To quote a great Austrian philosopher:
I'll be back.
Ha! great Austrian philosopher... you're killin' me
They just had a rather amusing story on CBC to the effect that given their financial woes, and the "unattractiveness' of the Euro, the Icelanders want to adopt the Loonie (the Canajun dollar) as their currency. I wonder what Ah-nold would have to say about that!
The single European currency is just the latest in a long line of attempts by European elites to arrange the affairs of the Continent by grand design – from Napoleon's France to Kaiser Bill's Germany and beyond.
Britain could once again take her rightful place as part of the global Anglosphere – that sprawling collection of English-speaking countries, with which we already have much in common; Australia, Singapore, India, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States.
[...]Firstly, the British psychological contract with the European project has been different, and less positive, than for its European partners. Just about every other member of the European Union gained something important, in its sense of itself, when it made the choice for Europe. For France and Germany, it was the foundation of their ‘never again’ compact after seventy years of recurring conflict, giving security to France and rehabilitating Germany in a constructive and peaceful role for a democratic federal republic. Ireland used Europe to escape the shadow of England, and emerged a more confident young country. For Spain, Portugal and Greece after the dictatorships, joining Europe was a sign of modernity and democracy, while the central and East European countries were completing the dissolution of the iron curtain which had isolated them from the other half of the continent, by choosing to join when the wall fell in 1989.
For Britain, ending up in the European club was a story of disappointed post-war hopes and the need to face up to the reality of relative post-war decline. Britain had been in favour of Europe for the other Europeans, as a benign outsider while itself having bigger fish at the top table of geopolitics. After 1956, that was clearly a mistake, yet it took another generation of agonised uncertainty, first about whether to join, and then whether we would be allowed to do so, leaving an indelible sense that we were turning up to a party that somebody else had organised. We joined because we had no choice. And we stayed in, in 1975, around the psychological nadir of British fortunes, not so much with Beethoven’s ninth in our hearts, because relative economic decline meant that it was no time to leave a Christmas club, still less the Common market.
Secondly, Britain does politics differently. “England does not love coalitions”, said Disraeli. The European Union is above all an exercise in the politics of coalition, across 27 countries no less. But our institutions and culture are winner takes all, not give and take as being in our enlightended collective interest. We look at our first peacetime coalition for decades primarily through the lens of whether the LibDems or the Tories are guilty of the greater betrayal of their principles or their followers through the necessary evil of political compromise. Offered a more pluralist political system, voters rejected it, fearing it would introduce more messy compromises. It is hardly surprising that our history of engagement with the European Union, whichever party is in power, is dominated by the shadow of the handbag, ‘game, set and match’ to Britain, and the apparently irresistible urge to see European diplomacy as the continuation of war by other means.
Thirdly, the British have never believed in “ever closer union”. A European crisis usually looks like a moment to slow down, and to ask whether the EU has bitten off more than it can chew. But the instinctive answer of other European governments is that the answer to a faltering Europe is usually ‘more Europe’ to try to make the system more effective or more legitimate.[...]