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David Porter » Entries tagged with "European Union"

Thinking the Unthinkable: Britain and a New Europe

  Leaving the EU and the break up of the euro have been called ‘unthinkable’ by some. Yet history teaches that thinking the unthinkable sometimes works. This article was first published on 29 November 2011 on Suite 101. Britain’s had an uneasy relationship with the European Union and its predecessors for forty years. Until recently, some powerful British voices urged the UK to abandon the pound and embrace the Euro. However, fast-moving, spiralling out of control events and crises are set to change old thinking. Sometimes, in the search for the new, the past is rediscovered and given a modern twist. What Would Churchill Have Said? In his book European Integration and Disintegration, Robert Bideleux commented on the widely-held view that Winston Churchill believed a united Europe of states was possible, but without Great Britain’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling: Where Is the Irish Economy Going?

  Little to sing, dance or smile about as world and home-grown economic problems continue to impact Eire, but all is not lost. There’s some optimism around. Harsh economic realities of post-Celtic Tiger years batter Ireland as much as but in different ways from other parts of Europe. The nostalgic, romanticised, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling (1912), is about Irish character surviving tribulation: ‘When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure ’tis like a morn in spring/In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing/When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay/And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away’. The recession/slowdown of 2008-2009 was felt across the land. Finger-pointing and blame for collapse of housing market and banking, overheating, taxes, unemployment, the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

Bringing Common Sense to the Common Fisheries Policy

A campaign to change failed rules which control deep-sea fishing is a study in the power of television, celebrity and natural justice. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef, writer, broadcaster and campaigner, is a contemporary ‘celebrity’. He has built a reputation for seasonal, ethically produced food. His River Cottage TV series and recipe books won awards, and he’s Patron of the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association. In the 2000s he became angry about the vagaries of the effects of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), whereby tons of perfectly good fish were being thrown overboard, because it was illegal to land them. The loss of quality food and environmental damage done to the seabed was an affront to common sense. The Regulatory Imperative Labour politician Nye Bevan described Britain as ‘an island of coal … Read entire article »

Filed under: Articles at Suite 101

When All Else Fails, Start Again

  When something goes wrong people can do one or more of a number of things about it: they can walk away; live with it; buy a new one; read the manual or start all over again, reboot it. In both the political and the real worlds, it should be possible to do the equivalent, without losing sight of history, tradition and the baggage we all carry.  Some things are worth persevering with; some not. It just becomes necessary, when things seem so unsolvable, to start again. When the nightmare is so bad it overwhelms your sanity, wake up. European Ship Is All But Lost At Sea As quite clearly nobody in charge has any real idea what to do to get us all out of the mess we’re in globally, it may just be … Read entire article »

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