Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Beware of Greeks ...

According to people who claim not to be taking sides over next Sunday's rushed Greek referendum on exiting from the Eurozone, there will be only one outcome of a 'No' vote, rejecting umpteen more years of austerity, a return to Greece's default state for much of the period from 1945 to 1981 - civil war.  

For us in Scotland there is a sense of deja vu in the EU Establishment's cry of imminent disaster, doom and gloom, Greeks will be reduced to using beads as currency, barbed wire on their borders, the collapse of civilised society and the all rest of the pap being peddled in the EU media at Brussels behest. We have heard the same rubbish for the last two and half years from the UK Establishment, their media puppets and look where our voting for the status quo, with even more austerity, has now left Scotland.

To vote 'Yes' to the demands is to continue to strangle the Greek economy as the 'bail out money' continues to find its way into the back pockets of international financiers (at usurious rates agreed by past bent Greek politicians whose priorities appear to have been to keep the Greek Generals quiet) and the richest 1% in Greece.

To vote 'No' - nobody knows; but Iceland said 'No' to the great bank bail out of 2008 and has imprisoned its bent politicians and bankers instead. Iceland's economy is one of the best performing in Northern Europe, is outside the Eurozone and has not seen the same levels of disastrous collapse of health and welfare for the poorest in its society the rest of austerity driven Europe is suffering.

The growing reality is the Eurozone needs to contract back to a core of countries which can afford to be in the Eurozone - Benelux plus Germany, France and Austria - or can survive the fiscal conditions of the Eurozone - Poland and Ireland. The likes of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece would be better able to recover economically outside the Eurozone until such times as their economies are strong enough to resist the incessant pressure of Federal Germany's economy using an artificially undervalued Euro at their expense.

This means a load of technocrats in Brussels and politicians of many stripes would have to eat humble pie but it will not be long before neither Spain nor Portugal's governments will be able to resist the growing popular clamour in their country's electorates to end austerity and head down the same track as Greece. Greece may be being rushed into this decision but it is the EU and ECB technocrats who are doing the rushing before the 'proles' in Italy, Portugal and Spain start thinking the same way and say 'enough is enough' in ever louder voices.


Maybe the reality is there is no solution which will keep everyone in Greece happy but I would suggest the rich in Greece amongst the old guard politicians, Greek Generals and their business pals, many of whom have done very well top skimming European grants and projects, can afford a return to the Drachma more easily than the vast majority of Greeks whose backside will be out their trousers if they stay in the Eurozone.

The truth is 'austerity' has run out of steam, is not the solution for the West's major economies, which are pursing this economic stupidity blindly, economies which are in serious difficulties as this failed neo-liberal principle of ever diminishing returns pushes their electorates into even more vociferous and angry protests. Protests which will inevitably turn violent if the peoples' needs continue to be ignored in such a cavalier fashion by the political class in defence of the corporate world. All this simply to protect a small cadre of the world's richest and powerful, personal interests.

In a similar way Cameron's Tories and their Labour allies at Westminster will have to think long and hard about their absolute failure to meet Scotland's needs now being proposed by the pair of them in their punish the rebellious Scots at every turn bill. If the Scotland Bill is not massively upgraded to meet the promises made in the scabrous pre-referendum 'Vow' I do not see the UK Union lasting past 2020.

Ordinary people across Europe are increasingly deciding the old way of governing them by unelected, faceless bureaucrats, spads, corporate lobbyists and the rest of the modern political world's hangers on, is revolting. While I would hate to see the fundamental founding principle of the EU, to keep the peace between European nations through negotiation, collective bargaining and an economic open market, being lost with the bath water of the increasing revolt against austerity. The European political classes in Brussels and the key European capitals will have brought this down on themselves and Greece, whether it decides to exit the Eurozone or not, could well be the tipping point which brings the EU 'House of Cards' crashing around their ears.

A piece of leadership advice I was given by a wise First Lieutenant and later First Sea Lord, as a shiny new RN officer in the 70's, comes to mind:

"The more you seek to control events, the less control you inevitably have."

Maybe it is time for Europe's political and financial micro-managers to wise up to what is rather than what they think it should be. The same goes for the Tories and Labour at Westminster.