Paralysis

A few days back, George Soros was warning that if the latest EU summit didn’t take appropriate steps, the euro would “dissolve”.

And it seems it hasn’t taken appropriate steps. Via ZeroHedge:

Going into this summit we had a monetary union in Europe that clearly did not work. Coming out of this summit we have a monetary union that still does not work.

I suppose that the way I see it is that there are two ways out of the crisis. 1) Countries like Greece leave the euro, relaunch their former currencies, default on their debts, and thereby regain control of their own destinies. Or 2) EU sovereign states hand over their sovereignty to the EU, which becomes a sovereign state with its own central bank, and its own central economic management, with debts pooled. The trouble with the EU at the moment is that it’s neither one thing nor the other. It has a single currency, but 25 separate economic managers. It either has to revert to separate national currencies, or it has to become a single European superstate.

The European political class seems to want the latter option (because it gives them a free ride). But this option seems to be politically impossible, because dissolving national sovereignty in 25 different countries and handing it over to Brussels is something that can’t be done in a hurry. It’s the sort of thing that takes years, if not decades.

And not only does the European political class want this option, but also it seems to be unable to consider any other option. There is no reverse gear. It’s either forward to ever closer union, or it is nothing at all.

The political class is unable to go forward, but will not contemplate going back, and allowing countries to leave the EU. And this is why they keep having these summit conferences, and deciding to do nothing at all. Richard North’s EUreferendum:

In fact, the “colleagues” were supposed to deliver a “roadmap” which was to reassure financial markets that the eurozone was prepared to make drastic political reforms in order to save the euro. This was the opportunity to remedy the “birth defect” of an economic and monetary union without fiscal and political union.

But, it was not to be. The Guardian describes the colleagues as “groping” for a breakthrough. And a group grope is about all they have achieved…

Faced with a “make or break” challenge, the colleagues broke. They were expected to step up to the plate with proposals for a new treaty – their “significant breakthrough”. Instead, the “quartet”, led by Van Rompuy, ducked the issue and delivered seven pages of vacuous waffle, followed by a retreat into corproate-speak with their statement.

There is paralysis in the upper echelons of the EU. They can’t go forward, and they won’t go back. Like one of those wind-up toy cars that races round the sitting room floor before getting stuck under the sofa with its wheels spinning.

But the present EU crisis can’t wait very much longer for a resolution. And if EU leaders can’t deliver one, then someone else will. So I expect to see individual national politicians grab the initiative fom the dead hands of Brussels. After all, nobody else is going to. First one country, and then others, will exit the eurozone, in a disorderly manner. In the end, there will be some core group of countries remaining in the eurozone, with everybody else having left.

And when these countries leave the eurozone (and in effect the EU too) they won’t just abandon the euro, but also all the restrictive rules and regulations that have been pouring out of Brussels for the past 20 or 30 years. Whole reams of legislation will be torn up. And among these will be EU-driven smoking bans.

Well, you didn’t really think I was interested in anything else, did you?

And then pretty much all the peripheral EU countries, like Greece and Italy and Spain and Portugal and Ireland, will be deregulating their economies – and lifting smoking bans. Not that the Greeks ever paid much attention to their smoking ban. They’d only imposed these bans in the first place to curry favour in Brussels, and so once Brussels ceased to matter, they could abandon these stupid rules.

It was something that was pointed out to me this afternoon, when I stopped off at an English pub in Herefordshire (or maybe Worcestershire), and asked a few smokers to fill in the ISIS survey. Which they did very gladly, marking maximum impacts, and supplying email addresses. One of them pointed out that in Spain there were now calls to relax the smoking ban there in order to attract foreign customers (like me, who hasn’t been back to Spain since November 2010).

I was very impressed that, in a little country pub in England, folks knew what was happening in Spain. They must’ve been wired up or something. Which is why they all had email addresses, maybe. How should I know?

About Frank Davis

smoker
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29 Responses to Paralysis

  1. reinholdfrombavaria says:

    Like one of those wind-up toy cars that races round the sitting room floor before getting stuck under the sofa with its wheels spinning.

    Hahaha, yes, exactly! :-D

    • reinholdfrombavaria says:

      And the cat fled at first but then sneaked under the sofa to kill and eat that strange troublemaker …
      Just still don’t know exactly who or what the cat is in that European game.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    The EU cannot stand,the hole is so deep it cant be filled in……..You cant keep printing money to bailout yourself which is whats been going on since 2008. The point comes when it surpasses the danger line of increased interest rates which are in reality hyper-inflation due to so much currency in circulation and devaluation occurs to a point it cannot survive unless the printed money is recalled to stabilize the devaluation,Hense how the FED caused the great depression in 1933!

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Besides the only rationale for a central EU bank isnt as much for maintaining the currency and debt as it is to force thru the EU total mandate and subjugate everyone to it. A trick to take over. Yet it wont stop what will happen anyway. The debt has climbed so high and for so long nobody can stop the destruction to come. Germany is smart not to want to be involved as the entire debt would likely wipe them out along with the rest…….Whats an EU thats bankrupt and insolvent. One that thinks it still has power and control but no money to enforce its edicts………Hense all will auto-matically go back to their own soverign currencies where they at least can guarantee some value within their own borders!

  4. prog says:

    Basic rule of economics – don’t live off borrowings. Short term gain long term pain. Governments are doing exactly that but using tax payers as ‘collateral’. In the form of bonds I believe, although sovereignty is also being offered these days. Either way the lender has the upper hand, and hence ultimate control. That’s why money lenders have been traditionally mistrusted and despised. As the Jews know only too well.

  5. John Mallon says:

    Frank,

    The problem began years ago with good Germans in their safe jobs at companies who make solid profits from their exports of finished German goods. These exports are the basis of the German economic success.

    The thrifty German citizens saved carefully in their local banks for the purpose of being paid interest on those savings. But, banks lose money that way and they had an urgent need to loan their customers money out to make profits for their banks.

    The Irish bankers couldn’t believe how much money the German banks were willing to loan them, with no quibbles at all. But, this left the Irish banks with a mountain of cash and they in turn began throwing it around like snuff at a funeral, showing vulgar paper profits and share prices in the process. At a point early on, the cost began to outweigh the value in their propositions, but the transactions accelerated. A house that cost €20,000 to build, was being sold for €350,000.

    Our banks not only lent the builders and developers the money, but also lent their house buyers the money also. The savings of Fritz and Hans turned into paper profits both in Germany and Ireland (and elsewhere too). When the inevitable happened, our thick Paddy Government jumped in and told both our “Private Irish Banks”, and their “Private German Counterparts”, that we would place their gambling debts on the ordinary people of Ireland and repay the lot.

    You refer to wrongly to “bailouts” in the UK press, when what is now taking place is that these German banks are now loaning the Irish people even more money, which they immediately take back to pay of the original loans with interest. These new loans (with interest) are there to guarantee that the German banking system does not collapse (on paper) and bring down their own economy.

    Effectively therefore, Irish citizens, who did not borrow anything from anybody, are being forced to replace the savings of Fritz & Hans, that their own German banks gambled away on Irish banks in an effort to get interest on their customers savings.

    Without bank debt on the Nation’s books, the Irish economy is quite healthy in fact. The banks are the problem and the EU etc, are not even looking at that.

  6. chuck says:

    I have never been asked my opinions on smoking instead i am subjected to go to hell and suffer eternal damnation abuse or mutterings like that by very well dressed folk carrying bibles, usually a couple of times a month.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Faith United: Disparate Faith Groups Come Together Against Big Tobacco

      In 2005, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and leaders from many different religious denominations launched a national campaign — Faith United Against Tobacco — to mobilize the faith community across the country to support proven solutions to reduce smoking.

      Faith groups involved in Faith United include, among others, United Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, National Council of Churches, Seventh Day Adventists, American Muslim Foundation, Southern Baptist Convention, Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, Church Women United, Church of the Brethren and Islamic Society of North America.

      We were involved in Prohibition and against pornography and gambling as predatory enterprises. Fighting tobacco use also fits well with Christian and other faith groups’ teaching in general that the body is a holy temple.

      http://www.rwjf.org/publichealth/product.jsp?id=40788

      • churchmouse says:

        Prohibition came from Methodists and similar holiness / Pentecostalist movements.

        They convieniently forget that what Jesus said in Mark 7:18-20:

        18 “… Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20And he said, ”What comes out of a person is what defiles him.”

        More here:
        http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/2010/08/07/forbidden-bible-verses-mark-7-selected-verses/

        • churchmouse says:

          Should be ‘conveniently’ — sorry.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Churchmouse so much has been changed by governments,kings and emperors besides the high and mighty in a religous group to support their presnet day needs or past needs at a moment. Wasnt it The emperor of the western empire [forget his name right now married to a whore that called the very first religous meeting to debate what scripture would be included in the official bible of the church……..Cant remember its name where the religous leaders were all called together.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          I think it was the EDICT OF DANTES or something like that.

        • Rose says:

          Let’s all enjoy that passage from James 1st’s appalling rant, having previously waded through the imaginary junk science made up by himself, stink, and other rambling nonsense about kitchens –

          “Thus having, as I truste, sufficiently answered the most principall arguments that are used in defence of this vile custome, it rests onely to informe you what sinnes and vanities you commit in the filthie abuse thereof.

          First, are you not guiltie of sinnefull and shamefull lust? (for lust may bee as well in any of the senses as in feeling) that although you bee troubled with no disease, but in perfect health, yet can you neither be merry at an Ordinarie, nor lascivious in the Stewes, if you lacke Tobacco to provoke your appetite to any of those sorts of recreation, lusting after it as the children of Israel did in the wildernesse after Quailes?

          Secondly it is, as you use or rather abuse it, a branche of the sinne of drunkennesse, which is the roote of all sinnes:”
          http://www.laits.utexas.edu/poltheory/james/blaste/blaste.html

          Fascinating stuff, you can almost imagine him foaming at the mouth with indignation as he loudly contradicts all the medical experts of the age.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Rose I just watched them making these hip flasks from England and they talked about bootleggers and hip flasks during prohibition…….wander if they make ciggy cases for that bootlegger nostalgia touch!

          http://www.pewter.co.uk/acatalog/copy_of_pewter-hip-flasks-plain.html

        • Rose says:

          Very nice Harley,

          but traditionally, from what I’ve read, illicit tobacco was smuggled plaited into the rigging of ships.

          Methods of smuggling in the second half of the 18th century

          “Tobacco, another taxed commodity, was valuable contraband. Made into ropes of two strands, it was coiled with the real rope in the lugger, and was even put into a special compartment in casks of imported bones which were used for manufacturing glue.
          The wooden fenders slung over the sides of a ship were hollowed out and filled with tobacco”.
          http://www.burtonbradstock.org.uk/History/Smuggling/Smuggling.htm

  7. bing11 says:

    CALWATCHDOG – The backers of the Proposition 29 cigarette tax increase finally snubbed out the butt of their vigil over the June 5 vote. It lost by just 28,000 votes.
    http://www.citywatchla.com/component/content/article/317-8box-right/3374-analysis-the-establishment-killed-cig-tax-prop-29-

    Is this correct?

    • smokervoter says:

      As to the win-lose part, I have 29,565 as the winning margin. The dateline on this article is 6-30-2012, so maybe he know something I don’t.

      A strange thing happened at the very end. There were some final returns reported on June 27 2:39PM that took away 99 votes. Then on June 28 12:45PM they put the 99 votes back. Then yesterday June 29 the reported results all reverted back to June 26 4:47PM which is where they stand now.

      The last time it was ahead by around 28K was on June 25 4:50PM when it was 28,238.

      Now as to the veracity of the author’s assertion that the Establishment changed the outcome, I would beg to differ, although since he is based at the Orange County Register (yaay !) I would do so reluctantly.

      The LA Times is steadily losing influence as it steadily loses subscribers. The California Budget Project appeals to a very small slice of the populace. The liberals did indeed vote this up and they for the most part live in the heavily populated 14 Bay Area counties I’ve been mentioning. All told only 18 out of 58 counties voted Yes and 5 of those were lightly populated, so 13 out of 58 adamantly voting Yes wasn’t enough.

      Out of the Top Five populated counties, healthy No margins from Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino offset 50-50 Los Angeles and San Diego. The Top Five comprise 55.3% of the state.

      The next ballot initiative should be to have those 14 counties cast off into the separate state of Hell, with their big juicy 12 electoral college votes. Republican party leaders need to jump on this one, the implications are huge.

      Those 14 counties are so snot-nosed and condescending they’ll vote to secede despite the crushing blow to the Democrat’s political power it would set up.

      • smokervoter says:

        Absolutely crucial for clarity here; I should mention that by ‘winning’ I mean NO and by ‘ahead’ I mean the NO vote. Bottom line: We won and Glantz and Lance and the Nannies from Hell lost.

        When I’m sure that all the numbers are finalized a week from now, I’m going to put up an article on my site that will astound a lot of people. When you separate out those 14 counties, this thing lost by a lot more than the apparent squeaker margin it appears in the headlines.

        California is not the nanny state after all.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Lets help Cousin Junican out here guys!

    Workers benefit as pubs casualty of smoking ban (From The Bolton News)

    Workers benefit as pubs casualty of smoking ban

    http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/9791852.Workers_benefit_as_pubs_casualty_of_smoking_ban/

    IT was the law that firmly divided opinion when it was introduced five years ago.
    Tomorrow marks half a decade since the start of the smoking ban, which brought an end to lighting up in all indoor workplaces in England, including bars, clubs and restaurants.
    There have been undoubted health benefits for both smokers and non-smokers — people are continuing to stub out the habit and The Royal Bolton hospital says it has seen a reduction in heart attack admissions.
    But one casualty of the smoking ban is the pub industry, which has been hit hard by a combination of the ban, cheap supermarket drink and rising beer taxes.

    Smoker Wayne Jones, who has worked behind the bar at the Ye Olde Man and Scythe in Churchgate for seven years, said he was against the introduction of the smoking ban.
    But now he says: “If they brought back smoking in pubs, you would not see me behind a bar. You stand behind here seven or eight hours a day and you are breathing it in.”
    But he has also witnessed the effect of the legislation on the trade, with Bolton venues The George in Great Moor Street, The Albert in Derby Street, The Church in Moncrieffe Street, The Gateway (formerly The Clifton) in Newport Street, The Gypsy’s Tent in Deansgate, and Ikon nightclub in Bridge Street, just some of those that have had to close their doors. He said: “It’s destroyed businesses and careers, and our freedom and personal choice were taken away.

    There have been pros and cons.”
    Wesley Brown, who is also a smoker and has worked at the historic pub for 12 years, agrees the smoking ban has had a positive impact in terms of health. He said: “There’s a difference between having a cigarette every now and again and breathing smoke for eight hours.”
    Amanda Sandford, research manager at public health charity ASH, says the ban has protected people from second-hand smoke.
    “Before the ban, there was a growing trend towards workplaces being smokefree, typically offices and shops,” she said.
    “But the main areas where people were exposed was in the hospitality sector. They have benefited hugely.
    “It’s now possible to live and work and not come into contact with any tobacco smoke which a decade ago would have been unheard of.”
    The latest available figures show 50,900 people smoke in Bolton, at an estimated cost of £79.4 million to society.
    In 2009, there were 502 deaths in Bolton attributed to smoking.
    The number of adults in the area who smoke has fallen to 21 per cent in 2010, from 26 per cent before the ban was introduced.
    Bolton’s deputy director of public health, Lesley Jones, said: “The proportion of people smoking in the borough is continuing to come down. It has obviously helped people to quit, which has been good. We have seen a reduction in the number of people admitted with heart attacks at the hospital.
    Undoubtedly the introduction of the smoke-free legislation had a really positive impact on people’s health.”
    She said: “We have noticed that even those people that continue to smoke, especially when they have young children, choose to go outside.”
    In the 12 months following the implementation of the law, there were 1,200 fewer emergency admissions to hospital for heart attacks across England.
    Health professionals say they expect to see a reduction in respiratory diseases in the future. Moves are still being made to introduce a ban on smoking in cars when children are present, with a second reading of a Private Member’s Bill heard in Parliament yesterday.
    Andrea Crossfield, director of Tobacco Free Futures, said: “We would fully support that.”

    • truckerlyn says:

      “In 2009, there were 502 deaths in Bolton attributed to smoking.”

      And what else could these deaths be attributed to, I wonder?

      How many of these 502 death certificates stated ‘smoking’ as the cause or contributor factor to the death?

      What ages were these 502 people when they died?

      All these questions are EXTREMELY relevant, methinks!

    • truckerlyn says:

      “The number of adults in the area who smoke has fallen to 21 per cent in 2010, from 26 per cent before the ban was introduced.”

      Where did these figures come from? If from ASH’s own ‘research’ then I would doubt them completely. If it was just a straw poll asking people if they smoked, how many these days actually tell the truth? I know most of us here would, personally I would shout it from the rooftops, but many others deny smoking, even if they puff away on 20+ per day, for fear of further pursecution.

      Ultimately, all of the above twaddle has come from tobacco control freaks, so it should, in my opionion, all be taken with a mountain of salt!

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    What ya wanna bet theres a smoking ban attached to the IMF 3 billion dollar loan!

    Lagarde assures Mursi IMF ready to help Egypt

    Reuters) – International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde called Egyptian President-elect Mohamed Mursi to discuss the economic challenges facing Egypt and how the international lender can best help, a spokesperson for the IMF said on Friday.

    “The MD reiterated that the IMF stands ready to support Egypt and looks forward to working closely with the authorities,” the spokesperson said.

    She also congratulated Mursi on his election as president, “which represents an important step forward in Egypt’s transition,” the spokesperson said.

    However, no timetable has been set for an IMF staff visit to Egypt to discuss a $3.2 billion IMF loan. That “will depend on the formation of the government,” the spokesperson said.

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi is due to be sworn into office on Saturday, making him Egypt’s first Islamist president. He and Lagarde spoke on Thursday.

    Brotherhood officials have said they plan to resume the previous government’s stop-and-start negotiations for a $3.2 billion IMF loan.

    A staff visit to meet Mursi and members of his new government would be an essential part of that process.

    “As we have said before, Egypt’s economic situation is challenging,” the IMF spokesperson said.

    “Steps are required to re-establish confidence, restart growth, and safeguard macroeconomic stability, while protecting the most vulnerable. We will update our assessment when a staff team visits Egypt,” the IMF spokesperson said.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/30/us-imf-egypt-idUSBRE85S1JC20120630

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Fine Gael chairman Flanagan attacks proposed ban on smoking in cars

    4 Comments
    Fine Gael party chairman Charlie Flanagan has attacked a proposed new law banning smoking in cars.

    The legislation, initiated by John Crown in the Seanad, was supported by Health Minister James Reilly. However, Mr Flanagan and a growing number of Fine Gael back-benchers are unenthusiastic about the proposal.

    Concern is growing within Fine Gael that the Coalition may repeat the mistake of the Greens who, in targeting a variety of side issues involving dogs and stag hunting, incurred the wrath of an electorate who wanted them to focus on the big ticket problems facing the economy.

    Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Flanagan attacked the “political obsession with banning things”, saying: “Politics should be about positive achievements rather than just ban, ban, ban. I am not a banner…

    “We should use education and persuasion, rather than the blunt instrument of prohibition. The State cannot be expected to police every human activity.”

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/fine-gael-chairman-flanagan-attacks-proposed-ban-on-smoking-in-cars-3154548.html

  11. truckerlyn says:

    In response to Frank’s main post here:

    Rightly or wrongly, I see what is happening as Germany finally winning the war!

    They are more financially secure than most, if not all, other EU countries, including ourselves and they seem to be holding all the Aces with regards to all these Summits and it is also the Germans who are digging their heels in the hardest over austerity measures, which I see as keeping them at the top of the tree with regards to being most financially secure.

    Not that I really understand these things!

  12. Junican says:

    I think that we’ve done a good job over at the Bolton News. The comments in favour of the ban are illiterate. I only comment on these stories on the off-chance that a few people will read them an realise what is going on.

  13. james higham says:

    Meanwhile, we wait for it all to collapse around August to October.

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