Friday 24 July 2015

Set the economy to stun

There are no signs of intelligent policy, Jim

It's Greece Jim, but not as we know it

The finale of the second Star Trek movie, The Wrath of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is more relevant to the EU than it may appear.

To save the ship and crew of the USS Free Enterprise, Spock, a cold, emotionless Vulcan, who fails to understand the personality and manifold quirks of his fellow officers and crew enters the radiation filled engine room and saves the day, sacrificing his life.

As he dies, he sees Admiral James Kirk, the rash, impulsive and fallible friend, who has rushed to try and save his friend.

As Spock dies, he explains himself to his distraught commander, “Don’t grieve, Admiral, it’s logical: the good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one.”

A little metaphor for the Greece/German crisis, it appears, except that the understanding of a higher purpose comes from the emotionally sterile Vulcan not the all too human Kirk.

It what passes for the real world here in Brussels, it is the new untermensch, the Greeks who are asking to look higher, further than immediate, selfish concerns and the emotionally stunted Vulcans who are demanding they rule over all.

Let us not forget that German solidarity is really only solidarity towards Germany’s banks and business and the creation of economic lebensraum. Merkel, the second least liked German Chancellor in history went ballistic when her EPP spitzenkandidat, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had posters put up in Germany for last May’s election with the slogan ‘Solidarity’. We can only assume that she has nothing but contempt for the word and concept.

The German interpretation of solidarity and assistance has pushed Greece into sub-Saharan Africa levels of poverty, while, and this is the real cruelty, blaming ordinary Greeks for their woes.

It is said that austerity has to continue because of public sentiment. Who can blame them? They’ve been told that it’s all the fault of the feckless, workshy, dishonest Greek citizen.

Well, as Tony Blair discovered that telling his people that Iraq had WMD and Islamic terrorists, repeating the Big Lie doesn’t make it true, nor does it lead to good policy choices.

Complicit in this is the Socialist and Democrats Group, led by election loser Martin Schulz, whose party just happens to be in coalition with Merkel.

Indeed, one positive aspect of the crisis is that it appears to have silenced the garrulous former bookseller. Less positively, Europe’s centre-left has been austerity-friendly for many years, leaving them with only mealy mouthed platitudes and statements that may have been typed by a near-infinite number of monkeys, who just can’t get to Shakespearian levels.

Asked to explain why the S&D lost the last election, with austerity, unemployment, anger etc that, on paper, would give them a landslide, Hannes Swoboda told New Europe why they lost, “We didn’t stand often enough with the victims of austerity.”

That position appears to be the case today. It is sheer cowardice. The public are set to vote for those that either say ‘no to austerity’ or ‘to the Devil with them all’.

Austerity has not only destroyed a member state, it’s finishing off mainstream politics.

Will this do anything but encourage a Brexit in a referendum? What will happen in the next European elections? By then it will be clear that even national elections are completely ignored if they go against what Germany wants. How is this going to do anything but hammer in the final nail in the coffin?

Remember, we’re risking everything for a policy that does not work.

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