Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Ticking Time Bomb

In the 1980's, retired policeman, Rodney Whitchelo, was once asked in a pub whether there was any such thing as a perfect crime, in particular fraud. No, was the reply, because sooner or later people get greedy.

At the time he said this, Whitchelo was already committing his own 'perfect' crime. He was extorting money out of Heinz by contaminating their baby food in supermarkets. What was different about this extortion was that Whitchelo had solved the massive weakness in ransom demand crimes; the risk of being caught to the perpetrator during the exchange of money. He hit upon the simple yet effective idea of setting up false bank accounts and demanding that the money be paid in to them. This allowed him to access it from thousands of cash point machines all over the country. The police simply didn't have the resources to monitor every cash-point all the time, so Whitchelo was able to withdraw money out almost at will and became impossible to catch.

However, Whitchelo was eventually caught because he failed to follow his own advice. He got greedy and so made mistakes.

And it is this greed factor that will undermine the EU. In some ways the concept of the EU is a work of genius; the perfect crime (yes you did read that right). It mostly solves the problem of running a country without legitimacy while avoiding the flak which can result as a consequence of its decisions. As Mark Leonard in 2005 put it:
Europe's power is easy to miss. Like an 'invisible hand', it operates through the shell of traditional political structures. The British House of Commons, British law courts, and British civil servants are still here, but they have all become agents of the European Union implementing European law. This is no accident. By creating common standards that are implemented through national institutions, Europe can take over countries without necessarily becoming a target for hostility.
Exactly, via Directives the EU can change copious elements of a country and get away with it. If the EU were to stop the integration process now and be content with their lot then its survival would be ensured. It is the Directives that make it so hard to fight, you have to continually argue; 'ah yes but that's because of the EU element'. As I'm sure others have experienced it soon gets you a reputation of being an EU obsessive and a bit of a bore.

In truth most people, although irritated by our membership, are not interested in the finer detail of EU regulation (I can't stand it). And hyperactive headlines like this one in the Daily Mail regarding eggs (although false) is not going to encourage change or force people onto the streets.

However the EU's Achilles heel is the greed factor. Transferring sovereign powers to the unaccountable bureaucracy only leads to a lust from them for more and more. An unquenchable thirst that they try to fulfill by a desire that the EU must keep on integrating. With greed comes mistakes. Instead of staying behind the scenes the EU now can't help but put itself in a position of exposing its power openly. An example of this danger for the EU is this report in the Express today:
PATIENTS’ lives have been put at risk by EU rules banning safety tests for foreign nurses working in Britain, experts claimed yesterday.

Thousands of nurses from eastern Europe and other parts of the EU can now work in the UK without language and competency checks because tests discriminate against them, Brussels warned.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) had insisted that foreigners prove they have worked at least 450 hours in the last three years or undergo a refresher course.

But the organisation that regulates nursing in Britain has been forced to drop the rules after pressure from the European Commission and the Department of Health claiming it was breaking EU law on the “freedom of movement”.
Now, no-one is going to kick up much of a fuss about E numbers or bin collections but they will when decisions are made that directly affect their health, and the health of their families, especially when it can been seen as having a direct correlation with the EU. And that's the key. No longer can some decisions be 'disguised'.

This is not the only example, the European Arrest Warrant for instance is another. Again they are unable to hide themselves behind the safety of national institutions. There's far more to come: the EU just can't help themselves and they won't stop. The EU want a fully fledged army, a police force, a secret police, a foreign minister, a President (partly) and all the other trappings of an undemocratic country.

In essence the EU's founding father Monnet was too clever by half, he fatally underestimated the laws of human nature; when you create a system where the unaccountable in control feel comfortable, when they feel safe, then it becomes natural that they greedily want more power and abuse the power they've got. And eventually there's only ever one outcome.

It's now a numbers game, all that is needed is the critical mass of disgruntled protesters and when that happens our relationship with the EU will be game over.

It's inevitable.

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