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Friday, January 10, 2014

We're all EU reformers now?

Thumbs up to EU Reform but is he for real?
Lord Mandelson on the BBC's Today programme earler stated that:
I think that reform and change in Europe is what is wanted by the British public and I think that is needed in Europe...
 He went on to argue that:
The Government should this year go quietly patiently but persistently setting out its reform agenda in the rest of Europe winning those arguments and gaining allies.

Quite... But you would be right to be cynical, given his history, as to why he is saying this now on the day the EU Referendum Bill is being debated in the Lords (Lord M was once in favour but is now against). On the referendum, he was a bit slippery, to say the least. 
But still, this is surely a sign of the changing mood. Even Lord Mandelson is wary of being seen as backing the status quo and sees the need to champion EU 'reform'. We're very much looking forward to hear what, exactly, he means by "reform"...


Anonymous said...

Mandelson is not for real on reform of the eussr whatsoever unless it is to continue faster of the federalisation course. We all know that the constitution which he and Bliar tried to pretend wasn't dumped on as as the lisbon treaty is spelled different to constitution would be very difficult to open and alter, just as the American one is. There is only one way to repatriate powers and that is for the nation to seceded from the eussr.

Anonymous said...

Mandelson is not for real on reform of the eussr whatsoever unless it is to continue faster of the federalisation course. We all know that the constitution which he and Bliar tried to pretend wasn't dumped on as as the lisbon treaty is spelled different to constitution would be very difficult to open and alter, just as the American one is. There is only one way to repatriate powers and that is for the nation to seceded from the eussr.

Average Englishman said...

Whatever Mandelson says is of no interest to me because he cannot be trusted. If he didn't invent 'spin' (or deception of voters to give the practice its correct title) then he certainly adopted and promoted the art. I trust the views of my dog more than his; I can often understand what her barks mean and she never lies, so at least I've got some chance of obtaining the truth from her.

The same goes for 'I will not increase university fees Clegg'; who thought it worth increasing fees and selling his principles to get some actual power.

And the PR Guru himself, our beloved leader Dave is no better so far as I am concerned. It seems to me that he is promising EU reform that he knows he cannot deliver and will not deliver because he is Europhile.

Miliband has been less obviously deceptive in his approach but has some very poor and conflicting policies, so I expect he is in practice no better.

A plague on all their houses.

As for Nigel Farage; well I'm watching and waiting Nigel but so far, so good.

Anonymous said...

The whole In/Out Referendum debate should come down to one of two options ;

1. Stay in/reform

2. EEA/EFTA membership and Free Trade only. No sovereignty.

Politicians should clarify what they mean by In v Out. Both of the options above are In, but one option (my preferred option, option 2) means that the EU have no sovereignty over us.

In the last decade alone, the EU has shown us all that it does not and cannot work. What is more is that they are completely out of touch and unaccountable and they have broken Europe's economy.

Their rulings, regulations, directives, social model et all (whether from the EU or the ECHR) are completely against our culture, way of life and well-established legal system.

I demand my right to just say NO MORE. The EU and their lack of democratic validation is driving countries towards internal civil strife and civil war.



As abovem the difference between Mandelson and Farage is that we never know whether what Mandelson says is what he really believes but with Farage we always know that he believes what he says.

christhai said...

Mandelson does nothing for free.
He is the whore of British politics.

Mandelson would out lie and out exaggerate Baron von Munchausen
and Walter Mitty.

Follow the dirty money -
there you will find ex-EU Commissioner Mandelson - which puts him in very appropriate company.

Anonymous said...

Mandelson's call for reform is as sincere as Open Europe's "Euroskepticism," which is not very much.

Rik said...

The 'powers that are' want 'the same procedure as last year'. In order to remain the powers that are.
For change pressure on the current system is required. Otherwise it is hard to see things happen. All major institutions are simply genetically programmed to continue that way. Whether it is the Commission or the ECB, or the Judiciary, or the civil servants.

The issue is which pressure or which combination thereof. Clearly a combination of electoral and financial pressure looks to have the most chance of success.
Electoral via referenda and indirectly via ordinary elections by putting Euro-sceptic parties on the map.
Financial mainly in 2 ways. Cuts in budgets (no more new costly pet projects). Also by having a lousy economy caused by the EU-stuff (like the Euro-thingy) or simply because voters blaim the EU ffor the ecionomic mess (with or without good reasons).

In that respect it is clear that Mandelson who is several divisions smarter than the usual EU-morons likes to take the initiative himself.
He sees that change cannot be avoided and the current burocrats making a terrible mess of it and with no sign of improvement.
Being one of the architects of change makes it considerably more likely that change is minimal and if there is such it is the change you wanted in the first place.

Completely understandable from M's pov. As it should be completely understandeble that I am not buying it.
Change should imho always be managed by people that do not have a conflict of interest in continuation of the current situation (which includes M).
In other words the change should be managed by people who believe in the change, not see it simply as the best way to keep their jobs.

Rik said...

This is a point imho where OE is a bit naive.
Yes it is legally possible to change some rules. The problem is however that that won't happen if there is no pressure.

Similar btw by more or less assuming that it is simply mainly a business issue. It isnot likely in the eyes of large parts of the electorate it is about immigration, funny courts etc. as much or even more than business.
If you donot keep those voters aboard the whole reneg becomes completely unpredictable. Majorities for the current reneg policy could be lost within a few months. Similar as a poll majority for an in in case of a proper reneg result in 2017.

Also as said earlier the pressure will be completely off the EU institutions as a referendum will always mean an out (without the anti-immigration and 'we want outr country back'). Or any moment there could be such a referendum as the electorate simply demands one much earlier as the only things to be gained hardly matters to them.

Fully understand that immigration is a sensitive issue (and very emotially as well), but it is simply one cannot avoid in this discussion.
If you only want people to vote in for businessreasons you better stop right away as it will be a complete waist of time. Seen the polls on the EU issue in general and the ones on the issues that play the most with voters. Hard to see you get a majority only on business. Au contraire it all looks to point in the direction that even with a good business reneg result you would get your ass kicked in a referendum (which already assumes a good reneg, so only realistic downside risk (and no upside except normal voter volatility).

Anyway good result for Dave (within the realistic alternatives). Labour looks to get started as being exposed as undemocratic. Which the Tories started much too late imho btw.
Gives likely complete credibility for Cameron in trying to take the Lords on. And as such again another stone in rebuilding the credibility.
Nothing is as good for dredinbility on an issue as being seen fighting for it.

What puts the pressure on the EU kettle is the fact that a lot of financial cover for their pet projects, burocracy, and brides for Eastern Europe will be lost.
As well as them being exposed as being very useless at best for everything except the larger freetrade zone. One thing worst that than a Brexit in that respect, a country that didnot go by Brussel's rules but is considerable economically more successful leaving the EU. The rest of Europe is pretty stupid as electorates usually are but very doubtful that stupid.
Also in this respect they have an absolutely lousy case to defend (again on everything but the freetrade zone) you donot want that everyday in the media.
So definitely not only backroom stuff. There should be of course you should be able to talk noirmal with people. But there should also be a lot of media (and therewith electoral pressure).
Mandelson should have gone for change when he had the chance earlier not now start to cry with the wolves. The only ones that are not crying yet are the ones in Brussels, but these should also be seen more as lunch.

Anyway clear to see that the EU is in no way capable to do this thing themselves.
They come up with even more lousy candidates than last time for EP elections (which is an achievement of Olympic proportions). Schultz, the Belgian Vansoandso that looks like he didnot wash his hair this millenium, and Reding (who would try to deny the view of certain people that the best place for a woman is in the kitchen). Malmstrom would have made it a perfect quartet, unfortunately she is less mediagenic than Reding.
Anyway it is likely that we will see a lot more of what we have seen the last 5 years. Incompetent management who havenot got a clue how their most important stakeholders (the electorates) tick and going from bad to worse in that process.

Rik said...

On Hague (W that is not The).
The guy starts to be more and more of a liability for Cameron, the Tories and the UKs position in the reneg in general and a big one on top of that.

Cameron has clearly a credibility problem. Just say it as it is. On Europe in particular, but like with most credibility problems on specific issues they reflect on Dave's credibility in general. All politicians have that. But it becomes clearer for the general public if you are in government than in opposition. And the first main stream party that hcan half way solve that issue will likely longer and medium term the big winners.
The most important(human) faces of this credibility issue are simply said Cameron himself and Hague. Osborne was before on that list as well. But Osborne is a guy people first have to get used to (and more and more they do) next to the fact that the elctorate simply sees his policies as being successful. These 2 (just look at comments here) are the main reason why for a lot of voters Cameron's referendum promises are still not credible.
Anyway Cameron looks to have seen the light and is on top of that the party leader. Hague however keeps F-ing up this file and in several ways (and layers).

Does Hague really think that the reneg he has in mind will be sufficient to convince the UK electorate to vote In in a referendum?
Totally unrealistic. Hard to see that the UK electorate will buy that this time. Especially seen the whole history of this dossier.

Why does Hague think that getting in a discussion with his own MPs via de media on an important EU issue is the way to go. Last time that ended in his 'boss' looking a bloody idiot in parliament. MPs should preferably be kept quiet but with 'shut up' messages and on top of that in the media likely the opposite will be achieved.

On top of that. In which braincell did the idea arive that at the exact moment that Labour is exposing itself as undemocratic, Hague should get in the headlines with his MP shut up message. How media stupid can you get.

He already messed up the reporting issue. Which simply looks completely useless. Proof thereof is that last months I have seen completely nobody refer to it. It only caused huge delays.

Strategy sucks big time. If you ask for pennies you never end up with pounds. It is as simple as that. The UK government should make it a negotiation between the UK people and the EU (basically a no lose situation). Now we have Mr Hague cutting out all controversial stuff beforehand.

Rik said...

On Hague Part2

Seen in a general context:
Hague is in the cabinet to be Cameron's brain on foreign policy. However nearly all major embaressment for Cameron lately came from that angle. The referendum issue (on which this might be chapter 3 in the making) and Syria or better the ME/Arab Spring in general (one big F-up).

Another point Hague is clearly showing that he is completely out of tough with the potential electorate of his party.
The main reasons of the rise of IP imho (and according to the Ashcroft polls as well btw).
He could take the view that he is representing the views of the Tory electoral base who clearly want more of a reneg than Hague think is possible. Or has his own ideas and see which ones of the voters will support that.
Only in the latter case the Tories will likely be wiped of the map. He cannot now alternatives have arrive has his cake and eat it.
In this respect look at a recent poll in Holland (peil.nl). It is clear that the the Dutch equivalent of the IP voter is much more determined to vote populists than the other side (a huge gamechancer: they have a party to vote for now; and let their choice determine of this kind of issues and in considerable numbers. And all very similar to the situation in the UK).

I really like OEs idea of getting a coordinator for the complete reneg. But it shouldnot clearly be Hague. Someone who clearly shows time and time agian that he himself doesnot believe in a result that is likely demanded by the people he is supposed to represent is simply not fit for purpose.
He should simply be taken of the dossier before he F-s up more. Both in creating a good starting position for a substantial reneg as well as do more electoral harm, by clearly showing that he himself doesnot take it serious. And in that process make restoring Cameron's credibility on the issue even more difficult than it already is.
And seen his success on other issues (like the ME) as said he is becoming more and more a liability for Cameron and the Tories.