The Tower of Babel

H/T EUreferendum, as austerity measures bite in Spain, Asturian miners and their wives have been demonstrating in Madrid.

On the same day, Prime Minister Rajoy announced a 3-point increase in VAT, and called for further cuts in public expenditure.

From the Telegraph:

Hours before, daily newspaper El Pais had stunned the nation by publishing the leaked “Memorandum” imposed by the eurozone’s creditor bloc as the condition for Spain’s €100bn bank rescue.

The draconian terms include an EU takeover of the Spanish financial system, with calls for haircuts on €67bn of junior and hybrid bank debt, a bad bank to wind down crippled lenders, “on-site” raids by inspectors, and intrusive demands across the gamut of fiscal policy.

The 20-page list of diktats – ending with an ice-cold ultimatum – has shattered the illusion that Spain would escape lightly, avoiding the sort of EU-IMF Troika regime inflicted on Greece. “The EU is trying to do a ‘Greece’ without putting up the money that Greece got, because there isn’t any,” said Luis Arroyo, a former Bank of Spain economist…

 “It is pointless pain,” said Nobel economist Paul Krugman. “The new austerity measures make no sense. This will clearly deepen Spain’s depression.”

Mr Krugman said the EU-imposed strategy of “internal devaluation” relies on pushing the jobless rate ever higher to break the back of labour resistance to pay cuts, a cruel and slow way to regain competitiveness.

A chorus of Spanish economists warned that the country cannot endure a further fiscal squeeze at a time when the banks are already crippled and unemployment is 24pc.

Professor Arcadi Oliveres from Barcelona University said the only way to break out of the vicious circle is to “leave the euro” – a minority view, but one emerging in academic circles.

And what’s all this suffering for? Why, it’s to keep the euro, and thus keep the European political ‘project’ on track.

From EUreferendum again, Karel de Gucht, European Commissioner for Trade, on the possible failure of the euro:

“Maybe you don’t, your population don’t completely understand this but this, the European monetary union, it’s not only about monetary affairs, economic affairs. It’s a political project, you know. It would mean the end of the European Union. It would be the end of the political project of our era. There’s no alternative to that so we’ll sort it out, whatever it takes.”

There’s no alternative? There are hundreds of alternatives. But the Eurocracy only has eyes for one: the creation of a European superstate.

What is the merit of this EU superstate? None really. It makes for a nice clean monochrome map of Europe. You could drive from Berlin to Barcelona and buy croissants along the way using the same currency. And the EU superstate would be similar in scale to the USA and China and India, and so it would be a major player in international politics. And this is all that really matters to these EU politicians: they want to be able to sit at the top table.

It’s really giantism for the sake of giantism. Bigger is better, and bigger still is even better still.

It is almost as if the European ‘project’ was to build a 10,000 storey skyscraper, that reached as far as outer space. What’s the difference? Because bigger is better. And the 10,000 storey skyscraper would be the envy of the world, even if the the top 3,000 floors were uninhabitable, and the whole of Europe was bankrupted in the process of building this vast white elephant. That’s the ‘project’, and there is no alternative to the project. Anything else is unthinkable. We must have our new Tower of Babel, or we will have nothing at all.

Practical politicians, realising it couldn’t be done, would adapt their plans to something that actually could be achieved. They’d cut their coat according to their cloth. But the Eurocrats are not practical politicians – if only because most of them haven’t been elected -, and they have their eyes fixed upon the Tower of Babel they’ve been dreaming about for 70 years.

The result is pre-ordained. The Tower will collapse. The ‘project’ will come to an abrupt end. Europe will disintegrate, and the dreamer-politicians and their political ‘project’ will all be swept away.  They will be replaced by pragmatists rather than idealists – people who want to make institutions that actually work rather than institutions that are imposingly large.

Angela Merkel is one of the dreamer-politicians. In fact, as far as I can see, they all are.

I was looking at a photo of Angela Merkel the other day, when I suddenly realised who it was that she reminded me of.

Eddie Izzard.

About Frank Davis

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26 Responses to The Tower of Babel

  1. jaxthefirst says:

    “And the EU superstate would be similar in scale to the USA and China and India,”

    So it’s all just for show, really. Because what’s the point in being equal to the likes of China or the USA or India in terms of population and geographic size if by getting there you’ve rendered yourself into a group of states who have no manufacturing, no money, no agriculture, no means of using natural resources, no cultural identity, no inspiration, no creativity and no money, and where the population – unlike in China and India where they are steadily getting richer and richer (even China now has an emerging “middle class”) – are impoverished, dependent upon meagre state handouts and unable to either produce or utilise any of the tiny crumbs of money which they are thrown? The words “poor relation” spring to mind – is that really what they want?

    How silly and immature – like a kid wanting to get into the pub to smoke and drink to show how grown-up and independent he is, whilst all the adults around him smile indulgently at his pretend-grown-up antics and at how gauche and awkward he actually is in that environment, surrounded by the real grown-ups who, quite simply, don’t have to try in such an artificial fashion to be something they’re not.

    If it wasn’t, tragically and infuriatingly, going to take all of us in the EU down with it, it’d be positively sad.

  2. Walt says:

    OT. Online survey of impact on smokers conducted by academics. I didn’t look beyond the home page yet but FYI

    • irocyr says:

      Walt, read it all. They are eventually offering you a quit tool kit from the NHS to help you quit.
      Their last page reads:
      ”We are predicting that when smokers feel that they are supported by other smokers the intended outcomes of the ban – to discourage smoking – will not be seen. Instead, we expect that when this happens, smokers will be more likely to continue to smoke in the future.”

      So now they don’t want us to support each other because that doesn’t help us quit smoking. Notice also how the intended outcomes of the bans is TO DISCOURAGE SMOKING.
      Oh really? And here we all thought that it was about protecting non-smokers LOL !!

      • prog says:

        And specifically non smoking staff Iro – the sole legal justification.

        That quote is quite chilling. Could you imagine them saying the same about alcoholics? After all, according to them, smoking is an addiction.

        Furthermore, I believe that similar reasoning is behind suggestions that smoking should be banned outside on licensed premises and other public gathering places. They are determined to eliminate all opportunities for social smoking.

      • Frank Davis says:

        And here we all thought that it was about protecting non-smokers

        Well, it’s been clear to me that the aim all along has been to make people stop smoking. Michael McFadden has an email/letter from Baroness Elaine Murphy stating that quite explicitly. It’s a piece of social engineering. There is no scientific justification for smoking bans, but they make quite a lot of sense in terms of ‘denormalising’ smoking – and this is the real goal.

        And I’m proud to be writing a blog that’s supportive of smokers, and glad to see that there are more and more blogs like that, and that smokers are becoming supportive of each other. Because, quite obviously, if smokers unite and resist, the denormalisation programme will fail.

        • irocyr says:

          Frank, I was being totally sarcastic. I have known since day 1 that it had nothing to do with non-smokers or even employees. Although I instinctively always felt and believed that abusive smoking can be harmful to the smoker, I never once believed that SHS can cause more than some irritation to the eyes, the nasal passages and affect those of the asthmatics intolerant to tobacco smoke. They will never be able to sell to me anything else but that. Maybe the younger generation but not at my age where I have smoked (and many women did) during my pregnancies and my kids weighed almost 9 and 10 pounds respectively and now in their 30’s are still in perfect health and much more successful than the average, when everyone including doctors were smoking in hospitals, in offices, at home while rocking our babies to sleep, and especially since I am witnessing how much sicker people are today as compared to back then. Lying, manipulative, ugly social engineers of the most despicable kind is all they are. Too bad so many non-smokers (and even smokers) have bought into their lies to the point of being afraid of SHS even in the great outdoors. I would have read something like this in a scifi book and I would have been in total awe with the author’s talents for creative writing.

      • churchmouse says:

        After the multiple-choice questions, the next page says:

        ‘The NHS “Smokefree” campaign also encourages smokers to stop smoking by making a promise. Please read the information about the “Make a Promise” initiative on the next page and, if you would like to make a promise to quit smoking, complete the details requested. You can choose to make a promise just to yourself, or you can make a promise to a friend or family member—in which case we will make the promise for you once you have filled in your details* …

        ‘What better way to motivate yourself to stop smoking than to promise your commitment to quit to those who love and support you?

        ‘By filling in the form below, you will be making the first step to stopping smoking. You can also email your promise to a friend or family member, making sure you have lots of inspiration to stay smokefree. If you do not wish to make a promise please leave this page blank and go to the next page. ‘

    • Louis says:

      Did it to the best of my ability. Their use of the English language is awful in places and it takes ages to complete. There are Bear Traps and there are Cross References, but that’s to be expected.

      As irocyr said, they make some predictions (that I feel are accurate).

      On the other hand there is an open box for you to say your piece at the end. Had fun with that, sort of pointing out that Frank set the precedent with the survey thing and they’re playing catch up.

      Gave them a pat on the back for openly admitting they monitor all sites like these, then finished by telling them that they’ll NEVER allow open access to the data – and that’s where they fall on their face!

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Spain Deepens Austerity Under European Pressure
    Sales tax goes to 21%

    Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced a swathe of new taxes and spending cuts on Wednesday designed to slash 65 billion euros from the budget deficit by 2014 as recession-plagued Spain struggles to meet tough targets agreed with Europe.

    Rajoy, of the center-right People’s Party, proposed a 3-point hike in the main rate of Value Added Tax on goods and services to 21 percent, and outlined cuts in unemployment benefit and civil service pay and perks in a parliamentary speech interrupted by jeers and boos from the opposition.

    “These measures are not pleasant, but they are necessary. Our public spending exceeds our income by tens of billions of euros,” Rajoy told parliament.

    He also announced new indirect taxes on energy, plans to privatize ports, airports and rail assets, and a reversal of property tax breaks that his party had restored last December.

    However, he did not touch pensions — keeping one election promise — and said the tax burden was being shifted from direct taxes on labor and income to taxation on consumption.

    Outside in the streets of Madrid, hundreds of coal miners who had staged a march from northern Spain protested against cuts in mining subsidies they say will put them out of work, as public discontent over austerity measures grows.

    With five years of economic stagnation and recession , unemployment at 24.4 percent and tax revenue falling, Spain is struggling to meet tough deficit cutting targets agreed with the European Union.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    And what’s all this suffering for? Why, it’s to keep the euro, and thus keep the European political ‘project’ on track.

    I dare say this EU union will likely lead to another European land war………….or mini-civil-wars within certain countries,coups and the like very very soon!

  5. Walt says:

    I don’t know how I missed yesterday’s New Pornography post but, oh yeah, and there might be a market for it. Could be a graphic novel. Or a novella– say 30-40 pages. Could be a novella that’s part of an essay collection. Don’t discard the idea. You’ve got the tone down pat. Maybe the girl’s name is Puffy Galore?

  6. I’m off to Madrid on Monday.Do they sell pepper spray at Gatwick?

  7. lecroixkwdjer says:

    Hi Frank. I have been told the girls in the pic are not miners wives. Just the usual, professional troublemakers. The girl assaulted the police and got a whack on the head as intended. She was lucky and there was blood too, so her masters got the pic they wanted. No miner was arrested and their protest was peaceful. Professional troublemakers show up even when celebrating world cups. They aim for the pic that makes the headline. This time, they got it.

  8. lecroixkwdjer says:

    As for the government, it is clearly as socialist as the one before. I remember reading here about the disappointment in UK politics and how in the end all parties behaved in the same way. I was foolish enough to trust that would not happen in Spain. There are no governments, there’s only the EU, unelected and merciless in its utopian agenda. Their paradise is always one ban and one more tax away. Their monstruous leviathan can not hurt me personally anymore. That is, until they decide to take my unemployment benefits away, for which I have paid a 100 times over in the last 25 years or so, while working in a few countries. The EU nightmare must end. I never spent over my limit, I never incurred into debt except for a reasonable house and a reasonable car, all paid for. I saved and invested and thanks to that, my boat is not sinking too fast. I have never, ever, been on sick leave, not one day. I am not guilty of anything.

    • Marie says:

      Never been on sick leave? Me either, until I realised that the darling employer would not be providing me with a medal to hang on my gravestone.

      • lecroixkwdjer says:

        Never ever. No, I did not get a medal. They told me “we’ll call you”. The company does not exist anymore. Gone.

  9. nonviolentconflict says:

    Reblogged this on NonviolentConflict.

  10. Gary K. says:

    T’is better to be un-employed.
    What are they going to do when they run out of money to give away?

    In England they want to give wellfare folks the right to ‘sue’ the govt for more money!!!!

    $37,000 pounds is about $55,000 US, that is more than the average American wage-earner is paid.(about $50,000)

    ” The human right to claim welfare payments: British jobless could sue for better payments under controversial plan

    Human rights law will be extended to include the right to claim benefits and enjoy a comfortable standard of living courtesy of the taxpayer under plans unveiled last night.

    A Government panel of experts is considering whether Labour’s Human Rights Act – which is already hugely controversial – should be extended to include so-called ‘socio-economic rights’.

    This would allow the jobless to take the Government to court if ministers did not provide a minimum standard of living.

    Earlier this week, a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggested a family of four needed an income of almost £37,000 to have a satisfactory lifestyle.”

  11. Gary K. says:

    “a family of four needed an income of almost £37,000 to have a satisfactory lifestyle.”

    From Wikipedia:
    After tax, the average British family in 2002 was left with an average of £24,407 in disposable income.

    By now it is perhaps as much as 26-28,000–GK

    The masters in London are stark raving crazy and those in Brussels are much worse!!!!!

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