Monday, November 20, 2006

The dichotomy Segolene Royal really shouldn't be offering us

Segolene Royal (apologies for the lack of acutes etc. but I'm far too nationalistic to take the time to insert them) has won her party's candidacy for the French presidency. As a result she is free to declare a European policy she had been keeping under wraps to prevent splits within a party divided over its attitude to Europe.

Her spokesman has told the Telegraph that Britain would be asked to sign up to a new treaty which would include "increased protectionism, an EU foreign ministry, convergence on tax rates and moves to create a European army" and if we refused she would push ahead hoping that Germany, Spain and Italy would all come on board. Apparently we have to choose between this new treaty and continuing to lead an "'ultra-Atlanticist' bloc within the EU".

Okay, so she expects us to choose sacrificing our independence in foreign policy; the hallmark of an independent state if ever there was one. To accept losing our ability to set our own tax rates; at the moment not such a bad thing but in the long run I'd rather not be tied to the dismal Franco-German statist norm. To participate in adding significantly to the protectionism that makes both Third World and First World poorer (surely they can't do this bit without us in a Customs Union?) just to pander to French delusion. To abandon the British army to the ignominy of being inseperable from the substandard continental militaries.

She expects us to choose that nightmare over continuing to support, in the United States, an ally on the right side, if somewhat lacking in competence recently, of the important geo-political confrontations of our time? When are the French going to realise that we don't share their preening vanity and have the confidence to be a junior partner in an alliance without a constant puffing of our collective ego?


John Page said...

The French don't actually want people to share their preening vanity (nice phrase). They want nations which - like the Germany of yesteryear - will do as the French command.

Gracchi said...

Nice post. I think this is just electioneering though- won't last past the date she actually has to go into a council meeting in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Foreign policy "the hallmark of an independent state if ever there was one"...? Funny statement coming from an historian, even if an economic one.

If anything, British foreign policy has been the most sensitive over the last 61 years to the delicate intricacies of geopolitics. You think the FCO is making decisions based on what the British public thinks? Need I mention Iraq?

Maybe it's time for the British (public not state, which thankfully has known better for decades, including during Thatcher's era) to start acting in a slightly more mature way, and stop blaming or accusing other European nations in this infantile manner (preening vanity? for pete's sake...!)