Desperate Deutsche delusion

Reading the German publication Spiegel is often instructive.  Today’s offering is no less illuminating for what it reveals about the perception on the continent of the EU debate here in the UK.

Spiegel makes us aware of the latest foreign political figure to deign to the UK what is best for us, German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle.  Never short of a comment for the media, Westerwelle sticks to the internationally rehearsed script:

With a view to the current debate over Great Britain’s role in the EU, I would say: Germany desires a Great Britain that will remain a constructive and active partner in the EU.

As has been the case so far, the European house will also have different levels of integration, but we would like a deeper and better EU of 27, with Great Britain.

But what really stands out about the Spiegel piece is what the paper doesn’t refer to.  While it says of David Cameron that the euroskeptic (sic) wing of his Conservative Party would prefer to bolt the European Union (clearly they haven’t looked at their voting record or repeated statements about staying in the EU) at no point does Spiegel inform readers that a majority of British voters polled on the subject of an in-out referendum say they would vote for the UK to leave.  Spiegel deliberately lays the uncertainty about the UK’s future down to a section of one political party, with the subtext that if they can be seen off all will be well and the project can continue.

To view the debate through the prism of party politics in the way Spiegel is doing is a deliberate effort to portray the issue as the grumbling of a few politicians being strongly countered by a small number of vocal business leaders.  It is contemptuous in the extreme of the wishes of British voters, treating them and their views as a complete irrelevance.

Spiegel is deluding itself and the German people if it thinks marginalising the views of the British people in this way will cancel them out.  As this arrogance continues so will British attitudes harden.  After all these years our continental cousins still do not understand the culture of the British people.

But the Spiegel piece is useful as a classic example of the EU modus operandii.  The EU is a creature of and for the political elite.  The people and their wishes do not matter.  The establishment thinks it knows best and it acts in its own interest.  The media on both sides of the channel knows its interest lays in cosying up to the establishment for precious ‘access’ and a share of ‘exclusives’ as a reward for the sycophancy.

What all this tells us is that grassroots pressure outside of party politics, and setting aside the untrustworthy / incompetent / unreliable parties and their empty pledges, is the way to force this issue.  The one weakness political parties have is the need to attract support.  Without support their mandate evaporates and their legitimacy is called into question.  It’s the only real leverage the electorate has.  If the parties lack support they are forced to change to try to attract it.  This is why the EU strives to reduce accountability to voters and have all parties offering the same outlook.  Cutting the parties out of the loop will ultimately neuter the EU approach.

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9 Responses to “Desperate Deutsche delusion”


  1. 1 Woodsy42 11/01/2013 at 10:55 pm

    “It is contemptuous in the extreme of the wishes of British voters, treating them and their views as a complete irrelevance.”

    It is indeed but it’s also completely true. They don’t give a damm what we think or what we want, our views have no relevence to the governments making up the EU nor to their plans. These comments just demonstrate that they have given up even pretending otherwise.

  2. 2 Paul Williamson 11/01/2013 at 11:00 pm

    The BBC has effectively stated on Newsnight that the UK government’s masters are the ruling class made up of multinational corporations and the EU. So there we have it. So the Falkland Islanders have the right to self determination, but the UK population doesn’t.

  3. 3 Angela the invader 12/01/2013 at 6:53 am

    “Spiegel is deluding itself and the German people if it thinks marginalising the views of the British people in this way will cancel them out. ”
    Ve can just ignore them, like we did in Ireland, Greece, Italy and now Spain and Portugal. Ze littel people do not matter.

  4. 4 Furor Teutonicus 12/01/2013 at 8:19 am

    XX It is contemptuous in the extreme of the wishes of British voters, treating them and their views as a complete irrelevance.XX

    The Spiegel, and indeed the whole German establishment is EQUALY contemptuous of their OWN people.

    Constantly polls against the E.U show an average of 70%, but you will not find that reported in the “main stream media”. But the “records” are kept on blog sites, such as this, and various “free” news papers, such as “Preußische Algemein”, or “Jugend Freiheit”.

    For example, T.V “Pay us 50 cents and you can vote” things, are PULLED, if the anti E.U side looks like winning!

    You just have to watch them to SEE it happen.

    From one minute to the next, the poll disapears, and is replaced by “What colour do you think Paris Hiltons shit is?” type of “poll”.

    Normally they run for 24 hours. But, again, for example, one asking if Germany should tell Greece to bugger off and find the money from somewher else, lasted about half an hour after the votes reached 65% FOR telling them where to go, when it was immediately “replaced due to a technical problem.”

    This ESF…..(No thats not it….Whatever it is called, the “safety net” for banks and countrys that can’t be arsed saving themselves), 70% against the “rescue package”,

    What happened? Ten minutes later the poll was replaced, asking something about some queer football player. (Which is ALL of them. But this was one in particular)

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 12/01/2013 at 9:08 am

    Don’t you just love those coveted EUrophile values of honesty, openness and transparency?

  6. 6 Restoring Britain 12/01/2013 at 9:30 am

    Nicely put AM and particularly liked your observation of electoral power at grassroots level.

    As I’ve so often commented, the image of taking on Westminster means too many people shy away from doing so because their power looks too large to take on.

    Politicians perpetuate that myth for that very reason because they know if ever we work out that the real “battleground” is local the power balance shifts enormously. Every 5 years they have to come back to their constituency and ask for our vote. That is their only path to the money. We hold the leash.

    If local populations were organised enough to create never ending pressure locally I think somethings might change in enough MPs to start to see some people making very different noises in westminster as their place is suddenly under threat.

  7. 7 Andy Baxter 12/01/2013 at 10:16 am

    “As this arrogance continues so will British attitudes harden. After all these years our continental cousins still do not understand the culture of the British people.”

    A powerful observation; one Rudyard Kipling noted with a certain accuracy. I hope readers do not mind my reproducing here his immortal words that sum up the British psyche.

    Norman and Saxon A.D. 1100

    “My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will be heir
    To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for share
    When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is.
    But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:–

    “The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
    But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
    When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
    And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.

    “You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears;
    But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole brood round your ears.
    From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
    They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.

    “But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs and songs.
    Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale of their wrongs.
    Let them know that you know what they’re saying; let them feel that you know what to say.
    Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ‘em out if it takes you all day.

    They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour of the dark.
    It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game in the park).
    Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well as unkind,
    For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man- at-arms you can find.

    “Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and funerals and feasts.
    Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish priests.
    Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking, instead of ‘you fellows’ and ‘I.’
    Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ‘em a lie!”

    THE WRATH OF THE AWAKENED SAXON

    It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late,
    With long arrears to make good,
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
    They were icy — willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the Saxon began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low.
    Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd.
    It was not taught by the state.
    No man spoke it aloud
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not suddenly bred.
    It will not swiftly abate.
    Through the chilled years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the Saxon began to hate.

  8. 8 thespecialone 12/01/2013 at 11:54 am

    Completely off topic but I cannot load Dr. North’s blog. It has been playing up and taking a long time to load for me for the last week. First thing this morning it eventually loaded but now it will not at all. Any idea of a problem?

  9. 9 thespecialone 12/01/2013 at 11:57 am

    Ignore my previous post; the blog eventually loaded and he has posted of hosting problems. Thought something sinister was happening for a little bit then!


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