The EU is demanding Spain cuts state spending further, even though it is already in recession. And
Spain’s unemployment rate is already 22.8pc, rising to more than 51pc for youths, the highest since records began.Oh yes, and a general strike has been called for tomorrow. Oh yes, and
Fresh data from Spain’s treasury showed the deficit for January and February was worse than for the same period last year, even stripping out “one-off” costs stemming from excesses by the regional juntas.Meanwhile in Greece (almost a compulsory phrase in discussing the Southern EU) more than one in five workers is unemployed - again including half of those under the age of 25. A teacher says his German classes have "never been so full, because many people who want to emigrate are studying the language."
And Berlin and Brussels think these voters will accept yet more spending cuts?
It's not as if the depth of the spending cuts and the height of the firewalls (taxpayers' firewalls, remember) will make it even a smidgen easier for the Southern EU to prosper within the eurozone. The Southern EU is uncompetitive with the Northern EU. As long as they keep using the same currency, the South will stay uncompetitive.
It's not whether the eurozone fractures, but when and how.
CO2 is another dead issue. In chapter one of Watermelons, Delingpole invites you to imagine nice things which actually are true. For instance
- Imagine if global warming were something to be desired, not feared.
- Imagine if carbon dioxide were our friend.
Let me offer you another. Suppose there's been no theory that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is dangerously warming the world. Then imagine someone proposes it today.
In our parallel universe, a scientist then produces a graph showing temperatures over time. Puzzlingly, he calls it his "not the hockey stick" graph. It shows a worldwide Medieval Warm Period roughly as warm as the present day. The scientist asks the proponents of the new CO2 theory why the temperature rise was natural then but is man made now. (That's conceivable, of course. But the theorists have to explain why it's not natural now.)
Then this inconvenient scientist says if his graph really was a hockey stick, the blade would be pointing straight up. But it's not. Over the past fifteen years there has been no statistically significant warming. Yet China and other BRICS have continued to pump out ever increasing quantities of CO2. It's not just that the effect is slow, because temperatures were going up for a while - but then they levelled out.
Hm, says this scientist looking at his graph - which is looking less and less like a hockey stick. The handle curls all over the place, and the blade has curved. Now, given this evidence, why would anyone want to propose the beneficial trace gas CO2 as the major driver of a recent global warming which has levelled off anyway?
We shouldn't be content to sit back as government shovels money at these problems which they can't solve - the first because it's the governments of the debtor countries themselves which need to act and devalue, the second because it doesn't now look like there's a warming problem at all (and if there is, CO2 is highly likely to be The Wrong Answer).
Why? First, because there is no such thing as government money. That money belongs to the people. (Sure, some of it comes from bankers, but who's going to have to pay it back? Yes, the people.)
And in case you hadn't noticed, times are hard and getting harder. Petrol's dear, when you can find any. Energy's dear, partly thanks to government taxing us to pay for the inefficient and increasingly unpopular windmills (evidently not unpopular in Sam Cam's already rich family, but don't get me started). Postage is shooting up thanks to the government enthusiastically implementing EU policy.
But what is government doing to make us more prosperous, such as encouraging shale exploration, to start reversing the rises in our energy bills? What is it doing to make life cheaper for us?
Yes, I know sleaze makes politicians look cheap. (Actually they're damn expensive, but don't get me started.) Where is our Minister for Cheapness? And no, I'm not suggesting Peter Cruddas. Someone pugnacious, like David Davis, perhaps.
For a start, government can stop throwing our money at issues it can't do anything about.