Monday, 13 September 2010


The Wall Street Journal today carries an article by Irwin Stelzer, a director of economic-policy studies at the Hudson Institute, arguing that the EU has 'whipped' Britain 6-0 in the recent negotiations on financial regulation:
Four goals scored by setting up new regulatory agencies to supervise national regulators—one each for insurance, banking and securities markets, another to ensure financial stability...Two more points for pushing through an increase in the EU budget in the face of cuts in member state spending, and for granting Olli Rehn, EU commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, the power to review national budgets and to impose the eurocracy's notion of acceptable deficit limits.
Despite today's Telegraph reporting that the coalition is pressing ahead with a “referendum lock”, Stelzer is clear in his analysis:
Mr. Osborne roared loudly but carried a twig. His boss, the prime minister, promised to fight tooth and claw to prevent any further transfer of British sovereignty to the EU; he now stands toothless and declawed.
In other words, that sovereignty horse has already bolted thus rendering the 'lock' redundant. But it is this paragraph that really stands out:

What is a surprise is that [Lib Dem] coalition partners also aim to cut the City down to size. Leading Tories tell me that the financial sector bulks too large in the UK economy, creating excessive macroeconomic volatility. That view spawns a host of misbegotten policies, including the decisions to raise the effective marginal tax rate to 52%, and to subsidize economic development in low- or no-growth areas of the country. Why anyone would believe it good policy to attack an industry in which Britain has a clear competitive advantage remains a mystery.

At first I thought I had misread that paragraph. But no, leading Tories do actually want to reduce the size of the City which provides nearly 14% of total Government tax receipts, and are happy for a foreign Government to carry out the process for them.

There's only one conclusion left. The Tory party has passed on. This party is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker...It is an ex-party.


  1. "The Tory party has passed has ceased to be"

    Been saying that since 2005 TBF, when Cameron was elected leader and it was then at that time I left the Tories.

    Stelzer's analysis is a good expose of the mindset of Cameron!

  2. Indeed, WfW, though it bears repeating often as the message doesn't seem to be getting through to the majority of Tories.

  3. huh... Well I think this message is getting through though slowly. It will take time, and in at the same time UKIP will hopefully get its act together. Also, I would not be surprised if Labour got its act together as well. Remember that it was Labour that called the referendum in 1975 not the Tories. There appears to be hints around that the Accession Treaty could be altered completely under a Labour government to restrict freedom of movement for example.

  4. 13th Spitfire; I think slowly is the operative word and even if the message does get through, depressingly I think most of them will still continue to vote blue regardless.

    Good point about UKIP and one intriguing possible side effect of the financial regulations, and the AIFM directive, is that the normally pro-EU City (and FT) are turning against it. The upshot being that UKIP could, in-the-not-too-distant future, receive significant funding (sorry that I can't give more details yet).

    Have to disagree about Labour, they were anti-EU, (infamously in their 1983 manifesto) but they're far too entrenched, like the other parties, to do anything about it now.