many many more throughout Europe are protesting against austerity. That is that trickle down economics has not trickled down to them. The Financial Crash has eventually got through to the masses and whether they know it or not this is becoming a game changer for what is euphemistically called the ‘ Establishment. ‘

Amongst the Western power blocks they have been trying to sell this old Neoliberal economic theory for tens of years.In the UK it is nearly 40 years.

Hilary Clinton tried the same trick in the US and guess what – it hasn’t worked.

The rise of the right and the left is hardly a surprise as this hopefully is the start of the dismantling of the Old Order and a new order is approaching.

This is what worries the EU as it does the US and other Old Order countries.

They are trying to tackle this random and diverse movement of the masses by trying to obstruct the flow of information to these movements but the MSM is being discredited on a daily basis so they will resort to even further open attacks via Google – Twitter and so on. Similar to a postman having a bag full of letters but not allowing the postie to deliver them.

Whether these movements will lead to the break up of the EU I don’t know but what I will predict is that if there is pressure from the left ( as in the UK) then the gloves may be off. If there is pressure from the right they will criticise and carp but they can live with it.

The US lived with it in WW2 and other capitalists lived with it at the time. They will live with it in the future if they have to.

It will cost the capitalists a portion of their income/assets to police that but as someone said once: It would be better that they remain poorer capitalists rather than there be no capitalism at all.

The left is a threat – not the right to these people.

This is what keeps them awake at night – not the right wing.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Spot on.

Estaugh
Reader
Estaugh

Speaking frankly about history; you must have read, therefore the three documents I post here for your perusal:- >http://www.bilderberg.org/EW G.pdfhttps://www.denouncethedeception.co.uk/documents/2017/07/shoe-horned-into-the-eu-original.pdfhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDc7nzmffSY<

Glasshopper
Reader
Glasshopper

It’s not a question of what it’s “supposed to be”, but about what it is inevitably becoming as a result of trying to represent dozens of different countries. That can never be democracy in any meaningful way.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

Yeah why not dismantle all the geolocal bodies across the planet, hell start with the UN – that is xtremely disfunctional and a total tool of the wankers.

The fewer collaborations the better – easier to send our nato gunboats to protect them.

Glasshopper
Reader
Glasshopper

You’re comparing the EU with the UN???

Even the loonies at CIF don’t go that far.

DunGroanin
Reader
DunGroanin

ECHR?

The EU did more for the industrial wastelands of the North and Wales and Ireland than the UN could.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Indeed. As I wrote earlier, there’s way too much simplistic, binary thinking concerning the EU, especially from those who have no direct experience of it.

neocon BBC
Reader
neocon BBC

In today’s news, opposition politicians in France, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, called for “citizen’s revolution” to continue until a fair distribution of wealth is achieved.

Marine Le Pen president of the National Rally (previously National Front) is accusing the French president’s model of governance is based on “wild globalization, financialization of the economy, unfair competition”

Controlled mass media in Western countries are not explaining why Yellow Jackets are in high-gear protests. They are afraid of giving ideas to the dormant sheeple –the herd of people easily controlled by government propaganda.

Admin
Moderator
Admin

Whatever the aim of its creation, the EU is now just another IMF-controlled block. The idea it offers some sort of resistance to NATO and the US is absurd. Obama was in the UK during 2016 begging voters to vote Remain, because the EU and NATO are just representations of the same set of narrow interests under different names. Not that Brexit is a solution. Anyone who thinks that is similarly deluded.

Stonky
Reader
Stonky

“Obama was in the UK during 2016 begging voters to vote Remain…”

To be more accurate, Obama was in the UK in 2016 grandly ordering voters to vote Remain, under the threat that we would be at the back of the queue for any kind of trade agreement with the USA if we didn’t do as we were told.

The arrogant prick seemed to have forgotten that as of November 2016 he wasn’t going to be POTUS any more. Or perhaps, like all the other bien-pensants, he simply assumed that the anointing would take place as planned, and then everything else would continue as planned…

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Admin – Obama was for Remain, Trump and his mob are for Brexit and weakening the EU. Your comment proves nothing in relation to the EU’s ability to distance itself from the US or NATO.

President Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of Nato’s integrated military command in 1966, saying it undermined France’s sovereignty. It did not rejoin until 2009 under neoliberal Sarkozy. I would suggest that Macron has made it very clear that he sees the US as a potential threat, and I believe it could leave NATO again, this time even taking with it the rest of the EU members who are increasingly anti-US/Trump.

Since Macron made his views clear and proposed an EU Army the protests have waged against him, surely orchestrated by US funded “NGOs” in order to have Macron removed. This mantra that the EU is a neoliberal project, turning into a fascist state, glued to the US is just nonsensical because it’s removed from the facts on the ground. Yes, for sure there are right wing elements in the EU and they are trying to have greater influence in the EU, but that’s a world of difference to people here stating the EU has been and remains a neoliberal project.

Paul Taylor
Reader
Paul Taylor

The European Army was brought into being by the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. The main question however should be why would a mostly single land mass trading block need any form of unified military? NATO has kept the relative peace in Europe for the best part of 70 years partly due to the USA’s involvement. Trump highlighted the fact most countries fail to meet the 2% spending expectation. The USA spending is closer to 4% of GDP, which is good for their economy, which may well be why both the French and German Gov’ts are keen on this. The other main issue here is that there is already an international Gendarmerie force because turning troops on civilians could be seen as politically toxic but better trained ‘super police’ would be acceptable.

Jay-Q
Reader
Jay-Q

Fascism is not solely a right-wing phenomena. Surely you understand that much?

jag37777
Reader

There’s always one isn’t there? Christ on a bike.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Yes, there’s always an independent thinker, you’re correct. I try and avoid being taken in by ultra right and ultra left propaganda.

jag37777
Reader

I wasn’t referring to you, troll.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Facism is right wing. It’s a collusion between politicians and corporations, surely not left wing.

You are probably refering to totalitarianism which can be of the left, by fascists, or of the left, by Bolsheviks etc.

Jay-Q
Reader
Jay-Q

Dear, oh dear.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Dear oh dear.

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

Oops typo error. Totalitarianism can be of the right via fascists or Nazis, or of the left via Bolsheviks, Communists, etc.

nwwoods
Reader
nwwoods

Increasingly, it is appears to also be a centrist phenomena

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

… way off the mark…in terms of its conclusions.

ZioEurope
Reader
ZioEurope

“It was NOT a neoliberal project at all”

OK. It wasn’t intended to be a neoliberal project, that’s nice but hasn’t it turned into one?

It’s romantic to think of Europe was intended t be a socio-Heaven on Earth. But no such a thing would be allowed when Uncle Sam is still alive.

(It’s a mystery to see all the refugees were ‘directed’ to Europe when the logical place for them would be the countries that instigated the wars, the US, UK and Saudi Arabia + UAE)

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

The refugees and immigrants were directed at the EU because they are generally well meaning people who would like to help others. The fact is that they under-estimated the size of the problem, or where hoodwinked by Soros and his NGOs into keeping the doors open.

Hungary, Poland and one or two others, and finally Italy, have put a stop to this nonsense. Yes, these are EU countries who put a stop to it. Hungary has been the most vociforous in this respect, and guess what, it’s leaders still remain pro-EU despite the attempts by some quarters to sanction it.

In other words, the EU has its own internal politics, different wings, and this is also very visible in the elected European Parliament where Farage and others attend and debate openly and democratically vote.

jag37777
Reader

So, amongst all your other qualities, you’re anti refugees now too.

Is this a new wrinkle in the Grauniad script?

Frankly Speaking
Reader
Frankly Speaking

If you are replying to me, if you bothered to read all my other posts not relating to the EU, you’d see that I no longer support the Guardian and rarely visit it. Being called a troll and Guardian supporter by you is laughable, to put it mildly.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

The people of the EU might indeed be well-meaning, as are most educated people, but the problem is not the people, but their so-called representatives. Honest representation of us, yes, us, was hijacked long ago, and the people who lead most of the world’s countries today went into politics because of the good wages and the feeling of importance.
Heaven knows, it’s an old enough story to be pretty obvious to modern observers.

lundiel
Reader

I think the European army is as far away as ever. It was only ever France and Germany that wanted an EU army, can anyone seriously see a unanimous vote by the 27 to cede sovereignty on defence? Say they did all agree to have an army, how would they fund it with their fixed budgets? Germany and France could afford it but for the rest it might well be the straw that broke the camel’s back. This is hot air being blown at Trump imo.

bob
Reader
bob

would you ike to explain the anglo-french treat and organisation because nobody has talked about it in parliament – yet the tories have it as a going concern – totally undemocratic of course

tutisicecream
Reader

“Russia ‘paved way for Ukraine ship seizures with fake news drive”

In the era of Bumper Sticker News this headline from the Guardian is classic. It completely conflates three memes about Russia

Russia = bad; fake news = bad,bad; Russia + fake news + paving [the] way = bad, bad, bad!!!

Kit is right there is something rotten in all this and the French who have a good nose for this shit have taken to the streets with 80% of the popular opinion. The Globalist Cabal is rattled and are flexing their deep state dark arts to threaten all who are not in the club.

Russia capitalists, not in the club. Chinese capitalists not in the club and of course Workers of the World, not in the club. In other words those who are not part of the Globalist Cabal are not – in – the club. I think George Carling did a set on something similar years ago. So it’s not new.. and it certainly ain’t prutty…

Threats by the Cabal: Russian’s detained or disappeared; Chinese being detained or disappeared, peoples uprisings crushed. Well unless it’s somewhere like Ukraine where shelling out $5 billion is money well spent to stage an uprising!

John Hawk
Reader
John Hawk

George Carlin…please

a
Reader
a

Khochoggi was punished for his dissent, and before him Qaddafi, and before him Hussein, and before him.. . n(1) …n(infinity).. no body came to his (their) defense.. its not just Europe, its a universal human problem. The deep state(military industrial state, bankers, brokers, and foreign interests highly coordinated by the interstate connected intelligence services) uses the governments and military of the USA, UK, Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, Australia, in actions designed to deny the governed rights to self determination, independence and democracy, Gaza Settlement minded investors have Israel denying its domestics and killing off the Palestinians in occupied Gaza, its Saudi vs the people in oil rich Saudi, where dissenters are executed as in Egypt. .. In Yemen a third party foreign government kills off domestic dissenters, in Iraq a foreign government dictates against the will of the majority empowered leaders, in Afghanistan the same, and in South Africa the government kills off its white land owners.. the government of Spain jails leaders elected to withdraw from nation state Spanish governance.. Reported that Tanks have been seen moving into position in France.. every where the awesome forces available to the nation state human control system seem busy taming unhappy governed domestics… both the government and the governed have come to realize the problem is not at the government:governed interface, instead the governments actions are the inevitable result of a few being in control of a government, always the few want to use the awesome powers of government to disenfranchise the masses.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

I don’t even think their aim is to disfranchise the masses.
That’s just collateral damage from their aim to see how wealthy a human being can become by controlling everything.

vexarb
Reader

Tutti, “somewhere in the Ukraine” the EU$A’s Jewish led Nazis are planning a 911 type False Flag, according to today’s Saker. To which the Leader of the intended victims reply=ies:

“Strangely enough, I urge the Ukrainian police to increase vigilance and try to prevent the terrorist acts planned by SBU. Remember, you do not serve the criminals who came to power as a result of a coup, you serve the people ”

The same message ought to be sent to our own police.