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We should have listened to Mrs T

“By the way, George Soros also warned that the new, creditor-dominated Europe would become “a German empire with the periphery as the hinterland”. Didn’t a certain female politician warn of something along these lines nearly 25 years ago, and wasn’t she branded xenophobic for her pains? An entire generation is being made to pay for our continent’s slow learners.”

Charles Moore.

9 comments to We should have listened to Mrs T

  • Snorri Godhi

    As my views in economic policy are becoming increasingly “Austerian”, I find myself increasingly convinced of the following propositions:

    a. Mrs T and most of her admirers are too Keynesian to be taken seriously in economic policy; which doesn’t mean that Mrs T did not do a lot of good to the British economy: she did.

    b. The problem in the eurozone is not too much German influence, but too little … though a eurozone dominated by Estonia and Slovakia would be closer to ideal: maybe voting power in the EU and ECB should be inversely proportional to public debt.

    The fact that Soros is on the Thatcherite side makes me feel smug about being on the other side. I’d trust Soros to predict what will happen, but never to prescribe what should be done.

  • Jim

    I thought it was the late Nicholas Ridley who both pointed out the Germanic nature of Europe’s future, and was roundly condemned (and lost his job) for doing so. Mrs T was definitely anti German reunification, but didn’t (publicly at least) point out that the nature of the European ‘project’ was likely to end up dominated by the Germans.

  • Regional

    The new Europe will revolve around Germany while they still trade with each other.

  • A German-dominated Europe? You mean one with reasonably sound government finances and reasonably good incentives for entrepreneurship?

    If only.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    ‘Austerian’ Does this mean ‘austerity’, or did you mean ‘Austrian’, as in ‘Austrian school of economics’? (To bring out the difference with the centralising German school.)

  • Paul Marks

    Mrs Thatcher did not have a solid education in the Austrian School (although the lady had read Hayek – it was works such as “The Road to Serfdom” not the economics texts, and Ludwig Von Mises was just a name to her).

    However, no one in the House of Commons (with the exception of Enoch Powell) knew much about the Austrian School.

    Milton Friedman and Chicago were the in thing – and people who dissented from that stuff (such as a young Paul Marks) were told they could never expect a job in the Conservative Research Department (or anywhere else where such matters were discussed) and would have to be security guards for the rest of their lives.

    These days things are different – there are quite a few M.P.s with some understanding of the Austrian School.

    But one must not judge the past by the standards of the present – Mrs Thatcher could not be expected to have knowledge of something that hardly anyone had knowledge of at the time.

    As for Germany and the E.U.

    The pact that is on offer – “give us poltiical control and we will underwrite your welfare states”….


    Germany CAN NOT pay for the Welfare States of other European Union countries – in future years it will find it harder and harder to pay for its own.

    Germany is not the Germany the “Historical School” (the great enemies of the Austrian School) wanted.

    We are NOT dealing with collectivist proto Nazis here.

    But we are dealing with a German Chancellor who has not shaken off an impossible dream.

    The dream of ever more “Europe”.

    The German Chancellor sincerely wants to save the rest of the European Union – and she (quite honestly) believes that other Europeans becomming subjects of Germany is a price worth paying for Germany saving all these people.

    But it is offer that is IMPOSSIBLE.


    If everyone agreed to become subjects of Germany – in return for German financial aid (what the accursed Economist magazine and Fianncial Times newspaper call “fiscal union” and “fiscal transfers”) the German Chanceller would not (as she honestly believes) have created a wonderful new Europe – in the image of Germany.

    All the German Chancellor would have done is to BANKRUPT GERMANY – totally bankrupt Germany.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Nuke: Austerian is a portmanteau coined by Krugman (I believe) which I think is extremely useful to distinguish between Austrian nationality and Austrian economics.
    To me, it does not sound as insulting as Dr. K means it to be.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Paul: if I sneer at Thatcherism, it’s because I hear (or rather, read) too many “conservatives” who believe that there really are such things as “competitive” devaluations, and that there cannot be monetary union without political union (ie, money cannot exist outside the State).

    Also, I remember the UK housing bubble of the late 1980s (though I was not yet in the UK at the time) and Black Wednesday.

    WRT Germany, I suggest that your sentence:
    “The German Chancellor […] believes that other Europeans becomming subjects of Germany is a price worth paying for Germany saving all these people.”

    should be instead:
    The German Chancellor believes that a piece of paper can prevent bailing out irresponsible Southerners from turning into a moral hazard.

    Other than that, I broadly agree with you.

  • Paul Marks


    The various bailout nations will not be satisfied with a single sheet of paper.

    They want trillions of them – or an electronic version of trillions of sheets of paper.

    And they want them to be legal tender.

    And, of course, the international “liberal” elite (the academics and the media – Economist magazine, Financial Times newspaper….) all demand the same thing also.