Britain must take the lead in Europe, not decline outside – FT.com – Michael Heseltine

Lord Heseltine

Lord Heseltine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is an outstanding article from Former UK Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine, in the FT. It’s well worth a read. Check it out!

via Britain must take the lead in Europe, not decline outside – FT.com – Michael Heseltine.

Michael Heseltine is a very big political beast and will be the first of many who argue that the UK’s place is in Europe. Watch out for Lord Mandelson.

Michael Heseltine comes from an age when Tory front-bench MPs had successful careers before entering politics; these people understood life and could empathize with voters of all classes. This is in contrast to the likes of David Cameron and George Osborne who had very limited personal achievements prior to politics.

Any thoughts?

 

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7 responses

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  5. John,

    With respect, you have not responded to what Michael Heseltine’s article!

    Your views are always welcome on this blog.

    I would encourage you to perhaps re-read the article and clarify where you agree/disagree.

    • Lord Heseltine makes a number of assertions which are not supported by the facts:

      –He tries to equate German export success and economic success with membership of the EC.
      The reality is that Germany has had a better education system at state level than ours, better working practices and better productivity than ours since the 1800s and was eclipsing the rest of Europe economically and in Engineering terms long before the EC was invented.

      The 1st and Second World Wars were both attempts to slow down German economic dominance and the military dominance that went with it.

      Those attempts succeeded at great cost but only because the Americans came to our aid at the 11th hour at Chateau Thierry in the 2nd Battle of the Marne when without General Pershings troops we and the French would have been driven into the sea.

      In World War 2 we could not have won without the sacrifices of the Russians on the Eastern Front the American troops assigned to D Day and the American efficiency experts who enabled us to expand our war machine and equip 55 divisions necessary to defeat Hitler in the West.

      Our so called “lonely stand against Fascism” was not that lonely once Lord Beaverbrook carrying instructions to the US President to enter the War completed his journey.

      The Heseltine subtext is that without the EU and Germany contained in a latter day Entente Cordiale with the French and Russia, there would be another European War.

      The reality is that we had the deliberate recognition of Bosnia by Chancellor Kohl which during the 1990s led to the Yugoslav War,concentration camps and ethic cleansing.

      So on that count Lord Heseltine and everyone else who believes that EU membership makes us safer from wars on the Continent are proved wrong.

      –Lord Heseltine talks about “Free and fair access to a single market of 27 countries and 500 million people”.

      This sounds good until you compare the results with what was promised at the time Ted Heath persuaded the UK public into joining the EC (packaged as a free market of goods, services and people).

      We were promised millions of jobs, growing living standards, no more European wars and greater “influence in the world” as we increasingly spoke with “one voice”.

      What has been the reality?

      1)Not a single nett new job has been created in 25 years

      2)Our biggest export market is the Irish Republic a bankrupt vassal state in thrall to Chancellor Merkel

      3)Our productivity is now 16% below the average for the G7 and our healthcare is the worst in Western Europe

      4)The City of London is already declining

      5)Our state education system is 44th in the world

      6)We are net contributors to the EC (£8 billion gbp annually) yet 75% of our laws are made in Europe thus reducing Parliament to a cipher with the resultant on costs of unnecessary MP,s

      The last 4 items are down to gross mismanagement by different UK Governments rather than the EU so membership of the EU is irrelevant either way unless of course Germany forces us to adopt a Tobin Tax while we are still an EC member as we will be until we have a Referendum.

      Then Lord Heseltine talks about influence, particularly with the Americans and by implication, China the coming superpower.

      We are led to believe that if we are not part of the EC the USA will not take us seriously.
      The reality is that we are already the junior partner as evidenced by the seating arrangements in certain security establishments in the UK where Americans sit in large air conditioned offices and are relatively well paid and our own people sit cheek by jowl in open plan offices and are paid a pittance for what they do.

      Only within the past week David Cameron, as is his wont, insulted the Chinese again for the 5th time.
      This as a result of seeing the Dalai Lama last year.

      The Chinese are holding £8 billion gbp in inward investment and trade hostage and are refusing to receive David Cameron or send their Premier here until he apologizes and issues a joint statement.

      Our membership of the EU has made no difference to the Chinese; they see themselves as in the driving seat and are increasingly aggressive irrespective of Baroness Catherine Ashton the EU’s so called “High Representative” or even the views of Angela Merkel.

      The EU does not “Do what it says on the tin” and never has, so Lord Heseltine as I said in my earlier post needs to spend more time in his garden communing with nature whilst letting others get on with reversing the UK’s decline.

  6. The UK is doing a pretty good job of declining anyway with productivity 20th in the world, 16% less than the average for the G7 and no sign of improvement since the 20% fall just before the Olympics.
    The City of London has already been eclipsed as the world’s leading financial centre by New York (November 2012) and is on track to be relegated to 4th position by Hong Kong and Singapore within 2.5 years.

    State education is 44th in the world, exports are practically zero,we are overpopulated by circa 35 million people, most of whom are economically useless (either too old to work, too inexperienced to work , unqualified for what work is available or what the Australians call “dole bludgers”(unwilling to seek work).

    Our NHS is not fit for purpose and kills 120,000 people a year between botched operations and genuine misdiagnosis by GPs and the unhealthy state of the population is costing the UK £100 billion gbp a year.
    Add into that mix 1.25 million dementia sufferers at early stages of the affliction, mostly woman over 65 who lived debauched drug-fueled lives in the 1960s and the growing obesity crisis and diabetes epidemic whereby the fattest woman in Western Europe roam the land like so many Hindenberg airships on legs we are in very deep trouble.

    We have a housing shortage of 10.5 million dwellings, too little enterprise .2 million young people on the scrapheap,very little bank lending and an explosion of foodbanks via the Trussell Trust and the Knights of Malta.

    In the midst of all this Cameron and his Old Etonian advisors preside over a situation under which the gap between the earnings of a Times 1000 CEO and someone on average earnings is 450 to 1 whereas the comparable figure for Germany is 12 to 1.

    The undisputed master of Europe whether Lord Heseltine or anyone else likes it or not is Germany and that country is not easily going to accept being dragged into war as it was twice before (World War 1 and 2)as a means to arrest its economic development.

    Currently the UK has run down its military power to the point where it can no longer project power overseas by itself or even maintain a proper coastal protection vessel, yet it is fighting an unwinable war in Afghanistan, interfering in Syria with special forces and meddling with France, America and Israel to start a wider war in Africa as a means of seizing mineral wealth and denying those resources to China.

    Lord Heseltine should retire back to his garden where he belongs and younger people (not David Cameron’s Old Etonians), but people with real knowledge of the world and economics, business and exports need to be set to work turning the situation around.

    Presently we are practically insolvent with insufficient inward investment, too much foreign aid, an unaffordable public sector and no strategy yet David Cameron’s preoccupations seem to be with the upcoming Bilderberg meeting in Watford (the Grove Hotel) on the 6th of June as notified by the Hertfordshire Police and the Guardian, where no doubt he and Lord Heseltine can discuss their real agenda along with the other world leaders, part of which will be to sell a United States of Europe and the follow on which will be NAFTA and the EU combined under the Amero.

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