Saturday, 10 December 2011
Continent Cut Off.
Of all the ideas to come out of the 19th century, you would be hard pressed to find one that has resulted in quite so as much human misery as has nationalism. To that extent, and because I favour inter-nationalism over the tired, spiteful world of the nationalist, I tend to be in favour of a united Europe rather than a disunited one. The EU, for all it's many faults, has at least prevented us from tearing each other apart. As the dust settles over a new relationship between Britain and mainland Europe we can ponder what kind of mess (or otherwise) Cameron has got us into. It might also be a time to ponder the nature of federalism and, perhaps more to the point, the nature of the opposition to federalism. America has far more experience of dealing with this than we do, yet even today, after all that history, the American Right can always guarantee votes by appealing to that powerful undertow of feeling that maintains , "those fat cats in Washington DC are telling us what to do again". Civil rights legislation imposed from Washington and kidney in pork chops directives from Brussels do not compare - but frequently the opposition to them does. Sarah Palin would fit right into UKIP.
So Cameron has traded on the goodwill of the Tory backwoodsmen, the rednecks of Surrey and the Yorkshire Dales, to save his chums in the City from regulation. So Britain is to be an offshore tax haven. A Bahamas without the balmy weather. All that regulation, all that health and safety, all that nonsense about working time, it's holding us back. Holding us back from our destiny as the next Dubai. On the run up to the festive season perhaps I can paraphrase Tiny Tim in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, "God help each and every one of us".