Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Down the Plughole One By One, or Brace Together?

Jeepers, we're in for a tough time ahead.

Looks like there is an agreement to bail out Spanish banks as their economy is swirling around the plughole... Greece is already further down the plughole and will default again soon... and the rest of us are likely to be sucked down by the inertia, too, before long. How to persuade people to keep their nerve?

How long can ordinary folk, more interested in EastEnders, The Simpsons, or simply finding the time to run from one job to another, spare any precious time to start to understand the issues?

So, to stop us swirling down the plughole into the swamp it looks as if the EU Commission will propose a banking union, this Autumn, to end weak national regulations. And there'll be a bank deposit scheme to restructure the risky banks, and close down the worst.

Fiscal union plans coming up in October, making tax-payers across the eurozone having to assume joint and several liability for a portion of national debt.

December - and we're promised plans for political union, accountable to the European Parliament. No throw-away cheap words from Homer Simpson to "get out of Europe" will make it go away.

Actually, all this could just salvage the euro and make it a welcoming place.

But Dave, the PM, says he won't let Britain join this federal union. (Mrs T. blue rinse, "NO" NO" NO".) Most Tories will be happy to see Britain detached from the EU. Hague has launched a white paper to review the EU and UK relationship, and de-construct the laws that bind UK to the Union.

While the rest of the EU draws up plans to hold hands and brace against the swirling current towards the plughole by making plans for a stronger union,  Britain runs the other way! It's almost laughable when you read this sentence in Hague's paper, "This Government is committed to playing a leading role in the EU and protecting the UK's sovereignty."

And what is London good for, if not financial services? If Britain goes down this isolationist route they shouldn't expect any favours in the City. Why should the other countries care? And that won't bode well for jobs, pension funds, and everything that goes with it. We could just be heading over to a dried out corner of the sink on our own.


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