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Comments

atheling

"Millions of people would take to the streets to protest their rights as American citizens."

I wouldn't be so confident to agree with that statement...

Americans have become so complacent I'm not sure if many would bother.

Adam in London

Of course, old Nile's rather amusing point isn't that a common foreign policy is a problem, just that we should share it with the Americans rather than the French.

Steevo

I tend to agree with atheling, it could be argued we're a frog in water slowly rising in temperature. I think friends, true friends like Nile Gardiner and Sally McNamara on the other side of the ocean are limited in their capacity to grasp the underlying ambitions of many in high places here. People not proud of their American heritage and its fundamental ideals. People in it for profit and power on a grander scale. And for so many of our ordinary citizens... being patriotic is nothing more than enjoying a hotdog and baseball. "As long as they get theirs."

5 years down the road with a Clinton Administration and Democrat controlled House and Senate... our UK friends may well be shocked.

Let's hope efforts like yours Tim motivate enough good Brits to speak out and, speak out. For the honor of your proud heritage and right to be British.

atheling

Speaking of the French, did you hear what Tom Tancredo said?

"America needs a strong national defense because our enemies are psychopaths and our allies are the French."

Sam

Using an example of central and south American countries is pretty poor. Why not use Canada? Different answer maybe? You're setting up a staw man here.

keypointist

I've seen Gardiner speak on C-SPAN and on British television news many times. He's obviously an intelligent man but this is more bombast than real analysis from him.
I am a strong Euro-sceptic but I can't help but be impressed by the way Europe stood up to Microsoft recently in the name of competition. In a global economy dominated by huge multi-national corporations we need strong politically legitimate bodies to regulate to protect ordianry people. I am proud of the Anglo-American alliance but I don't see any dignity in us forever hanging on to America's coat tails. We can and should continue to get the best of both worlds. We should demand opt outs from European laws and directives to enable us to enjoy a National independance suitable for our place in the modern world.

Maduka

While America is big enough to ignore Latin America, Britain is not big enough to ignore Europe.

Even the most Eurosceptic Briton would not want to hand over Europe to the Franco-German alliance, so Britain has to be engaged in Europe.

Europe has been extraordinarily successful, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece have done well economically ever since joining the EU.

Europe is a very long term idea. If you adopt a fifty year perspective to the European Union idea, you will understand where they are coming from.

Europe is much bigger than Britain. Europe has already signified the direction it wants to move in. Unfortunately, the choice for Britain is either to opt in or opt out.

There is no viable alternative for the EU (from the British perspective). The "Anglosphere" idea is primarily a cultural / security and not an economic concept. Australia and New Zealand are effectively parts of the South East Asian economic sphere and the US and Canada are tied economically.

Would Great Britain prefer to be a perpetual junior partner in a US led alliance or to be one of the three pillars of Europe?

atheling

"one of the three pillars of Europe"

More like one of the Five Pillars if Islam. But then, Maduka says that Europe isn't going to become Muslim just because he says so.

Davod

The EU stood up to Microsoft in the name of competition. Forcing a company to divulge trade secrets so other companies can compete is nothing to be proud of.

There is enough technology out there that some smart company should be able to overwhelm Microsoft. It might take time but it is possible.

Then again, anything suported by the EU may take on all the appearances of the EUs attempt to compete with the US GPS system.

maduka

Davod,

It is not as simple as "forcing a company to divulge its trade secrets".

Have you heard about Netscape (the first browser)? Microsoft killed Netscape by integrating Internet Explorer with the Windows Operating System and claiming that the two were inseperable.

Microsoft Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world. There is a whole industry of application programs that sit on top of Windows. It is therefore essential for application programmers to have knowledge of certain parts of Windows code. (If there is to be fair competition in that market).

By hoarding this information, Microsoft ensures that the performance of certain non-Microsoft application programs on Windows is degraded (likely competition).

In any case, it is not good for capitalism if one company is allowed to totally dominate the market (remember Rockefeller and Standard Oil).

maduka

Atheling,

There are 540 million people in Europe, out of that population 20 million are muslim.

Please explain to me how Europe will suddenly turn muslim with those demographics?

atheling

maduka:

Read. I've made references to Bernard Lewis, which you have ignored.

Read Mark Steyn's "America Alone". Or Bruce Bawer's "While Europe Slept". There are quite a few books on the subject.

Lastly, do you know what the fertility rate is among the indigenous Europeans? It's at NEGATIVE GROWTH. In Italy and Spain, at the current level of 1.1, each successive generation will be cut in half. Britain, France and Germany are all below the necessary 2.1 of population replacement. Nowhere in Europe is there a fertility rate among the indigenous peoples that are at 2.1 or higher. It's ALL negative.

The Muslims' fertility rate averages 4.0-5.0. That's a huge number. In Rotterdam, the median age group of 25 and under is 65% Muslim. The most popular name for boys in Britain is Mohammed.

Bernard Lewis predicted that by the end of the 21st century, Europe will be Muslim.

But then of course, you say it won't happen, so it won't. (Talk about having one's head in the sand...)

maduka

Atheling,

I agree that the growth rate amongst the 'indigenous' people of Europe is negative, but are muslims the only 'non-indigenous' people in Europe?

Europe is being forced to be like the United States (a melting pot). It has been reluctant to embrace that role. Its ability or inability to accept that role will determine its future.

daviod

The code they were asking for goes much further than what maduka implies. The code maduka discusses would have already been available.

The problem with the Muslim birthrate is not the birthrate but the attitude of the immmigrants. The policies of most Western (non-muslim) governments encourage immigranst to retain their heritage and not assimilate. The Muslims, through their preachers, are now insisting that their host country changes to a Muslim culture, and the countries are slowly acceding to their wishes.

Muslims would not be a problem if they were integrating into society.

daviod

PS:

In relation to the microsoft Code, I should say that the EU is acting like any Socialist regime. They seek release of enough code so their government sponsored companies can overtake the competition. The Chinese and Russians steal as much as they can whereas the EU legitimizes the theft. And still they wil be unable to compete because it is a Socialist entity.

Jonathan Powell

Even the most Eurosceptic Briton would not want to hand over Europe to the Franco-German alliance, so Britain has to be engaged in Europe.

Europe has always been in the grip of a Franco-German alliance since the whole EU project started. They might make minor concessions to Britain but we don't have any real influence.

Europe has been extraordinarily successful, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece have done well economically ever since joining the EU.

There's a difference between economic success and receiving handouts from richer countries. Plus, it's a complete non-sequitur to say the EU is successful because of growth which occurred after joining. For example, in the case of Ireland it's likely that they would have grown just as strongly outside the EU due to improved domestic policies. Further, if countries have benefited from EU membership it's likely because of the reduction of trade barriers--which could be achieved without joining the EU--and in spite of the EU's other policies. Also, what about states which have been successful without joining the EU, such as the USA, China, India, S. Korea, Australia etc.

Europe is much bigger than Britain. Europe has already signified the direction it wants to move in. Unfortunately, the choice for Britain is either to opt in or opt out.

Out it is then! Let us begin negotiations to become the 51st State.

There is no viable alternative for the EU (from the British perspective). The "Anglosphere" idea is primarily a cultural / security and not an economic concept. Australia and New Zealand are effectively parts of the South East Asian economic sphere and the US and Canada are tied economically.

There's something you may not have heard of: it's called "globalization". The idea that countries are economically tied to their neighbours and detached from the rest of the world is absurd. The UK does a huge amount of trade with the US and Asia, it's all interlinked. Political integration needs to be based on shared values and traditions, and the EU project is about political integration first and only in a secondary way is it about economics. Furthermore, being part of the EU distorts our economic links with other countries by imposing artificial costs relative to intra-EU trade, due to tariffs on foreign goods and subsidies paid to EU producers.

Would Great Britain prefer to be a perpetual junior partner in a US led alliance or to be one of the three pillars of Europe?

I'd rather take orders from Washington than Paris. The idea that we are an equal partner with France and Germany is absurd, if only because they invariably take the same side e.g. on Iraq.

maduka

Jonathan Powell,

Just aside. I went to a British University (finished my masters degree last year). I was struck by the number of European students (from the ERASMUS programme etc) on campus. A good number of research programmes are British-European collaborations.

I think my generation of British students see themselves as EUROPEANS. On the other hand, they are generally anti-Bush administration and frankly speaking, do not have as much exposure to Americans as they have to other Europeans. (You are more likely to have a Spanish or Chinese flat mate in a British University than to be in contact with an American).

You are probably older than I am, so you may assume that the attitudes that were prevalent in your generation apply to other generations - that may not be true.

Britain is undergoing a slow and steady immersion into Europe, I fear there is no way out.

Jonathan Powell

I think my generation of British students see themselves as EUROPEANS. On the other hand, they are generally anti-Bush administration and frankly speaking, do not have as much exposure to Americans as they have to other Europeans. (You are more likely to have a Spanish or Chinese flat mate in a British University than to be in contact with an American).

First off, do you have any evidence regarding the views of British students, or is this entirely based on chatting with your colleagues? As a masters graduate, I'm sure I don't have point out the flaws in this methodology. To estimate the views of students in Britain, you need need to do a random sample from the entire population and ask specific questions. Otherwise your results will be biased and potentially misleading. For example, I suspect the people you spoke with were either students studying a particular course, or with the same interests etc., so it's not surprising if they hold similar views.

In any case, students do not form a representative sample of the UK--as a group students tend to be more left-wing than the general population. If you talked to American students you would probably find they held similar views (especially at certain collages e.g. UC Berkeley). The reason you don't get many American students is that although British universities are good by European standards American universities tend to be much better. Also, most Americans are anti-Bush administration, so I would be surprised if British students were not.

You are probably older than I am, so you may assume that the attitudes that were prevalent in your generation apply to other generations - that may not be true.

Not older, just wiser ;)

My intuition is that the real Euro-enthusiasts are drawn from the Heseltine/Clarke generation and younger people are more euro-skeptic. The EU is really an old-fashioned concept.

Britain is undergoing a slow and steady immersion into Europe, I fear there is no way out.

Alas! I tend to agree with you here...

maduka

Jonathan,

I don't think the EU is old fashioned. Europe is a very long term idea.

Remember, it moved from a coal and steel organisation to a common market then to a common currency.

Think about it: France, Germany, Spain and Italy use a common currency - and you don't think that is significant!

I am no politician (I am an Engineer) but economic integration on that scale DEMANDS political integration. Politicians (Conservative and Labour) may play for time, but the bus has left the station .....

Andy

Maduka

I don't think the British will ever be truly European. Our mentalities are just too different. A Brit may rightly refer to 'those bloody Europeans'. However a Frenchman may refer to 'the Germans' or 'the Spanish' when emphasizing his own Frenchness, but it would be impossible for him to make comparisons with 'the Europeans'.

Its not just a handful of jingoistic extremists that think this way, but people from all walks.

From Tony Benn, House of Commons Official Report, 23 July 1993:

"Once we destroy democracy in Britain, we shall pave the way for the federal Europe because, if there is no effective democracy in Britain, Europe will say, 'Look at the house of Commons! It didn't seem to care very much, so we'll run Britain.' Then we shall be back to the Holy Roman Empire and all that."

to Lady Thatcher:

"There is a great strand of equity and fairness in the British people. This is our characteristic. There is no strand of equity and fairness in Europe. They are out to get as much as they can. This is one of those enormous differences."

Many Europeans still think of us Brits as slightly crazy.

maduka

Andy,

I think the Empire (and the Channel) insulated the British from feeling "European". But today the Empire is gone and the Channel has been bridged.

Wake up and smell the coffee - you ARE Europeans!!

Andy

Andy

"Many Europeans still think of us Brits as slightly crazy."

Oops that bit was never meant to go in. The dangers of posting without previewing :)

Maduka

When you use vague terms like "Empire" and "European" are you talking about geographical regions, or different cultures? I really don't feel European and I know I am not in the minority. I guess it's more a state of mind whether a person imagines himself to be European or not. There is something phony about the whole thing.

The fact we have not been an Empire for a long time and there is now a cross-channel tunnel means we are now European?

Jonathan Powell

I don't think the EU is old fashioned. Europe is a very long term idea.

Remember, it moved from a coal and steel organisation to a common market then to a common currency.

That doesn't stop it being old fashioned, the fact that it's a long-term idea means that although it made sense when the plan was set in motion (i.e. in the 1950s) today the world has moved on whereas Europe is stuck in the old mindset. And even then, just because it made sense for some countries in Europe to integrate politically--say because they share similar values, traditions, and institutions--it does not follow that all European countries should follow suit. Britain was never part of the European project and has always been ambivalent towards it. If France, Germany et al. want to become one country, that's their business.

Think about it: France, Germany, Spain and Italy use a common currency - and you don't think that is significant!

I didn't say it wasn't significant, but using the same currency is of dubious benefit and does not logically imply political integration. That's the biggest problem with the EU in my view: it's a package deal. You sign up for free-trade and a common currency and you get a load of crazy laws and aggravation into the bargain whether you want them or not.

I am no politician (I am an Engineer) but economic integration on that scale DEMANDS political integration. Politicians (Conservative and Labour) may play for time, but the bus has left the station .....

Again, you seem to be unaware that a process of economic integration--called "globalization"--has been underway for the past 60 years, without the need for political integration.

The bus may have left the station, but we can always alight at the next stop, and perhaps catch a bus to a new, better destination.

Wake up and smell the coffee - you ARE Europeans!!

So are the Russians, but they don't feel compelled to join the EU, do they? And America was created by Europeans and is today largely composed of people of European descent, but they broke free and are now part of a separate entity. It's within our power to do the same.

Malcolm Dunn

Maduka, not sure where you studied in the UK but I find it very hard to believe that many people you met here would describe themselves as European.
Even though millions of Brits visit Europe every year and hundreds of thousands have homes there very few of my countrymen feel particular affinity to 'Europe'.
In every poll that I've seen about our attitude to foreign countries one country always attracts (by a country mile) the most negative comments -France. Perhaps one day you might watch an England v Germany football match, then you will see how 'European' most people here feel.
I suggest you stick to commenting on subjects you know something about.

atheling

Perhaps being in an academic milieu has insulated Maduka from maintream Britons.

It's certainly the case with those in academia in America.

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