Warm waves of euphoria are wafting over George Osborne, whose crack-papering budget is being hailed as the apex of sagacity.
Actually its chief feature is that it’s less damaging than Ed Ball’s would have been had he been in a position to draft one.
While improving Tory ratings and paving the way to George’s personal ascent, his budget doesn’t mend the structural flaw of our economy: having to service a national debt inexorably heading towards two trillion, if at a slightly slower rate than under Labour.
The only way to alleviate the problem is to halve our public spending, which effectively means eliminating the welfare state. This George hasn’t done, and neither he nor any other Chancellor will ever do it.
The prosperity we seem to be enjoying is phoney and therefore transient. The major reason we have it at all is that our ties with the moribund EU aren’t quite so strangulating as they would be had we joined the euro.
Young George’s talents are held in such high esteem that, now our economic woes seem to be over and some of his time has been freed up, he has been given an additional role: renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU.
George outlined his goals in a recent interview, in which he demonstrated he has every quality required in a modern PM: mediocre intellect, a rubbery elasticity of conscience and a single-minded devotion to power for its own sake.
He sees his new mission as “convincing ourselves that it is right for Britain to remain in the EU”. ‘Ourselves’ meaning whom? George and Dave are already convinced they want a sizeable piece of tangible power, which in Europe resides in the EU.
What George means is that he wants to convince those who aren’t sure that Britain’s best interests lie in becoming a cross between a German gau and a French département.
Only one trick has worked historically: lying that we’d be wealthy inside the EU and destitute outside it. This lie must be set up by another one: claiming that the EU is devoted to the economy above all else. Yet those even remotely familiar with EU history know that it’s a political project, not an economic one.
This is proved by the existence of the euro, a mechanism by which the economies of 19 countries have been to various extents sacrificed for a political cause: the creation of a European superstate run by an unaccountable, seemingly supranational, bureaucratic elite.
‘Seemingly’ is the key word there, for the hub around which the EU revolves is the Franco-German partnership cemented at Vichy circa 1943.
Germany is clearly the senior partner in this Vichy-washy arrangement, with France still reeling from the collective Stockholm syndrome she suffered in 1940. Like Patty Hearst falling in love with her SLA rapists, France is now eager to bring up Germany’s rear, kissing it as she goes along.
Hence any claim that the EU pursues purely economic goals is mendacious. And George can do mendacious with the worst of them: “But for Britain I always felt that the central attraction of European Union membership was the economic one.”
When 40 years ago I joined my first tennis club, its chief attraction was scantily dressed girls one could ogle and, at a braver moment, try to pick up. However, I discovered that ultimately that wasn’t what the club was about.
“I prefer to talk about [the EU] as a single market of free trade,” said George, as I preferred to talk about the tennis club as a pick-up place until realising that one had to play tennis.
“It’s free trade with the rules that enable the free trade to be a real success,” continued George. This suggests there was something unreal about Britain’s past success built solidly on the free trade the country more or less pioneered – amazingly without abandoning her sovereignty.
George’s remark sounded as if he foresaw Britain’s relationship with the EU becoming a purely economic one, and the interviewer asked if that understanding was correct.
A modern politician’s answers to such question are a Möbius strip, not a straight line. Hence George answered neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ but merely paraphrased what he had said before.
That merry dance continued throughout, with the interviewer paraphrasing the same question and George paraphrasing the same answer, adding the odd irrelevant bit, such as “the security work that we do with the French” (I’d be embarrassed to mention this in the present situation, but I am not the PM-in-waiting).
The only way to have a purely economic relationship with the EU is to be outside it. It’s no more possible for a member to have such a relationship with the EU than for, say, Armenia to have had it with the USSR.
George knows this of course – and doesn’t care. The purpose of his and Dave’s machinations is to keep Britain in the EU at any cost, thereby perpetuating their own power and that of the wicked elite to which they pledge allegiance.
By George, the man’s ready to be our next PM. One just hopes that, when he occupies the post, it won’t be called ‘gauleiter’.