The French increasingly think Europe is the problem, not the solution-Charlemagne: Désillusion | The Economist

French language bicycle lane detour sign

French language bicycle lane detour sign (Photo credit: mechanikat)

 

This is an excellent, MUST-READ article from the Economist. Check it out!

 

via Charlemagne: Désillusion | The Economist.

 

Personally, I have a great deal of sympathy for the increasing French disillusionment with the EU, especially the European Commission (EC). The French are not unlike the British, they see the EC with too much power. The article correctly identified that the crux of the problem is the Euro; without the Euro, reform of the EU would be much easier.

 

In many respects, Francois Hollande, the President of France is a true lame-duck, bitterly unpopular at home and abroad;  Hollande, it seems, will do the minimum to muddle through and save his political skin.

 

Meanwhile, Germany will tread cautiously, not wishing to be seen to leading Europe too autocratically.

 

This leads me to an open question:

 

 After the European elections in 2014, could we see the dismantling of the Euro?

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

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Opinion: Fabian Society – 2030 Vision

Fabian Society New Year Conference 2013

Fabian Society New Year Conference 2013 (Photo credit: Fabian Society)

I would like to thank John Gelmini for drawing my attention to the following publication by the Fabian Society:

Fabian Society – 2030 Vision

Whatever your political views, if you are interested in an outstanding review of the economic, social and political choices open to the UK, I recommend this document as a MUST READ.

For me, this document should be a blueprint for evaluation of the political choices ahead of the next election.

I would also like to see the main-stream media using this document as a basis to challenge the political classes both ahead and after the next election.

The document will take a couple of hours to speed read.

I read the document yesterday and its wise counsel is still challenging my imagination.

Personally, I am more a one-nation conservative, so I would not expect myself to completely agree with the more socialist aspects of policy advocated by the Fabian Society.

After twenty-four hours, without notes,  here a few themes that I believe are critical:

  • George Osborne‘s trajectory of austerity beyond the next election, is not sustainable without accepting a permanently reduced Public Sector; so the options of higher taxation or less aggressive austerity look increasingly probable
  • Similarly, the trajectory of ring-fencing the likes of Health, Education and Foreign-Aid is is savaging the rest of the Public Sector; it would perhaps be wise for a future Government to remove the ring-fencing
  • I was surprised at the combined weighting of the Health and Welfare budgets, which tend to marginalize the rest of Government
  • For me, there is still enormous opportunity for an effective strategic review and radical reform of both Health and Welfare
  • I was shocked, but not entirely surprised ,at the outlook for Local Government. The trajectory of austerity means that many Local Authorities will be confined to Social Care and clearing the refuse; I fully endorse the viewpoint that strategic change is required to this sector with enormous consolidation
  • Finally, I very much endorse the viewpoint that there would be a huge economic cost if the UK were to leave the EU

Overall, the document confirms my views about David Cameron’s Government. BUT I am troubled that, armed with this sort of evidence, that the Labour Party is not in a much more powerful position?

Any thoughts?

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