Thursday, December 02, 2010

The end of the eurozone - as we know it

‘Thou art Euro, and on this Euro I will build Europe.’

That was the bold declaration of Spanish finance minister Pedro Solbes on 15th December 1995, the day the euro was conceived. After a difficult period of gestation, it was born virtually at midnight on 1st January 1999, and notes and coins began to circulate in 2002.

Unfortunately, it has not quite proved a rock of the calibre of the Apostle Peter.

The eurosceptics are in delirious back-patting mood. They are showing themselves to be smug and self-righteous, manifesting a quite distasteful ‘I-told-you-so’ proclivity which is not merely ill-mannered, but both insensitive and inelegant.

And His Grace would like to join in.

Many of us predicted it, but still the europhiliacs persisted. Some of us long ago prophesied doom, but we were despised by the cognoscenti and rejected by the intelligentsia.

How can prime ministers and presidents of countries like Greece and Ireland dare to hold their heads high or look their electorates in the eye?

What brazen impudence and bare-faced gall do they possess that persuades them still that they are right and we are wrong?

How long do they think the serfs will put up with paying for the economic incompetence and political ineptitude of their remote and indifferent lords and masters?

It beggars belief, even as the EU faces financial Armageddon, that politicians like Ken Clarke can sit on a Question Time panel and pontificate infallibly that the euro is not to blame for the present morass into which Europe is sinking. “This crisis is not caused by the euro,” he proclaimed ex cathedra.

You don’t need an A-level in Government & Politics to understand that the single currency was always destined to founder without political union. Remove from a nation the right to set its own interest rates to suit its own domestic economy, and in times of turmoil it is left either to tinker with taxation or slash spending.

Or both.

But what it needs to do it cannot do: control its own interest rates. There is no mechanism for anaesthetising the patient to ease the economic pain, and so the agony diffuses throughout the whole body; crippling, disabling and stifling the life out of even the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

Since the people are not particularly disposed either to high rates of taxation or to cuts in their public services, disquiet turns into protests; protests become marches; marches become riots; riots become social turmoil.

And social turmoil slips into civil war.

Have they learned nothing from the break-up of the former USSR, Quebec’s bid for independence from the Canadian federation, the former Yugoslavia’s descent into tribal warfare, the splitting asunder of Czechoslovakia, and even the fracturing of the United Kingdom? The evidence is overwhelming that states established by treaties, imposed upon diverse peoples with political rivalries and religious factions, are fragile entities.

Those countries that joined the euro castrated themselves economically, abdicated political responsibility, sold their souls to Mammon and their birthrights for a mess of pottage.

And for what?

Economic boasting? Political flattery? The kudos of joining the élite philosopher-bankers? Sitting on the top table? Strutting on the world stage?

Or perhaps the motive, as the US State Department might put it, was simply ‘to attain prominence in Europe’.

Well, it was all a charade; a calculated con and a very deliberate delusion.

And now that we are in a time of austerity, depression, bankruptcy and bailouts, the weakest nations have been placed immediately into intensive care, where their vital signs are being monitored minute by minute.

But it is too late.

The contagion has already spread.

Prodigal Greece and profligate Ireland will be followed by Portugal, Spain and Italy, and probably also by Cyprus or Belgium.

Never forget that the answer to the EU’s problems is invariably ‘more Europe’: every crisis is an opportunity for more regulation and centralisation. And the sovereign debt crisis that threatens to engulf European financial markets is no exception.

And so the 16-strong eurozone shall become a 10-nation confederacy, stabilised economically by Bundesbank discipline and bound politically by Teutonic politico-militarism.

The German constitutional court would have it no other way.

And Has His Grace prophesied many months ago, the ‘new’ euro of the EU ‘inner core’ shall be called the Euromark.

The successor of the Goldmark of 1873, the Reichsmark of 1924 and the Deutschmark of 1948.

And after a few years, the ‘euro’ prefix will be quietly dropped, exactly as the EEC became the EC became the EU.

Stealthily, covertly, by scheming and subterfuge: like a thief in the night, with hardly a soul noticing.

And before we know where we are, the official currency of the 10-nation United States of Europe will be the Mark.

And the European Project shall be complete – the Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicae.

All it will lack is a leader, an emperor, a religio-political philosopher-king of sufficient stature to strut after the fashion of Napoleon, to hold the allegiance of the people führer-like, and to lift them out of the economic morass in which they have sunk.

As Former Belgian Prime Minister Paul-Henri Spaak said: “Send us such a man and, be he god or the devil, we will receive him.”

We must thank God that the United Kingdom is not a prisoner of European Monetary Union.

Oh, and the smug eurosceptics.

God bless us one and all.


Blogger Preacher said...

Your Grace.
So the EU tower of Babel has started to crumble at last. Thank God.
May the rest of this cankerous system follow. Though I feel it will not collapse without a fight.

Perhaps we should not rejoice too quickly. The Snake has a way of turning to strike unexpectedly & it's not out of the question that the words of Paul-Henri Spaak will be realised in a very real way. Does scripture not warn of the rise of such a one he refered to just before the end?.

As We have been spared from this bondage, now would be the time to seperate ourselves from this evil regime & pray that the Lord would reveal His will to us with regard to our place in the final act.
As it appears that it was only Him that rescued us from the miry pit that the rest fell into & thus we have a significant role to play in the end game.

2 December 2010 at 11:07  
Anonymous bluedog said...

His Grace can be proud of his unwavering support for the Eurosceptic cause. And isn't it just grand to be on the winning side of one of the great debates of the age!

The disconnect between the people and the markets on the one hand and the political elites of Europe on the other hand is too great to bridge. For the elites the failure of the Euro is a crushing defeat, and a blow to their self-confidence from which they will not recover. Your communicant believes that their will to rule is is being broken by the day. Indeed, we are witnessing the triumph of the people's will, to paraphrase a continental expression.

2 December 2010 at 11:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I always wondered where those wealthy men in the banks got their money from. Then it dawned on me. From schmucks like us.

The US didn't have a single currency until many years after its founding. The Spanish dollar was legal tender for 40 or more years until the greenback ruled supreme. Brussels wanted to reverse a fundamental rule of economics but has only reversed our own economics.

Why is Britain paying for this?

2 December 2010 at 11:14  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Brilliant analysis!

We must thank God that the United Kingdom is not a prisoner of European Monetary Union.

I know that you like to think that your "god" intervenes in worldly affairs but I didn't realise that he was Eurosceptic! Seems a bit unfair for on all those devout Greeks and Irish, he certainly does move in mysterious ways!

2 December 2010 at 11:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I believe that His Grace's would be thanking his favourite Euro-sceptic, the very secular James Goldsmith : please see the article of 17th November 2010.


Marcus Foxall

2 December 2010 at 11:46  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

One of your best. Thank you.

2 December 2010 at 12:00  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

This is indeed a dark vision you write.

On the one-hand Germany cannot afford to let the euro-zone break up as the value of its currency will rise thus making it very difficult for its exporters to compete and the money its is owed by other nations will be devalued.

On the other hand the Germans cannot keep supporting countries that are bankrupt.

It reminds me of what the philosopher Michael Novak wrote in the Spirit Of Democratic Capitalism (1991)

"One of the most outstanding characteristics of our age is that ideas, even false and unworkable ideas, even ideas which are no longer believed in by their official guardians, rule the affairs of men and ride roughshod over stubborn facts. Ideas of enormous destructiveness, cruelty, and impracticality retain the allegiance of elites that benefit from them. The empirical record seems not to jut through into consciousness to break their spell. The class of persons who earn their livelihood from the making of ideas and symbols seems both unusually bewitched by falsehoods and absurdities and uniquely empowered to impose them on hapless individuals."

2 December 2010 at 12:11  
Blogger Preacher said...

"And before we know it the official currency of Europe will be the Mark."
Could be the Mark of the Beast!
- and they say God has no sense of humour, well He certainly could have a great sense of Irony.

2 December 2010 at 12:21  
Anonymous JayBee said...

I do not believe that the EU will even survive as a smaller confederacy of the stronger nations.

The scale of debt amongst the 5 shakiest EU members is absolutely mind boggling and a lot of it is owed to the stronger members; the very people who are all obliged to bail them out. Thus the strongest become weaker with each successive bailout and progressive collapse more likely.

So the EU careers towards its appointment with the real world, yet the EU commissars are so proud and convinced of their omnipotence that they are likely to remain transfixed by dreams of enlargement and political union. Unable to alter course in time, they will fail to dump the weak out of the euro-zone and reduce the risk of currency collapse by rallying around Germany in a stronger, smaller, monetary union.

The European Financial Stability Fund is unstable. A Spanish bailout will empty the piggybank. If the ECB was to cover the shortfall by creating money out of thin air, it would fall into the banana republic trap and doom the Euro. So either the Germans and French jump ship to save their own economies in which case the EU collapses in chaos or they try to keep the EU afloat by tapping the sovereign debt market to cover their respective shares of a Spanish bailout. If that didn't plug the massive hole, the IMF would have to step in, the irony then being that the EU itself would start to lose its sovereignty becoming debtor to a global institution underwritten by the USA. This would head us in the direction of world governance, and a larger stage on which a future emperor can strut.

A fate far worse than the Germanisation of Europe beckons.

2 December 2010 at 12:22  
Blogger Gnostic said...

A tour de force, Your Grace. Maybe we'll see you voting UKIP before too long?

2 December 2010 at 12:47  
Blogger killemallletgodsortemout said...

Excellent, YG.

Did you see Farage giving Rumpy-Pumpy what-for the other day?

2 December 2010 at 15:01  
Anonymous IanCad said...

YG, You have nailed it perfectly. The edifice will be patched and repaired at great expense but,Please God, it's on the way down.

2 December 2010 at 16:20  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace may well find the EU falling inevitable but many great speakers have belived it would be an umbrella for any country to hold , when in my view it never really did anything like good governace , the euro being the final folly .
My first thoughts on the EU many years ago were more to do with the loss of the realtionship between your vote and accountability .I wanted our mps/parliament to decide our countries course , so my stance has always been more prinicpaled on the politics .
The common market had a usefull boost to economies , but it rapidly became clear that whilst it did what simple economics trys to achieve in supply and demand markets , there were imbalances with supply . The further making of huge corporations and shadowy lobbying turned the EU into a marketing organisation , turning into an economy of corporations , which gave the euro some sort of imperative or rule .
Investment no longer was balanced with states economies and so it went down the route of scams , to create ecnomic expansion , eventually tipping countries without large export industries into cycling but expanding debt , masked by increasing overvalued property boom. Taking us down the road of a high tax to pay for the bill and good salaries/fortunes to those who helped it along .

It is strange that during the labour years no questions were raised , we had the grumblings termed as rabid eurosceptics , but these questions now look so necessary .
I dont know if there is a book "the EU for dummies" perhaps it would have been too prophetic.It has certainly made some nation states dummies by its own spin and rule.
The eurosceptics have won a very important victory , I am not sure looking at the balance sheet we should celebrate , but I certainly give my thanks to those people who were principaled enough to see what it was actually doing .
God bless them .

2 December 2010 at 17:52  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Nice one Your Grace; it's been a long time coming, but you've been telling it the way it is, since the very beginning.

2 December 2010 at 17:53  
Anonymous Budgie said...

Wonderful stuff, Cranmer. But far too optimistic: I fear the EU is like the Terminator - you just can't kill the beast.

2 December 2010 at 18:53  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Jaybee @ 12.22 said 'A fate far worse than the Germanisation of Europe beckons.'

Good Lord, never thought of that! Let us pray that you are wrong. Indeed, one reads on the bloggosphere that German public opinion is itself 80% against the Euro. Given the scale of the current debacle, there must somewhere be a cadre of European politicians who can harness the people's desire for the status quo ante.

2 December 2010 at 19:45  
Blogger oldmaid said...


Would someone please give Cameron a swift kick in the shins and tell him we are not in the eurozone, as he is busy borrowing more money to give away to other countries expecting us to foot the bill!

2 December 2010 at 20:53  
Anonymous Jekyll Island said...

A number of comments here refer to the EU and Euro in the past tense. Neither are dead yet and do not under estimate the lengths which these venal bastards will go to in order to protect the project. If it means bankrupting everybody in Europe to maintain their empire it will be done. The game is nowhere near being over, their egos cannot conceive failure.

Watch out for a major assault on what's left of our democracy in the near future. I have sense of impending doom that world affairs are about to become very dark.

2 December 2010 at 22:15  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr JI @ 22.15, I feel your pain. But the EU cannot defy the bond markets. The fatal flaw in the Euro structure is now working to destroy both Euro and EU, and all the kings horses and all the kings men cannot provide access to capital markets when they are closed to you. Ireland is shut out and financed by the EU members, not the EU itself even though the EU is lead manager of the funding syndicate, a critical point. As His Grace says, other EU member states are on the brink of failure. The ultimate paymaster is Germany, and according to the DT, the Germans will not fund further purchases of EU periphery sovereign debt. This is both madness and an important development because the Germans have just kneecapped the ECB's Trichet whose purchases of sovereign debt caused this week's rally. It is almost as if the Germans are deliberately destroying the Euro. So are they?

If they are, what follows is likely to be His Grace's prediction of a Euromark bloc. For the rest of Europe its sauve qui peut.

2 December 2010 at 23:48  
Anonymous Dick the Prick said...

Your Grace

It's still ezpensive being right. The ECB today started buying peripheral government bonds and where on earth alternative investors are gonna come from is a very foggy issue. It may be far too late to base ourselves in issues of right or wrong - money doesn't understand such things.

I remain very worried. I think economics may have just ended; seriously, I think it's far too late for any strategic control. As Francis Fukkuyama outlined the End of History, I think we've certainly reached it for the next 50 years!

Available for kids parties and Hannukka celebrations - no job too small.


3 December 2010 at 01:04  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Off Topic FYI

Is the IP address for Wikileaks

3 December 2010 at 09:14  
Blogger Weekend Yachtsman said...

We are all being far too optimistic.

The history of the last fifty years should have taught us that always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again (h/t: JRRT).

The "colleagues" will use this crisis as they have used every other - to strengthen and extend the Project.

The euro will not fail (yet): instead, after a bit of fudging, the outline of a full fiscal and political union will emerge, clanking, from the mist. Somehow the Germans and the French will be in charge of it; everyone else will become even less important and will have even less influence. The Nation States will become even more hollow and meaningless than they are now.

This was the plan, the current crisis merely accelerates this phase of it.

Don't rush out and buy Champagne yet, you will not need it in our lifetimes.

3 December 2010 at 10:24  
Blogger Gillibrand said...

"We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and be he god or the devil we will receive him."

This is the full quote of Spaak, who begged to be allowed back into Belgium when Hitler invaded. If the UK Government had let him go, he would probably have led a career leading to his imprisonment or execution after the war. As it is he has one of the blocks of the European Parliament named after him. It has a very good bar called nick-named Mickey Mouse after the design of the seating, which originally bore some resemblance to the famous ears. A large glass of wine costs 1.50 euro (highly subsidised) so one can, if one is so inclined, get quite typsy while one looks around and contemplates the memorial to this Belgian rogue.

4 December 2010 at 09:30  

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