Saturday, June 04, 2005

Blair Grabs the Stake

I don't usually comment much on foreign affairs here, as I'm not too well informed and there are others who have much better knowledge and insight than I ever could. But this story from the UK's Telegraph is a wowser.

British PM Tony Blair, who has been ardently and continually pushing for greater integration between Britain and the European Union, is now doing an about face. He will abandon the euro (the push to integrate the pound with the pan-Europe currency) and focus instead on African poverty! That's pretty stunning.

The article goes on to show the growing disarray in Europe following last week's votes on the European constitution. France voted strongly against it (55-45), though mostly for reasons of keeping their strongly protectionist, socialist state in the face of Euro-competitiveness. But then Holland also voted it down. In their case, an important government official said the government wouldn't even consider the vote meaningful unless there was turnout above 30% and the vote against was clear. Well, the Dutch voted two to one against, and 60% of voters showed up at the polls. Zing!

Now, no one knows what's happening next. The value of the euro, which was very strong against the dollar, is now free-falling rapidly. Governments that previously approved the constitution are wondering if they were snookered as the main engines of the continental European economy -- France and Germany -- are beginning to make plans for themselves.

Bad news for Europe what with them facing unsupportable social welfare states and a surging influx of Arab Muslims who have no interest in assimilation. After decades of being the muscle to European world plans, President Bush shook them off strongly and, it appears, for good. Provided we survive for another generation or two, the dead hand of European ambition and paternalism may finally fall from us.

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