According to the president of the European Council Van Rompuy, to whom our press affectionately refers as Rumpy-Pumpy, things are going swimmingly for the EU. Every problem has been left behind, pan-European bliss is just round the corner.
I’d sacrifice my bus pass to watch Rumpy-Pumpy enlarge on this assessment in a bar somewhere at the outskirts of Athens or Madrid. One suspects that going over the top at the Somme would have offered greater chances of survival.
But neither Rumpy nor his accomplice José-Manuel is likely to find himself in such lowly surroundings. And in the rarefied stratosphere where the jolly friends do normally soar, their mendacious drivel is taken at face value.
Actually, if pressed, Rumpy-Pumpy would own up to at least one gnawing problem with the EU: Britain. Not its political leadership, God forbid – these lads know which side their bread is buttered. But since Britain still plays at being a democracy, even those sterling characters sometimes have to make subversive noises about ‘changing our relationship’ or even an in/out referendum.
Well, perhaps not an in/out one and certainly not in the near future. In fact, Dave is about to promise to hold some sort of referendum in 2018, which shows enviable optimism on his chances in 2015. This is akin to a 90-year-old applying for a 25-year mortgage, but Rumpy is still worried.
Because he knows the EU’s demise will probably be accelerated, and its finances certainly damaged, by Britain’s exit, he has to scream that it’s Britain that won’t survive. Dave and Nick add their falsettos to turn the screams into a chorus, and the resulting noise is loud enough to be heard across the Atlantic.
Barack Hussein himself and his Politburo add their own notes to the choir. The ideology of socialism they’ve devoted their lives to spreading includes a single world government as a necessary constituent. This is understandable: as people tend to flee from socialism, a situation must be created where they’ll have nowhere to run.
The latest discordant noise joining the cacophony comes from Philip Gordon, US Assistant Secretary for European affairs. Capitalising on his advanced degree in socialism, Dr Gordon expressed his opposition to an EU referendum in Britain. ‘Referendums,’ he explained, ‘have often turned countries inward’.
The last national referendum Britain had, in 1975, the one on the maliciously misnamed Common Market, actually turned the country very much outwards, but ‘Flash’ Gordon probably feels that, as a politician, he has to reflect his nation’s refreshing ignorance of foreign affairs. Nor is it unimaginable that he is himself ignorant: this quality is widespread in the US foreign-policy establishment.
As is the intellectual power typified by Gordon’s explanation of his strong feelings: ‘We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU. That is in America’s interests. We welcome an outward-looking EU with Britain in it.’
I won’t repeat what I wrote a few days ago about America’s seemingly paradoxical affection for European federalism. But to maintain that the EU’s voice in the world is increasing makes one suspect that Flash and Rumpy use the same speech writer, a bit like Biden and Kinnock. Unless of course Flash means the growing volume of the heart-rending SOS screams one hears throughout Europe.
I for one am moved to see that Obama and his henchmen feel America’s interests are so closely intertwined with ours. As they are busily perpetrating upon their country the same disasters that have already befallen the EU, they clearly want to halve their problems by sharing them. These are nothing short of catastrophic.
American production is no longer self-sustaining. Her trade balance is hugely negative, and the only way she can sustain her unaffordable standard of living is by selling off her assets and getting further in hock.
Her $16-trillion-plus debt now stands at 73 percent of annual GDP, not counting internal debts, such as the Social Security trust fund. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the debt is on course to reach 93 percent within 10 years and nearly 200 percent in 25 years. Only Weimar-style hyperinflation would then be able to manage the debt, but the treatment would be even worse than the disease.
The trust fund from which Social Security benefits are paid will be exhausted in less than 25 years, long before the youngest employees retire. Even before that, the fund will fall about 25 percent short of being able to pay the benefits already promised. This means higher taxes for everybody, and one can’t help noticing that Americans don’t like taxation even with representation.
The same goes for public-sector pension funds. There the shortfall between the necessary and actual savings is estimated at close to $4 trillion.
And in less than 25 years Medicare and Medicaid are projected to be consuming more than 40 percent of federal income – this even without Obama’s cherished quasi-nationalisation of medicine.
Given such troublesome times, it’s touching that US politicians can find the energy or inclination to meddle in our internal affairs with their usual crudeness. Then again, politicians in general and US politicians in particular have often relied on foreign tensions to act as a lightning rod for domestic problems.
This stratagem worked for Roosevelt after it became clear that his domestic policies had made the Great Depression greater. FDR’s fellow socialist Obama is clearly hoping it’ll work for him too.
Perhaps we ought to ask him, in no uncertain terms, to keep the likes of Flash on a shorter lead. Britain isn’t quite a 51st state yet, and neither do we want to become part of a European Leviathan. As to what is and what isn’t in American interests, Barack should seek a better-qualified counsel on this issue. His Flash is bust.