Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Let me set the scene... It's a classy restaurant in West London, the lights are dim and a British couple prepare for the arrival of a luxurious meal when suddenly a taste abomination arrives - it is cooked OK, maybe a little cool but the taste is repulsive, it may be a little crusty as well... the waiter arrives:
Waiter: Excuse me sir, madam, is everything is alright with your meal?
Man: Oh (he coughs and looks around nervously) Everything is fine, thank you.
Now what happens is the British couple finish the food and head for the exit thanking the staff once again as they leave with forced smiles... only as soon as they exit to complain at great lengths and make a vow never to return... the irony of this cliche is they might have just had a bad example, that given the chance the restaurant could have made amends and shown the couple what they really could have gained from their dining experience.
Now lets turn the cliche into a crude metaphor where the restaurant becomes Europe and the couple become Britain. We have not complained for long enough or bothered to get involved in the politics strongly enough to make a difference... in short we trade with Europe, have an opinion and sit firmly on the fence... and the result: Germany and France get stronger... and Britain loses any chance of a seat at the table... When Tony Blair went for the first European Presidents position did the backing of Germany and France for a more neutral candidate not thwart his efforts?
Now we sit there and makes comments and suggestions as to how to run the Eurozone. We are not involved and have no right to comment (mind you it's not the first time we have interfered in someone else's affairs). Yes we can comment on the IMF, Europe, the EU but not the Eurozone... and what was the response... Sarkozy tells Cameron to shut up. He is apparently sick of his interference and as far as I can tell he has a point...
So our premier is challenged... and how do we back him... well his own party decide to stage what in all essence looks like a vote of no confidence... 83 people demand a referendum that will never happen... Britain sits there weakened as she enters for new rounds of who's going to bail out who...
The issue is Europe is changing and we are growing distant... Germany and France a few days ago sparked after demanding Italy reduce it's debt the Italians demanded an emergency session where nothing was decided... and how did the British Media react.. by saying Berlusconi 'actually' attended... but what will Italy do? While Italy's debt accounts for 120% of their GDP they have no choice... they cannot pull out of Europe - it will cripple them as it would Britain. They will accept any demands the EU makes in the end...
Herman Van Rompuy (the EU President if you've never heard of him) has declared there will be an "Economic Government" to control the finances of the members of the Eurozone... and while some people are declaring the rise of the German Fourth Reich (Reich refers to a great age and this time is through finance over bombs or swords) that will dominate the economies of Europe my only question I have is if we ceased putting as much money into the development of other countries and bailing out others would Britain still be seen as such an important member... The way we go on about how we deserve to be at the top table feels painfully close to our delusions of Grandeur in Football (Germany, Italy and France have all won far more major titles both Continentally and Internationally) but hey we do have the latest golden generation since the last tournament.
And what are Britain's options? Not a lot - it's no coincidence we 'went into Europe' around the same time as our Empire was being dismantled... the truth is we need the common market. So we should be getting more involved, and demanding more from the EU... looking at what options we can take that benefits Britain as Cameron said when he declared Europe thinks we are pussy cats and not the proud lions we claim to be (A Richard the Lionheart reference who, although our king, ironically did not speak English and hated Britain)... instead we sit there and rather than tackle the issue head on, we complain and moan at home about the raw deal we are getting and get to listen to crude metaphors of cats from Politicians.
Written by @roywoodhouse
(please click on my name and follow me on Twitter)
Posted by Roy Woodhouse at 12:21