2 historikere og en sandsiger om Brexit

Diverse, EU, England, Forår?, Historie, Indvandring, Racisme, Økonomi og finans — Drokles on June 22, 2016 at 4:52 am

Historikeren Anthony Beevor advarer i Guardian, at et Brexit kan gøre England til det mest foragtede land, ikke bare i Europa, fordi alliancer uagtet hvad man end måtte mene om EU er skøbeligt og svære at opbygge, sårbare som de er for mistillid og foragt. Ikke desto mindre giver han en lektion i den gustne historie bag EUs ideologiske arkitekt Jean Monnet

IT was Monnet who, while based in London in the dark days of June 1940, working on the integration of the British and French arms industries, came up with the suggestion of an Anglo-French union to continue resistance to Hitler. The idea excited both Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill, but was crushed by Marshal Philippe Pétain, who described the plan as a “marriage to a corpse”, since France was about to surrender. It was Monnet, now in the US at the behest of the British government and acting as an adviser to Franklin D Roosevelt, who persuaded the president to turn the US into the “arsenal of democracy” and to introduce the “victory plan” for the mass production of armaments to defeat Nazi Germany. And it was Monnet who, in 1943, ensured De Gaulle’s ascent to power as head of the French government in exile in Algiers, despite Roosevelt’s opposition.

That August of 1943, Monnet also decided that European states would be so enfeebled after the war that they must unite into a federation. And yet theMonnet plan, which he expounded in 1945, proposed the French takeover ofRuhr coal production to rebuild France at the expense of Germany. De Gaulle supported the idea fervently, but then resigned because the infighting of French politics failed to live up to his own impossible dream that the country’s conflicting views would become unified under his leadership.

On 2 January 1946, just before his departure, De Gaulle appointed Monnet to head the Commissariat Général du Plan. This was to provide centralised planning writ large. Monnet brought in almost the whole team from the Délégation Générale à l’Equipement National, even though it had been created by the collaborationist Vichy regime. These bright young “technocrates” from the top schools of the French administration had worked on projects to modernise France within the “new European order” of the Third Reich. After the war they were the very same people who were to run the European Coal and Steel Community, headed of course by Monnet, and then in 1958, the European Economic Community. Thus the top cadres of the European bureaucracy were not merely elitist from the start, they had little patience for democratic consultation. They knew best what was needed.


So why this current existential threat to the EU project? The principal insoluble problem comes from the disastrous decision to accelerate unification through a common currency across countries and economies that were fundamentally incompatible. The European currency unit, or ecu, in 1979 was the first step towards the dream of full unification, and would eventually turn into the euro. To prepare for the new system, currencies were to be stabilised within the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM). This meant that individual countries would lose all flexibility since they could not allow their currency to rise or fall beyond narrow parameters. (This was what led to Norman Lamont’s humiliation on Black Wednesday, 16 September 1992, when Britain had to pull out of the ERM.)

The principal insoluble problem comes from the disastrous decision to accelerate unification through a common currency

Optimism following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold war encouraged more detailed planning. Exchange controls were abolished in 1990. The Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 established economic and monetary union as a formal objective. By 1998 the European Central Bank had been established, and on 1 January 2002, euro notes and coins replaced existing currencies in 11 countries. But during the whole of this preparatory period, intense discussions had been held behind closed doors between central bankers and political leaders. Private doubts about the system’s potential weaknesses were dismissed as a failure to believe in the great project. The idea that a united Europe would be economically and politically powerful enough to overcome any problem assumed unwisely that all countries had the same interests.

Et land skal kunne bestemme sin egen skæbne. “Brexit isn’t nostalgia. It’s ambition“, formoder historikeren Tim Stanley i Telegraph, fordi “it gives us the chance to start over again, to write a new chapter in our country’s history

The Remainers say that the EU has brought peace to Europe. What kind of half-baked history is that? It was the bomb that brought an uneasy peace to Europe until 1989. In the 1990s there was the bloodbath of Yugoslavia, which the EU did nothing about. And now the EU flirts with Ukraine and talks about creating its own army. This is dangerous fantasy, like children playing with matches.


Get back to the basics. What does the EU offer? Does it deliver?

Remainers say we should give up some of our democratic accountability in exchange for access to the single market and, they claim, greater economic stability. Leavers say the deal is a bad one. We lose too much democracy in exchange for access to a declining market and a political union that is fraught with risk.

Let’s not talk about the past but the future: the EU is planning to create a unitary state. Its leaders have said as much – higher taxes, an army, greater authority for the bank are all on the table. The EU has decided that only faster integration will see it through the present crisis. They might be correct: what the EU wants to be it can only be if it is effectively one country. But that is not in Britain’s national interest, something we’ve signalled by remaining outside the Eurozone.

So we can either ride this train as far as the driver wants to go or we can jump off now. A so-called leap in the dark actually gives us back control of our policy making. It’s a vote for democracy, a vote to say: “We govern, we are in charge.” We can make the choice of whether to take more or less migrants; we can write new trade agreements and we can reaffirm our strategic interests in the developing world.

Tidligere på året forklarede skuespillere Michael Caine med en statsmands logik, hvorfor han vil stemme for Brexit (i dette klip er der inkluderet hans syn på ‘den sorte boykot’ af Oscar uddelingerne)

2 Kommentarer »

  1. [...] Taget herfra [...]

  2. Når man hører politikere sige, at EU har sikret freden, er det netop, som det siges, en “kind of halfbaked history”. Det siger meget om vore politikere, at de kan blive ved og ved med at gentage den slags EU-børnesange. Tak for indlægget.

    Comment by Henrik True — June 22, 2016 @ 3:06 pm

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