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Thursday, May 19, 2005

 

Just say ‘No’

Although I swore I wouldn’t watch the news or read the newspapers, my fancy was tickled by the news that the Dutch, as well as the French referendums on the EU constitution look like (According to the polls) coming up with a pretty resounding ‘No’.

This is good news for ordinary people. It means that the legal framework for an amorphous, possibly totalitarian European super state will not happen. I like a number of things about this; Firstly, we still retain some say about the running of our own country rather than some unelected ‘Commissioners’ in another country with different traditions to our own. Secondly, such a ‘super state’ as a power bloc will add to, rather than detract from the political tensions in this world. Not least because it would put us into direct competition with the worlds only other super power, the USA. Thirdly, for reason of language and geography, what will benefit one member will seriously hurt another. So I welcome the ‘No’ vote. As a free trade entity the EU will work, as a governmental whole it will not.

My argument is as follows; complete ‘top down’ solutions only work if the organisation, which they hope to ‘streamline’, can adapt. Countries and the general population don’t work like commercial or governmental organisations, especially one like England, or even Britain as a whole. People are not ‘economic units’ or pieces on a socio political chessboard, or at least not for more than two or three years at a stretch. This is because people are not machines and the rules of political logic have very little to do with their general behaviour. Humans as a species tend towards the tribal or family unit, as any good anthropologist will tell you (I think) and super tribal groupings (Such as the EU) need a very complex structure of custom and practice to function coherently. Countries as large as the USA have had three centuries and a civil war to develop and establish their customs and practice as enshrined in their constitution. The EU may achieve this in another hundred years by common consent, but trying to foist this unwieldy piece of tat the lawyers and politicians have cobbled together on the populace; well, for the argument outlined above “This dawg won’t hunt”.

If a Parking Enforcement Officer can work this out, why the hell do a lot of other people find it so hard? Just say no to the EU constitution – trust me, it’s a really bad idea. A lot of the French and Dutch electorate feel this way too. We need less government, not more.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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