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December 09, 2011

Comments

Botzarelli

"Another possibility - which I’m less sure about - is that the right has valued national sovereignty more highly than the left and so thought its loss more grievous."

I think this is a major motivator for the eurosceptic (or more accurately anti-EU) right. It was probably also a strong factor for the anti-EU left when that existed as a significant force in politics (pithily summed up by Attlee's dismissal over the phone while on holiday in France of being a founding member "the unions will never buy [letting foreigners decide on their jobs]").

That's why despite the issue being right at the top of the news and political agenda and anti-EU right wing voices being prominent, they don't tend to propose a concrete vision of the policies they would like to enact if only it weren't for the EU. They are able to reel out long lists of things in the EU they don't like, but cutting red tape (or more accurately moving away from harmonisation of trade laws back towards mutual recognition) is not a massive vote winner in the abstract. It is more of a technical issue for lawyers.

The Left could easily come up with attractive things it could do which played to both its core vote and chimed with the times if we were to leave the EU. Indeed it did so very clearly in its 1983 manifesto which I suspect, with anachronistic parts like unilateral disarmament removed, could be very popular now. But the Right doesn't have so much to enthuse the public about in relation to leaving the EU other than the return of independence and sovereignty of our way of doing things.

http://botzarelli.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/no-answers-only-caricatures-on-hra-and-eu/

Paolo Siciliani

You don't really get it, do you?

The so-called "fiscal compact" aims also at coordinating tax policies, preventing countries like Ireland to fiscally compete thus fuelling a "race to the bottom" which has tilted the balance in favour of capital against labour.

To coordinate against the neoliberal "race to the bottom" in an attempt to raise corporate taxes (and welfare/labour standards)is as much left-wing as you can get I believe.

The main reason why the coalition goverment opposed the new treaty was to protect the City of London whilst keeping the single market with a view of acting like a big Switzerland by undercutting all the other member states. This is as right-wing as you can get.

Having said that, I am bemused that the Labour party doesn't get it either, as only by coordinating fiscally within the EU will they be able to raise taxes without the fear of losing income base to fiscal paradises conviniently located - just wait and see what's gonna happen with the Swiss once the so called fiscal compact is all set up....

Tim Worstall

"A standard rightist answer here might be: “fiscal policy was always a weak tool anyway, and supply-side policies do raise growth, so maybe the euro can survive.” "

True: but as a rightist and anti-EUer who actually lives in one of those countries which need to do the supply side stuff: they ain't going to. Which is what the problem is.

Yes, absolutely, if they did do all the supply side stuff here in Portugal (and it's not killing the unions so much as killing the upper middle class rent seeking of the professions) then the economy would be much better and the euro might survive.

But they're not going to do that supply side stuff. They just ain't.

ejh

Or what Tim really means: however much they actually do, it'll never be enough.

Miguel Madeira

Btw, in Portugal the suspicion that the euro is doomed comes, I think, more from the Left than from the Right.

Perhaps the europtimism of the british left is more a result of tribal loyalties (in the last 25 years euroscepticism is associated with the right) than of any logical coherence.

Chris

I know nothing about supply-side or right or left economics. What I do know is that a large state, high taxes and borrowing doesn't work.

In the real world of mucky commerce, the company I work for can't hire people because of competition from the public sector. And the best paid contracts are for the public sector, not that we get a look-in because of the complexity of the contracts.

In my view there will be no jobs and no growth until the public sector shrinks.

Retro Jordan Sale

think this is a major motivator for the eurosceptic (or more accurately anti-EU) right. It was probably also a strong factor for the anti-EU left when that existed as a significant force in politics (pithily summed up by Attlee's dismissal over the phone while on holiday in France of being a founding member "the unions will never buy [letting foreigners decide on their jobs]").

That's why despite the issue being right at the top of the news and political agenda and anti-EU right wing voices being prominent, they don't tend to propose a concrete vision of the policies they would like to enact if only it weren't for the EU. They are able to reel out long lists of things in the EU they don't like, but cutting red tape (or more accurately moving away from harmonisation of trade laws back towards mutual recognition) is not a massive vote winner in the abstract. It is more of a technical issue for lawyers.

The Left could easily come up with attractive things it could do which played to both its core vote and chimed with the times if we were to leave the EU. Indeed it did so very clearly in its 1983 manifesto which I suspect, with anachronistic parts like unilateral disarmament removed, could be very popular now. But the Right doesn't have so much to enthuse the public about in relation to leaving the EU other than the return of independence and sovereignty of our

Leigh Caldwell

It could of course be that neither side is predicting the euro's demise because of their beliefs, but because of their desires.

The right's wishful thinking leads them to translate their hope that the euro fails into a prediction that it will; similarly, the left's desire for it to survive becomes an insistence that it will.

Nobody can accurately predict uncertain events like these, so the outcomes we'd like to see have a strong influence on our predictions.

The desires themselves - why the right is more eurosceptic than the left - appear to be partly cultural (the nationalism point) and partly based on a perception that the rest of Europe is further left than us, so integration is intrinsically a left-wing project.

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