Wednesday 21 December 2011

Did our PM David Cameron do the right thing for the UK?

By Dark Politricks

For those of you that have a worldview that exists outside your national boundaries (I'm talking to you USA), then you may have heard about a little thing called the European Sovereign Debt crisis. This is the huge financial mess that is moving once proud nations from democracies to mere subsidiaries of Frano/German power on an almost weekly basis.

For the UK, this is worrying to many people for many reasons. Not only are we not members of the Euro, and have no wish to be, but the move of power from nation states like Greece and Italy to Germany horrifies the Daily Mail crowd. The thought that Europe is going to end up being controlled by the same nation we fought two world wars against without a shot even being fired horrifies many people of an older generation.

For the younger generation the fact Germany is a powerful country is not so much a problem as the lack of democracy that is inherent in the European institutions that encroach on our daily lives more and more year by year. Whilst it is fair to say UKIP attracts an older fan base than other political parties their underlying message of UK sovereignty versus Brussels Diktats is one that resonates across generations. Anyone who believes in small government, democracy or having a say in how your own life is run has a lot to complain about when it comes to the European Union.

Forgetting that Germany is actually the only real industrial power making quality goods left in Europe, we should be concerned that this financial crisis is being used by Euro fanatics and bureaucrats to bring about their dream of a United States of Europe - something that has been attempted by many from the Roman Empire, Napolean, Hitler and now personality devoid bureaucrats like our "president" Herman Van Rompuy and his fellow pen pushing globalists.

When it comes to conquering the European continent it truly does seem that the pen is mightier than the sword.

So far we have seen two once proud nations, the originators of democracy i.e Greece, and the last successful rulers of the continent, Italy, fall to the plans of European dreamers along with the help of those dastardly Bond vigilantes under the weight of their sovereign debts.

The threat of unsustainable debt levels and high interest rates has seen their governments fall and their democratically elected leaders replaced with more pliable and "acceptable" leaders, much to the disgust of their nations people. Riots and protest marches are becoming daily occurrences all over this continent and will only occur more frequently the worse this mess gets.

So for the millionth time this year, European Prime Ministers, heads of state and top Eurocrats met once again to come up with yet another "final plan" to solve the crisis, calm the markets and keep their dream of a United European Super State on track.

This last sumit of Europeans leaders was meant to be the final drink in the last chance saloon and during the run up leaders of France and Germany, Sarkozy and Merkel (now branded and probably trademarked: Merkozy), were both declaring that there was only a few hours to "save the Euro".

Many people were hoping that they would fail for reasons other than financial instability it may cause in the short term and it seems David Cameron, the UK PM has delivered his backbencher Euro-sceptics desires on a silver platter by vetoing an EU-wide treaty change designed to tackle the euro-zone crisis.

He claimed changes to the much hated Lisbon Treaty that would have given up even more UK sovereignty to the EU was not in the countries best interests due to  due to it's tougher budget rules and a plan to implement a "Tobin tax" that would have affected the City of London unfairly.

David Cameron explained his reasoning:
"We were offered a treaty that didn't have proper safeguards for Britain, and I decided it was not right to sign that treaty," he told the BBC.

"We're still in the single market. That is the best safeguard of keeping markets open," he said.
Its main provisions include:
  • A cap of 0.5% of GDP on countries' annual structural deficits.
  • "automatic consequences" for countries whose public deficit exceeds 3% of GDP.
  • The tighter rules to be enshrined in countries' constitutions.
  • The EU's permanent bailout facility, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), to be accelerated and brought into force in July 2012.
  • The adequacy of 500bn-euro (£427bn; $666bn) limit for the ESM to be reassessed.
  • Eurozone and other EU countries to provide up to 200bn euros to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help debt-stricken eurozone members
Being outside the Euro it is understandable that the UK does not want to join a fiscal union with nations using the Euro but a tax on financial transactions could have been a good solution if implemented world wide for many reasons.
  • Merkozy was right when they rebuffed Cameron's veto by claiming that the financial crisis they were trying to sort out was mainly caused by large financial institutions going crazy over leveraging their assets, engaging in automated trading and other forms of risky speculation and dubious financial behaviour. Merkozy's plans which included a form of a Tobin tax would help reduce the exact kind of risky transactions Cameron was trying to obtain an opt-out for the City of London.
  • The Tobin tax would go a long way to help fill the coffers of nations who are now suffering "austerity" measures due to the taxpayer bailing out these same financial institutions therefore it would placate many people who are currently outraged that the banksters have been able to bankrupt whole nations, place the burden of paying back the debts on taxpayers and who continue to pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses without seeming to realise or care that they have done anything wrong.
  • The large majority of financial trading is automated, computers trading with other computers and the practise of high frequency trading and front running legitimate trades has been a major source of concern for those who are aware of the practise.
  • A Tobin tax on these particular types of trades that were only held for a few seconds at most rather than all financial transactions would not hurt legitimate investments, pensions firms and other long term investors but it would help reduce the amount of risk that comes about from computers making trading decisions. As a programmer of automated systems  myself I know that any program can make erroneous mistakes if certain circumstances arise that a human would spot and many economic commentators have spoken about the huge drops in stock markets that occur every now and then that are blamed on trading systems following other computers once a trigger initiates a sell off.
  • The UK economy is too unbalanced and basically relies on financial services for a huge portion of its GDP and tax revenue. The coalition government was supposed to come up with a plan to help reduce this reliance on financial services and create a more balanced economy by increasing high tech industry, exporting more goods and increasing the size of the private sector in relation with to the public sector.
  • A tax on the very businesses that make our country the most money (which logically are also the same companies that can obviously afford to pay it as their recent profits and bonuses reveal) as well as being the same businesses that helped caused the mess we are in would go a long way to helping restore public trust in that part of our economy. It would also satisfy a growing public lust for some form of justice in the face of massive cuts to public services, tax rises, rising inflation and increasing unemployment and the sorry sight of not a single bankster going to jail!
Obviously at the moment our governments plan to re balance the economy has gone nowhere and the UK is still overly reliant on the City for revenue generation and in these regards it was probably wise for Cameron to put our own interests above those of the Euro members.

However much commentators have lamented his actions as destroying Britain's place in Europe at the decision making table  it was always going to happen sooner or later unless we joined the single currency.

No-one can expect a non member of a monetary union between multiple states to have an equal say over how that group of states is run and how close they work together. In the same way that closely integrated group of countries cannot expect to apply the same rules they obey to countries outside their common fiscal and monetary policies.

Cameron obviously believes in these difficult times it would hurt our stagnated economy more than help it by implementing extra taxes on the City of London and it would be politically unwise to agree to treaty changes that would trigger an in-party war over Europe, a possible breakup of the coalition and due to new laws a public referendum.

If the rest of Europe wishes to give up their national sovereignty to save a doomed currency then so be it but I doubt many citizens across Europe will be happy.

Little by little their national governments are becoming little more than talking shops and  real decisions about their economy and other key policy areas are now made by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and Strasbourg with the Germans having the loudest voice.

As the BBC Editor Gavin Hewitt succinctly put it:
"For the European people, they are in a closer Europe than they ever voted for".
From this point of view David Cameron has pleased his Euro-sceptic back benches and many UK citizens who have never even had a chance to vote on their countries participation in a political pipe dream that was concocted during the ashes of the second world war designed to prevent Germany from ever again becoming the dominant power within Europe.

Whether or not Cameron and the UK go their own way, the other 26 members of the EU seem to be willing to sign up for closer economic and political union which will be done by multiple inter-country treaties due to Cameron's veto instead of a single EU treaty.

However countries such as Ireland which have already been enslaved by Euro debt relief have to put any European treaty to a referndum so there may be more countries standing with the UK than there currently are and the talk of the UK being isolated could just be a temporary situation.

More and more people are realising that the Euro is slowing crumbling and whilst a disorganised disintegration may cause immense distress and disruption the UK should be better placed than it's European partners to weather the storm that is undoubtedly brewing across the channel.

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