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Hurrah for the French… sort of

It is a distinct possibility that the French Left will mobilize enough folks to vote down the EU constitution because, get this, it favours the free market too much. Well whatever, just so long as they vote Non, does it really matter that their reasons are completely antithetical to the reasons most Brits oppose the EU Constitution?

Or does it?

For people such as myself who do not believe that the EU can be reformed, it seems to me that far more damage will result to the EU by a British ‘no’ than from a French ‘non’. Why? Because France is inseparable from the whole neo-Carolingian Franco-German ‘Greater Europe’ project and thus accommodating French political realities are inevitably what will happen in the aftermath of French rejection of the Constitution. Britain on the other hand is seen rightly or wrongly as peripheral in the long run and thus a British rejection could well lead to the increasingly held view amongst the Europhiles that only with the UK out of the EU, either completely or in effect, can their grand aspirations be achieved… and that sounds pretty damn sweet to me as I want the UK out of the EU altogether.

That said, a French rejection which leads to so extreme a second attempt to draught a Euro-constitution that even the Europhiles in Britain blanche from trying to sell it to the Eurosceptic Brits works for me as well. Only time will tell.

26 comments to Hurrah for the French… sort of

  • Sylvain Galineau

    Should this in fact happen – my faith in these polls is quite limited; it all makes too much of a good media story and also justifies putting out even more pro-EU propaganda, all taxpayer-funded – I’m not sure what will be more shocking for the ruling class. That the people did not do as they were told. Or that it can’t be blamed on George W. Bush….or can it ?

  • A French “non” would be good no matter what their motives. Anything that slows down the glacier is a good thing.

    As to the polls, the online betting, here, shows a NO vote moderately ahead.

  • Pete_London

    Allow me to be pedantic for a second. The French won’t be voting on an EU Constitution as there is no EU Constitution. It is the Constitution for Europe. Euro fantacists are happy for it to be referred to as the EU Constitution as this allows them to pretend that it merely regulates relations between sovereign member nations of an international club. If is was widely referred to correctly as the Constitution for Europe its intent would be plain and clear. When I’m bashing others over the head about this I find that simply referring to the document by its correct title makes it much easier to win support for the sane side of the debate. It’s a good habit to get into.

  • Julian Morrison

    While a British “no” might be the quickest way to get us personally out of the EU, a French “non” could easily do more to smash the whole EU project itself. In the long run it may be better for Britain to wait a little longer while EU disintegrates, than to be out earlier with an unfriendly socialist superstate glowering at us over the channel.

  • GCooper

    Julian Morrison writes:

    “In the long run it may be better for Britain to wait a little longer while EU disintegrates, than to be out earlier with an unfriendly socialist superstate glowering at us over the channel.”

    What on earth would we have to fear? While they require somhwere to sell their (increasingly unreliable) German cars and French saucepans, they’ll have to be nice to us, instead of milking our economy to keep theirs afloat.

  • Jacob

    “Or that it can’t be blamed on George W. Bush….or can it ? ”

    Well I have an idea: let George W. Bush make a couple of speeches urging the French to vote YES, for the stability of the world, for peace and democracy.

    Then it will be clear that this constitution is a diabolical plan by the CIA to burry Europe and enhance US hegemony . A NO vote is then certain.

  • Luniversal

    The Financial Times, the arch-Europhile rag in Britain, has been worried enough to run scare stories all last week about the ‘Nons’ being ahead in the past 12 polls. On Thursday it quoted the usual ‘high EU official’ saying that the Illuminati of Frankfurt were already contemplating ‘damage limitation’ strategies in the wake of French and Dutch rejection of the constitution, i.e. finding ways of ignoring the verdict or planning to keep on asking the question until the right answer is given.

    Germany, of course, does not believe in asking the Volk if they want their currency abolished and their simulacrum of democracy overridden. Referenda are too dangerous for the Teutons. This is the country whose list system of elections ensures that leading politicians never have to worry about losing their seats as long as they keep their activists on side. The Germans were incredulous in 1997 at the idea that a big, important man such as Portillo could be dismissed by mere members of the public. But if there were a poll on the constitution in Germany, the majority would very likely say Nein.

    In fact it’s doubtful if many ‘Europeans’ want this blueprint for bureaucratic and bankers’ tyranny to be pushed through, but don’t tell the MEPs– who have just rejected another scheme to make them account honestly for their own expenses.

  • Slowjoe

    A slight variant on Perry’s original theme: a French “non” would effectively remove any right of the electorate to comment on Europe until the next general election in 2009 or 2010.


    Well, the “referendum coming up real soon now” has served as mechanism to remove the EU from political debate. The idea is that nasty, divisive debate about the EU can be confined to the most simple terms: “no or yes”. There is little need for debate about EU policy, no debate about HMG’s negotiating stances etc.

    If the French vote “non”, I don’t believe that a British referendum will take place.

  • Perry: a question for you from an American.

    In the states, advocating that the US should pull out of the UN (and boot the UN out of NYC) is likely to draw accusations of moonbat-like behavior. Is there a European parallel here, from the standpoint of the average Brit, to advocating a UK withdrawl from the EU?

    Actually, anti-UN opinions are frowned upon far less in the post-9/11 world. I wonder if anti-EU sentiments are frowned upon less with the spectre of the EU Constitution looming on the horizon.

  • Verity

    Beck – Obviously, Perry is more than competent to answer the question you posed, but I am on the late shift around here, so I’ll get in first – with strictly my own opinion.

    There an indescribably vast difference between the UN, which is a talking shop and cannot make laws, and the EU, which is the skeleton of a uberstate which will divert the national will of 25 or so countries unto itself and is an exercise in fascism.

    People in Britain who want to see the powers, if such they be, of the UN circumscribed are much on a level of people in the US with a similar point of view, and are so regarded.

    Although they’re both beacons of the one-worlder mobsters, the jack-booted forced melding of 450m Europeans with histories and languages and cultures that go back for the thousands of years those people have occupied their territories into one entity is a far greater crime against humanity than the peurile, probably soon to be dismantled in its current form, UN.

    I can’t imagine how you managed to conflate the two, unless, perhaps, you haven’t actually read anything about the EU and have no idea what it is – other than that it has two initials, one of which is U.

  • Lee

    Good postings on this issue over at EU referendum(Link).

    Should the French vote no and the UK government drop the idea of a referendum then we’re possibly left with the worse possible scenario where integration would continue without the electoral check that would occur through the referendum. Well, you could argue that ther’re going to implement everything in it already as with defence integration(Link), but that’s another matter.

  • Sylvain Galineau

    Jacob, never mind. It sounds like a member of the ruling UMP recently suggested that a good Yes slogan might be : “A No to Europe is a Yes to Bush”. What clowns.

  • Winzeler

    Verity, he didn’t conflate the two. He just wondered if anti-EUers received the same “moon-bat accusation” treatment that the anti-UNers received.

  • Verity

    No, he specifically referred to American demurrers re the UN and appears to think the UN is some sort of American internationalist organisation and the EU its European and British equivalent. As in: In the states, advocating that the US should pull out of the UN (and boot the UN out of NYC) is likely to draw accusations of moonbat-like behavior. Is there a European parallel here, from the standpoint of the average Brit, to advocating a UK withdrawl from the EU?

  • Leaving the EU was regarded as Moonbat belief until the last Euro election, then it finally came in from the cold thanks to UKIP. Of course the BBC is doing its best to put Pandora back in the box.

    I would have liked to see a referendum in Britain, if only because the effect of a No would have opened all options for discussion.

    Nevertheless, a French Non will embolden sceptics across the continent and virtually guarantees that no treaty can be passed without referendums.

    The steam roller will have grown to a halt. Like a bicycle, the EU needs motion to stay upright. Without it we can shoot at a still, not moving target.

    With luck friends we are looking not at the end, but at least at the beginning of the end.

  • Stehpinkeln

    Ah, Verity. How did you get to there from there? Churchill was right when he said “Two great nations seperated by a common language”.
    In American, Beck was simply asking if the treatment accorded to the Anti-EU segment of Europe was the same as the New England States (Yankees) give to their Anti-UN types. It was neither directly nor indirectly a comparison of the EU to the UN. Maybe you were confused by the similarity in the Initials? Both acronyms have a “U” in them. At least in American, the subject was not the political enities, rather the People that object to those enities.
    BTW, Beck lives a long ways off from me. Some what farther then the distance between London and Moscow. In my part of the Country, the UN is burnt toast. You could stop the next 100 people before you found any two that supported the UN. I live in a VERY red part of the map. I think Beck lives in the Blue part.
    Back on Topic, the concept of Germany and France co-operating to bring Europe to heel is old. Hitler aligned with Italy because he didn’t like the offer he got from France. IIRC, it was Laval who wanted to ally with Germany to offset the Franco-Soviet alliance he inherited from Barthou. Of Course Laval was at the same time negoiating with Italy to isolate Germany. Laval, BTW, was French to his core.
    One of the reasons Germany was created was as a counter to Frence post Napoleon hegemony. The Idea of a united Europe has been on every politician’s to-do list since Charlamange first did it. The millions that have died over the last 1200 years did so over a difference of opinion over who should control a United Europe. The Latest attempt is just less violent, so far. It will be no more sucessful then the hundreds of previous attempts. That is the best thing about ballots instead of bullets. If you lose you get to try again. When the Eu gets voted down , the EU proponents will try again. Eventually, they will succeed. But not this time.

  • Pete_London


    A quick overview. Each of the three main political parties are in favour of the UK’s continued membership of the EU. Labour and the Lib Dems cannot surrender the UK to Brussels quick enough. The Foreign Office is always looking for someone to surrender to. In case Operation Brussels fails, the Arabs are on standby. The Conservatives delude themselves that we can be members without signing up fully to the agenda. The BBC, which dominates news and current affairs here, is solidly pro-EU. Much of the media generally are pro-EU. Labour, the Lib Dems, the Foreign Office, the BBC and some of the media form Britain’s Quisling left. The Conservative Party pretends it isn’t on the Quisling left only until liberals shout at it.

    A consistent majority of Brits, something like 60-70% are what is termed here Euro-sceptics. Of this majority some are merely dubious about it. The rest of us realise that only complete withdrawal guarantees sovereignty and freedom from the monster. Each side believes that the other lot are moonbats.

  • GCooper

    Pete_London writes:

    “A quick overview.”

    Excellent stuff – a good summation of the current position.

  • Verity

    Stehpinkeln, In my old stomping ground, Texas, I can assure you that anyone defending the UN (gosh, I hope I’ve spelled that right) would always have been regarded as a shrieking moonbat. This isn’t a recent development. In Britain, the infatuation with the EU is new, though. In fact, since Blair slithered under the door of No 10 and began to call people who harboured a strong distaste for anything closer than a free trade zone “xenophobes” and “racists”.

    Property tycoons Tone ‘n’ Cher don’t own property on the continent, so wouldn’t have met any of the 500,000 ordinary Brits who own property in France, who love France, speak French, have French friends and do not want to see a political union. Pete_London enjoys Italy and Spain and speaks both languages and does not want to see a political union. Tuscan Tony lives in – I’m guessing here – Tuscany, loves it and doesn’t want to see a political union. There are millions of us.

    I suspect Blair does know that many of the millions of people who object to a political union are a long way away, in the main, from being xenophobes – but it sounds like a good technical insult to impress and Blair has never heard an insult he can hiss in faux outrage that he didn’t love.

    Like “racism” for example. Given that the vast majority of the inhabitants of Britain and Europe are Caucasian back into the mists of antiquity, this is another socialist puzzle.

  • Verity

    PS Pete_London – What G Cooper said! A concise and lucid summation of the situation as it is.

  • John K

    Will the French vote be fair? Remember all those last minute ballots from Guadaloupe and Martinique which tipped the Maastricht referendum?

    The French establishment wants a “oui” vote, and they run the system, they have even more influence over how ballots are collected than Birmingham councillors.

  • John K

    To answer Beck’s question, I would argue that on the whole you are not regarded as a moonbat to be anti-EU, indeed over the last 15 years it has become a more and more mainstream sort of opinion, though it is still not properly reflected by the 3 major parties

  • Stephinkeln and Winzeler are correct–I was not conflating the EU and the UN. Sorry if I was less than clear. My question has been thoroughly answered.

    And Stephin is right–I live in New Jersey, a very “blue” part of the US.

  • Pulling out of the UN and kicking them out of the US is only a “moonbat” idea amoung the North-East liberal elite (ie the ones who got stomped in the last election). In the rest of the US its a perfectly legitimate position to hold.

    Neither is being Eurosceptic a nutty position in this country except amoung the Guardinistas and the Wet Tories.

  • Verity

    Andrew ID – … and people who think the BBC is a neutral, principled upholder of the unbiased news items and unbiased features.