The Telegraph UK (Link) - Norman Tebbit (June 23, 2011)
A long time ago, when I spent a lot of time at the Council of Ministers in Brussels, my good friend Otto Graf Lambsdorff and I would wearily raise our heads and mutter �Beware the Greeks when they come demanding gifts� when confronted by yet another plea for a subsidy from our Greek colleague. It would be very easy to think that current events in Greece are just a continuation of that same problem.
That would be to misunderstand the grand strategy being pursued in Brussels. It is designed to achieve, without recourse to war, the realization of a dream unfulfilled since the fall of Rome, the first pan-European Empire. Spain, France and Austro Hungary failed in their attempts to build such an Empire and after yet another destructive European war, the founding fathers of the EU swore to achieve through politics what warfare had failed to deliver.
The creation of a common, or to be correct, sole currency, the euro, was not an end in itself, but a weapon to achieve by economic means, a European government. It was about politics, not economics.
Had it been about economics, the Germans would never have closed their eyes and held their noses as the Greek government met the requirement for admission to the currency union only with blatantly falsified statistics. There could never have been any serious doubt that sooner or later there would be a crisis requiring a Greek bail out, default or exit from the eurozone. Nor can there be any doubt that there will be bailout after bailout, with the sums at risk if Greece were to default and exit the zone growing to the level at which it would inflict huge damage to the wider European and world economy. Indeed, there are already whispers that it is our interest to do anything to avoid such a disaster, for if Greece went down Spain might be next.
In short, gradually the Greek escape route out of the euro to reconstruct its economy is being blocked. However, things cannot go on as they are, with drip-feed bailouts while the desperate problems of the Greek people grow worse.
So it will not be long before the would-be collective Emperor in Brussels announces that Tebbit was of course right all those long years ago when he told Chancellor Clarke that no currency can have two, let alone a couple of dozen chancellors and there must be One Euro, One Chancellor, One Finance Ministry, One Tax Rate and One Europe or the whole European economy, including ours, will be brought down.
Could that be a democratic state? Please do not ask awkward questions like that. Just do as you are told. If not, it will be all the worse for you. You must be ready to pay the price for peace (of a kind) and prosperity (of a sort).
There were some quite clear differences of opinion amongst you about the unions, David Cameron and indeed most things. However, I thought I should start by answering reagus, who asked what I would have done had I been drafted in to take charge as the financial crisis struck. I am sure that I would have supported the banks. Had they failed, the consequences would have been too awful. But I would have wanted the directors of several of them to be charged with false accounting in that they published accounts they must have known, or ought to have known, were not a true and fair picture of their banks affairs. Not only that, I would have tried to go for the auditors too, not as firms, but as individuals. The sight of those men in the dock at the Old Bailey would have done more good than a truckload of new regulations.
As to interest rates at the present time, I do not think I have the experience or knowledge to second-guess the bank, although I am increasingly uneasy about inflation.
Then I thought that prince fielder and cooking lager simply did not know what they were talking about in comparing percentage polls in Parliamentary elections and strike ballots. First of all, they have forgotten that I deliberately (in the face of some criticism) only legislated that there should be a ballot, not even that it should be carried, on the grounds that no sane trade union leader would commit his union to a strike if it did not have widespread support. Up to now, I have been proved right, but a new generation of extremist leaders seem eager to be taught a sharp lesson either by their own members or by Parliament. Secondly, unlike a Parliamentary election, a strike is a breach of the contract between employer and employee for which the striker could, but for the protection afforded by industrial relations law, be sued in court, as could those who procured the breach. Naturally, in exchange for that protection, the law requires certain rules to be observed, such as that the relevant workers must have been fairly balloted.
Of course zebedee may think Crowe �a good bloke� and that Tories like me �loathe the rights of ordinary people�. He forgets that it was I who first gave trades unionists the right to elect their leaders by secret ballot and to have strike ballots and it was the union leaders who opposed me.
A lot of apologists for the proposed strikes in the public sector forgot that those workers are paid out of our taxes. As someone said, a strike does not put any more money into his pocket to pay increased wages. In the private sector either workers produce more to pay for higher wages, or their employers go out of business and they lose their jobs.
I liked chasdf�s thought that public sector strikes save money spent on wages, and ceoloric thought they could all strike for 14 days a year, though with their sickies and four weeks holiday some of them would not be at work very much, leaving non-striking boudicca and those like her working harder than ever.
Many of you agreed, including sealordlawrence, tauki, sarumano, nogood boyo tenbelly and JacksonAliBaba, and lots more felt Mr Cameron would back down in the face of strikes; others like phantom thought he is playing it right while Athelstans Heir said he just has to win and Bill Etheridge took the view that he could do himself no end of good by doing so. PaulDavies888 thought we might well be surprised by the Prime Minister. Well, I hope so, but he has not yet struck fear into the hearts of his adversaries. I take the point made by Furious D that Cameron is doing a balancing job between the �utterly mad� Lib Dems and his own Party, but his criticism of the 1922 Committee was plain silly and the lack of a majority is entirely due to the campaign Cameron fought, so it is no use blaming UKIP. Then andyed said the electors �did not make a clear choice at the election�. Well, they could not, as they were not offered one.
There were many more interesting comments and some good essays from pixiejade, getonit, Eliza and others on all sorts of subjects (and others not very good at all) as well as the usual merry quips and jibes from crownarmourer and interesting posts from our team of regulars including Laveen Ladharam, who is obviously on holiday from his studies, as well as bersher, darkseid who was pretty hawkish, and all the usual suspects. Finally I have to say once again to all the Scargill apologists that the mines were closed because the coal they produced was too expensive to buy. Just like poor Chris Huhne�s wind-generated electricity which, as several of you pointed out, is another disaster in the making as the lights go out in 2015 or 2020. �
Economic Crisis ~ Europe ~ New World Order