In the run up to the Referendum last June, I never had the slightest doubt about my voting intentions. They have throughout been governed by my wish to see the full panoply of Parliamentary Democracy restored. It has seemed to me that the last 300 years of this country's history have been blessed by the absence of revolution at times, most notably in 1848 and in the aftermath of the First World War, when so many of the major powers of Europe succumbed. In my belief it is incomparably better than the form of government provided by the European Union.
The latest book by Professor Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-prize winning economist, has particularly intrigued me. His work, entitled “The Euro”, is a compelling analysis of many of the problems that Brussels is facing. It concentrates on the damage which the Euro has inflicted on the “loser” nations of southern Europe, including the massive unemployment of their youth. He sees the present structure of the Eurozone as being the chief cause of the economic under-performance of the EU, and particularly the Eurozone countries, and he regards it as being fundamentally unstable and unsound. Indeed, he argues vigorously for change.
He is particularly damning about the policies and actions of the Troika, which covers the joint activities of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and delivers a sharp jab at the IMF’s miserable forecasting record. He deals at length with the treatment meted out by the Troika to the people of Greece which he believes condemns them to continuing penury for as long as the present system is in place. In my last Notes, I referred to the European Union as being a Bureaucratic Tyranny. Nothing could better exemplify that description than the tyranny that the EU has imposed on the Greeks, as described by Stiglitz.
In the light of my attempts to understand the nature of the government which the EU has created in Europe, I was struck by a recent picture of Angela Merkel, François Hollande and MatteoRenzi meeting on a small island near Naples. They went there to pay their respects to the memory of Altiero Spinelli (1907–1986), one of the founding fathers of the European Union, - and maybe to renew their vows. Spinelli had been no more than a name to me, but I found that he was a leading politician and noted Communist intellectual, who played a very important role in the original planning of the European Union. It is significant that one of the largest EU buildings in Brussels carries his name.
When the founding fathers were laying their plans, their greatest fear was of democracy. The reason for this was that, between the wars, the Fascist and Nazi governments that seized power had actually won democratic elections and had, particularly in Germany and Italy, routed the Communists. They therefore were determined to create a regime for Europe, which would be immune to overthrow by democratic vote. As is well known, successive countries have been forced to ignore democratic votes against the dictats of the EU. Not only Greece, but also Ireland, Denmark and France have all had democratic decisions overturned. The British Brexit vote is the first successful revolt against the Bureaucratic Tyranny. The point I wish to make is that Marxist thinking has some roots in the EU and partially accounts for the rigidity of its response to threatened change (although, of course, policies such as State aid rules are much more welcome from a free market perspective). This is again being demonstrated by the unbending response of the European Commission to the mass movement of people into the European Union.
Many people, including Professor Stiglitz, refer to a “democratic deficit” in the structure of the EU, as if it was there by mistake, rather than an essential part of the plan. What we actually have is a tyranny controlling all the laws that govern 27 states, which think of themselves as democracies.
It seems to me that those who voted in the Referendum to Remain have not fully understood the nature of their choice. This failing has been true of former Prime Ministers and leading politicians from all parties. I have put my thesis about the bureaucratic tyranny to a substantial number of people but have yet to be challenged or confounded.