Friday, May 23, 2014


So there I was, all ready to write about the near and far future of Europe, full of certainty as to my subject and then the stupid Euros starting voting and that took care of my theories.

Well, not entirely.  You see, I was at the point of proclaiming, along with a lot of other people who foolishly published their views before me that there would be a massive shift to the right in the make-up of the European Parliament when the continental elections for the same were completed over the course of this weekend.  The lock in this regard was the Netherlands.  Wrong.  The Dutchies, first to report, dealt the right a nasty blow, they gaining only 22% of the vote, well below the expected result.  Why?  No one has a clue, nor is anyone willing to speculate to the effect of "So goes the Netherlands…"

Anyway, yesterday the Brits went to the polls in local elections and the UKIN--that's United Kingdom Independence Party to you--while hardly winning anything outright, kicked the political crap out of the Libs who are of course in the coalition with the Conservatives and put a serious hurt on both the Conservatives and Labor.  The party stands for precisely what its name suggests; it wants no part of the EU and whose showing has to be causing a rethink on the part of the big two as to their stance of the future relationship with the blokes across the Channel.  Then again, the Scots are about to have the referendum on staying in or getting out of the UK---not to mention the EU--and one has to ask what kind of influence this result might have on that decision.

Now this European Parliament thing is no small matter.  First of all it's about the best gig around.  You show up  about two months a year, do nothing except pass stupid regulations that are written by staffers which intrude on every manner of life for 360,000,000 people, get paid a bomb, travel first class in all respects and are answerable to practically no one.  Once you get in you are IN, baby.  Of course the time you spend on the job is in Brussels which is a dreadful city but the grub is fantastic.  Some Brit newspaper did a study of the pay received by 10,000 Euro technocrats and pols and found it to be higher that the salary of the Prime Minister.  Now of course the PM job does come with a rather nice house in central London within walking distance of the Tube (Westminster-Circle & District) and a lovely country place for weekends, but a mere 140,000 Pound…do get along.

Anyway, with this confusing set-up, the rest of the mob goes to the polls over the weekend and now I have to wait like everyone else to see where this is headed.  Nevertheless, I get the distinct impression that the big losers may well be the Socialists..the real Socialists of decades past who have held on to the fiction of their beliefs despite the awful realism of the Euro which has made the philosophy pretty much a losing proposition.  I suspect at the end of the day it's going to be a hodge-poge with all of the same pressures and internal road blocks to any meaningful structural change which will leave the future of the Union, at least in the near-term, with Sr. Draghi and the ECB.  Now there could be a few real shockers, Italy being one and dare we say it…Greece which could really throw a spanner in the works as the rumblings along the Hellenic coast are of the nature that the bail-out is about to be scrapped and bugger the creditors…i.e. the rest of the Euros.  And just when things were going so well in the public debt markets for the whole Southern tier.  Oh well.

The good news is we have three days to decipher all this and an absolutely marvelous forecast for Memorial Day in the Fly-Over zone.   Enjoy the weekend but remember, it is for those who served and as the Great President said, especially for those who "Gave their last, full measure of devotion."

See you next week.

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