Yes but why does this stop Germany invading France. Again?

It was actually Sr. Barroso who made the point in a piece for The Times. The aim and point of the European Union is to stop Germany invading France. Again.

OK, valid goal, even though my personal opinion is that they\’ll not try it again. At the third attempt they actually conquered the place and found out it wasn\’t worth the candle, not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian Grenadier.

However, given this stated goal, we\’ve now a metric to use in deciding whether a particular piece of EUery is valid or not.

No, we don\’t measure whether it\’s a good idea or not, we measure the effect it has, could have, might have, on the Wermacht rolling through the Ardennes again.

As I say, \”good idea\” or not is irrelevant, for good ideas can be implemented at other levels: local, regional, national, global even: there\’s no particular reason to have something that is a \”good idea\” rammed down out throats by an unelected bureaucracy: that power is reserved alone for stopping the 14 th Bavarian Foot enjoying the shade of the plane trees as they reach the Midi.

What has an EU directive on whether people with diabetes should be allowed to drive have to do with the single market, asked David Cameron in a pop at Brussels in his speech to the Tory party conference on Wednesday. Apart, presumably, from roads being a key factor in distributing goods, and the fitness of people to drive being a key factor in ensuring everyone else\’s safety.

\”Do you suppose anyone in China is thinking, \’I know how we\’ll grow our economy – let\’s get those diabetics off our roads\’?\” the prime minister asked the conference.

Diabetes UK, the main charity helping people with the condition, has expressed concerns over some elements of the new driving standards package being implemented through a new directive.

However, it does not think the changes are all bad. Indeed, some could actually improve the chances of employment for some insulin-dependent drivers. Some have lost their HGV licences under the present UK blanket ban on them driving heavy lorries – a rule that is more stringent than in many European countries.

Sorry Ms. Curtis, you\’re addressing the wrong question. It isn\’t, as you seem to think, a matter of whether it\’s a good idea that diabetics can or cannot drive and under what conditions they may or may not do so. It\’s why does this particular level of our governance, the one tasked with stopping the panzers rolling, get to make these rules?

Even the defenders of the system agree that there\’s a democratic deficit: one that can\’t be helped, as we\’re all trying to stop a war here. Which means that, where a rule, a law, can possibly be implemented elsewhere then it should, we abuse the normal methods of governance only to, precisely and exactly, prevent that war.

Unless this law is about whether diabetics can drive Tiger Tanks through Amiens it is not relevant to the EU\’s goal and therefore should not be instituted at EU level.

18 thoughts on “Yes but why does this stop Germany invading France. Again?”

  1. Don’t you need armies to invade each other?

    I wonder what stopped Britain and Germany from fighting each other prior to 1973?

  2. Shame that Cameron is a two faced wanker who is talking it up for Tory nitwits. If the EU want diabetics off the road the diabetics will have to stop it themselves. As for Cameron–as Shaft said to some gangster “Man–you won’t do sheeeit”

  3. EU directives are not there to prevent Germany invading but to exploit that desire into something that benefits the EU.

    Each directive started from somewhere. Each directive represents a form of invasion. We are made to move towards French working conditions and the French are kept happy. Move towards Germanic recycling standards and they are kept sweet, Greek public sector rewards, Italian corruption, etc. They all ensure the EU remains in the centre and governments have to turn to it to satisfy their imperial urges.

  4. Really, there is always going to be some rule on diabetics driving, every country has one. That they differ between countries creates problems for said diabetics. That is why the EU is getting involved.

    It might be legal for them to drive in France but not in Britain. Why should they have to sit down and leaf through the annexes to the appendices to the traffic codes of every country en route before setting off?

    So harmonising the laws has some beneficial effect. Harmonising the law at that sweet spot where it has the most utilitarian outcome would be even better. I don’t know if attempting to do it the EU way or some other way would get closer to that utilitarian perfection.

    Look, I’d like the EU to clamp down even harder on errant national and local governments pissing about with the rules of the road.

    1) It is daft that every little town and district in Germany can set different standards for particulate emissions, and require that you declare your compliance by means of a windscreen sticker. Additional bureaucracy and expense not only for Germans (most of whom don’t live in places that enforce such stupid rules but do occasionally visit such), but for foreigners who are probably entirely unaware of the regulation.

    2) It is equally daft that Germany wants to emulate its more idiotic neighbours by charging for motorway use. So we’ve eliminated all the passport queues at the border, only to set up a new and equally timewasting queue to sell another sticker to incoming drivers. What progress. And the marginals we force off the motorways will just have to die in more traffic accidents as a result as well.

    3) It is utterly nuts that the state of Hessen can dictate that within Hessen cyclists may use any one-way road in the wrong direction. How many drivers from outside of Hessen know it? How many from outside Germany? How many accidents do you suppose this regionally-based variation from the rule everywhere else causes?

    Put simply, if you have a driving license, you have a car in legal condition to drive, you should be allowed to drive it over as far and wide an area as possible without further let or hindrance, and national and local exceptions to the way traffic works should be kept to a bare minimum for safety reasons.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    I know how this prevents Germany from invading anyone! The EU is in competition with the Nazis for all the small, grey, boring men who in their lust for power over their fellow men joined Hitler and made Fascism possible.

    Now they all become EU apparatchiks and exercise their petty lusts that way.

  6. The large US military presence in Germany, not to say the BAOR in attendance, is what has stopped/will stop Germany invading France – not that there is the slightest reason for it to do so or evidence that it might.

    Last war was made possible by Germans having their money taken away and squandered around Europe – sound familiar? – and the one before was about industrial and economic supremacy.

    The EU then, if its prime aim is to stop a war, should ensure Germany keeps its money but never gains the economic and industrial upper hand.

    The EU has provided the exact opposite.

    We must not forget how jealous France can be of a successful Germany. If Germany ever does invade, it will be because the French have pi^^ed them off… again.

  7. Regarding (3) above, I wonder how many drivers from within Hessen know this one.

    How many drivers from outside Germany while driving in Germany would even know when they are in Hessen?

    Sorry if I rant, but I drive in (on average) 5 or 6 European countries a year. I accept there is going to be some blimpish idiocy to the rules of the road, but having to deal with 5 or 6 slightly different sets of blimpish idiocy in any one year is too much. Roll on more harmonization of traffic law. (But when it comes to our unrestricted Autobahn the EU and the green party can both fuck off).

  8. Germany has probably been put off invading people by (i) The RAF and USAAF bombing its cities flat, and (ii) The Red Army killing so many of its soldiers and raping so many of its women.

    Mind you, the main lesson from that is how feeble was Germany’s punishment at Versailles: if they’d had a proper skelping they wouldn’t have started the Second World War.

  9. Actually I thought this was a French conspiracy to achieve dominion over Europe after Napoleons repeated failure using a military approach. It’s not just the Germans that have prior….

  10. With the sugar mountain that the EU has so many problems with, you wouldn’t think they would increase the cost of personal sugar usage.

  11. The peace in Europe was a NATO byproduct. As for Germany invading France…..the French have a genuine independent nuclear deterrent and would no doubt use it in extremis, even if the winds were blowing Westwards.

  12. It’s not as though the French were entirely blameless between the wars, occupying the Ruhr etc, rather provocative… Points very well made above, and the coming economic armagheddon will whilst probably not leading to war will certainly raise tensions between these two.

  13. Diabetes UK is actually wrong on the small positive they see in the legislation. The Directive actually is one setting a minimum level of control of diabetics, partially sighted and epileptic drivers only. It states clearly on its face that Member States are entitled to have more stringent domestic laws (eg there’s nothing in the Directive stopping the UK from prohibiting diabetics from driving any motorised vehicle regardless of whether they have had a hypoglycaemic episode in the past).

    Of course, if Cameron wanted to stem the flow of such legislation he could propose legislative amendment of s2 of the European Communities Act so that Directives could only be implemented by positive resolution of Parliament. Indeed, it would be quite possible for this to be done outside of statute by the chair of the Select Committee that scrutinises SIs implementing EU legislation getting the Committee to agree to a policy of putting all such SIs for debate in the House.

  14. Cameron having a pop at the EU?

    Say it ain’t so!

    Practically a perfect exemplar of “playing to the gallery”, imho.

    Doesn’t he realise that almost everyone has seen through him now?

  15. So Much For Subtlety

    John B – “The large US military presence in Germany, not to say the BAOR in attendance, is what has stopped/will stop Germany invading France – not that there is the slightest reason for it to do so or evidence that it might.”

    The German Army, even now, is about ten times the size of what is left of the British Army on the Rhine. The Seventh Army is down to what? An Airborne Brigade and an infantry regiment. The Germans make the best tanks in the West. There is no ability to stop them doing whatever they like short of nuclear weapons.

    “The EU then, if its prime aim is to stop a war, should ensure Germany keeps its money but never gains the economic and industrial upper hand.”

    A large part of the problem of Germany has been the refusal of the British and French to accept Germany is much more powerful than they are. The EU cannot keep Germany down forever and will eventually have to bend to the reality of the situation.

    9 dearieme – “Germany has probably been put off invading people by (i) The RAF and USAAF bombing its cities flat, and (ii) The Red Army killing so many of its soldiers and raping so many of its women.”

    I am not so convinced. For one thing it would encourage more people to bomb other people’s cities flat and rape their women. I would point out we tried a variation of this theme in Ireland repeatedly. It tended to only work in the short run. It is more likely that the American world order opened up trade for the Germans so they did not feel they needed to fight for an Empire. Why bother if you can trade with the world?

  16. The second world war is so much fucking ancient history here. Germans don’t think about it much, but for the fact it is rammed down the throat of every schoolkid. You could turn any country into an international raper and pillager and general destroyer of wealth if you could persuade enough men to vote once for a modern-day Hitler and keep him in power long enough to overturn the democratic order.

    Fortunately, Germany is happy enough with its own internal settlement, even post-reunification, to not go and ravage foreign countries. I really think economic integration plays a big part in this. Germans want to go spend their holiday money on French, Spanish, and even Greek tavern-owners, hotels, and whores. If they were all German, it wouldn’t feel like a holiday.

    SMFS is right – we don’t need an empire. There are problems, including a resurgent left wing and failure to recognise that our surplus is inevitably someone else’s deficit – and even the fact that the rudderless EU, insanely distant from the concerns of its citizens is a more inadequate bulwark against a new European war than ever, but basically Germany is a placid non-threat to the world.

  17. My fear is the “assets for loans/bails” idea that might end up with German-owned assets in foreign countries involving land/mining/utility/infrastrucutre.

    All it needs is for, say, a new Greek party that rises based on “unfair” “theft” of “their” property, for that to be “nationalised” for Germany to potentially get medaeval in defending its wealth. Jussayin.

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