It’s called competition, Manny

Looking drawn and haggard, Manny Macron kindly illustrated the points I made the other day about the delusions plaguing the EU in general and France in particular.

His foster mother Brigitte should start feeding Manny better

Actually, I’m paying them an unwarranted compliment by assuming they are delusional, rather than duplicitous.

It’s the former if they think any British government could accept the despotic conditions the EU puts forth as preconditions for a trade deal. It’s the latter if they only put forth those conditions as a way of punishing Britain for what many Frenchmen see as treason and many others as apostasy.

Personally, I recall neither pledging allegiance to the EU nor being baptised in its holy water, but French people tend to have a different perspective on things European.

On Thursday I mentioned one shibboleth bandied about with maniacal persistence: ‘level playing field’. Evidently there are others as well, namely ‘dynamic alignment’ and ‘undercutting’, with the first designed to preclude the second.

A level playing field means that Britain won’t get a trade deal unless she maintains the same regulations and red tape that the EU enforces in such areas as workers’ rights, environmental protection and state aid.

Dynamic realignment means that, whenever EU bureaucrats decide to make the tape redder or the regulations tighter, Britain undertakes to follow suit in perpetuity.

Undercutting is self-explanatory. By submitting to such egregious tyranny, Britain must lose whatever competitive edge she might otherwise have.

Now, operating within the rarefied linguistic atmosphere Dubya once made famous, the French indeed have no words for entrepreneur or competition, not in our sense anyway. The letters of the words may exist, but the spirit evaporated long ago.

If England’s economic legislation, starting from the repeal of the Corn Laws, has generally aimed to encourage competition, the corresponding French laws have tried to stifle it.

It’s France’s restrictive labour, social and environmental laws that are responsible for her catastrophic levels of youth unemployment and the precipitous decline in industrial production. Hence Manny should really mind his own business, rather than ours.

He should step on the unions, make it possible for employers to fire (and therefore to hire), reduce taxes (both business and personal), replace untenable social commitments with something closer to the real world, abandon the profit-busting 35-hour work week – and in general communicate to the populace that words like entrepreneur and patron (boss) have been taken off the list of popular insults.

In fact, he could do worse than ‘dynamically aligning’ France’s economy with Britain’s, as it is now and will be in the future. That’s what he’d do if he were more decisive and less of an EU fanatic prepared to sacrifice his citizens’ well-being for an ill-conceived ideology.

However, one has to commend Manny for making a startling economic discovery, France’s greatest since Jean-Baptiste Say wrote in 1803 that supply generates demand (forgetting to add that sometimes it doesn’t).

Manny’s contribution is to stigmatise ‘undercutting’ as a tool of economic competition. As with most economic ideas emanating from the EU, this one is highly selective, applying to Britain only.

For example, France annually imports some $60 billion’s worth of goods from China, whose whole economy is built on using cheap, as near as damn slave, labour to undercut other producers.

However, just as Britain isn’t Canada according to that bird-brained Mme Loiseau (I resisted this pun the other day, but can’t contain myself any longer: l’oiseau is the French for bird), neither is Britain China according to Manny.

In fact, Britain is like no other country in the world in that she dared leave the confines of the EU, having first accepted them. Tyrannical states, such as the EU, hate to see their subjects break free, and they’ll do all they can to keep them in.

Perhaps the time has arrived for the EU to put the East German experience to good use by building a wall all along its borders – and, for the time being, use economic weapons rather than firearms to discourage escape.

Speaking of East Germany, Angela Merkel’s response to the Thuringian elections added a new touch to the EU’s concept of politics. Until now its common practice has been to treat voters in EU-related referendums as pupils sitting exams.

When they cast their vote the wrong way, they were made to vote again until they got it right. Yet Frau Merkel has shown that the same approach can be profitably used in strictly internal elections as well.

Because her own party, the CDU, won the minister-presidential elections by forming a bloc with the AfD nationalists, Angie simply overturned the result and told Turingia to have another go, this time concentrating better.

While largely sharing her dim view of the AfD, I still have a constitutional query. Is this sort of thing allowed under the Federal Republic’s constitution?

If it is, the constitution is flawed. If it isn’t, this act is tyrannical. I don’t know which is worse.

Yet such practices fit into the nature of the EU as snugly as does its attempted economic blackmail of Britain. An organisation erected on a foundation of lies is simply acting in character.

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