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6/8/01

STRAPPADO WRACK

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Blair Flair - Wins Big Among the Few

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This big landslide you will hear about comes at the hands of the lowest turnout since 1918. With a population ravished by WW I, it is no wonder that voters fell. So what is the excuse for Brits being so apathetic now? The youth sees little relevance with politics and a clear difference is not offered among the three parties. At least, that's the attitude that has taken the focus off political choices. You have in Blair a would be Clinton clone, with all the triangulation schemes and strategies to co-opt the Tories and steal issues while offering a Third Wave version of the social welfare state.

England suffers from the same stoicism that has inflicted America in recent decades. Passive acceptance of government intervention has reached the level of an institution. The memory of the Thatcher years, fade as the next generation is weaned upon the free dispensing of the nanny society. The demands of the elderly too often criticize, that the Labour Party could have done more for them during their term. The Conservatives put forth William Hague who has more in common with General Douglas Haig from the Great War, than the Iron Lady. The Conservatives can tally the body count, but they are fighting on the wrong front.

The separation within the British culture is acute. Life among the immigrates in London resembles Dickens era more than the fox hunts in the countryside. England no longer conforms to a shared social fabric of a common heritage any more than America. The Blair promise of continued movement toward European Union appeals to the supporters of further integration into the Socialistic mindset. The success of the 80's is threatened to be overturned. His pledge for a referendum on joining the euro and to sack the pound may well come quite soon. Will the descendants of Nelson and Wellington have the good sense to keep their economic independence, or will they allow Blair to sell them a bill of goods?

These election result does not bode well, Labour will have between 408-417 seats over the Conservatives 164. The role of the Liberal Democrats and other mavericks have 47 spots and may need to build some creative alliances. The remainding seats not yet decided. Maybe the US Congress can take some lessons on coalition government from their cousins across the pond.

But not all English speaking countries share this move to the hard left. In a surprised move, Republican factions of Irish Eurosceptics are voting NO on the Nice Treaty referendum membership rules of the euro zone. Withdrawal will send shockwaves that will be heard throughout all of Europe. If this Treaty is invalidated, our British relatives may just be saved from themselves by their customary step twins. What a surprise for Mr. Blair! Final results due late Friday.

Could you just see an England holding hands with the continent, while Ireland takes up the slack with the United States? The EU doesn't help the condition of the average worker. Ireland wants to foster a pro growth policy and budget. But the EU has issued censure for their tax and spending policies that violate membership rules of the euro zone. Would the British experience any such intervention within their own internal policies, from the EU? Surely, this question needs to be asked by any English referendum voter on the future of Sterling . . .

Is the concept of the EU more important than national sovereignty? Well, maybe it is to the Irish, but just what is happening to the Brits? The answer lies in the good sense that the Irish people are showing towards disregard the policy of their own government, who endorses the treaty. How nice it would be for us Americans to have a referendum on expansion of NATO, Kyoto and the continual UN treaties? The Irish love affair with the EU has lost its bloom, and the blush has turned pale.

It is time for the people of England to wake up and prove their worth! Blair was not awarded a mandate. His victory reflects lethargic support, much by default from the sorry condition of the opposition. It would be ironic if the 'so few', were Irish 'and the many', were British. For "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few", to allow it all to go to rot because of the indifference and ignorance of those who came after.

So why should we Yanks care about Blair, the English and Irish entry into the EU? Well for most mindless CNN watchers, you have been out of the loop; no clue at all. The propaganda that you view and read seldom challenges the underlying premise of the benefits of these economic agreements. The EU seems far away, but where were you when NAFTA and the WTO was front and center? Yes, that's right; that was during a commercial and you were grabbing another beer . . .

It seems like your British brothers have spent just as much time at the pub. It is time to visit the boys room and relieve yourself from all that waste that has been building up. The relief you will feel, will never be felt in the policies by any 'Third Wave' pedagogue.

SARTRE - June 8, 2001

Irish reject Nice Treaty in blow to EU expansion

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