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Why are Britain and Europe in such a political and economic mess?
What the rest of the world should learn.
Margaret Thatcher was the last British Prime Minister who had both conviction and a large majority within Parliament. Even she could not make radical changes to the EU bureaucracy, although she managed to slow their advance, but she could not get the meaningful reforms that she knew to be necessary. Because of this the British people decided reform was not possible. It appears that the political elite who took over once Mrs Thatcher had left office, always took the path of least resistance and acquiesced in all the EU bureaucratic usurping of, what should still be, each nations right to govern itself according to the wishes of its own indigenous electorate.
The situation is that British voters voted to leave the EU. The best guess of myself and others is that the EU will implode within 10 years unless there are radical changes in the way the system is governed changes that make it responsive to the majority of the indigenous people of the founding nations. It is to be hoped that Britain leaving will cause that radical change and so help all the people of Europe.
The situation is the result Of the socialist leanings of the politicians who set up the present system for running the EU. Because of their socialist convictions, that the state knows best. That the state is more important than the individual. That state control of everything is a good idea. These convictions, like all concepts, contain both positive aspects and negative ones; unfortunately the framework they agreed to, did nothing to control the negative aspects of their ideals.
They allowed the bureaucracy to construct the systems of governance. A system that removes real power from the electorate and places it in the hands of the bureaucracy. They allow a European Parliament to exist but it does not have the power to change the system, it does not even have to the power to hire and fire bureaucrats. The sheer scale of the controlling system and the obscenely vast amounts of money, it takes out of the hands of the wealth providers and the wealth earners, is quite staggering.
The approved budgets for 2017 were Euro157.9 billion in commitment appropriations and Euros 134.5 billion in payment appropriations. ( Commitment appropriations are the amount of money they can make legally binding agreements to pay and payment appropriations cover all the payments they can make against previous commitments) This means they can part with £115,100,000,000 of tax payers money and commit to future payments of £134,500,000,000 of tax payers money.
It is hard to get an exact fix on the payroll numbers for the EU seems to be around 10,00 directly employed by the European Commission as civil servants; it is almost as if there has been a deliberate attempt to confuse things since the European Commission, while part of the EU is not the EU in its entirety; other sources show the total number employed by the EU as 55,000. but even this does not include the number of each nations own administration that are employed by that nation, to deal with the EU. This directly employed number is a conservative guess. Directly employed people are taxed at EU levels not the rates paid by other workers. They also get allowances and a final salary pension, for which they do make some contributions from salaries. Many EU employees are reported as earning more than national Prime ministers.
One of the largest causes of the present confused and unsettled situation, is the growing ambition of the elite that controls the EU bureaucracy. They term it “ever closer union” but this is political double talk for ever greater control from an unelected centrer, at the expense of the Europe wide electorate. They seek an EU army, they seek the power to impose direct taxation on every citizen within the EU, bypassing the elected national governments. The confusion and unsettlements are felt amongst the tax paying voters who have become aware, in some places, of how far they are being marginalised and left out of the governing process. In a modern world where information, and it must be admitted lies, flow faster and easier than ever before, people are getting to understand what is being attempted by the elite and their political allies. In past eras, the people would not have been so aware of the political machinations going on.
The people of Britain were offered a referendum on whether to stay in EU or leave, a great deal of discontent was stirred up, by both those for staying and those against staying. Project fear was an attempt by those supporting the EU, it is said privately with money from the EU, to frighten people to vote stay. Some of the claims of almost Armageddon proportions were counter productive, since they were not believed and so even their reasonable predictions were also discounted. Much of the promises of a golden future if leave, were also completely out of step with any reality. In the end a narrow majority voted to leave. The remain camp could have accepted this and worked to ensure a seamless and progressive change but they chose not to. The EU leadership supported the remain campaigners in a second campaign, this time to overturn the democratic decision of the majority of those who voted. Legal process and vast publicity campaigns were launched, statistics were manipulated and published claiming the referendum should not be allowed to stand. Claims that less than half the voters voted to leave and so the result was invalid, were given great publicity but they are based on a fallacy. Voting in Britain, is not compulsory. If people decide not to vote that is their choice and it does not mean they would have voted stay if they had voted, but the remain camp claimed they would have won if everyone voted. This is a fanciful notion with no basis in evidence. All of these legal and publicity campaigns, all the disruption to political processes, have angered those who voted leave and have diminished the British public's confidence in the democratic processes.
In other nations of Europe discontent is growing and the politically extreme groups are taking advantage of this. The discontent of the indigenous people who are being force to accept unchecked immigration of people from differing ethnic, religious and social societies, is allied to the ever increasing levels of taxation and the worsening economic situation in many of the European nations. It is easy for opposition politicians in these countries to blame the EU for their economic troubles. In some cases they are right and it is the centralised economic policy of the EU, and the financial imperative of a singe European wide currency, that is causing their localised problems. Other causes may be the socialist economics of the local governance but it is easy to blame all on the EU and the Euro currency. This is one thing Britain is already free from.
Much of the discontent stems for the promises, by those establishing the EU, that if the nations gave up their right to tax themselves, gave up their own national currencies, gave up their ability to manage their own economies; then all would be perfect and utopia would be achieved with socialist dreams all coming true. This was never going to be realistic and has not happened but people allowed their governments to give up power to the EU because they believed everything would be better. It is not better. They have the same problems and now the additions ones of increased competition for jobs and less ability to influence the policies that affect their lives.
The reason for the problems in Europe, which geographically still includes Britain, are the twin causes of politicians being untruthful and bureaucracies seeking power without any democratic responsibility.