The EU describes itself as being “based on the rule of law. This means that every action taken by the EU is based on treaties”.
The most important of these are the Maastricht Treaty, which transformed the European Economic Community into the EU and entrenched neoliberal regulations across the continent, and the Lisbon Treaty, the EU’s de facto constitution.
These treaties would have to be changed in order to effect any fundamental transformation of the EU.
How can EU treaties be changed? The Lisbon Treaty sets out the incredibly tortuous procedure:
- A proposal must emerge from either a national government, the European Parliament, or the European Commission.
- The Council then discusses the proposal and passes it to the Council of Ministers, comprised of national heads of government.
- The Council of Ministers must then consult the European Parliament, the Commission, and (if the proposal touches on monetary matters) the European Central Bank.
- The Council of Ministers must vote on the proposal, with a simple majority required for it to progress further.
- For any proposals suggesting fundamental change, the President of the European Council must then convene a “Convention”. This must be comprised of representatives from national parliaments, national governments, the European parliament, and the Commission, but the President has total discretion as to how many of each are included.
- The Convention discusses the proposal and develops, by consensus, a draft treaty text.
- An intergovernmental conference convenes to discuss the text.
- If the text is approved, it must be ratified by member-states in accordance with domestic law, e.g. through national parliaments or referenda.
The barriers to any serious change of the EU treaties are obviously formidable; indeed, they are practically insurmountable.
One: To begin with, a majority of EU member-state governments (i.e. at least 15) must first agree to the potential change.
Therefore, for R&R to work in the way leftists suggest – for the EU to be reformed in a socialist direction – socialist governments would need to have been elected in 15 EU countries, and they would have had to develop a consensus on EU reform.
The likelihood of this occurring is obviously close to zero. Thanks in part to the EU treaties, even moderate social democratic parties – let alone real socialist parties – have been eviscerated across the continent, and there has been a widespread lurch to the right and towards nationalist populism.
Even if we ride the unicorn into a fantastical future where 15 socialist governments are simultaneously elected across the EU, at step five the Council president has the power to rig proceedings against meaningful change.
There is nothing to stop him or her stuffing the Convention with unelected bureaucrats from the Commission, or with the scarcely-elected Europhiles who dominate the European Parliament.
Furthermore, at step six, our imaginary socialist governments’ representatives will be further diluted by representatives of other EU governments that do not share their priorities, with whom they are supposed to reach “consensus”.
Any serious reform programme – let alone radical objectives like turning the EU into an instrument of socialism – would be considerably diluted, if any consensus could be reached at all.
At step seven, the non-socialist EU member-states would enjoy a second opportunity to veto any change, while at step eight, so would the parliaments or populations of most EU countries, depending on their domestic rules on treaty ratification.
The Irish constitution, for example, requires treaties on constitutional matters to be put to a referendum; accordingly, a country of 4.8 million people could veto changes desired by up to 468.7 million people (the combined population of the 15 largest EU member-states).
R&R is therefore practically impossible.
-  Ideology and Utopia – Karl Mannheim – p.140/141
-  The Looting of Greece – Jack Rasmus – pp.116/117
For direct-transfer bank details click here.
It has taken the On-Guardian’s shitface brigade only a fortnight to weasel in the first endorsement from on-high for its next long-running “screw the ignorant fucking plebs” campaign:
this parasites fed well from the peoples fruit – but as it’s branches are now heavier with fattened cats than profitable harvest, so they’ll weaken the tree, poison the soil and place their men of straw around it to plant the seeds of fear, confusion and division – so again the people flock to them, sick birds, desperate for a nest – and hoping the wind blows harder on their neighbours side….than theirs.
Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
Corbyn could do a lot of good but reforming the EU is the wrong goal. It has been tried more than once before, forget it.
This is the reality of the EU.
I am really sad to see Corbyn join the ranks of the Remainers, and talking about “transforming” the EU though he must know perfectly well that that is a fantasy.
Apart from Brexit, I would far rather see Corbyn in 10 Downing Street than Boris. But Brexit is more important than anything else. If the only way to get Brexit is to keep Boris in number 10, then so be it.
Thanks for the clarification.Byzantine doesn’t even begin to define this beurocratic tyranny. Machiavelli would get a migraine trying to devize a way of effecting change in the stacked deck of EU legislation.
Sorry to say Frank, but some of your articles, including this one, is a pile of sh1t stirring.
We have 3 electoral choices:
– Boris the Neoliberal, TTIP, liar extrodinaire,
– Swinson, I rub my “funny” at the ecstatic thought of Remaining in the EU,
– Corbyn, the I’m Not Sure About the EU, but At Least I want to Help the Average Person socialist.
You can try and destroy Corbyn as much as you want, but at the end of the day, he’s by far the best choice of the bunch.
Methinks that your continuous anti-Corbyn stance risks placing you amongst the company of Nazty Kippers?
Three ships, HMS UK, SS USA, and CSS EU, all listing badly and no life-boats. The Captains are quarrelling and the crews are mutineering. Have you built your raft yet?
“The barriers to any serious change of the EU treaties are obviously formidable; indeed, they are practically insurmountable.”
So how did that happen?
The Anti Tax Avoidance Package is part of the Commission’s ambitious agenda for fairer, simpler and more effective corporate taxation in the EU.
The Package contains concrete measures to prevent aggressive tax planning, boost tax transparency and create a level playing field for all businesses in the EU.
It will help Member States take strong and coordinated action against tax avoidance and ensure that companies pay tax wherever they make their profits in the EU.’
What was UK’s position on that?
‘Cameron stepped in to shield offshore trusts from EU tax crackdown in 2013:
“David Cameron intervened personally to prevent offshore trusts from being dragged into an EU-wide crackdown on tax avoidance, it has emerged. In a 2013 letter to the then president of the European council, Herman Van Rompuy, the prime minister said that trusts should not automatically be subject to the same transparency requirements as companies… But when some in the EU wanted to extend the same principle to trust structures, Cameron said in his letter to Van Rompuy that tax authorities were already “gaining access to more information than ever before on trusts, especially offshore trusts,” through information-exchange agreements with tax authorities in different countries.”
2015 – the government again tried to stop the EU moving forward as did the combined Tory, Ukip and DUP MEP’s.
‘The UK has had legislation on the marketing of tax schemes since 2004, but these new rules would force all EU Member states to share details of all tax schemes every three months to be displayed in a central directory of avoidance schemes. These plans would tighten up restrictions on UK based intermediaries that take part in off-shoring and tax avoidance, of which Britain is a global leader alongside the US and Hong Kong.
It is possible that Britain would not be subject to these rules if a hard Brexit’ is pushed through Parliament, but were we to remain as a part of the single market, we would be subject to these laws and would be forced to be more transparent in our harboring of shell companies and intermediaries. Is this part of the reason that right-wingers are pushing for a hard Brexit and a categoric severance from Europe? Or is it simply a part of the vast web of regulation that they wish to free Britain from?’
However, Brussels refused to comply and on 28 January 2016, the European Commission produced its first draft of The Anti Tax Avoidance Directive and three weeks later, David Cameron told a press conference in front of 10 Downing Street that the UK will vote on whether to remain in the EU on Thursday 23 June.
‘Within minutes, Theresa Villiers, Priti Patel, Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling, and John Whittingdale appeared at the Vote Leave headquarters, holding a banner with a slogan “Let’s take back control”. Speaking on behalf of six Tory Brexiteers, Grayling explained that they want to restore the sovereignty of the British nation.’
The EU is implementing plans for supervision!
Need I carry on? Change is what the EU has been about since it started.
Sorry, this has nothing to do with reforming the Maastricht treaty, monitory policy or the ECB which is the crux of the article. Of course the Tories don’t want to reform/regulate tax evasion. The fact is, nor does the EU because we (the city of London) deal with the financial affairs of most European businesses, their pension funds, financial insurance, hedge funds and financial instruments. The EU is just out to make political capital at the expense of the city. If the financial centre moved to Frankfurt (which it can’t, in or out European finance is too interwoven in the city to comprehend moving it), Europe would quietly forget tax avoidance
3 out of 10, must do better.
I should also have said, much of the European tax avoidance palava is about American companies using Luxumbourg etc, they will quite happily keep using British protectorates when we are half in and half out.
Did you actually bother reading the links and the further links they contain?
I gave a very irm example of a single issue that has taken many years to progress often against veto’s by the UK and attempts at spiking at all stages – which has resulted in a ‘treaty’ that will apply equally to all member states.
The moment that became unstoppable was the moment the hard brexit plan was put in place.
Look at it chronologically and understand that it was on the cards for a longtime and the brexit was thus setup over a long period. Austerity was used to wind up the public and membership of the EU was the scapegoat.
That alone did not deliver the brexit result but it provided the fire and smoke that allowed the referendum to be spiked by ballot stuffing.
The result was in the bag before the EU refused to yield to the City.
Finally, the City is not as you keep trying to imply the commercial city of London that plies retail products and seevices across the world. They can carry on easily by setting up offices within the EU as they did straighy away in Dublin and Frankfurt.
The CITY is the ancieny city – that the plutocrats of the pathocracy -run , and is never are allowed to been seen except by these who are given a ‘seat at the table’.
Do you not think it coincidental that Frank has splurged another article within hours of my posting?
Really, Lundiel, we covered a lot of ground a few months ago, which I don’t really want to repeat in response to continued efforts at the ‘hard brexit’ by some very unsavoury groups that are no more than versions of controlled opposition – which I certainly don’t think you are.
I’ll leave it at that with you.
Links to opinion pieces by pro-remain groups/organs don’t mean jack shit. No I didn’t read them. The reason for the referendum had nothing to do with tax avoidance. Cameron, under huge pressure from UKIP took a chance he thought he’d win.
Lol. Nice. A bit like Nelson not seeing any ships through his blind eye. Maybe I reached my conclusion on you to hastily.
You can lead a horse to water…
The EU is no more capable of reforming itself than the old USSR or the Spanish Empire of the 17th century.
bloody stupid article – take a quote from Corbyn from before the referendum over 3 years ago, and argue against it. When Corbyn has accepted Brexit anyway.
Just what is the point of it?
(And Guardian type dishonesty in putting up a quote over 3 years old and implying it is current)
Except, in reality, Corbyn has not accepted brexit – whether by default or pressure from his party – he has motioned long enough and now is suggesting a second referendum with remain on the ballot. Corbyn’s history defies his current stance – so how does anybody know what his position will be come a successful election? Sorry, but he’s had long enough to clarify the position of himself and the party he leads – which turns more remain with every passing day. Hopefully, this labour party will be obliterated at this election thereby sowing the seeds for a new working class, pro leave EU party that truly represents its electorate
I just know that there are people in La Paz today who are saying, in a similar vein; “And good riddance to Evo too. Let us just hope that when MAS is obliterated the seeds will have been sown…etc ad nauseam.”
Morales was a nationalist. Is Corbyn?
Added to this are all the “Operational Research” objections to the possibilities of basic changes from within in even relatively dynamic established social and political systems advanced by Stafford Beer, both technically in numerous papers and popularly in books like the eminently readable Platform for Change (John Wiley, London and New York, 1975), including an account of his involvement with Allende’s Pinochet-terminated Cybersyn project in Chile, aimed at facilitating over all planning of the Chilean economy while enhancing the democratic role of its productive units (denoted in revolutionary Russia as “Soviets”) and avoiding the express, innate, degenerate fascism of Leninist-Stalinism, making scientifically explicit part of what Tony Benn intuitively understood when he campaigned against remaining in the EC/Common Market at the time of the 1975 referendum, warning that as time passed it would become increasingly difficult or even impossible to leave without severe political, economic and social disruption.
It is to the eternal damnation of the always-dictatorial structure of the irremediably bourgeois, always established-capital-serving Labour Party that not one of its self-serving theorists and strategists have come to Corbyn’s aid in explaining his sound, Benn-derived, but/so basically intuitive, antipathy to the EU and its horrendous, underlying acquis-perpetuated neocon facsimile of popular accountability with anything even approaching Mr Lee’s straighforward, easily-understood and absolutely accurate description of the entire politico-corporate (a.k.a. classical ‘fascist’) EU scamsham.
Remain and Reform? Utter, complete, contemptuous thus contemptible Bullshit.
Absolutely yes, and especially if / when the EU bloc might disconnect from NATO.
A small example of what can be achieved by the EU against the neoliberal US is that the EU is already massively fining the likes of Google and similar tech companies for abusing their power.
Similarly, in terms of the protection of our personal data, the EU GDPR is going to hammer those countries / companies that abuse us. Lots of other examples of consumer protections, workers and human rights, etc which will simply disappear post Brexit as the Nazty Party try and stamp their jackboots in our faces.
There is a strong left of centre alliance in the EU Parliament. We can be much stronger together, and we can resist both the neoliberal, and hard-left revolutionaries and say “no” to their divide and conquer unholy alliance!
The EU has never been more than a tool of globalist corporate interests.
It is like the Bourbons who learnt nothing and forgot nothing.
They are now doubling down and going for broke with an EU Superstate, centralised taxation and budgets, its own army and foreign policy.
Nobody wants this apart from a tiny self serving elite.
Ask people in Greece/ Italy/ Cyprus/ Spain/ Ireland/ the Baltics how the EU has worked for them.
Mark, the problem with those countries is not the EU itself, it’s specifically the Euro currency. The EU members retaining their own currencies are doing rather well. Greece had a chance to revert to the Drachma but most people seemed to be against doing that.
61% of Greeks voted to not accept the Troika’s bailout terms (ergo a currency default and return to the Drachma) but were over ruled by the European Commission, who deemed the ballot illegal. Got any more EU reform jokes we haven’t heard?
Well if its impossible then what?
If the EU had serious bullocks they should have thrown the UK out rather than sit around and wait for what has always been on the hidden agenda – to force a second referendum (hence remain because its now the peoples’ will ) with out making it look like you want one – this has been Mrs.Mays’ agenda, its Mr. Johnsons’ agenda and in a way its Mr. Corbyns’ as well unless he can win an election in the process. All three know this was the only real way out of the mess yet each one wanted to rule at the same time it happened.
Its the only thing these three ever really agreed on – its just the way each needs to appear to get there that’s different.
The fact is that Ireland and Scotland is what really matters to the EU – the rest is waste. The break up of GB would suffice nicely. Its what the EU really want.
You’ve got to be joking. Like Germany wants another two benefit claimants hanging around its neck when its already got plenty of defaulters.
If the EU wants the Jocks and the Paddies, then Xmas has come early. Give them Wales as well as a 3 for 2. And the free wine glasses.
Diplomacy not a strong point eh Mark.
Thought I would test the true water temperature. Interesting.
The economy is an energy economy – and excess or surplus energy economy to be more precise. All the time we treat it as a monetary and fiscal economy: it is GIGO. Which is why we have entered the pantomime personality politics of actual hallucinatory fantasy.
Nafeez Ahmed wrote that Brexit was a ‘slowburn’ energy decline. And Tad Patzek that the Ye;;ow Vest protests are directly correlated to a decline in the naptha distillate – from which we refine diesel. A decline that was set to increase when shipping switches from bunker fuel to diesel in January. So that is a partly testable prediction.
What is not testable – but actualised hallucinatory fantasy – is that economies can grow forever. Which has entered the actual Spectacular scenario that they can: because a carreer political puppet says they can. Anyone who enters into this imaginary bargain has no one else to blame for their foolishness.
Keen et al have shown that socio-politico-economics evolved before thermodynamics and never accommodated for them. Accomodated for they reveal a totally different economy. One on which Brexit; leave or remain; deal or no deal; have very little impact on. Except they leave us massively exposed to correction: as Tim Morgan’s two latest pieces make crystal clear:
That correction hass been in progress for twelve years. It reached semi-critical in September. Who knows how it will play out. The thing to note is that the central bankers are nearly out of monetary tools to keep staving it off. If and when it occurs: they have no policies to deal with it.
This Transnational Money Multiplier Sequence (TMSS) is centered on the City. Collapse of our main business model – financial services (75% of UK economy – ONS) – leaves is spectacularly exposed as an island within globalisation. Which makes os spectacularly exposed to social unrest. Especially with everyone in negative equity with no savings. Eating chlorinated chicken from a foodbank. And having to pay at the point of service for the NHS.
It might not come to that. But it is more plausible than what passes for political imaginary fantasy. There is the problem: we are a deeply capitalist: committed to capitalism. I thought everyone knew the GND is a green finance capitalist agenda fronted by Labour? There will hardly be any point raising it again. We have fantasy political extend and pretend agenda based on fantasy socio-economics that are demonstrably false. Which leaves us fantastically exposed to correction no matter what policy is implemented by whom. And the further we get from reality: the more defensive we become about the fantasy narrative constructions that make GIGO seem real. We are now in actual fantasy and denial.
”What is not testable – but actualised hallucinatory fantasy – is that economies can grow forever.”
Yep, debt financing is simply bringing down growth today from growth tomorrow. Which poses the question of what happens when we get to the increasingly less distant and impoverished tomorrow?
It all follows the logic of the classical Ponzi scheme. Get yourself into debt, borrow some more debt of greater magnitude, to get yourself further into debt in order to pay existing debt, ultimate result = exponential rise of debt levels, until bingo, the pyramid scheme collapses under the weight of its own debt-load.
This is the theoretical economics and practices of the IMF, Central Banks, Investment banks, commercial banks,WTO, WB, OECD, BIS, Journals, like the Economist, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, as well as economic academic in universities who spread this tripe. These fanatics are utterly committed to their own BS and are bringing us the edge of the abyss.
Am I alone in thinking that we have brought down the wrath of god for entrusting our fate to a totally corrupt and self-serving oligarchy which passes for leadership. In the words of de Maistre : ‘Every country has the government it deserves.’
No you are not: it is an opinion I share. Debts alone destroy civilisations as Keen and Hudson point. Debts rise exponentially and economies expand along an S-Curve distribution making debts unrepayable – without a clean slate jubilee year. They knew this 5,000 years ago: but we pretend we can extend credit/debt ratios infinitely. We cannot.
Tainter showed that complexity and inequality of distribution destroys civilisations. The ‘energy complexity spiral’ creates a ‘net energy cliff’ when the input/supply of an neo-agrarian economy is outstripped by the output/demand from the wealthy superstructure. When the net energy cliff is reached – there is neither enough energy to maintain failing overcomplex systems of inequality; nor is there any surplus energy to transition to a simplified system. Civilisations rise, prosper, and decline due to net energy throughput.
I only mention this due to all this election pseudo-euphoria about the next phase of our expansion comes as we are actually declining to the cusp of the net energy cliff. Which is just another way of expressing Tim Morgan’s own SEEDS2 database. The transition we make to growth or sustainability (the two are mutually exclusive and should never be mixed) will determine whether we can transition through the decline in net energy to a survivable option.
Which is so good to see the pseudo-glee surrounding the ceding of the responsibility of overseeing this transition to green finance capitalism: so they can turn species into derivative commodities and rent privatised nature back to us environmental services. Having placed a social taboo among ourselves on even discussing the ramifications. There are no need to discuss the ramifications: they are unconscionable. Which makes the election of the Corbyn Vichy government of occupation unconscionable.
I thought everyone knew that the LaboutGND was a green finance capitalism front? Ouch! Let’s not mention that ever again! The biggest humanitarian and ecological disaster to befall humanity is about to be given legal rational status through onconscious blind-obedience without ever being assessed or even mentioned. I cannot even express how mortally terrifying this is to me …without being very, very, rude about the ecological illiteracy of the electorate. It is not that they do not know: it is that they do not even want to know.
And so the GND – or ‘green industrial revolution’ – will get in. And the “wrath of God” – the corporate Mammon of green finance capitalism – will be unleashed on what’s left of the biosphere. I cannot tell you the pain this is causing me.
And as both parties have a version of it: the financialised ‘green industrial revolution’ will get in. And no one can think the can vote Green for and alternative: Lucas and Pettifor invented the fucking thing. Lucas was at the meeting with Zack Exley: but there is no point ever mentioning that again Obedience is the raison d’etat?
The thing I find amazing of the people who push the Remain and Reform mantra is that when asked what reforms they are seeking, they invariably either change the subject or say something devoid of any actual content. Remain and Reformers are in reality nothing but Remainers.
Sheesh – Will you guys never give it up?
Your HARD BREXIT is dead, dead, dead.
You can try as much as you like to raise it like a zombie or Frankensteins monster from bits and pieces – but it will never be your Singapore on Thames dream.
Week 2 of election – this article could have been written on any number of actual issues current this week – such as:
1. The almost Grenfell like disaster where we may have lost many students in a tragedy that would have stopped the election campaigning just like the tertorist murders did in 2017. Privately purpose built substandard student accommodation – not EU imposed.
2. The disastrous flooding and continued dangers that are a direct result of ignoring environmental experts and degrading the civil servants in the government over the decades to enable private companies to build houses with inpunity; while letting private farmers destroy flood limiting small fields, hedgerows, copses, making future floods more likely with every insane new unregulated building – none of it imposed by the EU.
3. The utter bias in the msm against Labour, shown by the bbc news team. The handholding and protection offered to their buffoon. Including the childish attempts on the other channels and radio networks like LBC – where deprived of the Fartage show, the rest of the drone shock jokes lumber under fair coverage having to allow the non ERG only viewpoints to be aired – the contempt that oozes out of the poor dj’s as they can’t help themselves. Nigel still gets plenty of coverage – funny though how they have belatedly decided Trump’s endorsements is like being kissed by a sloth!
In today’s Obsessive Groan – Ridiculous Rawnsley, removes his useless mask of impartiality and rides like a fury for the Tories;
meanwhile they publish made up polls (funded by private indviduals!) of 500 hand picked, whoevers, that show the libdems smashing Labour in London.
None of it to do with the EU failing to regulate fair media.
4. Any of the ongoing development in the conspiracy to impeach & conspiracy to coup in the US.
5. The actual on the ground reports from Syria, Iraq, Iran … the rest of the world that has fuck all to do with the EU.
I could go on but this sermon is already long and I’m sure Admin, the author, and venerable commentator fans such as Lundiel want to lay in
And keep insisting that the election is still only about brexit.
That is why the tories were given bobo – so that he would keep it about brexit.
That is why the media is upset that Labour have been talking about popular policies before, the manifesto launch (avoiding the suscpicious leaks from last time!) and are scrambling to divert attention – the jolly handy Andy interview? The hiding of Bobo.
Yeah kiddos and old folk (lundy) and fake social democrats and fraudsters i’ll leave you with the words of JC.
““the debate is over”
No one here thinks hard Brexit is remotely possible. Most think we can never leave.
The election has already been won by Johnson, the only question is by how much, enter 1,2 and 3 of your points. With regard to 4, there will be no impeachment, it’s all bollocks just like Russian interference on behalf of the Tories.
No 5 has plenty to do with the EU and NATO.
You still haven’t explained how we will reform and remain given the insurmountable difficulties listed above, the damage any reform would do to the German economy, the untenable long-term prospects of the Euro, the unpayable debts of some members, the skewed economic “one size fits all” approach, the emptying of Eastern European states, the rush to federalism as the answer, the European army we have already committed to, how NATO membership is a condition of joining the club, etc, etc etc.
That is an affectionate shortening🤗
Busy now – maybe i’ll reply later or put up new post.
Have a fine evening.
Reply later. It would be preferable to having to put up with a new post.
Nah – new post it is
The thing is, Remainers don’t actually want to reform the EU. The majority don’t really understand how it works, and those who do are probably mostly from the sort of elites who benefit quite nicely from it being a neoliberal capitalist club.
Anyway, The Full Brexit site has some good articles on this subject, e.g.
Sorry to keep you waiting it was a late but fun evening.
A new post with lots of links – awaiting moderation.
Now the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and if people really bother to investigate you will find that it was a top EU Bilderberger Klaus Kleinfeld who was CEO of Arconic and knew that the cladding was inflammable but went on to sell it.He is now being sued by shareholders because of loss of profits because of the fire.It seems he has now buggered off to Saudi Arabia.He has now given himself the title of Dr Klaus Kleinfeld and is along with Tony Blair advising on how to enhance the economic, technological and financial development of Saudi Arabia..Well the EU breeds these kind of people I say no thanks.We just need to deal with our crooks which we can. But we have no chance to get rid of the ones that run the EU. Previously he was also CEO of Siemens and was sacked because he was involved in a bribery scandal.
“I think you need to look to the EU as I have mentioned before.Article 24 of the directive was cemented into UK law in April 2014 and a Government report says “bringing as many residential and commercial buildings as possible up to a high level of energy performance is a priority for the UK Government”.
Cladding is often used to improve energy efficiency and it is thought there could be up to 30,000 buildings in the UK fitted with similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower.”
Is remain and reform even possible?
Leaving under article 50 has proven to be impossible. Whilst the possibility of reform exists under some treaty or other (for which we never voted), you can be sure it has been designed in such a way as to be impossible to achieve.
The only time “reform” happens is behind closed doors during some Faustian conference between big business and bureaucrats.
‘Remain and reform’ is merely Remainiac snake oil design to gloss over the fact that still, after nearly four years, they have not managed to come up with a single positive argument for staying in the EU.
That’s unfair, the sort of comment that Remainers make about Brexiters. It means they haven’t bothered to read the arguments for Brexit. Don’t descend to their level.
The arguments for Remain are weak: some highly questionable estimates by economists (most of whom have never made a correct prediction in their careers), some arguments about challenging the stranglehold which the USA has on the world financial system (it’ll be more effectively challenged by China eventually). Set against these misty dreams, the case for restoring democracy to our country is overwhelming. But even weak arguments are arguments, don’t say there aren’t any.
The comments in this thread should by rights be argued against by our remain supporting fans like dungroaning. Where are they? I want them to explain how we will reform the EU and how they think it will stay together. Answers please.
Lol – I’ll be with you shortly – don’t panic. Trying to get sunday dinner domestics sorted first.
Big, fat, bourgeois middle-class grub-up, huh?
Champagne socialist actually if you please.
Though ale is my poison. I’m a bit imbibed now and not going to try writing any more. Till after some supper. Standby.
Oh go on, another couple of pints and you’ll understand everything.
Still awaiting moderation…
Who’s been a naughty boy then. 😌
Trouble with sticking to facts – they come with links.
If you need help in knocking the skin off the rice pudding, I’m sure some strapping Brexiter can come and give you a hand. 😉
How many domestics? Cook? Plus Assistant Cook? Plus Scullery Maid? Plus ???
In which case the disease is the cure. These nationalist parties/movements are your ticket–at the moment your only ticket–out of the EU, after which you will then have to proceed to step two: to struggle for control of your newly independent, newly sovereign national government. But to continue to vote for controlled-opposition ‘socialist’ parties while remaining inside the neo-liberal EU is just national suicide.
Cameron tried this stunt here:
He failed. Hence the Referendum of 2016 and the Uk is still not out
if meaningful reform were truly possible in the EU, does one not think we’d have seen even a crack in the door of the project? a tiny bit of reform in the decades since it morphed from what we joined to what it’s become?
no. the traffic has all been one way. in this instance, the past is very much a guarantee of future performance.
The word you are looking for is “acquis”.
And Remainers think America’s Electoral College is undemocratic and needlessly complicated!
Legally Recuse the UK from European Jurisdiction and reform the British Justice system first and address the now critical information wars, seems more imperative than anything else: primarily, given the existing pathetically outdated Media & Communications Laws, which we should all recall that Judge Leveson wished to & offered to review for Ms.May, upon her election. Why did she suppress that necessity? We all know about her husband’s ‘best business interests’.
That Corbyn appears so disinterested in the UK lacking & failure regarding the state of Human Rights for publishers @home, given the Guardian’s persistent media campaign against him (just one example) & moreover, more importantly Julian Assange, is beyond belief & human compassion !
‘We are all Julian Assange’ and if the Deep State can do what they are presently doing with mainstream media assistance to the US President, as Jim Jordan said “… Imagine what they can do to YOU ! “. Corbyn has herewith nullified any respect he may have curried, ever, historically speaking and after all the Regime Change Wars promoted by the MSM, one has to suggest that he is either compromised, been manipulated, or gone blind, deaf, dumb & senile. Corbyn disgusts me today (and other family members, too), who recall his stance against the wholly phoney Iraq War & fictitious WMD’s. Judge Arbuthnot should be prosecuted, for failure to recuse and unless Assange’s Lawyer, Jen Robinson, begins to make better & stronger legal argumentation in court, I would fire her immediately, find another lawyer or represent myself. The UK Justice system is so corrupted and damaged now permanently, that I’m stunned not to see some young Lawyer wishing to make a name for themselves, to be recorded in history as the person who stood up for Human Rights and Julian Assange >>> because, “I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow.” Lawyers today, cannot even respect themselves, for this very reason: is there not one Lawyer prepared to stand up and do their job vociferously with conviction? Knowing full well who to accuse of interfering in the UK Justice system, to shield corrupt wealthy elites, with the assistance of a wholly corrupted National Security State ! Corbyn ignores human priorities and journalistic lies and misrepresentations, even about himself, purely for opportunistic narcissistic gain and I sincerely hope he loses this election and that the Labour party then elects Chris Williamson, (not Jess Flip-Flop), as someone with the courage to finally speak out against the wholly corrupted prostitutes of journalism, media ownership and the likes of Murdoch, Dacre & Co. But, I have to say that the chances of a constructive UK societal evolution of consciousness & legal awareness of any human rights, seems now very very slim, sadly . . . Corbyn disgraces himself and Kowtows to paedophiles & elitist wimps, within “The History of the National Security State.”
Corbyn is weak.
No one man is Everyman. Corbyn has an intuitive understanding of most of the iniquities encompassed within the subsequently grossly distorted initial policy stance he has tried to establish; it is the mealy-mouthed, often-bought self serving shitburgers in his shadow government who could have addressed the issues in the spirit he framed them, but who have chosen not to who are culpable. Corbyn is still standing and still trying to deliver his necessarily uncoerced, socialist-tending dream; ergo Corbyn by that token alone is neither narcissistically self-absorbed nor weak. Those mouthing so would do well to look in their magic, bullshit-enhancing Leichner mirrors and take supportive, compassionate action to remove any such egotistical, calumniating stains that they might find there.
Corbyn is unfortunately trapped in the web the system creates for any one who tries to defy the system. While being of the system. He is forced into a trap that means he can not push to hard or he will lose any power he does hold. But if he does not stand strong over things he is supposed to champion he is week and loses power any way. In such situations it is difficult to gain traction. The imprisonment of Julian Assange is a disgrace and the world needs people who will call all of what is bad out. It is time to over throw the power the system holds. This is no longer the time for appeasements to gain power. This is the time to shine a light in to the darkness. As for the Brexit thing it is like hagelians dialectic principle. If it can not be resolved it is because the whole thing is wrong and it is time for synthesis. To seek to move into a greater understanding. This then becomes not about leaving or staying within the EU but about transcendence. We are at a pinnacle to a higher truth it is important that we remain focused on this and refuse to allow ourselves to be sucked into supporting the problem and remaining within the prison of what is now.
You said it, Seamus, & Corbyn is utterly visionless for any future societal development of moral, principle and legal distinction: and what angers me the most, is that the UK could have led the world right now, in defining human rights and media ownership & journalistic responsibilities in its’ own RIGHT, with an international perspective and fundamental standpoint on freedom of information: therein, enabling voters to make informed decisions in futures brighter, instead of participating in Regime Changes for Corporate Fascist Dictatorship, over sovereign rights to Knowledge … & the right to know for what & for whom you are voting.
It seems to me that Corbyn and Labo0ur is in a bit of a bind. If he insists on EU membership he will be likely to lose the working class leave vote in the North and much of the Midlands, but retain the South and urban centres where the middle-class Remain vote is concentrated, this will not be enough to form a government and betokens a rather strange, and I would argue transient electoral base to start from. At best I think the outcome will be an unstable hung parliament. The bald fact is you cannot have a radical reforming Labour government within the neoliberal straitjacket of the EU. This is not just an economic constitutional question, it is also geopolitical, in terms of NATO membership.
I’m afraid he’s also lost much of the middle-class southern vote to the LibDems….They blame him for the passing of Article 50. No great loss except he made himself dependant on those votes from middle-class remained and now it’s split.
As Bevan said, the EU is crumbling. I don’t think it will collapse altogether, more like the Euro will collapse, those in most debt to foreign banks will leave, closely followed by the East European states. It (EU) will be left with 5 of the original states plus France(?) and us(UK. Whether we’re in or out we are still joined to Europe, if only as America’s policy enforcer).
What happens then? A new Euro for the remaining partners whose physical separation will make a federation unlikely? Or a free market trading group? Either way, I don’t see a place for Britain in this, let alone Scotland or Ireland and what will happen to the East Europeans who’ve been jettisoned?
Maybe I’m talking nonsense, but at least I’m thinking of the future which is more than any remain voter does, they only think of ever-increasing growth, a competitor to America and China….without mineral wealth.
Some very good comments in this thread.
Who thinks (honestly) that America, let alone Europe, will reign supreme for much longer? America’s position is only garunteed by military technology. Already Russia has blunted air superiority with the S 400 and America made the wrong choice with the F35. Admittedly America is committed to nuclear domination and first strike but it’s economy is dependant on stealing other countries resources and forcing it’s economic model on the rest of the world along with permanent military interventions. Theyhe future is difficult to discern. If we escape annihilation we’ll have to accept a lot more than whether we stay in the EU or not. IMO we should get out of NATO if we want to still exist in the future.
It will probably linger on for years, like the old Holy Roman Empire, till it becomes totally irrelevant and people no longer even pretending it exists.
The main arguments for “Remain and Reform” are first and foremost the current crew pushing Brexit. Not a very respectable crew and with definitely very dubious motives, also wealthy enough to profit from whatever fallout leaving may cause. The other reason is more subtle but also important. I’ve always been in favour of the Customs Union, the EC, but I thought a political union such as the EU was taking things just a step too far. The rush to expand East reinforced this, I got the impression that we were dealing with a latter day Europa, a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals united under the protections — well, obviously not the Reich these days but definitely under the business interests that favored a Reich style of government. However, while the EU was rushing headlong to follow in the Wehrmacht’s footsteps the British had a sweet deal where they could be both part of the EU and yet not part of it. The only price to pay was adopting commercial regulations and standards, something that’s unavoidable, and the acceptance of free movement for EU citizens. I suspect Brexit was triggered by the EU starting to take an unwelcome interest in the activities of the City — as with anything in this world following the money typically explains even the most obscure phenomena and Brexit pretty much only benefits the City, not the population as a whole.
Still the strongest argument has to be that the UK just has to get rid of this Trumpian Mini-Me minority rule. They have nothing to offer except confusion and penury.
Yes, and this must surely be a major factor that powers Remainers. Things have become so tribal and binary.
I must admit that for a long time I’ve been in the remain and reform camp, and must also admit that much of my thinking has just been reactionary, and just an opposition to the characters and motives of many of those who push for Brexit. In many ways I have been polarised by those I oppose, and who oppose me, but without me going deep enough into the nuts and bolts of the whole EU issue.
So I’ve gone from being someone who was predominantly a Remainer, to someone who is now a much more even split between Remain and Leave. In some ways I am now a fence sitter, but certainly have much more reading to do. And articles and comments on this site have had much to do with my change of thinking, as well as other places. I realise now how little I actually know about Socialism and history.
Of course I will always oppose a Tory/ right wing Brexit. And this isn’t just tribalism on my part. But I’m now much more open to left wing arguments for leaving the EU, and if Corbyn did get to renegotiate a better deal with the EU, I wouldn’t oppose it as vehemently as I would have done only a short time ago.
I can also see that much of my opposition to leaving the EU is down to losing personal freedoms such as the freedom to work in the EU. And I’m not sure that focusing on my own personal wishes and desires is the best way to be deciding my political outlook.
But all things considered, and as things stand at the moment, I’d probably still vote Remain if we get another say in a confirmatory referendum. But I’m certainly not as sure about my reasoning as I once was.
If, as many of the actual Left are, firmly believe is social justice, the reduction of inequality and oppose useless imperialistic adventures, why on earth would you support the UK remaining part of an Institution that has jettisoned two of the three pillars Jaques Delor’s promoted in the late 80’s. The fact remains. the Lisbon Treaty and Monetary policy detailed in said Treaty is neoliberalism on steroids that endorses perpetual austerity for the many in order that some, fantasy economic re-adjustment can occur where all members states are on an equal footing – the history of the EU since the introduction of monetary union has been a deflationary disaster for most members states and yet, TPTB continue with this fantasy, as the follow up reforms on the monetary policy side of the equation in 2009-2011 suggests. And, for posters to suggest, given the known facts, that its Brexiteers who push the fact that the EU is virtually impossible to Reform do so for political advantage is utter bullshite.
Again, the facts speak for themselves, Mr Juncker promised many reforms during his tenure, alas none occurred, with the exception to changes to Monetary Policy conducted by the last incumbent of the ECB. Still, if you desire Euro Monetary Policy dictated by an actual criminal, please be my guest, but we can have an alternative and I for one will not subscribe to TINA as a Socialist as far as to how the UK conducts its relations with European states – the EU is better off without the UK and the UK is better off without the EU, particularly if you desire radical change, a radical change that will never come from Brussels.
Of course, any minor change in the UK can only occur if we have a genuine Left-of-Centre administration in office that is committed to reversing the neoliberal adventure that has caused so much mayhem in the UK and further afield.
Ask yourselves this: Will the EU abandon neoliberal economic prescriptions and put people before business – and the answer is NO, No it will not change its spots, why should it given its hardly a democratic institution where the People can elect and remove key officials allegedly governing on the people behalf.
Benn, Shore and Castle et al were correct however much this may annoy Remainiacs.
My private hope all along would be to get Brexit done (pardon the expression) which would probably have to be done by a Tory government or a Tory-Brexit party coalition, and then once we were safely out with little chance of return for there to be elected a progressive left-oriented government, led by someone with Corbyn-style values, but without some of his baggage, to make the most of our independent status (and I don’t think coming out of the EU will make us any more a vassal of the USA than we already are (US bases? NSA anyone?). And by “make the most”, I mean of course nationalising rail and the key utilities, supporting key existing industries and establishing new ones, setting up public banks (and controlling the private ones), and properly provisioning education, health and social services, of course. I’d add a Job Guarantee Scheme, but that’s a bigger subject.
Well done. Don’t stop. Keep on truckin’…
Like in 2005? Just postpone it indefinitely if the polls show a “wrong” outcome. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_European_Constitution_referendum
“If we stay in we can change the EU.BS “That old mantra has been used for decades.The EU cannot be changed because it is run by criminals.
Corbyn is a Fabian socialist aka incremental change leading precisely nowhere because once the Fabian’s are booted out the Tory’s undo whatever nonsense the Fabian fake socialists did
Fabian socialist Pandit Nehru wronged India in many ways; hope you don’t get that with your Corbyn in the UK. Globalists ignore and dismiss national issues and thus easily create a mess in their home country.
”Corbyn is a Fabian socialist aka incremental change leading precisely nowhere because once the Fabian’s are booted out the Tory’s undo whatever nonsense the Fabian fake socialists did.”
Don’t be too hard on the Fabians Society founded in 1884. They did produce Fabian Essays in Socialism, first published in 1889 , which was quite radical for its time, and come to that, in ours. The where also the many Fabian Tracts produced by the FS, the first being, ”Why Are the Many Poor” written by Sydney Webb. More generally it was argued:
”With private property in the instruments of production, individual liberty as understood by 18th century reformers – e.g., Bentham, Mill – must be more and more restricted, that is, in our existing economic condition economic individualism is impossible and absurd. That even hostile or indifferent politicians have been compelled to recognise this. Suffice it to say that unrestrained capitalism tends as surely to cruelty and oppression as did feudalism or chattel slavery. That the remedy has been, and as a matter of fact, of a socialistic character, involving collective checking greed, and the paring of slices off the profits of capital in the interests of the working community. These four propositions can scarcely be contested.”
(Fabian Essays in Socialism – p.73 – Jubilee edition – London 1931.
Such was the weltanschauung of the English left radicals of the time. If only we had that sort of talk today. Sigh …
The original symbol for the Fabian Society was; “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”, just search for it using your own favourite search engine and while you are at it look up the Fabian Window: A stained glass window commissioned by Bernard Shaw in 1910 showing Fabian leaders Edward R. Pease, Sidney Webb and Bernard Shaw forging a new world out of the old, while other Fabians kneel worshipfully before a stack of Fabian writings. Echoes of the Bolshevik Revolution and Communism?
A new world consisting mostly, you will see if you look closely, of Asia and Africa. Get ready ragheads and darkies, the next wave of colonizers is here to bang bang you further into the desirable human.ist shape.
We can reform Oceania from within!
How dat? The non-Liberal settlers have not yet, after 200 years of colonization, including a century of extremely White Australia, successfully reformed even one Queensland peanut farm.
That the EU is run by criminals is not in question, but that is not the reason the EU cannot now be changed. Criminals will shoot the place up and change anything they want in a thus-stopped heartbeat if they can and it is to their short-term advantage so to do.
The reason it cannot be changed is because it was set up by prehistoric pre-EU (i.e. ECSC/EEC) criminals to be as resistant to change as possible in their then quest to optimize those evidently faulty design aspects of the Thousand Year Reich that had, they hoped temporarily, drastically shortened the long-term sustainability of that ambitious, millennium-dominating enterprise.
Thank you, Frank, for setting out in the clearest possible way that ‘reform’ of the EU in a socialist, or even social-democratic direction is rendered almost impossible by the very nature of the EU’s fundamental laws.
The belief that such change could occur is a favourite delusion of leftist remainers, including some in the Australian Labor Party. There are, indeed, self-proclaimed socialists who maintain this position. They have to do this because they know that EU rules forbid nationalisation of entire industries and make it difficult to adopt industry policies. Not that such ‘socialists’ will ever publicly acknowledge the existence of such laws.
Tragically, Jezza has been painted into a corner by the ravening neo-liberal EU-idolaters in his own party. The U-turn on Brexit which they foisted onto Labour will, I fear, deprive the party of victory next month.
Yup. And when that happens, are they going to blame Remain and the Blairites for Labour’s defeat? No, of course not! The media will blame Corbyn for being a ‘closet Brexiteer’ and demand his removal as Labour leader.
How much of anything is ‘possible’ within frameworks that are effectively set outside any political or democratic jurisdiction.
Of the Walrus and the Carpenter,
Oh oysters dear,
Who will you entrust,
to salve your bitter fear?
Any reconfiguring of the EU is being carried out by ‘events’
In our way of looking now, we cannot just say that event ‘happen’.
Brexit – as ‘memed’ – didn’t just happen.
The dice could be said to have been loaded.
But didn’t the City of London ensure that either way it would not become accountable to impending EU rules?
Perhaps the humans are all more hapless fools than seems in a script running on hindsight – also called narrative control or indeed judgement.
As for the mounting disaffection in ordinary people in yellow vests and other modes of disinvestment – these are ignored, suppressed, denied. or weaponised and marketised – even as the leverage by which to shift into open globalism and enforcement. Because in some way that might seem hard to believe, we have to give our willingness to the signing away of sovereignty or responsibility for our own consciousness – to others masking as the saviours to the mess they set up. This willingness is not what we think or say but what we do.
Rather than merely focus in what we each or all DONT want, where is the vision from anyone for what we DO want. Business as usual is between Boris and GM, Biotech, Mandatory vax, and wherever else the ‘smart’ money has decided to open for plunder, or the ‘socialism’ or Corporates that puts some sort of matrix out for their populace – but actually allows no real say in setting the parameters. Its a sealed system. No user access.
People are not trusted to make the decisions that organise and maintain the conditions for life – and are not EDUCATED to, but are essentially the means for the control layer to persist over them.
Now it may be that Globalism has different facets of at least regional variations but the current rend is the separating of an overclass from the abandoned, deceived and betrayed – perhaps as a result of rebelling against a fear of extinction.
Nothing worthy or true comes from such thinking although with necessity as the mother of invention the most ingenious schemes a laid down and carried out with methodical persistence.
Facing fears and owning them is the alternative to mind capture by them.
But the polarised ‘identity’ is the defence AGAINST this – and the manipulative leverage that effectively works like a supply of energy to tap into and subvert or neutralise.
Identity in fear is identifying over an against what we hate or fear – and this is unquestioned by anyone who finds a moral self-reinforcement in hate made into ‘holy war’.
But I may ask what identifies us truly – as an inherently felt and shared recognition of life?
Enforced ‘union’ is by coercive ‘consensus’.
Everyone has the inner sense to be able to ‘smell a rat’ or pick up that what is being said to be so is not what is really going on. No intellectual skills are required.
But as a love coming into our world we give our heart’s trust to not only learn the world, but as an attempt to somehow take on or support the issues and pains of others – and so can sacrifice our own life to living out other people;s relational conflicts that they in turn imbibed or induced and acquired as an adaptation that also unconsciously re-enacts and teaches the framework – such that the ‘world’ seems to be entirely exclusive of our perceiving or ‘Really Out There’ – either to attempt to control, possess or dominate and tame, or to adapt to under ‘if you cant beat em conform and comply’.
Fear distorts perception. Project fear works to SET the perceptions so as to make a ‘world’ in its own image – but this is always a private agenda – and will never truly integrate but only seem to under common enemy.
Hence it doesn’t matter if we are at war with Oceana or whether there is a ‘resistance’ but only that we respond and act as if it is so. However, what is the fulfilment of actually ‘winning’ fear compliance by coercion and deceit given worth as power? After the flush of the hit has passed. What For? Fantasy acted out on the bodies of a life that must be hateful because Life doesn’t support fantasies as more than a passing show that only leave the repetition of their acting out, hollow.
You have put one word in bold text that I believe is the key to much that is amiss in the world today: EDUCATION. And in particularly in the education to think critically, in acceptance that there is the likelihood that no single answer will be the correct one (if there is, in fact, a correct one). Instead, one is typically rewarded for parroting the oversimplifications or propaganda offered by a teacher, professor or textbook. And rare as hen’s teeth are the teachers who would ever consider introducing doubt or perspective into this stream of propaganda we are brought up learning.
I believe that this also accounts for the sheep-like behaviour of most people as adults. They have been well conditioned from the cradle to please their teacher, professor, leaders. What we need is REAL education, not a diet of brainwashing.
Education is also a social transmission or induction but without any sense of real worth to share on becomes an indoctrination of stuffed behavioural responses. Pavlov’s dogs.
The ability to question thinking is the ability to frame a question.
A Pavlovian technocracy frames the mind to incentives outcomes.
Guilt-penalty. Fear-threat. Carrot-reward. Compliance-sustainability of a learned substitute for thinking.’Survival’ under the terms of the conditionings.
Re-education starts from the ‘answer’ to seek and find its expression.
So yes. learning how to think – but everyone thinks they already think.
Consider all the aspects involved in ‘thinking’ as a conscious and purposeful endeavour and find the whole human being is involved and working as a whole.
Discerning the ‘answer’ in any given situation is first recognising the situation of problem or need for what it is – rather than the phishing ruse of running ahead with a misidentification as an invested self-agenda of possession and control .
Hence the learning to pause and question the unique context of what is present so as not to ‘rush’ into or be framed and deceived into saving a climate of fear – for example.
It isn’t that there a a lack of ‘answer’ available – but that a fear and control agenda actively blocks it.
Hence the call to open an education in fear of loss of identity associated or predicated on possession and control. ‘Thinking’ is fundamental to all perception and response, and when thinking runs as if ‘reality’ itself we co-create such ignorant arrogance and suffer it.
Part of the power of thinking is in its ability to induce a self-limiting and self-deprecating sense of life that then seeks remedy in external substitutions.
As for those who seek to manipulate or deceive. Perhaps regardless what they think, they are providing the willing with an active education in recognising how deceit operates in our propensity to succumb – so as to be able to choose NOT to take the bait rather than to be deceived and then defend our ‘identity’ against the true recognition of what is going on.
Without a fresh currency of idea and language expressing a genuine sense of worth, the attempt to ‘reason’ with deceit feeds it with new ways to manage the ‘matrix’ of a fake reality.
Invested illusions are deemed ‘too big to fail’ and incepted into the minds of the many as the call to sacrifice and deny ourselves for the sustainability of a control agenda – which marketises and weaponises thought as just another technologism. But it is not really thinking – but mind-capture.
Socially engineering society, as extended by industrial and media technologism is over a century old as the dominating force of an ever more pervasive control agenda.
The alternative to fear overriding our relational appreciation and response is a relational appreciation and response. Control in the sense I am using it – generates the chaos of its own justification – once unknowingly – but increasingly in some conscious sense of protecting an invested self-illusion – maintained against the feared ‘whatever’ and seeming to join with others in ‘righting wrongs’. This never arrives no matter how many generations are sacrificed to its many causes.
There is no doubt that you are right: the Lisbon Treaty and Maastricht were both intended to put the economy beyond the influence, let alone control, of the people. The EU is the Austrian School of Economics, translated into political terms.
It is also, like the economics themselves, unworkable. The EU is doomed to fail. It is already crumbling. It defies all the laws of political gravity except those of Franz Joseph’s advisors to the effect that large, undemocratic multi-ethnic states do not need to act in the popular interest, because, between the Magyars, Poles, Ukrainians, Czechs, Slovenes, Croats et al, the German ruling caste can count on the people fighting among themselves, and thus rule as it pleases.
It is not very sophisticated and it is as dated as milkmaids on stools. But then Frederick Hayek was not very bright either. He didn’t have to be, what mattered and what turned his dilettante musings into the basis of the world’s economic policy for the past fifty years, was the coincidence that it suited the greedy and the callous, in their plundering, to tell their victims that it was all for the best. Neo-liberalism was the Methodism of a world that no longer believed in God-instead of counselling the victims of capitalism to be patient and count on the comforts of eternal life, it told them that their turn would be coming up next.
As to Corbyn he knows as well as we do that re-nationalising the railways, taking broad band into public ownership and crushing the pharmaceutical oligopolies with non profit competition is all impossible within the EU, as constituted. He also knows that the supporters of the EU within the PLP pretend otherwise, but are totally wrong. But they aren’t willing to challenge party policy on the basis that, the UK having, in effect, ceded sovereignty in all matters of importance, the party should not be putting forward policy.
In other words the Remain and Reform compromise is a challenge to remainers to prove that reform is possible. And it isn’t.
I’m surprised that nobody realises this because this has been the policy of the socialists within the Labour Party throughout history: Remain and Reform is like campaigning not to end capitalism but to reform it, by taking its Commanding Heights and dictating, in the hope that it will wither away.
Of course one did not have to be much of a revolutionary to understand (as RH Tawney told the Fabians in 1951) that, while as a tactic such a campaign was useful-it putting all the pressure on ‘moderates’ to come up with a friendly capitalism which did as it was bid by working class representatives- it could never work. There was no alternative. There is no alternative to dismantling capitalism completely, and replacing it in every respect.
Socialists know that. It is why they are socialists. But they also know that some lessons have to be taught practically-in action. Socialists know that the EU cannot stand socialism and will not allow governments the freedom to enact socialist measures but lots of less politically educated people do not. So it is perfectly reasonable for socialists to say “Look we will agree to differ on what is possible within the EU. It is an argument that is getting us nowhere. Let us agree on this: we will introduce socialist measures, including investments far beyond the budget deficits that the EU will countenance, and if the EU is, as you remainers insists that it will be, OK with that, then everything will be fine. But on this we can agree, these are our policies and we are pledged to implement them within a very short time. And nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of the sovereign people’s mandate. Not the City, not Trump and the USA.Not NATO. Not the EU. Nothing.”
And if the UK elects a socialist government, it is certain that other countries will follow its lead and do the same. And every time that that happens Brussels will be faced with the choice of bowing out or doing as the people want.
Wow! Right on Ben, totally agree. But, there had to be a but, didn’t there.
” … if the UK elects a socialist government.”
To say that this massively begs the question is something of an understatement. I wish it weren’t. But to paraphrase the right-wing Republican Barry Goldwater, ”In your heart you know this is (not) true.” So. politics being what it is, we will need to start from where we are, rather than where we would like to be. Where that place is, is yet to be decided. But it doesn’t look like a good option either way. Like Weber said, one of the 2 mortal sins in politics is lack of realism, the other being the lack of responsibility.
La Lotte Continua
Thanks bevin! I always welcome your deeply knowledgeable clarity of explication. I wish you published more. Is there a blog? A website?
Too lazy for that Rhisiart. Instead of blogging I read. Today I’m reading David Jenkins’ “The Agricultural Community in South West Wales at the turn of the C20th.” A wonderful book that the University of New Brunswick evidently feels it can do without. Which, if you have a blog, would make a great subject..
Thank you for the flattery.
Even the Franz Joseph glacier, half a world away, is now trying to hide from that one:
I can’t really fault what Frank says. Wishful thinking is no substitute for analysis.
I live in Brittany in NW France, have done for 15 years and I’ve watched the 5 peasants in the nearest village become only 1, the herds of 15-25 cows morph into herds of 100-500, the latest incarnation of EU agricultural subsidies used to rip out hedgerows and create vast fields for vast tractors bought with money from the banks. I know former peasants who have sold or rented out their land, kept their machinery and now work as contractors, earning more for a 35 hour week than they did for 100+ hours as a peasant.
These are all things I witnessed with my grandfather in rural east anglia during the 1960s, happening on the continent just 50 years later.
On the other hand I heard Michael Gove on British radio this morning insisting that the only reason the Conservatives had failed to plant millions of trees as they had promised in their 2015 manifesto was the fault of the EU’s CAP. Clearly under a future Trump government, the UK will be planting trees like there is no tomorrow.
In or out of the EU, without socialism, the iron laws of capitalism, the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands, the destruction of culture and the degradation of the environment continues unabated.
It’s easy for middle-class wankers like Varoufakis and his Diem25 bollocks to fool certain cosmopolitan youngsters into believing this bullshit “remain and reform” mantra.
It’s a mirage and we need to wake up quick. It might already be too late.
I will still be urging my friends in Britain to vote Corbyn on December 12th- warts and all, and in the hope that he will escape the EU handcuffs at some point: I can see no other light at the end of the tunnel.
Whilst I’m no fan of DIEM25, I think you’ve been a bit too harsh on Prof. Varoufakis, who has gifted us with with a few readable books condemning the EU, these are useful texts for anyone opposed to what the EEC morphed into once it embraced neoliberalism on steroids, which is why I’m rather surprised the good Professor believes the EU beast can be tamed/reformed, when all evidence suggests otherwise.
Prof Bill Mitchell has gifted us a few more books and blog all about the deficiencies of the EU
I personally don’t think its to harsh about Varoufakis, he’s a dreamboat, Mitchell isn’t and anyone in Britain who wanted a progressive Brexit could have and should have followed Mitchell’s advice
Unfortunately Labour aren’t a progressive party, so they’ve lost a massive opportunity to put clear water between themselves and the Tory Brexit
During the referendum campaign, there was a rather good debate staged by (of all people) The Guardian, between Varoufakis (arguing for Remain and Reform, as he does), and Tariq Ali (arguing for Leave). Excellent debate between two very articulate speakers (whether you agree with their views or not).
It used to be on Youtube, but I don’t seem to be able to find it nowadays. 🙁
And that’s precisely what makes him controlled opposition suitable for promotion by the like of The Guardian. Controlled opposition don’t usually lie; intead, they traffic in half-truths to string the gullible masses along.
Can’t wait for the Poster Geoff to comment on this article, which articulates clearly that the likes of DIEM25 are living in a fantasy construct if they believe they can Reform the EU, which, for many of us within the Lexit Left, is beyond any meaningful reform. I mean, they talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk we actually see zero reform. For example, much of the allegedly Green Regulations and proposals emanating out of Brussel’s are not exactly ecologically friendly, and, all embrace that non-political philosophy/ideology/economics known as neoliberalism. Of course, as ever, I don’t expect readers to take my word for it, but perhaps Prof. Harvey’s word would be more applicable.
Suffice to say, those of us on the Left who subscribe to the view that the Nation State itself can be a good starting point for radical, leftwing change, a change hopefully made in conjunction with likeminded Leftist on the European Mainland. Indeed, I’m not opposed to a full European entity to coordinate policy if it is elected by the People and its administrators can be removed by the People. However, I’m 100% opposed to any European Political Union that embraces neoliberal economic doctrines as its core, fundament governing principles, which regrettably the Lisbon Treaty does by the bucketful.
And said musings make me neither a Europhobe or bloody Tory, they do make me a democratic socialist, one who upholds democratic outcomes even when they against my own core philosophy and political leanings, which ain’t about greed or destroying the ecosystem of our planet.
Didn’t ave to wait long did you, I have never posted anything about reforming the EU, my argument is based solely on my personal experience, when I go over there to Belgium, or France, Germany, it’s a pleasant experience, relaxed, nice people clean cities, everything no done for money right away (how much when can it be done) people who smoke golden virginia £9.10p a packet , in this shithole £22 , shops closed on a Sunday, they need to be open here 24/7, no hgv s allowed in towns over the weekend, walk straight into a dentist if need be, this is what I see and would never disagree with it, there you go you’ve got your reply you couldn’t wait for.
I’d not realised that the EU had authority over healthcare provision, or for that matter, ensuring streets are clean, so its nice some member states can do things correctly, however, the fact remains all who have signed on to the Lisbon Treaty have to apply Competition Regulations, apply fiscal constraints and, re-adjust their economies, which, regrettably causes much hardship to our European neighbours. Of course, whilst its true the UK is not a member of the Single Currency, it is expected to follow fiscal spending constraints and Competition Law, which, makes it rather difficult for those governments who wish to actually upgrade infrastructure, assist poverty-stricken areas, or get their own economies moving again via fiscal spending that breaches Treaty obligations. Of course, never trust anything I say, i could be a propagandist, but the facts speak for themselves in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus and other constituent members.
So, if you desire clean streets, a functioning health service and a rail network for the 21st century, please explain how all this can be achieved if Nation States breach fiscal spending Rules. Again, I desire much and our present treaty obligations prevent much of what I desire for the subjects of the UK Crown.
And, just to ensure where I come from, Austerity in the UK was an act of political vandalism unleashed by the ConDem Alliance on our own people, an act that can’t be blamed on Brussels, this does not exonerate Brussels or the ECB though, which themselves have advanced Austerity across several EU member states, which is why I suggest, if you really want radical change, said change must be done outside of the EU – of course, our Electorate has to enable a decent government first, which much of our Ruling Elite is absolutely opposed too – won’t stop me voting Labour, but do wish we were far more radical than anything being proposed presently. And, we can afford it as we are a monetary sovereign power, one who’s currency has fallen considerably against our economic competitors. Alas, without a larger manufacturing sector, any gains from devaluation are difficult, as the past decade has proven.
I agree with all that Chris. On manufacturing, I was pleasantly surprised to learn today that there is still some motorbike manufacturing being done in this country – both design and manufacture, actually. It’s up-market, expensive stuff, and not like the mass-market of yesteryear, but it’s something. (Norton, and a revived Triumph, apparently).
(No point in me voting Labour though; where I live they just don’t get a look in, and haven’t done for as long as anyone can remember).
Have you forgotten that the UK is still in the EU and most Directives are being complied with. Your shithole of a Britain must have it’s shit sourced elsewhere than on the Continent.
Thes people hanker for the days of the empire , little britaineers, when we won the war ‘all on out own’ when we ruled the world and when we were going to school with holes in the arse our pants, I remember it well