Following the previous posts in this series, which dealt with German influence within the EU, it is necessary to begin with this article from German-Foreign-Policy.com, from which:
German government advisors support the establishment of new integrationist procedures to pre-empt future resistance to German predominance over the EU. “A major redistribution of power” is currently taking place in Europe, with France and Great Britain falling clearly behind Germany, according to a recent declaration of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs…….
Edward Spalton, Hon Secretary, Campaign for an Independent Britain, spends a great deal of his time talking to students at schools – when the opportunity arises. Recently he spoke to the sixth-form of a public school - which is what we call really high class private schools in
England – on the subject of Britain’s membership of the European Union. With his permission I reproduce his speech in full. Where he refers to a video, I have, rather than refer to a link – as does his speech – inserted same.
If I may be permitted to digress, it should be explained that Edward, in an email to me, stated that the report, linked to above, came from a long-standing German friend - Horst Teuber – and Edward explains in his email that normally he tries to end his addresses on a happy, upbeat note of the better, happier and more prosperous future which is available for the taking outside the increasingly restrictive and authoritarian EU. Edward continues that the arrival of Horst’s email caused him to change his mind and let the sixth formers know, towards the end, about the concerns of his German friend and the way the German political class sees its country’s role in the EU. Edward ended his email to me, stating that whilst he knew that the soft-focus, touchy-feely presentation of the EU went down well with young people, he reflected that his audience would
soon be of voting (and military) age and deserved to be treated as adults; while ending that it was probably bad propaganda for the cause of independence as nobody likes the bearer of bad news but he thought the young people deserved the truth of the mess we have allowed our politicians to get us into.
Thank you very much for inviting me.
There is a great deal to talk about, as Britain’s membership of the EU now affects all our lives from the largest matters like environmental and foreign policy to the relatively trivial like the way our dustbins are collected or the permitted curvature of bananas. Please bear in mind that the EU is a political project to create a single European polity – a super-state or super-government, a “country called Europe” of which Britain is to be a province or collection of provinces. The economic, social and legal effects are aimed towards achieving this.
It was on a school visit to Germany in 1958 when I first heard about the institution which is now the European Union. The German boy, who was my host, asked “Have you heard about our Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft? It will guarantee our living standard”.
Neither his English nor my German was up to translating the word, so an explanation had to wait until we got home. When I mentioned it, several other boys said that their hosts had said exactly the same thing. So it was obviously something they had been taught in school.
Our teacher explained that the word meant “economic community” 1.
It had been created only the previous year by a treaty between Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries. We talked about it for a while and thought it was a great idea that these countries, former enemies, were getting together to co-operate with each other. It seemed a hopeful sign for future peace. We didn’t really think of it as something Britain would be joining. “But remember” said our teacher “This shows a big difference between the traditions of England and Germany. You would not be taught a political opinion as fact like that in a British school”. I am glad to see that this tradition holds good here today, which is why we are having this meeting. In Germany you would have been indoctrinated about the EU, as part of the official curriculum from infants’ school onwards.
Of course, when we came to our conclusion that the EU (then the one year old European Economic Community) was a good thing, we did so in total ignorance. We didn’t know what the treaty contained , what institutions it set up and what its political objective was. For many years people called it “The Common Market” and thought it was merely a free trade agreement between sovereign countries. Its real aim was something entirely different – gradually to establish a single government over and above all the national democracies of Europe. From the Sixties I worked in the grain and animal feed business and so was amongst the first to experience the full effect of this when we joined the EU in 1973.
Britain had enjoyed a policy of free trade in food with the whole world for over 100 years. That changed on the stroke of midnight January 1 1973 when we were locked inside the economic prison of a sort of siege economy , forced to pay much higher European prices which were fixed by politicians, who also created a huge increase in officialdom. We were instantly cut off from our traditional suppliers in the Commonwealth. Not only did we pay much higher prices for our own food, we were compelled to pay massive amounts of tax so that the EU could guarantee the prices to French, Italian and other farmers, regardless of whether anyone wanted to buy their produce or not. Ever since, people have borne these iniquitous and unnecessary costs – many tens of thousands of pounds per family over the years. The policy has changed somewhat but the EU still piles on needless costs with a single, corrupt agricultural policy from the olive trees and vines of Crete and Sicily to the Arctic wastes of Finland. It was this which first started me thinking that the EU was decidedly odd. Yet, many businessmen thought that the advantages of being able to sell our products freely to a single market of hundreds of millions of people would outweigh this. That has proved to be a disastrous miscalculation because our trade is in massive deficit with the EU. They have sold far more to us than we have to them, so our main export has been British jobs – mostly skilled, well-paid jobs. We get back shelf stacking and spanner and screwdriver work.
Funnily enough, our trade with the rest of the world, where we don’t have the supposed benefit of EU membership, is going very much better.
Our trade with the EU is important. Exports to the EU amount to about 10% of our Gross National Product (GNP), although that is declining. Our trade with the rest of the world is also about 10% of GNP although that is rising. The remaining 80% is purely domestic.
The EU is a legislation factory, piling on costly regulations and laws – some 320,000 pages of them, I am told. So 90% of our economy has to carry that cost for the sake of the 10% which we actually sell to the EU. The EU Commission itself calculates that the size of the Single Market (some 500 million people) gives a sort of tonic effect of about 2% of GNP but admits that the costs of its regulation amounts to 5% of GNP – so the negative effect is 3% by their own reckoning. Other economists put the costs much higher.
On top of that we are paying well over £2 million pounds per hour to the EU in taxes. Our trade with the EU has stagnated. Adjusted for inflation, British exports to the EU are now lower than they were in 2002. On present trends, four fifths of our exports will be going to countries outside the EU by 2033. Britain will be looking well beyond stagnating, declining, over-regulated Europe for its prosperity.
Yet, at the outset, many business people were persuaded that the EU would be an advantage. One of them campaigned for eleven years for us to join. On July 28 2013, a Mr John Lidstone wrote to the Sunday Telegraph -
From 1961 to 1972, as part of a team of key businessmen, I spoke to meetings throughout Britain, arguing the case for the United Kingdom to join for trade purposes what was then known as the European Common Market. The case for enjoying favourable access to a market place of millions of people was overwhelming. Had Ted Heath, the chief negotiator, told the British people what the long term consequences of joining the EU would be, I and my team would never have supported such a policy”.
Mr Lidstone and many like him were duped. So were all the national newspapers and the BBC abandoned its impartiality to become an EU propagandist with the news vetted daily by the Foreign Office. Businessmen and ordinary people thought the EU was an economic project but it was a political one to arrive by stages at a single European government within which all the nations of Europe would be reduced to mere provinces.
For forty years, the British political class has lied and lied again to the British people about the nature of the project.
Even Lord Hattersley, a keen Europhile, more than half admits it. “Not only was it wrong for us to deal superficially with what Europe involved, but we have paid the price for it ever since, because every time there is a crisis in Europe, people say, with some justification, “Well, we would not have been part of this if we’d really known the implications” . And the implications for democracy, civil liberties and freedom are truly horrendous.
I am now going to play you a completely factual, translated German video clip about what the Eurozone countries have done to their own peoples. What it describes has now become law. Please bear in mind that it was a supposedly unalterable principle of the Euro currency that no country would ever be made responsible for the debts of another. When presenting this to the Bundestag, Angela Merkel said “Never will you be able to change this by anything you do in Parliament”. So died German democracy, although their MPs go on drawing their salaries.
The Eurozone countries have agreed to abolish what little remaining democracy they have. By the European Stability Mechanism, the ESM, the treaty of debt by which they hope to save the Euro, they agreed irrevocably and unconditionally to pay any required capital demand within seven days.
Article 27 of the ESM gives the institution “full legal capacity to institute legal proceedings” but “The ESM and its property, funding and assets shall enjoy immunity from every form of judicial process”. It is also immune from “search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation or any other form of seizure…by executive, judicial or legislative action”.
So it is a law which can never be changed. What is more, the officers and staff of the ESM also immune from every form of legal process.
The ESM is literally a super-state agency above the law. Whilst we are not part of the Eurozone, those same anti-democratic governments are part of our government, as long as we remain in the EU and they have a permanent majority of votes over all the other countries. So they can have their own way at any time. Britain is now a permanent second class member, paying a first class subscription – a payer but not a player!
Although the Euro currency is destroying the economies and Southern Europe, it is being enforced with ruthless severity. Unemployment in these countries is at levels not seen since the Thirties with as many as one in four people out of work in some. In Greece, unemployment amongst young people is around 70%. People are scavenging in dustbins for food.
The Greek National Health Service has collapsed because the EU authorities have confiscated its funding. The death rate amongst young babies has gone up 40% but the babies are considered a worthwhile sacrifice to keep the political project of the Euro going. In Cyprus, they simply stole money from people’s bank accounts to do the same. In Germany, people are getting fed up with having their pockets picked by taxes to keep this evil in force – and it is creating genuine hatred between the peoples of Europe. Like everything else to do with the EU, the Euro currency was created to help enforce political union, not for economic benefit.
That is now the law. The anti democratic Eurozone countries have between them a majority of votes in the EU so they can always outvote us. They are part of our government. Britain is a permanent second class member but paying a first class membership subscription, second only to Germany. The Euro currency is destroying the economies of Southern Europe with levels of unemployment not seen since the Thirties and many people reduced to scavenging in dustbins. In Cyprus, even the bank accounts were plundered. Under EU orders, the government literally became a bank robber, stealing the savings of the people to prop up the currency which is destroying their prosperity. In Greece, the National Health Service has been so plundered that infant mortality has increased by 40%.
The Euro is literally killing babies but that’s all right, as part of the price of political European Union.
Although it will require detailed negotiation, to leave the EU is actually quite simple and it is the only way to renegotiate a new relationship with our European neighbours. Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty provides that the EU must also make provision for continuing trade with a country which leaves. One possible option is for Britain to join EFTA, the European Free Trade Association, which gives exactly the same access to the Single Market as we have at present but outside the EU’s political structure.
Norway and Switzerland have this sort of arrangement and are the most prosperous countries of Europe. They do a far larger percentage of their trade with the EU than we do but are not part of it.
The EFTA countries play a very active role in consulting on Single Market rules within the EU before they are finalised. They are represented on literally hundreds of EU committees. In any case most of these rules affecting trade now come from outside the EU, from bodies like the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe or the Aarhus Convention on Environmental Issues.
The EU effectively rubber stamps their decisions by regulations and directives for us to comply with the UN requirements. Norway and Switzerland, as independent countries, have their own voices in these international bodies.
Britain is actually excluded from this Top Table by its EU membership. It has to toe the agreed EU line in any negotiations and follow the “common position” imposed by Brussels before negotiations with the UN and other bodies start. And within the EU, we are in a perpetual, ineffectual minority.
Some jobs for British people do depend on our being in the EU – those of politicians and officials. No other jobs do.
Real jobs all depend on British businesses producing the right products, at the right price and at the right time. If our businesses do that, then the world is our oyster – not just the economically stunted, over-regulated, declining market of the EU.
There will always be dangers in the world, against which the EU is powerless to protect us. But there is no danger at all in recasting our relationship with our European neighbours in a realistic, friendly way which re-establishes our democratic self government. The danger truly lies in doing nothing and continuing to submit to increasingly authoritarian rule within the EU by people we do not know and cannot dismiss.
The EU has not delivered us the promised prosperity, rather the reverse. Even if it had, Benjamin Franklin’s remark would still be true – A people which attempts to trade freedom for prosperity will deservedly end by losing both.
And the EU is building a paramilitary force, called the European Gendarmerie to enforce its will. In the last Parliament, MPs repeatedly asked the government for assurance that this force would never be deployed on our streets but no such assurance was given. Here is a video clip:
Their aim “to erase the differences we might have” should make us all rather nervous. More like soldiers than police, aren’t they? This makes me think that the EU is a good organisation to leave as quickly as possible.
I had intended to end on a very upbeat note because the way out of the EU is straightforward though not simple and the prospects for us as an independent country are so much brighter . We certainly need lose no trade as a result.
But a message from a friend in Germany gave a very much darker picture of the intentions of the German government which has not been disclosed in our newspapers at all. When I received it I wrote to him:
Your latest report arrived just as I was preparing a talk for school sixth formers (16 -18 year olds) on Monday 11 November (Armistice Day). I want to bring your report into it as something they should know about . It will not be the main point of my speech but I think I ought to mention what you reported. It is very difficult to do this without being accused of being anti-German. You have given me a nice problem for the week end!
Horst, who is a very careful journalist, replied:
……You are right, it might not be easy to explain these things without being accused of being anti-German. But things are as they are, and as at least some German politicians tell their aims more frankly today than before, everyone who is not willing to believe it can read it for himself…..
And I have printed a copy of his article “Domination over Europe” for everybody. It outlines plans in leading German political circles to become more assertive in imposing their will on the rest of Europe. Please take it and read it. I won’t go into the details here. I should mention that I have known Horst Teubert for thirteen years, as a very conscientious journalist.
He is rather left wing and I am quite conservative. I have done translation work for him and never known him to play games with the facts. Germany has been a leading player in the European project but for rather different motives than those we hear about in our media. For home consumption, their politicians are more frank and this goes right back to the early days of the European Coal and Steel Community which was sold as a guarantee of peace and co-operation in Europe.
But even in 1950, there was a different idea in Germany. Dr Hans Seebohm, Minister of Commerce in Dr. Adenauer’s government expressed it thus:
Does free Europe want to join Germany? Germany is the heart of Europe and the limbs must adjust to the heart, not the heart to the limbs.
Bear in mind this was just five years after Germany’s total defeat . The Greeks, Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, Cypriots and Italians are certainly feeling the pain today of adjusting to the “heart” and its Euro currency project.
Doctor Seebohm’s boss, the Chancellor Dr. Adenauer also had his ideas about European development. Germany had lost a great deal of territory as a result of the war. Here he is, telling an audience of people from Silesia that European development would enable them to reclaim that territory from Poland.
Well, that’s sixty years ago, so maybe things changed in the next forty years. Here is Theodore Waigel, the German Finance Minister who more or less invented the Euro, again addressing a large audience of some 10,000 people who originated from Silesia . He says quite plainly that the German Reich did not cease to exist in 1945 and that, in the course of a European settlement, Germany will get its lost territories back.
There are no subtitles, so here is a translation:
“At the All-German conference of Silesians in Hannover, the will to re-unification was strongly emphasised. The CSU Finance Minister told an audience of around 10,000 people that the aim remained the unity of the German people. According to Waigel, those East German districts on the far side of the Oder/Neisse line (the frontier with Poland) still belonged to the German question.
The demand for German reunification was the central theme of the conference. In Hannover it was also asserted that the unification of Europe was an important pre-condition for a free, united Germany. The speakers left no doubt that it would be the will of the German people which would be decisive.”
“The German Reich did not come to an end with the surrender of the German Wehrmacht on 8 May 1945. There is no genuine treaty, valid in international law by which the Eastern parts of the German Reich were separated from these. Our political aim remains the creation of the state unity of the German people in freely agreed self determination”.
So the EU means different things to different people and this is what it means to the German political class. In this country not a lot of people know that. Presumably, our leaders do but are not saying. These speeches are by the most senior politicians of main parties – not by some wild men of extreme fringe groups.
To us they say that the EU means a favourable market for our goods although in fact our economic experience of the last forty years has been disastrous. Our politicians prefer not to talk about the political side because that is potentially far more disastrous and they dare not tell us.
So the old gentlemen with their medals, marching so proudly past the cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday and remembering their friends who didn’t make it, are mostly quite unaware that the peace settlement which followed their victory has mostly now been completely undone. Leading German politicians want to roll forward the frontiers of Germany to where they were before Hitler started his war. It is a steadily maintained aim over many decades, pursued behind a “European” cloak through the institutions of the EU.
Whilst our own press carries a great many Nazi stories harking back to the war, understandably upsetting our German friends, it hardly reports at all on these more recent developments.
Of course, modern Germany is not Nazi. It is ( in those parts not usurped by the EU) a functioning democracy but one in which the political leadership is becoming ever more ambitious in its aims and arrogant in its attitude to those countries over which it claims to rule in “benevolent hegemony” as part of a united Europe.
To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sooner or later they are going to bump up against an equally politically determined opponent. If we remain in the EU where the German government is perforce part of our own government, we could easily see British forces deployed to defend German interests. Indeed, I believe that already happened in Yugoslavia at the end of the last century.
It may be that German hegemony over central and South Eastern Europe is indeed benevolent – certainly in comparison to the Nazi and Communist oppression which preceded it. Certainly we have no force to oppose it but neither do we have any business helping to pay for it through the £2.25 million per hour which our government takes in tax from us as our EU membership fee.
Our government says we are in the EU for trade. It is perfectly possible to keep that trade and have the same access to the Single Market which we have at present without contributing towards the grandiose political structure of the EU – an organisation whose objectives are increasingly alien to the interests of this country.
As an Irishman remarked of a couple who were divorcing after a long, unhappy marriage. “Those two will get on much better together when they’re apart”.
That is true of Britain’s relationship with the European Union. We need to tackle the inevitable divorce in an optimistic, positive way.
(At this juncture it should be made clear that the article Edward Spalton printed and handed to his audience was that to which I link in the first paragraph of this post).
The ‘divorce’ to which Edward refers is a subject that needs wider coverage, together with how said divorce can be amicably arranged . Unfortunately it is not one that we will see put to us by the MSM, our political class or their compliant media ‘friends’.
On the question of a ‘common voice’ against this country’s membership of the EU – and any possible referendum on the question – I have to mention a post by Autonomous Mind; one in which he, in effect, queries the ‘diverse’ message being put forth by the various anti-EU organisations. At which point one has to interject and raise the subject of ‘egos’ and question whether that is the problem that is preventing a ‘unified message’. All things considered, when one has such an inflated ego as that possessed by Matthew Elliott, who is an example of the problem involved in presenting a united front against ‘full’ EU membership, one has to ask what chance does the ‘anti-EU membership’ voice have – especially when one looks at any possible ‘No’ campaign?
In conclusion, if there are those in Germany worried about the direction their country is taking, then the papers linked to in the first two posts in this series attain even more relevance.
Update: Edward Spalton forgot to mention that a the 6sixth-form meeting above he was supported by John Harrison, a chartered accountant who is the CIB treasurer. John gave an excellent brief account of why the euro project is bound to fail as a medium of exchange between economies which have widely differing and variable levels of labour productivity – it is appended below:
Before deciding whether the UK should join the Euro the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, drew up 5 economic tests which the UK must pass for the UK to join. However the 5 tests were superfluous. They ignored the one defining test that was of far greater significance than all of the rest put together and that one thing that doomed the Euro to failure from the start.
That was the growth of Unit Labour Costs throughout the Eurozone. Without that being the same, high levels of unemployment were bound to come about in some EU countries and that is what we are seeing in Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain already.
Let me explain what I mean by Unit Labour Costs. Simply put it is the labour cost of producing one item of something. Let’s say in a very simple economy you employ me to produce glass tumblers. You pay me £10 per hour and I produce 10 tumblers an hour. The unit labour cost is £1 per tumbler.
In another country, let’s say they produce salt cellars. There they pay their workers €10 per hour and they produce 10 salt cellars per hour. The unit labour cost of one salt cellar is €1.
So in this simple example, the terms of trade are equal and £1 will equal €1.
If my wages were increased to £11 per hour and but my output remained at 10 tumblers per hour. The unit labour cost is now £1.10 each. If our neighbours increased their wages to €11 per hour and increased their output to 11 salt cellars, their unit labour cost remains €1.00 per unit.
The terms of trade are now against us. More £s leave our banks than the €s that are coming in because we now sell less of our products.
Under the laws of supply and demand the exchange rate of our currency would fall. In this simple example it would fall by 10%, bringing the terms of trade back into balance and trade carries on as it did before.
This is how countries, like us, for decades have been able to increase the wages to our workers faster than their output has increased. The £ fell in value from around $4 to the £1 in the 1950s to about $1.50 now.
Unit labour cost is a factor of wages paid and productivity, but productivity itself among other things is dependent on the amount of capital invested in each worker and climate. Capital because if you have been given a new machine and I am producing solely by hand you will produce a lot more than I would. Climate because it is much easier to work in the fairly temperate northern Europe than it is in the hot South, where it is often too hot to work in the afternoon.
For a single currency area to work, unit labour costs have to increase at the same rate in each country all of the time, but that is impossible.
Assuming that the European Commission can do nothing to change the climate, though it does seem to be trying very hard to, I’ll concentrate on capital.
The amount of capital invested per worker would have to be the same in every country and increase at the same rate so there would have to be an ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE transfer of capital from the industrialised northern countries to the more impoverished southern and eastern ones.
It had never occurred to me until now that the European Commission would deal with this in an altogether different way – move large numbers of people from the East to the West.
So what will be the effect of unit labour prices rising faster in some countries than others? Quite simply it will be loss of exports and jobs in the poorer performing ones, which is what we have seen in recent years.
Unemployment rises, the government’s tax receipts fall because there are fewer people in work, welfare spending goes up because there are more unemployed and all of a sudden the government has to borrow large sums of money to keep going and in its turn faces bankruptcy.
The solution to the problem for an independent state, as Argentina did a few years ago, is to default on your debts, reduce interest rates and devalue your currency. These three things are done together and the economy goes through a dramatic recovery. Unfortunately these solutions are not available to the countries in the Eurozone.
Instead the European Commission has imposed austerity measures on the southern European states, putting up taxes and reducing government spending which actually makes the situation worse by creating more unemployment.
Incredibly, to try to bring unit labour costs down, they are actually reducing the wages paid to workers. Even if by some miracle this reduction in wages brought them back to parity with Northern Europe it would be a fleeting solution only as in the very next day, unit labour costs would change by different amounts in different countries and we’d be back on the same path to disaster again.
If Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain had kept their own currencies they would been able to devalue them over the years allowing them to remain solvent. Instead the EU’s great vanity project, the Euro, has been imposed on them and maintained at extraordinary costs to their people.