“Here-today and gone-tomorrow politician” is a jibe levelled by Sir Robin Day on a BBC television interview with Sir John Nott in 1982. But it is as relevant today with respect to any number of European Politicians. As a letter to the Daily Telegraph makes clear when commenting on the posture of the President of France (at least till the next election) Francois Hollande in respect of Brexit.
Hollande is quoted as saying that Britain “will have to pay a heavy economic price” for leaving the EU. The letter writer, M. Wood-Wilson, points out that this shows breathtaking arrogance. He goes on to point out that:
“France has a youth unemployment rate of 39%; Italy 43%; and Greece 50%” (he does not even mention Spain or Portugal). “France and Italy have immense government debts of €2 trillion each, which they cannot repay unless their economies grow significantly, which is unlikely while they remain in the eurozone. The EU needs all the trade it can get. We buy more from the EU than it does from us. For EU politicians to ride roughshod over their electorates and punish Britain in order to hold their failing integrationist project together is to vindicate Britain’s decision to leave”
The “here-today and gone-tomorrow politicians” jibe applies equally to Angela Merkel, Alexis Tsipras, Matteo Renzi, etc etc. All of whom will very soon be voted out of power by their respective electorates.
The problem is that the EU project has grown ‘like topsy’ from an economic community into a monster of a political project which is anti-democratic and dysfunctional and can only work by enforced integration into what has become ‘Fortress Europe’. The only Federation of states that faced a slightly similar challenge and still survives is the USA – but that only happened after a bloody civil war. But the major difference is that in Europe the Nation States have long and distinct histories and cultures.
How long before the youth of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain rise up against the austerity imposed upon them by the EU politburo and the vested interests of the Northern Nation States?