Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hrothbern, Mar 22, 2019.
Please stay on topic. The topic is just the Uk, not the Eu. (being ironic).
If the UK would be democratic (no FPTP)
and if the UK would understand that the EU is a bargaining table between democratic countries
(the so called Parliament only a method to prevent that only the political parties of the PM's would be represented in the EU)
A lot of misunderstandings would not be there.
Well, if you read an article entitled "The European Union Is an Antidemocratic Disgrace" and don't come away thinking that, then the writer totally wasted his time, wouldn't you say?
It is clearly much more than that. Its proponents explicitly frame it as a sort of first step to European political integration. It also places legal restrictions on the economic policy of the member states. It is basically the ordoliberal wet dream, a pro-investment, pro-property constitution that is shielded from any democratic accountability whatever.
Tory leadership election to start 10th June, probably https://www.itv.com/news/2019-05-23...start-10-june-i-am-told-writes-robert-peston/
Than national governments in general, or the British government in particular?
I'm still not finished reading the article, but I was already thinking of making the same point as Traitorfish.
The UK is not a democracy even in name, has tax exemptions and what-not for hereditary rulers and still proudly calls itself an Empire (but quietly, because if they bring it up too much people laugh and/or throw things at their heads).
That said, the EU is still not fully the parliamentary democracy that it could and maybe should be. Of course, if it actually were, we'd have people like innonimatu screaming about ‘loss of sovereignty’, because it'd actually be another level of government. And at present it still is has too many '90s fanboys who believe in trickle-down economics, etc. etc. in place, but they could be voted out. Environmental action started from non-party groups protesting, and democratisation of the European Union's institutions will happen, if it does happen, along the same way.
Now that I think of it, the indirect appointment of Commission officials and other decision-makers is like the electoral college in the US, something that has to go.
National governments in general.
Well, therein lies the Brexit dilemma. The governmental structures of the European Union are deeply undemocratic, but we're a country for whom the normal state of government is the absolute dictatorship of the civil service, loosely overseen by feckless aristocrats: the EU is essentially more of the same, with the added bonus that the people running it have more teeth than great-grandparents.
Consider that if Corbyn became PM the EU treaties would, on their face, preclude much of his agenda from being enacted.
I'm not suggesting that I think the EU treaties are the primary obstacle but it is at least worth thinking about. I know much of the Labour Party does not support Corbyn and in fact prefers the Tories in power to seeing Corbyn's agenda enacted, but there is presumably some large degree of overlap between Corbyn's skewing-young supporters and the generally skewing-young Remain constituency in the UK...
This is the political problem of Europe as I see it: the very constituencies which could offer a better alternative to the EU are those most committed to defending it. And into the vacuum step the fascists and quasi-fascists...
What i find annoying is how easy it was for so many mps to just keep infesting the public life despite having little to no voting base, just attempting to present themselves as in tautology with the REMAIN cry, and of course not minding at all that apart from that one policy no one seems to give a crap about them.
I think it may well cost Corbyn the pmship. As i noted i heavily doubt he may become pm by this point.
* "Its proponents explicitly frame it as a sort of first step to European political integration"
Its proponents.. and when... and who ???
There are federalists indeed.
They are even now vocal indeed
And many of them must feel very frustrated.... because there is a clear consensus among the 28 EU members... that a federal EU is for now or the near future not the intention.
A lot happened since Schumann and Delors.
The time that the EU was only 6 members is long gone. Water under the bridge.
There is however a clear consensus on converging...
mostly in the sense of:
A. enable people in the EU to grow into feeling European by using the freedoms offered within the EU for them (education, socialising, jobs, etc): look and live broader than the area you are from and enjoy the diversity.
B. get rid of avoidable doubling of all kinds of standards (not each country doing the development on their own but pooling resources and broadening the coverage of situations and interests). This produces heaps of regulations ofc. And do mind the consensus principle between the final decision makers the PMs.
And some other C, D, etc.
Very fundamental here is that the newsmedia do cover all the time federalists that want to "reform" the EU.
If it would imo not so bad for the EU I would find it hilarical !!!
Take for example Macron... He wants to promote a faster more comprehensive integration than the general consensus of the EU PMs. Macron still does not understand that France is just 1 of those 28 members. That East-Europe has joined. And any argument of the type that France is big.... well... nobody of the northern and eastern countries is really impressed by that. If Macron thinks he can replace now the grandstanding of the UK of the past 4 decades with a new version he should first take his imperial blinkers of.
But newsmedia report every farth of federalistic politicians... as if it is a genuine possibility... and then you get the issue: but if we go federal, that EU Parliament is a federal parliament... => and then that EU Parliament should have "democratic" powers.... => but it has no democratic powers =>=> the EU is undemocratic.
Hilarical nonsense in my opinion.
Because the EU is framed into a position that A. it does not have and B. it does not intend to have.
But yeah... with all the time the "Macrons" of the EU drumming on the federalistic drums... without a genuine consensus support among all EU members... without a EU population grown into the EU to a degree of understanding (!!!) what that all means....
I can understand very well how easy it was for a Farrage to attack "the EU" on taking away the sovereignity of the UK democracy.
Federalistic EU is both a hope dream as a fear. Both are great to inspire masses for national politicians and their careers. Both are good for juicy articles that sell good.
If you go into the details of where there is support for a federal EU, the countries, the socioeconomics, the politics...
There is no adequate support for a integration process towards a federation for decades to come, unless external factors like China and the US give a boost like the phase directly after WW2.
And the resistance is not so much some populist right wing politicians. The resistance is much broader, from wider arguments and deeper among the populations of the 28 EU countries.
A lot of those deeper considerations is also there in the UK and was part of the cause for Brexit. A Macron does not want to understand that on a cultural level the UK is much and much closer to Scandinavian countries, Ireland, the Netherlands and Baltic countries than France.
The polarisation between Euro-sceptici and federalists has always dominated the EU stage, after the most important factor: the national interests on the EU bargaining table. But those strugles happened diplomatically. Like all treaties.
Very differing from the 20th century, the polarising nationalism is since the GFC emerging.
Just being pro-EU and let the converging happen, enjoy the ride of a borderless EU is a difficult position because you are always not "pure" enough for those camps. This hinders more honest discussions on the EU. This hinders the availability of better articles on the EU in media.
Being realistic on the timescale and the kind of a new Europe is drawn immediately into that polarised discussion.
* It also places legal restrictions on the economic policy of the member states
Well... that's how the EU started.
Restrictions on economy to prevent war economies being build up (like Hitler did between WW1 and WW2). Restictions on economies to prevent overcapacities being build up (with stated aid) in the heavy industry (coal, steel) and other strategic industries. No race to the bottom (at that time also affecting enormous amounts of jobs directly and indirectly). And agriculture having strong political lobbies had to be contained: no economical wars between countries with agricultural products from national state aid, and at the same time making the EU independent from food imports from the US anticipating a strong population growth.
And as of now: why should there not be legal restrictions on economics if that is for the good of all ?
Do we really want parasitarian strategies between EU members that have by the Single Market unrestricted access to each others markets. Blowing up national democratic balances on prosperity and jobs distributions.
If a country, like May tried with her Chequers document, to get unfair economical advantages for companies based in the UK on my Dutch market because I have and want to maintain higher standards to jobs and prosperity distribution... should I accept that ?
Should I force the UK to those laws ?
=> when the UK is unable to understand the balance, or unwilling to accept that balance.... I say the same as someone who lost his dating GF... the sea is full of fish
And that applies to every member.
It is in fact the reason we have a consensus system for all crucial decisions... and NOT a majority federal democracy.
If the EU would become a federal democracy with the full regime of legal restrictions (also on economy, also on cannabis, euthanasy, etc), the small countries are screwed.
=> we are a hybrid.
Some legal restrictions preventing parasitarian behaviour, but not too much.
For many in the UK too much... but did they really understood the balance ?
It's kind of complicated.
For the referendum vote it was summarised for the people into a romantic idea of sovereignity and migrants.
An poll done immediately after the Brexit referendum (12,000) people shows that 50% voted primarily for sovereignity and 34% primarily against migrants.
But I would have no problem at all if any EU member would leave because of legal restrictions on their economy. If they can calculate accurately that the economical disadvantages for them from those restrictions are bigger than the economical advantages of the Single Market.. they have a genuine argument.
Going into detail there is another thread.
But for a big country like the UK it already makes no sense imo.
For smaller countries with much more trade as % of GDP, and less scale size for all the pooled resources for science studies on standards, and so much more pooled knowledge development... you can only afford that if you are rich or have people happy to live from less.
My country, and not only mine, is far more "socialistic" than the UK would be after implementing all Corbyn's plans.
Corbyn should take the trouble to investigate what already has been achieved and what is apparently no issue for the EU regulations.
The UK is a country that uses as % of GDP much much less state aid as many other countries in the EU.
My guess... he is not used to any other situation than fighting until you are the boss.
The very idea that he has to get the approval from the EU fror state aid is the main obstacle.
@Cheetah for one
Frankly, most of the provisions of the Maastricht Treaty are for the good of a tiny handful of bankers and other elites, not for the good of all.
But this is exactly what the Single Market facilitates.
So, now Cheetah is taken as representative of all proponents of the EU, such that if you don't support federalisation of the EU, you're not in favour of the EU? That's remarkably woolly thinking.
Good to keep in mind that Cheetah lives in Norway, which isn't part of the Eu ^_^
Come on, you know that Cheetah is hardly the main example of such. Imo an actual federation itself wouldn't have to problematic, but if it is done eu-style it may be disastrous. And apparently it isn't realistic to expect it to happen either - apart from stuff that have little to nothing to do with practical use, eg Macron's idea of a common Eu army, which is really not needed (Eu countries can defend themselves against most others, and the few they cannot defend against won't typically allow for other Eu armies to help. I mean, it is strange to expect southern europeans to go fight Russia as if it is their war, and in cases like Turkey there is no need for a common eu army either; France would be enough).
There are words like compromise, balance, hybrid.
And change is mostly not designing the circuits of a new chip, but a process where you need to oversee all factors and elements.
Take a traditional newspaper that show a picture with grey shades.
Take your magnifying glass... and hey.... there are only black dots for people that want to see black dots.
getting really into this belongs in the EU thread.
The competition is faciliated by the Single Market indeed.
A balance between making the whole of the EU more efficient in terms of productivity increase (that need investments) to protect domestic EU jobs against extra EU imports on the one hand, and to have the base level to generate new activities on the one hand
And kept under control by exactly those legal restrictions on the other hand.
When Thatcher triggered the Single Market for her international hub the UK to the EU, the continental European countries started a whole wave of those legal restriction protections.
Nothing is for free, also not for Thatcher.
I remain firmly convinced that the main reason people voted for brexit was the anti-democractic nature of the EU. They have noticed it and deeply resent it.
Not money, because despite all the dire warnings about economic calamity to befall the UK, they voted for brexit. And the vast majority of those who voted leave now want a no-deal brexit, despite the hysterics about the sky falling of the WA is not approved.
Not immigration either because most people are not actually campaigning on that now: notice the difference between support for UKIP and support for the Brexit Party.
The EU is also resented in other countries, it is just that their populations are more cowardly. When ordered to vote again and better make it "pro-europe", they do because they bought into the fear propaganda that "you're small and need to be part of the EU". Only in large countries do a majority of people manage to shake off that threat because it be3comes plainly unbelievable: would France be "left behind" it it idin't approve the "european constitution?
The whole EU is a project fear. Most people, if queries honestly, want to leave it, want back the accountability by their governments. But are afraid to do so. Only a small fraction of the population has been bought and paid for by the EU.
The divide in Europe is between two groups:
pro-EU: the top mobile professional classes who staff the technocracy and the students deluded by hopes of entering those classes and a big dose of propaganda
anti-EU: workers, pensioners... the rest.
You know it better than the poll made among 12,000 UKians directly after the referendum ???
They did not use the word undemocratic, those 50% was on UK sovereignity.
Yes, I believe that I know it better. Because it is extremely easy to lie with polls, to select who you're polling, to ask biased questions.
Sovereign is all about democracy. You cannot have political democracy without sovereignty. A non-sovereign state is compelled to accept rules from above.
There were anti-eu sentiments for decades in the Uk, due to sovereignty and local chauvinism. But you can easily note that only after the way this eu handled the crisis with ridiculous austerity (not in the actual Uk, obviously, but word travels in the internet age) and other ruinous policies was there a critical mass in the Uk for exiting the Eu. This much imo no one who isn't willfully blind can deny.
Separate names with a comma.