Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The System's Failing, So This Is No Time to Change It!

Senior European politicians discuss how to rekindle the public's love affair with the EU - Struthio camelus, Chay Bar Yotvata, Israel, by MathKnight at Wikimedia Commons - released under   Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence
Senior European politicians discuss how to rekindle the public's love affair with the EU. Struthio camelus, Chay Bar Yotvata, Israel, by MathKnight at Wikimedia Commons. Released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence.


For the Liberal Democrats in the UK, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg offers a bold response to the current structural crises in the Eurozone and the EU: Please sirs, may we have some more? The BBC reports:

David Cameron said on Monday it was time for the UK to "refashion" its relationship with the EU.

The prime minister argued powers should "ebb back" from Brussels to Westminster as part of "fundamental" future reform

But speaking at a press conference alongside Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, Mr Clegg said only populists and demagogues would benefit if EU leaders disappeared "into a windowless room" to discuss things that no-one understood, at a time when people were worried about their jobs.

Some of us might think that people were right to be worried about entrusting their jobs to the same old truffle-hounds that led us to this dirty big clump of stinkhorns in the first place. But no: apparently the nature of the EU's institutions can have nothing to do with any failure modes of those institutions whatsoever, so those institutions must not be tampered with until they have properly solved our problems.

And some of us might also think that if the highest-level rules binding people's choices of government are things that nobody is expected to understand, and only a small privileged circle meeting in windowless rooms is permitted to influence, then perhaps the people so ruled could use a little more populism than that.

They might flirt with a childish philosophy called 'liberalism', in which people might aspire to know what the supreme laws of their land were, or even to make suggestions about what they found good or bad in them. Of course, if questioning leads to liberalism, liberalism itself too often leads to a radical outgrowth called 'democracy', in which the ignorant herd actually demand the right to consent to their governors or to reject them. I would not suggest that Mr Clegg or his party endorse such a radical position as 'liberal democracy' itself - yet I think he might find some food for thought amongst its demands, if he could descend briefly from his mountaintop to study them.

I guess I must be just a big old populist demagogue, after all!

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