This is going to be good, isn\’t it?
Europe\’s impasse needs new purpose, after the old economic certainties helped cause this cataclysm. Even if the EU scrapes through, that\’s not enough. What then? François Hollande and Ed Miliband are calling a summit of social democrats this autumn to challenge dogma and forge a growth and jobs programme for construction and investment. Keynesian parties need to draw Europe-wide strength and credibility by working together. Hollande proposes a £120bn redirection of EU funds to an emergency growth programme:
This isn\’t going to help Spain you know, an investment and infrastructure boom. What they\’re suffering is the fall out from the bursting of the previous such boom. There\’s a million empty houses, 50 odd airports built and unused, museums and civic centres all over the country built and bust.
Infrastucture spending just isn\’t going to help in this case.
Germany imposed a solidarity tax to pay for reunification, taxing incomes, wealth and property. Britain has barely touched the abundance of its vast undertaxed wealth. This government can never rally the nation to unite in a crisis after hitting the weak hardest, with wealthy lifestyles remaining unchanged. The coalition may well fall apart sooner than expected: Labour needs to stand more ready than has yet been the case, with a radical alternative – easier to do as part of a Europe-wide appeal. In wartime bonds are issued to finance a national emergency by encouraging (or, from the rich, coercing) investment in a time of crisis. What Europe needs to escape slump is a war footing – but this time without the war.
The problem with war footing type of talk is that the populace needs to be convinced that we are a) fighting a war and b) that it\’s one worth fighting, c) that it\’s possible to win.
And to be honest I\’m really not sure that people are going to think that the saving of the pan-European jams, jellies, marmalades and sweet chestnut purees regulations is a war, worth fighting or worth winning. Quite the contrary in fact: there\’s at least one person out there who believes that it\’s worth figthing an economic war against the very thing that the pe-E j,j,m,scp regulations represents.