Friday, 17 November 2017

Brexit: It's a values thing

In an attempt to make the EU more appealing to voters and counter rising eurosceptic sentiment across the bloc EU leaders have proclaimed a set of twenty “social rights” . The set of social rights, supported by all EU governments and institutions, spells out what the EU believes are the foundations of fair and well-functioning modern labour markets and welfare systems. It encompasses principles ranging from equal access to jobs and fair working conditions and wages to social protection and unemployment benefits and training.

European Commission President Juncker said. "Our Union has always been a social project at heart. It is more than just a single market, more than money, more than the euro. It is about our values and the way we want to live. Today we assert our common values and commit ourselves to a set of twenty principles and rights. From the right to fair wages to the right to health care; from lifelong learning, a better work-life balance and gender equality to minimum income".

Who could find that in any way offensive? You guessed it. Me. I wasn't able to immediately articulate by reaction but Sam Hooper could: "So the European Union continues to be something done *to* member states and citizens rather than any kind of organic response to what the people might want. Normal business then". Exactamundo.

Instead of initiatives fighting their way to the forefront of politics, backed by a popular movement, the technocracy, according to its own warped value system, takes a punt at what the people might want, without actually asking them and imposing it whether they want it or not. We could notionally elect MEPs to oppose it, but they wouldn't because they themselves are marinated in this same soft left consensus bullshit and you can be assured the NGOcracy will have their say as it travels down to us.

The consequences of this is a number of research agendas pumped through the various propaganda arms of the EU and into domestic institutions - along with regional funding that usually translates into technocratic centralist initiatives having precisely zero impact on the people who actually pay for it.

This, of course, keeps all the policy wonks and apparatchiks in business, with plenty of junkets to Brussels along with engagement workshops and seminars sucking in mayors and council chiefs and all the other dismal functionaries of modern managerialist command and control government.

The biggest problem with all this is that the only truly unapproachable concept for our euro-establishment is that it might be a big part, if not the whole, of the problem. The unintended consequences of just about every regulatory intervention in the labour market has caused a good deal of misery - and the very idea of the EU in any way influencing welfare policy is too horrifying even to contemplate.

The proclaimed set of rights - known as the European Pillar of Social Rights - says everybody has the right to quality education throughout their lives and that men and women must have equal opportunities in all areas and be paid the same. The unemployed have the right to “personalized, continuous and consistent support”, while workers have the right to “fair” wages that provide a “decent standard of living”. Minimum wages should be ensured to satisfy the needs of workers and their families, the leaders agreed.

While the rights would not be directly enforceable by the EU, except where they already exist in national laws and therefore subject to national courts, they establish a common EU standard and language for discussion of social issues. That, though, is only the opening volley. Any moves toward common standards is nearly always the beginnings of integration and the beginnings of a transfer of sovereignty to Brussels.

In effect this completely eliminates the very possibility of voting for a radically different model of governance. You can have any mode of government you want just so long as it conforms to the social democratic consensus and implements the welfarist agenda of the left. It locks in social policy to the extent that it cannot be reformed in any meaningful way (like all other areas of EU competence) and by definition excludes the possibility of a conservative/liberal political agenda.

What is most telling is how the denizens of the EU ecosystem look on in incredulity that people might actually vote against something they view as entirely benevolent, offering them rights and entitlements. It never occurs to them that the people themselves may wish to define the parameters of the society they live in.

Economist Simon Wren-Lewis describes the referendum as "people voting to make themselves poorer than they might otherwise be for some ill-defined notion of control or because of myths about immigration". To him and his ilk the notion that the plebs would prefer democracy to the idea of being farmed like animals is conceptually obscure.

This is ultimately what makes the EU an anti-human enterprise. It embodies the mindset that the people themselves cannot and should not be the authors of their own destiny and that democracy requires their qualified supervision. To them there is only one true way and their perfect order can only come about through the confiscation of vital powers.

It is further telling that those most opposed to Brexit are the same who oppose any privatisation of the NHS, oppose any reform of welfare, oppose any changes to EU funded academia, and fully subscribe to the climate change dogma of the elites. There is no sense of scepticism, no application of critical faculties and they simply cannot imagine a society not designed down to the last detail by statist technocrats.

I have no doubt that Brexit will unleash its own brand of turmoil and administrative chaos, but in so doing will release the human potential long constrained by the invisible bars of the EU construct. The EU is a utopian delusion where reality seldom ever intrudes. It can never truly respond to the needs of people because it is not of the people. It occupies an entirely different universe and for as long as it exists it will continue to govern in the interests of its denizens and dependents rather than those it nominally serves.

We are told that Brexit will bring uncertainty but democracy by its very nature is uncertain. Certainty is preferred by those who dislike disruption. But then the disruptive nature of democracy is the very point of it. It is a corrective to elites who become set in their ways, mired in their own dogmas and unwilling and unable to see their own follies and corruptions. To our establishments academic and political, the EU offers the perfect insurance policy to ensure that their agenda is unimpeded regardless of any vote. 

This is why I would vote to leave the EU every single time. It has not fully dawned on the people or the government yet but Brexit is regime change. The remainers get it - which is why they would use any means at their disposal to overturn the vote. This is why remainers can be found on Twitter openly praying for the deaths of senior citizens - to tilt the demographics in their favour. It is that which reminds me that this is as much a question of values. Democracy and liberty over the cold, calculating ambitions of genocidal technocrats. It's a potent reminder that you can have the EU or democracy - but not both. 

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