May I join those who, at the turn of the year, attempt to give form to the dim and moving nebula that we call the future.
For UKIP we can mark 2011 as the year in which we ceased to be swivel eyed – a deformity that has now afflicted those who adhere to a regime that has brought economic disaster to most of its member states and does not share even with the Hitler totalitarian State an original foundation of electoral approval. We must remind ourselves that in 2011 we had one major national newspaper declaring for us and distinguished commentators in the Daily Telegraph – Roger Bootle, Peter Oborne and Philip Johnston asserting that the EU no longer serves the national interest. Who would have believed that such a thing was possible a few years ago.
It is in the nature of illegitimate power that it founders on hubris and the disconnection with the realities of life that immunity from public opinion fosters. This has been the fate of many forms of government. Such is now the fate of the European project. It is being broken on the stern realities of the markets and the collapsing of confidence of its peoples – who alone are the ultimate drivers of economic demand.
Our masters in Brussels assert that the collapse of the Euro will mean the end of the EU. But they fail altogether to understand that the EU is now already doomed.
The Euro crisis will resolve itself ultimately either by the collapse of the Euro itself – the departure of Greece alone would bring this about. Or it will require the direct imposition of fiscal union on member states for which the sanction of their electorates will either be sought or ignored. In any such case there will be an outbreak of strife the extent and nature of which we cannot predict but which will bring about in Europe the fearful state of hostility and fear which the project was founded to prevent. It has thus lost its entire claim to utility and legitimacy.
I am sure that the ECB will be driven to continue shoring up Europe’s banks to prevent a credit crunch far more severe than was seen in 2008. In an attempt to preserve the very tumour which is the cause of the disease the ECB will start to buy the degraded bonds of the failing states in the periphery of Europe. But the burdens that will bear down on the peoples of these countries as their economies fall deeper into recession will become unbearable. They will see that “ever closer union” has not brought prosperity and content but privation and discord – that the freedom and the power to manage one’s own destiny is not only a condition of recovery and hope but the basis of human dignity.
However long this may be deferred – and I do not think it will be long – such will be the awakening impulse among the peoples of Europe in 2012.