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'And for the first time...'
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nelson's user image
nelson
19.04.2004 - 08:19
forum administrator
... I'll say that this government is fucking stupid. Or maybe it's just Tony Blair.

Apparently, we're going to have a referendum on the upcoming European constitution. Great. Fantastic. Blair has gone completely out of touch with reality. Forever.

This is the man who says he's pro European integration, but who also lets the trashy, vemnous, xenophobic tabloids and fear-mongers run the country's opinion of the EU.

For years, not a single real word of support for the pro-EU movement! No real commitment to the Euro. And now Blair calls up a referendum against all the rancour he allowed to be built up. As a EU supporter, I almost feel like turning my back on this politically-motivated referendum.

I now truly believe that Blair has absolutely no political position and that all he does is somehow a manipulation of issues for his personal gain.

I believe whatever happens now, Blair has just given the EU constitution its death sentence. Have a look through the opinions to the referendum and you'll see that there's no turning this boat now. And Blair knows it - he just can't possibly care.
deathjester's user image
deathjester
19.04.2004 - 13:40
forum administrator
it certainly is a weird one.


i suspect he's simply trying to choose when & where he next defeat occurs, in order to reduce the impact. elegant really... until you look at the cost as you say.

on the other hand, european integration is inevitable, so exploiting the 'politics' of it is perhaps a logical thing to do from a governments point of view
city_break's user image
city_break
20.04.2004 - 08:42
DJ: do you ever have opinions about politics as well and not just pure analysis?? (Well, I know you do when gay adoption is discussed, but beside that...)
deathjester's user image
deathjester
20.04.2004 - 12:50
forum administrator
im afraid my emtional intelligence is very under developed. in fact im fairly sure i dont have any.

not quite sure what to do about that actually.
arar's user image
arar
20.04.2004 - 19:09
I suggest a string of meaningless relationships based on absolute trust each and every time...

After that has toughened you up, continue with the cynicism but hold a little hope out for true love, peace, and the end of most of the world's problems.

Or do what I do and play video games in an effort to escape the outside world... I swear my room is getting smaller...
richard's user image
richard
20.04.2004 - 21:27
forum administrator
Hmm.. I think the word we're looking for here is... Anywaaaaaaay...!!

But back to the topic, I think he's going to kill the EU with this one. I'm afraid EU-integration is anything but inevitable, IMHO, much to my great despair and disappointment. There's two ways I can see Britain heading: Becoming the Bully's lacky, or the Leader of Europe. I REALLY don't want to see us become nothing more than errand boys for the American Empire.

Everyone, use your vote wisely because if we vote against the EU constitution, I can't see us being a major part of it for much longer. After all, who would want to allow someone to join a gang if they completely rejected that gangs ideals???
deathjester's user image
deathjester
20.04.2004 - 22:36
forum administrator
bah! tis inevitable. i dont think anybody seriousyl doubts it do they? in the last 3 days ive not heard any1 on radio4 express any indication that they think it might not actually happen (and atm they dont talk about anythign else).

besides, its in the DSS.

/me giggles
nelson's user image
nelson
21.04.2004 - 00:00
forum administrator
Nothing is inevitable, DJ.

That said, the EU is both resiliant and fragile. Fragile because it actually depends on commitment and vision to become something meaningful (which this referendum is not going to help).

Resiliant because the pressures that make countries join and work within the EU are not going away - instead they'll keep getting stronger. No country has the ability or power to solve increasingly complex and large issues like climate, economy, migration, technology, etc, etc, etc.

So, even in the most unlikely scenario, were the EU to disappear, the complete lack of control of individual countries would very quickly force them to co-operate again.

These people talking about "sovereignty" and "national power" are very deluded and still live in the world of 200 years ago. The only strong national power that remains from that time is nationalism - and that's why this "constitution" issue is so messy to pull together in the EU.
arar's user image
arar
21.04.2004 - 07:29
So perhaps it is time that the government starts sending out, through intermediaries, the pros and cons of Europe. England has always been and always will be a stick in the mud for certain things... we like our traditions, our identity - and at the moment most people feel kinda empty and soulless as most of that has disappeared - we certainly don't have church to bring us together, we have football instead. We don't have common traditions, as we have become very diluted by the traditions and theories of outside influence.
I am all for integration with other nations through the transfer of people either through immigrations or culture - but then I am secure in my feeling of being British. To me, being British is about an idea of welcome arms, or rationality, not nationality. Most people are afraid to lose anything which they can clearly label themselves with - for example, look at how long it took them to get over imperial measurements.
If we could educate them on how we could have a take on Europe, and yet be ourselves, perhaps that would boost public opinion. Because the general ideals of a unified state aren't going to sway any of out council estates for a start. Tony Blair needs to take control of himself and his ideas and project them through the media.
arar's user image
arar
21.04.2004 - 10:40
You know, I've never really thought about this before, but I have had a pretty unique perspective when it comes to Europe as compared to most of my contemporaries.
I'm english born and bred... all my family is in England, I speak English as my first language, I was educated in Britain. However, I have also spent a great deal of time as an ex-patriot in a European country - the Netherlands. I've even worked for a large European International Organisation for long periods of time.
Its never really interested me, because my perspective has been that although the ideals of Europe are good, the notion of Europe itself doesn't strongly (in my opinion) represent its people because it has no culture or definition of its own. It always feels manufactured. If there was a natural partnership already there that had been there for many years, or if it had been founded on those presets (as in USA), then perhaps it would feel natural.
However, the forces behind bringing Europe together seem artificial. There is no cultural significance yet of a unified Europe. The froces behind a unified europe are not items of the common man, they are based on things such as the common market and other economic factors, law and legislation, the breakdown of borders etc.
None of which will appeal to single-mums or football hooligans which make up the majority of england. And the referendum will need that majority.
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