Good news. The UK is, as of this week, less likely to leave the EU than was the case last week. Whether you consider that to be a good thing or not is another matter, but it should at least be considered an unalloyed good that British diplomacy (and Swedish too presumably), worked effectively to head-off further EU encroachment into the sovereignty of the nation-state. As usual, openeurope has a handle on the problem.
Too quote from the paper:
In a dynamic world where the problems change successful political movements evolve, and even where the problems remain similar the conditions of the day often require new solutions. The defining problem for this current parliament is finding the quickest national exit to the global financial crisis, but this blog is about the future, and europe’s evolution beyond that crisis will be what comes to define the next.
1. What is our position on British sovereignty; is it necessary or are we better served by a european collective?
2. What is our position on the sovereignty of our neighbours; a choice they must have or secondary to British interests?
Reading Aaron Ellis’s thoughts on the unexpected “no” from Cameron on Friday – as well as the mournings and musings of various others – has prompted me to pause for thought. HMG has always sought to have British commissioners holding the economic portfolio in Brussels, in order that the economic regulation that emerges has a flavour that is acceptable to the British palate. It is perhaps no coincidence that financial regulation became indigestible once labour abandoned the principle of occupying the economic portfolio at all costs – to get Baroness Ashton into the new foreign policy portfolio – thereby allowing France to install Barnier into our old redoubt. This perhaps explains why Britain is so nervous about the coming tide of financial regulation, when we have not previously been overruled on such matters via QMV, but has Cameron played a blinder or a poor hand badly?
Rather depends on how deluded you are, for there was very little choice available to Cameron.
Mr Clegg is a clever chap, and a pragmatic one too, so when it comes to value of our trade with europe I have no doubt he is well aware of the declining importance it plays, if only because Osborne and Alexander will have sat him down for a little chat. However, he is bang in the middle of a gruelling battle to transform his party into something fit to govern the UK, and that requires that he doesn’t yank too hard on the baby-reins. At some point before the next election he will have to instil a more pragmatic form of enthusiasm for the EU that is able to reflect critically on its flaws, not least the damage that the doctrine of ever-deeper-union has done to public acceptance of the wider project. The uncritical europhilia that has been our Lib-Dem diet to date stems largely from the fear that without the shoulders of europe to stand upon the UK’s future is dark for we need europe’s might to keep; the money flowing, the barbarians from the gate, and to temper our anglo-saxon tendencies. Perhaps he needs to show his party this:
In the space of just ten years the value of our trade with europe vis-a-vis the rest of the world has slipped dramatically, and it has done so because europe is now a low-growth zone.
The euro crisis rumbles on, with the Greece bail-out 2.0 entrain and still no real solution to the currency union’s problem. In a marked change from a generation of Conservative policy; that we should be at the heart of europe to ensure they don’t make a pigs ear of it, we know have George Osborne arguing for a two-speed EU, with Britain in the slow lane. Welcome aboard George!
Is this the promised land, where British democracy becomes accountable once more?
This blog is amused by the latest polls for the AV referendum, especially as aggregated by political betting. We have been regaled with tales of dogs and cats, along with wonderful explanations of why it is not a good idea to let representative government to fall to the former. Its all very entertaining but it is a fantastic example of exactly why the “yes” vote is destined to lose; because it panders to the idea of a progressive-majority and ignores the fact that their are multiple ‘dog’ candidates too.
This presumption of ‘virtue’ has prevented the “yes” campaign from communicating with, and persuading, those people for whom the principle of proportionality or ‘vote-power’ simply is not a significant priority.
The last decade has witnessed Labour testing to destruction of the notion of unalloyed social-liberalism, however the decade we are now within represents an enormous opportunity for the Lib-Dem’s to step outwith the formers shadow, but does Labours failure provide a guide that will lead to the success of the latter? Yes, but it requires recognising that progressivism is a means and not an end.
It also requires a mandate from the people before the party will have the confidence to change.
In a piece for the Sunday Telegraph titled; “The Tories have made success look like a train crash” Janet Daley asks a question but fails to realise the obvious answer. She notes; “Believe it or not, the welfare reforms are proceeding with remarkably little serious obstruction. The liberation of schools from political domination by local councils is positively whizzing along. And, to top it all, George Osborne’s plan to reduce the deficit as rapidly as humanly possible is now generally accepted by all authoritative bodies as sound.” She asks; “So why do we have the impression that this is a government in deep – possibly terminal – trouble?” She puzzles; “Bizarrely, politicians who shamelessly describe themselves as having learnt all their formative political lessons from Tony Blair have achieved the precise opposite of the Great Role Model.”
I think you miss the obvious Janet; why give the appearance of turbulent chaos while policy progress slides beneath the surface with the inexorability of the gulf-stream?
When discussing Britain’s Foreign Policy objectives, in particular the possibility of remaining an influential actor in the coming decades, it is common to attract derisive comments from people convinced of our approaching irrelevance. This is often accompanied with statements asserting the unstoppable rise of new powers in contrast to our own decline, and thus the necessity of banding together with our friends in europe in order that we may act as one puissant whole. Yes, as advanced economies our growth rate will be slower than the new rising titans, and yes the west is subject to demographic decline which will further erode our net ‘weight’, but is it really true that the middle of the century will herald an era where Britain cannot contemplate an assertive and independent Foreign Policy?
Are we limited to the twin choices of a federal europe or a harlot chasing others interests?
This post has been filed under politics for a reason; because it is widely believed that there can only be three mainstream smartphone ecosystems, in addition to niche platforms such as RIM, and with Android and Apple IOS occupying two of those positions the race to be the third depends massively on the perception of momentum. Consumers and developers will follow the perceived trend, and so creating a vision for where your platform will go is as much an art of political manoeuvre as it is a science of engineering prowess.
Nokia want to be (a part of) that third platform and they didn’t have confidence that MeeGo could take them there.