The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewEamonn Fingleton Archive
Suddenly the EU's Break-Up Has Moved from A Long Shot to A Probability
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Although British voters have for decades wanted out of the European Union, that possibility has hitherto been expertly forestalled by a less-than-democratic left-right alliance of London-based elites.

Now suddenly all bets are off. In local council elections yesterday, England’s long-suffering grass-roots voters finally rose up. They snubbed both main parties, the Conservatives and Labor, to support the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a relatively new and hitherto marginalized party whose main agenda is to get the U.K. out of the European Union.

Yesterday’s vote, a personal triumph for UKIP leader Nigel Farage, seems likely to trigger a chain-reaction in which it becomes impossible for the London elites any longer to hold out Canute-like against the democratic will.

As things stand, Prime Minister David Cameron has already – to his own evident distaste – succumbed to pressure to hold an in-out referendum if his party wins a majority in next year’s general election. Yesterday’s election results strengthen the hand of such anti-EU Conservative politicians as Douglas Carswell, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Peter Bone, who want their party to cut a deal with UKIP that would further undermine the London elites’ pro-EU program.

So far the Labor hierarchy has continued to oppose a referendum but that may be changing. A year ago a pressure group called Labor for a Referendum was set up by Labor MPs who have been arguing that a promise of a referendum offers Labor the best hope of winning the next election. The results of yesterday’s elections will do nothing to muffle the group’s message. Meanwhile Labor leader Ed Miliband has nowhere to turn. If he does not belatedly support a referendum, he risks a devastating rebellion among party activists. Many Labor members of Parliament are in marginal constituencies and risk losing their seats if their party cannot match Cameron’s referendum pledge. Yesterday’s elections powerfully exacerbated their fears because traditional Labor supporters evidently deserted the party in droves for UKIP.

Not the least of Miliband’s embarrassment is that in putting obstacles in the way of an in-out referendum, he finds himself in the same bed with denizens of the despised London financial district. Just last month Michael Sherwood, a London-based vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs, made headlines by voicing strong opposition to the UK’s leaving the EU. It need hardly be added that his intervention may have proved counterproductive in that Goldman Sachs’s reputation in recent years has taken as much of a shellacking in Britain as in the United States.

ORDER IT NOW

It probably does not help that various other transnational corporations have also been trying to keep the UK in the EU. Prominent among them is Ford. In January, Stephen Odell, chief executive of Cologne-based Ford of Europe, threatened that the company could “reassess” its British operations if the UK left the EU. Even more unsubtly, Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Goshn let it be known that the Nissan might reassess its big plant in Sunderland in the North of England. Other prominent business leaders who have publicly try to sway British feelings against a pull-out include Jan du Plessis, South African-born chairman of Rio Tinto, Sir Michael Rake of the BT telecommunications giant, and Sir Martin Sorrell of the advertising and public relations company, WPP.

Why is the EU so unpopular? One major issue is that under EU regulation constantly lampooned in the British press as stupid and intrusive. Voters are also incensed about disproportionately large inflows of immigrants from other EU nations.

(Republished from Forbes by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Eurozone 
Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eamonn Fingleton Comments via RSS