Following on from last night’s remarks about how the culture of government and of citizenry diverged during periods when most people felt sufficiently contented to not bother taking an active interest in political events, clearly at some point discontent starts mounting again, and people become re-engaged in political life.
The process might be seen as a cycle which starts with discontented political engagement, passes through contented disengagement, before returning to discontented engagement.
And it looks as if the cycle time is quite long, given that I’ve been politically disengaged for most of my life (until recently).
For the most part, it would seem that in different countries the cycle is in a different phase. But what’s novel about the current cycle is that it seems to now be in phase across the whole of the Western world (and perhaps beyond it). People are becoming discontented everywhere, all at the same time. And this makes for a perfect global political storm brewing.
And we still haven’t arrived at the global bankruptcy that’s been impending for the past few years. Just like in California, it seems that 10 Italian cities are on the brink of bankruptcy. There are plenty of others around, I’ll bet.
In the case of Europe, a fork in the road has now been reached. Either the dysfunctional eurozone breaks up, with Greece and a few other countries leaving, or else the EU becomes a fiscal union with a central bank and central financial administration. The markets are convinced that the former will happen, but the EU aristocracy doesn’t see it that way:
…over the weekend we have ECB president Mario Draghi telling the French newspaper Le Monde that the EU “was inevitably marching towards closer union among its members”. And, by the way, the euro was not in danger.
Analysts do not recognise “the political capital that our leaders have invested in this union and Europeans’ support”, he adds, thus informing us that: “The euro is irreversible”. Then says the great man, the euro will need to rest on a foundation of greater integration among eurozone countries.
“All movement towards financial, budgetary and political union is for me inevitable and will lead to the creation of new supranational bodies,” he says.
Nowhere though do we see in any of the media reports a small but important detail. Draghi is one of the four, with Barroso, Rumpoy and Juncker, the “quartet” of EU presidents charged with working up the “master plan” for further integration.
As one of the men whose job is to make it happen, Draghi is bound to push for more integration. His statement, in this context, is not remarkable. The real interest is in how there seems to be a concerted effort to stress how important the planned treaty is.
With the Spanish stock market at one point today having fallen 12%, and Spanish bond yields having jumped to 7.5%, it will be interesting to see whether a fiscal union can be put together in time to prevent the disintegration of the eurozone. Perhaps the EU aristocracy have something up their sleeves that nobody knows about?
Maybe the creation of the new EU Fiscal Union will be announced at the opening ceremony of the Nazi Games in London later this week, and that’s why there are anti-aircraft guns all over London (to prevent a counter-coup, not deter terrorists who haven’t got any warplanes anyway, silly)?
I’m hoping that the games will be a complete wash-out. And that Britain wins no medals at all. And that all the events are won by a one-legged man smoking a pipe. It’s all set to be complete chaos anyway, by all accounts. And it appears that renegade meteorologist Piers Corbyn is predicting a thunderstorm during the opening ceremony. So at least that’s something to look forward to. That would be another perfect storm.