The EU is like intimate canine anatomy

My wife objects to crude similes, but this one is too accurate to resist even at the risk of incurring her opprobrium. The EU is indeed like a dog’s vulva: it locks members in and doesn’t let them get out.

That’s what more civilised pundits mean when they say that the EU provides no mechanism for exit. The Union was designed to outdo the planned lifespan of the Third Reich: an eternity rather than a paltry thousand years.

Yet the people who run this wicked organisation now openly admit that Greece has plunged it into its worst crisis ever. Roger Boyes, an intelligent commentator by the modest standards of The Times, agrees.

He fears the same thing that makes people like me rejoice: that Greece may somehow loosen the gripping EU muscles and get out, delivering a potentially lethal blow to that whole setup.

Mr Boyes doesn’t seem to realise that what afflicts the EU isn’t a curable disease but a fatal genetic disorder. But when it comes to describing both the symptoms and the likely immediate outcomes, he’s accurate enough.

If Greece left, the Balkans would be likely to slide away from the West and towards Russia, an end towards which Putin is working tirelessly.

Hence it may be in the West’s interests (brace yourself for more crudeness, a metaphor this time) to say about Greece what Lyndon Johnson once said about Edgar J. Hoover: “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.”

And yes, Mr Boyes is absolutely right that Grexit would encourage both leftwing anti-austerity groups across southern Europe and also the populist parties, all of which Mr Boyes lumps together. I’m not sure Ukip will be happy to find itself mentioned in the same breath as, say, Front National, but some of the party’s traits do invite such a lack of discrimination.

Mr Boyes blames the current situation on the German obsession with fiscal discipline, as if it were ipso facto a bad thing. Yet both economic prudence and basic morality demand that individuals and states pay their own way, and describing this principle as austerity, especially when the term is coloured with a pejorative tint, is wrong. I’d call it economic common sense.

By insisting on it, the Germans are absolutely right in theory. How to apply the same theory to vastly disparate economies in practice is a different matter altogether, and here common sense seems to have abandoned the Germans.

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of economics could have told them that uniting the economies of Greece, Benelux, Spain, Germany, France, Portugal and so forth into a single unit is a non-starter, while imposing a single currency, in reality the deutschmark, on them is cloud-cuckoo land.

Or so it would be if the euro were just a currency. It’s not though. It’s a force supposed to keep Europe united under Germany’s sway, and in this it more closely resembles not the deutschmark but the Waffen SS.

The Waffen SS failed in its mission, and so will the euro. It’s bound to, and pretty much for the same reasons.

Angie Merkel is faced with unenviable choices. She may stick to her economic guns and force Greece out of the eurozone, which will create immediate economic chaos, and probably not just in Greece. These are exactly the troubled waters in which assorted fascists, from Putin to Le Pen, could profitably fish – Mr Boyes is right about that.

Or she could abandon her principles, which would be nothing new either for the EU or for Angie personally. After all, she had a nomenklatura position in East Germany’s Kommunistischer Jugendverband Deutschlands, which, administrative window dressing apart, meant the Stasi. And both Germany and especially France routinely exceed the statutory EU borrowing limits.

Such an aboutface would again mean giving wrong ideas to countries like Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, probably France, certainly the Eastern European members. It would also mean an honest admission that the EU is strictly a political construct having nothing to do with economics.

Such a combination of honesty and realism would be most out of keeping with Angies’s character and the very ethos of the EU. So damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t – not a good position for the aspiring pan-European gauleiter to find herself in.

Mr Boyes acknowledges this conundrum (I told you he was intelligent). What he fails to do is to offer a good way out, indeed any way out. 

This may not be good news for Roger Boyes’s journalistic integrity, but it’s excellent news for those who agree with me in my moral, political and historical assessment of the EU. There is, nor can there be, a good way out.

It’s not for nothing that I chose such a crude simile to describe this abominable construct. It deserves nothing more elegant.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.