Oh, to be in England! The weather is bad, the cities are crowded with bearded Pakistanis, and the law shields foreign criminals from being deported under the dubious right to family life. In other words, all a foreign criminal in Britain has to do once he’s convicted and about to be deported is get a British girlfriend. I kid you not. An army of ambulance-chasing lawyers makes sure the criminals know their rights.
So the question for most British today is: “To be or not to be in the European Union?” I decided to move from London where I lived for close to forty years once the place was overrun by sub-continentals and by EU rules that remain wedded to an unworkable idea that one size fits all. The unelected bureaucrats of Brussels envision a Franco-German empire that stretches from Seville to Sylt and from Sligo to Salzburg, a 230-million-person bloc run by these same condescending and totalitarian unelected boobies who dictate high taxes and strict censorship of free speech. These boobies are now pushing the envelope further with flagrant attacks on press freedom, giving draconian powers to control the media and even sack journalists.
What Uncle Joe Stalin managed to do in the Soviet Union generations ago, the Brussels gang is about to impose on Europeans, with “media councils” in the place of the dreaded Cheka of long ago. These “independent” so-called councils would be monitored by the European Commission, which as yet does not have the right of the midnight knock on our doors.
Prime Minister David Cameron recently gave a speech that assuaged British fears concerning the power play by Brussels, one that was long on rhetoric but short on specifics. It was, however, bold and strong, articulating the anxieties of the people who have enjoyed freedoms for the last 800 years. He pledged a referendum by 2017 if he is reelected in 2015 when his mandate runs out. This is a very big “if.” And it involves the kind of deceptive rhetoric that has become so depressingly familiar in the European debate. The Brits joined the EU after an underhanded and deceitfully worded referendum led the people to believe they were joining a free-trade bloc. Ever since, there has been a stream of directives from a sclerotic Brussels bureaucracy paralyzing free enterprise and businesses” ability to compete with a booming wider world. Brussels is bloated, monstrously costly, ineffectual, and totally corrupt.
So what are the British people to do? Europe lurches from one crisis to the next: first Greece, then Spain, followed by Portugal and now Italy. The Germans are pouring vast loans into a bottomless pit, with Chancellor Angela Merkel exposing her Eastern European upbringing that the state and its servants know best. Many observers think that sooner or later the German people will revolt against the crazy price they are paying for keeping the eurozone afloat. I”m not so sure. The European dream is instilled in stone in most northern European minds, and while the southern Europeans refuse to blame themselves for the state of their finances and instead blame the Germans for the austerity measures they”ve imposed, the Brussels machine keeps rolling along, making it almost impossible to leave the common currency without leaving Europe altogether.