Towards Better Democracy

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Marin Marais – Air en Fa Majeur de l’Opera Alcide

Marin Marais – Air en Fa Majeur de l’Opera Alcide

Malcolm D B Munro
Monday 22 August, 2016

Filed under: Arts, Media, poetry, songs, stories

Marin Marais – Ouverture de l’Opera d’Alcide

Marin Marais – Ouverture de l’Opera d’Alcide 

Malcolm D B Munro
Monday 22 August, 2016

Filed under: Arts, Media, poetry, songs, stories

The European Project: the Need for Federalism

The government has no plan for implementing Brexit, no idea of its negotiating objectives, and is wholly unprepared.

I find no discussion within the United Kingdom on this topic. Perhaps because of shock or bewilderment. The man writing is one few who has any thought at all.

At the very basic level the EU with the UK as a member have been working together for decades in harmony. To cease to operate in such a way may not affect the daily lives of ordinary citizens of the UK but the affect on many, many other areas will be profound. Analogies are hard to find. Better to take a few examples.

Scientific research will be disrupted to an extent that few can presently envisage. Transportation is another area that will be rent asunder. Much that occurs on an hour to hour, day to day basis with Britain as member is invisible. One would say 90% or more. From the present standpoint, that Britain will leave seems unimaginable; there are simply too many ties and binds, more akin to a million spider’s webs.

If you take an area that would affect my business, for example. Were we to go ahead with medical devices for sale in Europe we need the EU mark. There is no way in hell that I would go after a EU Mark and a separate UK one. Instead I would go to Eire and obtain regulatory approval there. The infrastructure, the funding is there and an English speaking environment.

I don’t expect that the disruption will affect my business but I do ponder on what path lies ahead for the EU. Unfortunately the prescience of the founders does not lie with the present set of politicians who are all concerned with the day to day. None have vision nor is there any impetus to set up conferences at which ideas as to how the EU might be better structured to serve the disparity of interests of members in so many areas.

Like it or not, and I don’t, Federalism is out of favour at present. On the contrary, the EU as currently structured is based upon the nation state which is under threat in many ways, not least in the United Kingdom. There is every chance that Scotland will leave the Union. That is only a matter of time. And within the UK itself, devolution of power from central government has gained greater and greater strength. Once you go that route there is no stopping. The North and North East are currently calling for much much more powers. HST2 is seeing to that.

This increase in Regionalism is at odds with the thrust of where the EU has been headed for decades.

At the heart is the question of Brussels over Strasbourg. Who rules Europe? Whose in charge? Certainly not MEPs. The Council of Ministers? Perhaps.

Bureaucracies are blighted beasts that always require a political master to be in charge not least to reign in excesses. Brussels have and will continue to interfere more and more in the daily lives of people and institutions of all kinds. A monster set loose knows no control. What evil can we do next?

The delight of Europe lies in its diversity and ability to support and sustain that diversity to the betterment of all Europeans. Homogeneity is not what Europe is about. America is. That is what, among other reasons, is what make this country so deprecatory.

Heinz and Kraft did irreparable damage to the foodstuffs we eat. Instead of food simply being transported from market to table they intervened and forced it through factories. To the determined detriment of our health. Witness obesity and the other ills that attend us.

Supermarkets are no market places but repositories of packaged and tinned goods with endless, endless brands one not differing a whit from the other. The Communists had a better idea. One brand, the state brand. Does one brand of toothpaste really differ from another? Is baking powder not better?

So, the big minds in Europe are lacking. Not simply in political circles but in the outer world of the intelligentsia. Does this latter even exist? One wonders. Should they, their cafe talk is small and does not reach beyond the four walls within which discussions, if they take place at all, occur.

What ails us? Why do we so lack imaginations? Why is there no discussion of how the peoples of Europe cannot better find a voice within it? Why are there not calls from citizen groups within member states for representation? One understands why national govenments do not wish it. They form a cosy club which can meet and make policy without scrutiny from anyone. But then, faced with problems such as the Eurozone or immigration squeal like stuck pigs. A case of having your cake and eating it I would say.

Oftentimes, situations have to deteriorate to a point of non functioning before any takes action, never mind thinks about what action might be taken. I suppose that reluctance can be seen in the forces that act on democracies to avoid going to war. Unless, of course that war is one that can be conducted from afar on a weak state with little possibility of retribution. ISIS does not result from the present but goes back to the terrorism of the very colonial powers which you and I presently inhabit, the country I presently inhabit being a notable exception, as a terrorism colonial power, I mean.

Still, I would like to see the EU get off its bum and address some of the medium to long term issues. Exchanges of security information be damned, we have that problem in Britain between regional police forces. Never-ending. Get on with something more productive.

Whey, why are there not groups, think tanks, policy advisors who are putting minds to work on how fundamental member differences can be accommodated, for example. It seems unthinkable that they don’t exist. The funding is there.

Perhaps you and I have to go out and set them up? What do you think?

Even a decent newspaper column would be good.

Malcolm D B Munro
Monday 22 August, 2016

Filed under: Culture

Marin Marais – Works for Viole and other instruments

Marin Marais – Works for Viole and other instruments

Malcolm D B Munro
Modnay 22 August, 2016

Filed under: Arts, Media, poetry, songs, stories

“The government has no plan for implementing Brexit, no idea of its negotiating objectives, and is wholly unprepared.”

“The government has no plan for implementing Brexit, no idea of its negotiating objectives, and is wholly unprepared.”

Michael Leigh, the German Marshall Fund, 22 August, 2016

Malcolm D B Munro
Monday 22 August, 2016

Filed under: Arts, Culture, Media, poetry, politics, songs, stories

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