Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A new President. Idealist, power seeker or patsy?

A few days ago I made a comment about idealism in one of my witterings. It was picked up by Mr Bob in the comments and expanded very nicely. I am not sure whether what I want to say today is a comment on idealism or greed for power, but I will say it anyway.

So far in this blog I have said relatively little about the EU. The reason I want to talk about it today is because today is Inauguration Day in America. From the way his imminent ascension to the Presidency has been reported, an unknowing observer would think Mr Obama gained 90% of the vote at the recent election. In fact he won a little under 53%. It is a large share compared to most recent Presidential elections but George Bush Senior won a larger percentage in 1988 without a lot of hoop-la resulting and Ronald Reagan was only just short of 60% in 1984. We seem to be seeing in Mr Obama's election an exaggerated reaction because he says nice things. He is yet to say anything of substance, but the sugar syrup flows profusely as it did from the charming, smarmy lips of Tony Blair.

Already Mr Obama is guaranteed a lifetime place at the top table of those dedicated to the concept of world government. Why him rather than his predecessor? Simple, because he says what the established group of self-appointed world rulers want to hear. He backs the great plans of the internationalists - taking wealth from the developed countries to give to the governments of the poor countries (not the people, the governments), using any environmental scare story as an excuse for increasing taxes domestically and passing a substantial proportion of that tax income to bodies controlled by the existing world elite and, most significantly, increasing the power of worldwide political organisations.

Now, I am not arguing that there is a wicked hidden conspiracy occurring. There is nothing hidden about it. They are quite open in wanting the UN and its panels and committees to be the basis of more and more policy-making. It's macro-everything regardless of the impact it might have on individual countries and their citizens. Blair is part of the in crowd. John Major is not despite being a far more competent government minister than Mr Blair ever was. Margaret Thatcher never got a look in, nor did Ronald Reagan. They were concerned with building strength from the individual upwards and decried the notion of strength being bequeathed by a greater supranational power. That disqualified them from membership of the club. Mr Obama has made clear already that he buys the internationalist idea so he's in already. Watch how he is feted by them just as Clinton and his weak Vice-President were, and compare it to how Reagan, Bush Senior and Bush Junior were opposed by them from day one.

The same pattern is seen in the EU. So many politicians rejected long ago by the voters in their own country are at the top table while those who won office domestically and performed well never even get a sniff at the pre-dinner sherry. The real power rests with those who got in early and took the institution to themselves. They realised that elections are a dreadful inconvenience. All those little people being given a chance to say they don't want what is good for them? How absurd. Far better to ensure that what is good for them is delivered, they can have elections about the other things that don't really matter.

The greatest problem with supranational institutions is that they can only set their central policies once. The stakes are so high, both in terms of the cost of change and the egos of those who have appointed themselves the guardians of all that is good, that central policy must remain sacrosanct. Even if it is proved to be unsuitable to the needs of the real world. We see this with the UN's leading role in promoting eco-fascism and its inability to tackle the corruption and brutality of so many African leaders and their cronies. We see it also in the EU's refusal to accept that its own law requiring unanimous acceptance of treaties by the member states should be enforced when a relatively small member state, like the Republic of Ireland, rejects a treaty. Larger countries, like France, can require them to re-phrase the proposal but the substance always remains intact in the next draft.

There is a pre-established programme set out from above which must be followed come what may. Those who issue the programme have no mandate from the people of any country and they perpetuate their position by inviting those of like mind only. So, what can a dissenting country do? Its economy is affected root and branch by the regulations imposed by the supranational body and its ability to do business internationally is affected by trade treaties entered into as part of the supranational body. To say "this is the end chaps, it's been nice knowing you, bye" requires the unravelling of countless sticky tendrils of regulation. It can be done, but it will take time and during that time there is the risk of trade links being severed with no ready replacement.

In theory supranational bodies are a fine idea. But the theory has a fatal limitation. It assumes that there is a single answer to problems, a single answer that covers every situation and remains valid in a changing world. In real life there is never a fixed answer. Circumstances change and sometimes those changes give the lie to something previously considered to be an unchallengeable truth. Not a single unqualified statement can be made about the law, or economics, or science, or art without countless examples being provided to prove that either qualifications are needed or the statement should be abandoned altogether.

One advantage Mr Obama has over any new US President in my lifetime is that he has not committed himself to any set policy on any issue. It is an advantage because it allows him a blank canvass, he can pretty much do as he wishes. But it is also a disadvantage because he enters office without a principled commitment in any area of policy. His choice is to be bold and take his own decisions based on judgment and principle or to seek continued popularity by swaying in the wind. His election campaign put him firmly in the latter camp. That is just what the established international oligarchy likes to see. In the seventy six days since the election was held Mr Obama has been schmoozed by all current leaders of the self-appointed elite. It is too much to expect a new President who has declared no political principle (other than the need for him to be elected) to take risks. I hope I am wrong, but I think he will take the path of least resistance. For a British Prime Minister that means doing what the EU wants, for an American President it means playing second fiddle to the failed and the corrupt egotists of the UN.

Things don't look good.

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