"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Europe's Transfer Union

A bail-out fund, a finance stability mechanism or just good old-fashioned wealth redistribution, here's one analyst who calls it as it is. Has anyone seen any in-depth reporting from the BBC yet where they address the deeper implications of the financial crisis in the euro-zone?  As for Osborne's speech today where he effectively said, "Portugal - there but for the grace of God..." and said those who opposed Britain's austerity measures were  'risking national sovereignty' - words fail me; the man's a light-weight joker.

I recommend this post from Golem XIV if you haven't already seen it; he neatly deconstructs the language of bail-outs.  Here's an extract:
In Portugal there is no fast election. There is a 'caretaker' government. Unelected and therefore without a democratic mandate or basis for any decision. An interesting and dangerous position for the people - an opening for the banks and financial class.

Both situations have been enveloped in the language of 'asking for help' and 'receiving help'. But are these phrases the best way of understanding what is actually going on?

The people of Ireland did NOT vote for a party or a slogan of "We will ask Europe and the IMF for 'help' in ignoring your opposition and pushing on with austerity measures similar to the ones you, the people, already rejected." Any party that had said that would have been laughed at. Yet this is what the 'help' on offer seems to be. The previous Irish government couldn't quite force the EU, IMF dictated measures upon the Irish people. The Irish people spoke rather clearly, despite the paucity of real choice they were offered at the ballot box, but the EU, IMF and Banks seem not to have heard.

The promise was to re-negotiate the conditions of the 'bail-out' and make senior bond holders share the pain. The 'help' the EU has provided to the in-coming Irish Government, is to say "No, that is not up for discussion. End of story." Which allows the new government to go back to those who elected it and say, 'Sorry. We tried, but the big bad EU shouted at us and told us we just had to get on with it."
In other news surrounding the Portuguese bail-out, Conservative MPs aren't happy.


  1. It will be interesting to see whether those Con MPs who are not happy are prepared to do something other than talk........

    Just exactly how much trouble are they prepared to cause......?

  2. Yes, Mr W, or will the protestations dry silently in their throats? Carswell has been particularly critical. We'll see.

  3. Only the counties who did not not give up their currency for the Euro, stand a chance of economic survival.

  4. Thanks for the link, it's a good blog. I have added it to my blogroll now. Good sensible reasoning.

  5. Trestin, we won't unless we stop bailing them out. There would be no recip[rocal bail-out for the UK since we're not part of the euro-zone.

    Yes, he's great, Sue - always worth reading for a clear analysis when others just tie us up in jargon.

  6. If the Tory MPs aren't happy, they must be Dopey or Grumpy.


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