Tony Blair, EU President

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Sayhey, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #1
    In what can only be described as an ill-timed event, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is scheduled to take over the reins of the EU presidency on July 1st. After the collapse of the last summit, along with the future of the EU constitution in serious doubt, Blair takes on the presidency as the least likely head of government to build a consensus on future of the Union. Here is what the outgoing President has to say about Blair.

    EU Observer
     
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    skunk

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    Of course the Luxembourgeois are swimming in a sea of EU money, and they don't have a meaningful voice in any other forum. Blair's got as good a chance as anybody of re-establishing some sort of consensus.
     
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    Sayhey

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    As opposed to the British and their rebate? I thought the idea was for EU monies to help countries and industries to modernize and integrate? What's Blair excuse for scuttling the EU budget talks based on maintaining a rebate that is plainly unconscionable?

    And George Bush has as good a chance of leading the next socialist revolution as anyone, right?. Com'n, skunk, the only consensus Blair can lead is if he persuades the rest of the EU to give up on their founding vision and adopt the least common denominator of a trading bloc, devoid of any progressive future. Maggie Thatcher should be proud of him. Not what one would think the leader of the once proud Labour Party should be doing.
     
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    skunk

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    Still the second-largest net contributor.
    Not what the French seem to think. Apparently it's to keep the price of food artificially high and prevent poorer countries from messing up the market.
    No more unconscionable than it was when introduced. It takes two to scuttle.

    Let's not get too misty-eyed about "founding visions" here: the ECSC, as it began, was a means for France to assert its rather questionable postwar moral superiority on the back of occupied Germany's industrial muscle. Italy was only too glad to be included, and Benelux came along for the ride. It's a grand experiment, to be sure, and clearly still a "work in progress", but when it comes down to it, "It's the Economy, Stupid!" None of the so-called powerhouses of the EU are doing very well at the moment, and there comes a point where raising taxes is like flogging a dead horse.

    FYI: from The Independent (paid sub only, so I've pasted it).


     
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    stubeeef

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    Economically, UK is making the mainlanders look like 3rd world chumps. Like all the "know it alls" few will listen, not because of the msg, because of the messenger. That logic makes them look worse than, but they won't figure that out either.

    Go Tony!
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    skunk, I'm not against revisiting the effect of EU or US subsidies on other nations, but I don't believe for an instant the cause of poor farmers in Mozambique or anywhere else was behind the British stance at the last summit. The UK government's stand there showed just how little chance Blair has in leading the EU out of its present crises.

    If Blair's idea of leadership is that everyone else must accept his vision of the EU, complete with his neo-liberal economic strategies, then he hasn't a clue about what it will take to bring others along with him. His stance seems more effective as a means of alienating others and creating divisions than it does in bringing about unity in a time of crises. One could almost believe he sees a divided Europe as a good thing. However, then he would be playing to conservative sympathies in both the UK and in the US - something the good Labour leader would never do, right?

    As to the rebate, I think you're right. It was wrong when it was adopted and is wrong now. Maggie forced the concession back then and she was wrong. Blair is standing against every other nation in the EU in demanding the UK maintain the rebate and he is wrong now. Does that mean the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) shouldn't be revised? I don't think so, but by tying the two together Blair assured a disaster on the budget. Something, that right after the collapse of the Constitutional effort, the EU could ill afford. Maggie Thatcher or the UKIP could not have done a more effective job of sabotage.

    Just in case others might think it is only the Luxembourgeois, or the French and Germans, who rejected Blair's tactics and vision, here is an interesting article on Deutsche Welle's website which includes the thoughts of the Austrian Chancellor and others.

    Deutsche Welle emphasis added

    While I maybe misty-eyed when I look back at the ideals that came out of the defeat of Germany in World War II, I also acknowledge the hard-edged realities that came out of that time as well. France asserting its unquestionable moral superiority over a Germany still dominated by those with far-right sympathies was not a mistake. Much of the stability of Europe over the last half century was owed to the strategies laid down then, through the ECSC and other "misty-eyed" organizations. I don't think one has to apologize for or denigrate those ideals.
     

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