Thursday, December 29, 2011

Up to a point, Lord Copper

It cheers one's heart to read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Britain needing to return to its rightful place in the world, that is the Anglosphere, though in the first place, the authors talk of Britain's future being with America not Europe. As a short-hand it will do, particularly as the article itself talks of Canada and Australia and the Anglospheric countries in general. I suspect the hand of a sub-editor in the choice of the title.

Perhaps, I had better start with declaring my interests: not only am I a confirmed Anglospherist but the two authors, Iain Murray and James C. Bennett are good friends of mine with whom I have conducted many discussions in cyberspace and face to face. In fact, when I raised one or two objections to the article, I got helpful responses from the authors, which told me something that did not surprise me: the original draft was a little less complimentary to our Prime Minister.

I consider the authors' account of what Britain lost in joining the EEC and of the problems the eurozone and with it the EU is facing completely accurate. Naturally enough, I agree with their main thesis: this country should not belong to the sclerotic, bureaucratic, protectionist would-be European state that is not and cannot be expected to be based the Anglospheric political, constitutional and judicial ideas.

There are a few problems, though. In the first place, there are mistakes in this:
The European Economic Community (EEC) for which the British signed up in a 1975 referendum—a community of free trade and cooperation, not supranational bureaucracy—is long gone. Worse, even today's less-palatable EU will soon no longer be on offer.
There is the basic mistake of assuming that Britain signed up to the EEC in a referendum. As we all know, the 1975 referendum was called after two years of membership and some cosmetic "renegotiation", the gist of which nobody can recall. The question was not about whether anybody wanted to go into the EEC but whether they wanted to stay in.

Nor is it true to say that the EEC was ever a community of free trade and cooperation. At best it was a customs union with the Preamble to the Treaty of Rome speaking frankly of an ever-closer union of the peoples of Europe. The fact that so many voters preferred not to find out what they were voting about does not make the myth true.

More importantly, the article perpetuates the myth of David Cameron standing up for Britain, splitting the EU, creating a new role for Britain and so on, though there is a clear indication that he mucked up the negotiations. Readers of this blog cannot remain unaware of reiterated comments about what really happened at those negotiations. In case anyone has forgotten, here is a reminder. In brief: there was no treaty, no veto and no assurance that Britain may have gained anything. The chance to repatriate powers was given away as that cannot happen without a full IGC and a new treaty.

Still, one cannot argue with an article that ends with these words:
Up to now, however, the U.S. has pursued a policy of propping up the euro while discouraging British independence from Brussels. This is incredibly short-sighted. Using the vehicles of the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund to try to fill the gaping hole in Europe's finances will get everybody nowhere. Instead, British, American and Canadian policy makers (along with their Nafta partners in Mexico) should be taking the long view and preparing for a future in which the unsustainable euro zone inevitably collapses. Welcoming Britain back into the North Atlantic economic community would be a win-win for all involved.
It is unlikely to happen for a while since Britain is not free to join anything while she remains in the EU and that has not changed, despite the post European Council grandstanding.


  1. The euro must collapse at some point and probably the EU will go or at least be altered in some way. How the UK emerges out of that possibility could have profound advantages if handled properly. However on current evidence where all Western leaders are proving to be inept, arrogant, full of hubris and only concerned with their own aggrandisement coming out of the mess in better shape than going into it is highly unlikely.

  2. This article is misleading, "we" lost this one too. The US Fed has propped up the euro and so has the UK, when we could have helped destroy it. Instead the EU has succeeded in replacing two democratically elected presidents with EU dictators (sorry, "technocrats").

    The euro and the EU will not only survive but recover in the near term. It is complete wishful thinking on the part of eurosceptics that the euro's demise in imminent. Indeed I think it much more likely that the UK will get sucked into the euro than that the euro collapses.

  3. The problem with this thinking is that the values of the Anglosphere still survive in North America. Another term of Obama might finish them off for good. With the forthcoming demographic changes in the USA can we pass on Anglo values to a non Anglo population.

  4. Dear Guest,

    Could you add some kind of a name? Thank you. On the substance of your comment, let me remind you that the Anglo values are not in the blood or the soil and has been passed on very successfully to non-Anglo population. Most of the United States are non-Anglo, having arrived there from many parts of Europe and the world. Do you mean non-white? Or Hispanic? Or Islamic?

  5. Helen guest was me. Under Obama the US is fast becoming the same sort of sclerotic, bureaucratic nightmare that the EU is. A second term for Obama will see them advancing further down that road, and even further away from the traditional concept of the Anglosphere. The big demographic change I am referring to is the increase in the proportion of the population that will be Hispanic in the coming decades. The future direction of the USA rests in my view on how these people become assimilated. I believe they are more likely en masse to vote Democrat, which will lead to a more Socialist EU like USA. They are also likely to see themselves as Hispanics first, and Americans second. Sweeping gross generalisations I know, but there are enough question marks in my mind about the future of the USA to call into question whether there can be an Anglosphere in any meaningful sense in the future.

  6. Thanks for outing yourself, Ian. I know it is frustrating when your name does not show up but it is better to know who is arguing. I am not sure what will happen with the Hispanics. Quite a lot of them are Republican and many go into the army to better themselves socially. That, too, has to be taken into consideration. Also not sure about numbers. Will they really be the majority across the US? Somehow I doubt it. The big question is really Mexicans and, especially those going into the country illegally. On past experience anyone can accept Anglospheric ideas.

  7. You are quite right Ian. Though Hispanics will not be a majority by 2040 whites will be in the minority. 90% of GOP voters are white. Those who think the Republican party can continue to win elections as the percentage of white voters shrinks are living in cuckoo land. Meanwhile the GOP’s Hispandering is a fool’s errand since, as Steve Sailer of VDare and others have been pointing out exhaustively for years, the Latino vote is simply not ‘up for grabs' in the same way that the Italian-American vote was decades ago. Identity politics (rather than economics) is the name of the game as evidenced by the fact that the 'successful' Asian minority voters vote overwhelmingly Democrat. Whatever their short run gains the de-Europeanisation of America means the end of the GOP as a national party. California is the canary in the coalmine in this respect.