UK Decline and EU Membership: Response to Lord Heseltine – John Gelmini

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cam...

Barack Obama, President, talked with David Cameron, Prime Minister, and Angela Merkel, Chancellor, at the 36th G8 summit in Muskoka District Municipality, Ontario Province on June 25, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: David Cameron's picture on the 10 Dow...

English: David Cameron’s picture on the 10 Downing Street website (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord Heseltine

Lord Heseltine (Photo credit: University of Salford)

Yesterday, I re-blogged what I thought was an excellent article from Lord Heseltine, published in the Financial Times  (FT); it was entitled:

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

John Gelmini responded and I challenged him to re-read Lord Heseltine’s argument and clarify whether he agreed with Lord Heseltine on a point by point basis.

…………………………………………………Below is John Gelmini’s response which I believe adds to the public debate on the UK’s decline and EU membership.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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 MPs

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.

CONCLUSION

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.

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51 responses

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  50. Whilst I feel it is rather odd to suggest that we fought wars to slow down Germany’s economic advances, it is certainly true that there was a great need to curtail her military ambitions. The choice was stark by 1939: fight or become a part of a German empire.

    However, it is right to say that the EU is not able to carry out the function of ensuring peace in Europe. Indeed, there are arguments that it is the EU now that is causing a level of inter-state tension that could erupt into violence and open warfare. Indeed I am inclined to agree with the rest of John’s comments taking issue although I do not share his (implied so I may be wrong about this) suggestion that we are in decline because of the EU. We are in decline because our high position in the world was created on the back of the empire using methods that were perfectly reasonable for the mores of that time but which today would be (and are) looked at rather critically. That and the emergence of other states competing for energy, labour and raw materials adds up to a declining UK.

    It is also right to say that we have not had nor do have the same teaching and working ethics that are possessed by the Germans. In that regard we lie somewhere between them and the Greeks – and that may be quite desirable in human terms if not in economic ones.

    • Rodney,

      Many thanks for your thoughtful reply. I tend to agree with you.

      Personally, for now I remain pro-Europe but anti-federalism and anti-bureaucracy. Like Boris Johnson in today’s Telegraph, I think it is time to revisit the “pros” and “cons”. See my later blog

      http://wp.me/p1m0kg-3eT

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