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Is Socialist Sarkozy in Microsoft’s pocket?

The ink’s only just dry on the appointment of Nicholas Sarkozy as French Premier, but already he’s showing he isn’t as right wing as expected. Either that, or he’s in the pocket of Big Business. That wouldn’t be the first time for European right wing politicians.

You may have heard that the EU Treaty is being renegotiated this week. Instead of introducing a Constitution which was rejected by French and Dutch referenda when it was put to the people of those countries, it seems the powers that be have decided if they call it a treaty, and drop some name tags here and there they can still get all the changes they wanted without needing citizens to vote for it. Nice to see democracy is flourishing.

Well, Mr Sarkozy has insisted the 50 year old committment to “free and undistorted competition” should be replaced by a “social market economy aiming at full employment“. Mr Sarkozy is only thinking of France here of course, and the habit French governments can’t get out of of subsidising uncompetitive French industries with taxpayers money. But the effects will be far deeper and far wider than Mr Sarkozy’s lack of vision can encompass.

If adopted this will, in one fell swoop, move all of Europe from a Capitalist based system to a Socialist based system. Where private companies exist, they will gravitate towards monopoly status and behaviour. This will favour large American corporations such as Microsoft, whom only the EU courts have really brought to task for running as uncontrolled monopolies.

Meanwhile, the UK Independence Party and the UK Conservative Party continue blathering on about “we must keep UK Sovereignty sacred” when it was given away to the US half a century ago in the Bretton-Woods agreement. If the UK did leave Europe, and Europe adopted more of this ridiculous socialist dogma, Britain plc would have huge problems competing with massive, subsidised European businesses on the one hand, and massive protected American Corporations on the other.

All most of the Tories can say, in their best public school accents, is “I say! We must keep the Qweens Head on our cuwwency!” All our enfeebled and divisive gutter press can say is “Remember the War!” – they’re talking about the 1415 Battle of Agincourt here, of course, they’re so stuck in the past.

Wake up, people! The only way to protect British interests and values is as a part of Europe, and by rejecting the imposition of backdoor socialism by French protectionists.

Update:
The French did an about-turn (as usual) and have withdrawn the changes. It seems the Poles have also given in and done a deal at the last minute. As I write, no details have emerged other than an agreement has been reached. We’ll just have to wait to see what that is, and how it affects us all.

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4 comments on “Is Socialist Sarkozy in Microsoft’s pocket?

  1. It surprises me that there’s still so much knee jerk anti EU sentiment in the UK when really Sarkozy and the new East European members speak words close to Tony Blair’s Fabled ‘3rd way'(thanks Tony!) and like you say we’d be better to persuade and argue our own interests and prefered EU workings whilst accepting the benefits of being in Europe rather than lapsing into Little England speak out of sheer habit and suspicion.

  2. I’m afraid the mass media haven’t moved on much from the 1980s, if not from the 1940s! Newspapers like the Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Daily Telegraph and so on are for some reason very xenophobic about Europe. It’s a real shame these important opinion forming media seem so small minded. With such views I can’t see the Conservatives appealing to the broad church they need if they are to be re-elected, no matter what hype is sent out by the aristocratic team of David Cameron.

  3. Sarkozy’s move was all about image. The commitment to full and undistorted competition is actually irrelevant, as it has already been made in virtually every major EU treaty so far (eg. Maastricht, to name just one). He also knew full well that the commitment to full employment would never ever be ratified, which is why he pushed for he it; he can turn to the embittered French electorate – which largely resents the political establishment (national and especially European) for forcing “anglo-saxon” neoliberalism on them, while unemployment and semi-employment soars.

    It’s a bit hysterical to talk about back-door socialism in Europe, though. Social capitalism, perhaps, as opposed to liberal capitalism; no-one’s talking about renationalising industry or abolishing democracy, it’s more a matter of regulatory systems and the welfare state. Historically, European capitalism was informed by a feudalist mentality – everyone has their place, and the Lord in the manor has certain responsibilities towards the serfs, even if only to keep a healthy and pliable workforce for his farms – while the (Anglo-)American model comes more from frontier survivalism – every man for himself. They’re both about a million miles away from anything that could really be called socialism.

    Even then, the EU institutions are way to the right of European national governments in this sense. It’s not just the French that are suspicious of their neoliberal agenda – even Gordon Brown considers the ECB’s deflationary policies to be too harsh. This is one of his main reasons for not joining the euro (though honestly I suspect the real reason is to avoid hurting our American masters).

  4. Thanks for posting Dave, you raise some interesting points.

    Let’s not forget Sarkozy was the French Finance Minister who was prevented by the EU from bailing out the struggling French Alsthom with government money when he wanted to protect the failing company’s jobs. His instincts may be just what he suggested. He understands the rule that you should never make a threat you are not prepared to carry out, or suggest something in negotiations you would be disappointed with if the other party agreed to.

    As for capitalism in Europe being based on feudalism, I think you may be generalising rather too much. France has been a Republic since the revolution in 1786 (apart from a brief moment in the 19th Century) and certainly doesn’t have a feudal system, or anything like one. It’s far too socialist for that. Believe me, I have lived in Europe and know friends who have had the benefit of the French social benefits system which is both very socialist and very much to blame for the high levels of French unemployment. And let’s not forget little Switzerland, which booted out the feudal Lords over 500 years ago. If anywhere at all is feudal in Europe, it is the UK with the still extant class system.

    You may be closer to Gordon Brown than me, but it would surprise me if the man who gave the Bank of England independence was worried about what another independent Central Bank is doing. Britain did participate in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty after all, and had a say in how the ECB was set up (under a Conservative Administration at the time) and how the Euro was to be created. Since inflation was a big problem back then, it is possible that all parties at the time believed the counter-inflation emphasis was correct.

    Personally, I’ve always thought the American model where the Federal Reserve is responsible for maintaining a sustainable growth rate for the economy was rather better; perhaps Gordon would like more of that – but without the double deficit that is dragging the US Dollar so far down.

    As for backtracking on not joining the Euro, I believe it has more to do with how the UK treats a Referendum: not as a true opinion of the British people on a particular issue, but like local government elections in which people feel free to register protest votes when they don’t like what the government is doing – and after Iraq, a Referendum would have been lost no matter what the issues raised. With Tony gone, the way would be clear, except a new election is coming up within a couple of years so a Referendum will not be sensible for at least another 3 to 4 years.

    I also have good feelings about how Gordon will treat the US: he may actually say no to George Bush! Here’s hoping…

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