In-expensive In the spare-wheel compartment of one author’s car is a fluorescent yellow gilet. It may soon have another use apart from making him more visible if he has to change a wheel at the roadside. But with Paris in flames, Berlin in flux and Rome in financial meltdown it may not be necessary to … More Quickies-5
This post is the second part of our three-part review of Jean-Claude Juncker’s speech to the European Parliament. The full text of his speech can be downloaded from here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/soteu2018-speech_en_0.pdf Unification The Five Presidents Report  is not often referred to directly these days but its plan still underpins the economic activities of the Union … More State of the European Union 2018 – 2
Jean-Claude Juncker gave his last SOTEU presentation as President of the European Commission to the European Parliament on September 12, his third since the UK Referendum. We commented on the previous two ,  and now add the third. This post is the first of a three-part review of his speech. The text of his … More State of the European Union 2018 – 1
This post looks at these two terms as they are applied in practice by the EU. In various posts we have said a lot about both ideas and we have concluded that not much ‘competence’ is left with the member states because the EU’s principle of ‘subsidiarity’ is barely honoured by them. (In what follows … More Subsidiarity and Competence
A cynic is “a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing” [Oscar Wilde]. In relation to Brexit a typical Whitehall mandarin knows the risk of everything and the opportunity of nothing. Except they don’t know the risks, they are guessing at the cost of Brexit using estimation methods already shown … More Canny or Carney?
The chances of leaving the EU without a deal are now very serious according to the Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, and Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, agrees. One of the most serious alarms about this possibility was raised a while ago by sandwich makers; a ‘hard Brexit’ will cause a scarcity of ingredients for … More Bacon, Lettuce and Tomatoes
Depressing The 1930’s Great Depression hit the USA hard but the suffering was less in the UK because in 1931 the Bank of England abandoned the Gold Standard and the Fed did not until 1933 (although it was only fully abandoned by Nixon in 1971). For the economy to recover, unemployment and low wages persisted; … More Quickies-3
(Sung by Mel Brooks – as Hitler impersonator – in the 1983 film, “To Be Or Not To Be”) If “Nagging is the repetition of unpalatable truths” (Edith Summerskill) then once again we will remind Remainers that the European Union has failed in its original goals. The idealists who conceived and designed the EU wanted … More All I want is peace. Peace! Peace!
by Ian Kearns (Biteback Publishing Ltd, 2018) A book review (Part 2 – see Part 1 in the previous post) Part 2: Collapse and its consequences The EU faces economic and political risks that may threaten its future. Kearns lists the former as coming from Trump’s policies, a Chinese recession, an oil crisis, a no-deal … More Collapse: Europe After the European Union – 2
by Ian Kearns (Biteback Publishing Ltd, 2018) A book review (Part 1) Introduction The author states clearly that he is an academic but has not applied cautious academic standards in the book. This helps makes it a briefer and clearer exposition of the issues he addresses than it might otherwise have been but means fact … More Collapse: Europe After the European Union – 1