In this final piece I would argue that because the EU has been created and developed by technocrats, it can never be a true democracy that takes into account the needs and wishes of the people who pay for it all.
Brussels is run by these unelected and therefore unaccountable technocrats, many of whom are installed in the two main decision making bodies of the European Commission and European Council, described by one former Prime Minister as the “European Government”.
This form of rule was tried in the US in the 1930’s and failed. More recently it has been used by Brussels in Italy, Tunisia, Greece and the Czech Republic, all of which have failed or are failing.
The problem is that although technocrats are very capable people, they are specialists who give little concern for the democratic process . . . a process that is essential to governing a country full of human beings and even more essential with a continent full of diverse cultures.
For this reason, they have been used extensively to make the governing ‘common denominator’ of the EU one of financial control, in line with neoliberal doctrines. Sadly, these parameters are way too narrow, as we have seen in the cases of Greece, Italy Spain and Cyprus, where the cultural climate is dramatically different to say Germany, France or the UK.
For technocrats to govern there is little scope for democratic discussion. This narrow authoritarian approach, which brooks no opposition or deviation from declared policy, is the reason technocracy eventually fails. I believe we are now reaching this point with the EU, as Brussels demands more powers to allow technocratic dictate to run things.
The very contrived nature of the UK Referendum is a case in point, as Brussels seeks to frighten the British people into giving it a vote of confidence, by postulating that the world will come to an end if they vote ‘Out’.
We saw tactics like this in 2008, when governments used a similarly divisive slogan ‘Too Big to Fail’ to allow banks to rob our taxpayer money. Threats then, that “the end of the world was nigh”, have subsequently been shown to be one big lie. The banks have grown bigger, more powerful and certainly more arrogant since then, whilst remaining bankrupt through continuing their same irresponsible banking practices without any form of promised controls put in place.
Indeed, Brussels has now instituted legislation (the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive) which further protects the banks by allowing them to steal our savings when they go bust again, as they surely will. To add insult to injury, in 2015 they took legal action against six countries who failed to implement these rules . . . Technocratic neoliberalism at its most flagrant!
Have we also not learned from last year’s election in the UK, when just 24% of voters put the Tories in power? They too manipulated a vague mandate about ‘Austerity’, which has since allowed them to wreak unopposed havoc with neoliberal policies that support Fracking, TTIP, Privatisation of the NHS, Destruction of the Benefits system and so much more.
As you well know, dear reader, this is not spin but what we have actually experienced, as are all of my claims across all these 3 pieces. We can vote the Tories out but such is not the case with Brussels . . . who know it!
What possible credibility can any governing body have that stole taxpayer money and then went straight on to negotiate in secrecy for eight years a ‘democracy crippling’ trade agreement, which only came to light through the actions of whistle-blowers and is still unavailable for public scrutiny? These are just two of the frightening examples Part 2 of what technocratic neoliberalism is capable of and what the future holds for all of us, if allowed to continue.
In this coming Referendum we should be demanding ‘The Return of Democracy’. We were suckered in by the banks, we were suckered in by the Tories and we are in danger of being suckered in again by Brussels with this ‘In/Out’ vote, which, I repeat, is a contrived device to frighten the British electorate into ratifying the power of Brussels.
By voting ‘IN’ on the 23rd of June we give Brussels the irrevocable power to continue implementing these neoliberal policies, with no moral boundaries or care for the majority. It also belies the real question on most Europeans lips: “Given their track record, do we wish this unelected and unaccountable body to be running our lives into the future?”
More than half of the French electorate have now voted in favour of holding a UK-style referendum on the country’s membership of the EU (FREXIT). Both the Netherlands and Czech Republic want to follow our lead with an ‘In/Out’ referendum. Indeed, there are now calls from the most powerful player, Germany, to have their own EU referendum in the aftermath of the migrant crisis
Given Cameron’s recent feeble results in returning some of our powers it is blatantly obvious that Brussels is not intent upon relinquishing any of its powers . . . Therefore they have to be taken away by voting ‘OUT’ on 23rd June. It will not be the end of the world but rather the beginning of the fight back against global neoliberalism – which has to start somewhere – by restructuring a more democratic and viable Europe.
(It was something Nelson Mandela showed was possible in South Africa when the tyrannical 1% (who had misruled for centuries) were replaced by the 99%.)
There are plenty of talented and committed people and politicians out there who could make Europe a United functioning democracy. Brussels are not the only ones capable of rule, in spite of what they (and their media) might think and say!
It is certainly a daunting task facing us now, as it was 70 years ago – Part 1. We won then and we can win now . . . with the help of our European friends (again!).
Until the next time
Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes