Source: The Automatic Earth
Esther Bubley Greyhound bus at Washington Court House, Ohio Sep 1943
You know they’re desperate when they play the royal card and announce a new baby on the way. Britain, and especially Downing Street 10, got a huge scare last week when a poll showed the Scottish independence movement is now favorite to win the September 18 referendum. It’s not entirely clear, but I don’t think Cameron and his crew would be able to stay on if Scotland secedes from the UK.
So who would do the negotiations for what remains united under the Queen? That’s the first bit of confusion and mayhem I very much hope will turn into an absolute mess that will break the EU and the eurozone as they presently exist. Simply because something needs to be the catalyst that makes it happen.
Brussels has turned into a convoluted monstrosity that makes far too many victims just to allow a few handfuls of people with extreme and contorted power dreams to ejaculate. The EU is way past its best before date, and the rot and decay can only possibly lead to more victims if it isn’t halted.
It was a nice idea 60-odd years ago, but it’s fallen into the hands of the wrong cabal, and when you look at how things have evolved during that time, it’s not that hard to recognize the entire set-up was doomed to lead where it has. There was never any positive feedback built into the system, i.e. Brussels was handed more power all the time as time went by, until it became more powerful than its member states (with the possible exception of Bonn/Berlin).
It has become self-propelling, for the simple reason that it was built that way. An ideal opportunity for psychopathic schemers to live out the fantasies such people have, and which they will live to the fullest unless they’re kept in check. The same thing that’s painfully evident in places like Washington or Beijing.
Only with even less democracy. Voters in European nations may still have a token influence through their national ballot boxes, but the big decisions are made in Brussels. And all the politicians they get to choose from, at least those in the parties that matter, all support the EU project, more often than not because they too dream of centralized power.
There is no longer a choice available to reject Brussels, or reject the Euro, or reject what either the ECB or the European Commission – both of which are extremely ‘light’ on democracy – dictate. That’s the heart of the European problem, and that’s what will finish it off. Only, if that last bit takes too long, it will cause a lot of additional damage throughout the EU.
It’s a project with its own demise built in. A good idea with a fatally defective architecture. As always, nobody notices in times of plenty and abundance. But when those proverbial ‘seven years’ have gone, people won’t want to belong to some larger block anymore; when the alleged advantage of the bigger unity has evaporated, people don’t want their decisions to be made by someone they don’t know and who doesn’t speak their language or know their culture.
But according to Brussels, and to all the national politicians who support the EU project, there is now no longer a way back. The euro can’t be undone, and neither can the EU. The narrative is that Brussels must, of necessity, absorb ever more power from national governments, and hence ever more power from the people they represent, and that’s exactly the way the entire monstrous project was constructed. Perhaps not intentionally, but still.
Point in case: the EU is set to announce new sanctions against Russia, still based on zero evidence about anything at all, and the best part is they seek to hurt the oil industry but not the gas industry, because they need the latter. And what’s going to keep Russia from saying if you want one you must take both? What would keep Moscow from closing its airspace to EU airlines and bankrupting a whole series of them? In Brussels, arrogance, hubris and stupidity are in a fierce battle for first place.
Scotland is the first EU region to try and break free from a larger entity, and, oh sweet irony, many of the pro-independence Scots will vote Yes because they like the EU so much (or at least more than the UK presently does). But let’s not let a bit of irony get in the way, shall we?
If only because a win for the Yes side has the potential to cause so much disruption it won’t matter what caused the disruption. The Yes side wants to be part of the CTA, which allows free flow of people between England and Scotland, no passports etc. But whether that’s acceptable to the EU, or the UK, is doubtful.
The Yes side wants to keep using the British pound, in a scheme they call sterlingization, and there are tons of questions there as well. Will the UK allow it, will the EU, can you be an EU member when you use someone else’s currency, can you be without having your own central bank, plenty of delightful conundrums that so far nobody has provided a conclusive answer for.
If and when Scotland votes for independence 10 days from now, the confusion and mayhem and anger and bitterness will be the only things deemed worth talking about in Albion. Royal baby or not. But the whole thing will be resolved at some point, not to everybody’s whole content, and not with every politician still in the seats they occupy today, but one thing’s for sure: it will be a breath of fresh air that Europe desperately needs.
Because if Scotland can do it, so can Catalunya, and the Basque, and Venice, and so many other regions that would rather decide about their own future than have some ‘higher power’ do it for them. As is their right as per the UN charter on self-determination.
The EU has become a straight-jacket that restricts the freedom of far too many people, and they’re going to break free. It’s only a matter of time. Of course it more likely that the UK will opt to leave the EU than for Scotland to be put out on the curb, but that’s fine by me: what’s important right now is that somebody starts rattling the cage, and starts calling out for freedom. It’s inevitable that it will take place, and the sooner that happens the better, because we don’t want violent unrest to erupt.
In yet another twist of irony, I am most likely to see my wish of an EU break-up fulfilled by someone I have grave doubts about: Marine Le Pen of the Front National in France. She called yesterday on President Hollande – and his 13% approval rating – to dissolve parliament, and she leads in all the polls. Le Pen would take France out of the EU in only a few simple steps, and that would be the end, since without France there is no EU.
It’s for the people in Greece, Italy, Spain etc. that this is the most crucial. Until the moment that their countries break free of the Brussels shackles, their economies will continue to suffer, and so will they.
Unemployment numbers are still at insane levels there, debt levels are, if possible, even crazier, and there’s no way out because they are forced to live in a sort of Germany by the olive trees. All their ‘leaders’ since the crisis hit have been EU happy technocrats, who talk of reforms until the cows come home but do thing to alleviate unemployment numbers, undoubtedly the biggest problem around.
My point is, we need something that will lead to the dissolution of the EU as it exists today. And then all parties involved can go back to the drawing board. Some form of European cooperation is of course fine, and can be very beneficial, but not the one there is today.
So come on Scotland, help make it happen. We’re counting on you guys.
TLB recommends you visit The Automatic Earth for more great articles and pertinent information.