The United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU has been a running sore for far longer than I can remember – I’m a bit hazy about anything further back than 2004, so let’s say about forty years. Most of our electorate have an in-built suspicion about anything that involves unelected executives and/or bureaucrats imposing policies, laws, rules and regulations upon the public.
If there’s anything that ever raises the British public’s hackles of suspicion and offence more than City traders and banking ‘fat cats’, it is feather-bedded, unaccountable, unwieldly, bloated administrators and power brokers being whisked from one supposedly important meeting to another in a blur of executive limousines, five star hotels, two Michelin star restaurants and police motorcycle outriders at our expense … not least if the bulk of them are from anywhere south of the English Channel … eat pasta, snails, feta cheese, sauerkraut, sardines or potato soup … but most especially if they are French.
Thanks to our one-eyed (Tory-supporting) media ownership – step forward the Daily Mail as the conscience of Middle England – we are continually encouraged to channel our inner Nigel Farage by shaking our heads in disbelief at the latest daily example of EU-dictat craziness emanating from Brussels or Strasbourg being summarily imposed of this isle of Albion.
It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the EU is an out-of-control monster of inefficiency and stupidity that would (inevitably) only work if Britain actually ran it and the rest of them simply acted to the letter of every law and regulation we passed – all of which, of course, would be sensible and forward-thinking – instead of (as now) just selectively choosing which of them to adopt and ignoring all the rest.
As we in the UK see it, one of the EU’s problems biggest problems is the suspicion that its central powers are only interested in further integration and destroying all national independence within its members. It pays lip service to democratic principles but refuses to accept referendum results that annoyingly reject its proposals designed to take federalism further [and here Rust readers can add their own further favorite examples of EU-absurdity …].
If only the EU would understand that problems like the Greek Eurozone crisis – and the way it is dealt with, i.e. by tens of behind closed doors meetings, strong principled stances being taken, negotiating ultimata being issued on all sides … only later for them to be fudged in last-minute compromises that temporarily stave off disaster but in fact never resolve the problem … is, week by week, telling succour for those in Britain whose EU scepticism is either already set in stone and/or rapidly fossilising in the face of such insanity.