European Nationalism

The referendum in Scotland has set off a train of expression throughout Europe of different regions who want to have a greater freedom, or in some cases to have expressed a desire to gain their independence from their current country.

A significant degree of frustration from “local” communities stems from “distant” politicians. The number of scandals, ranging from political contributions, sex scandals, tax evasion, bribery among other things.  Also as states have centralised, they have distanced themselves from the electorate. They continually promise much or and fail to deliver, whilst the perception is that they are “lining their pockets ” and looking after their own interests.

This has been compounded by the inability of the current political elite to deal with the financial crisis which began in 2008. Their seeming inability to deal with the consequences and fallout from the banking crisis and the financial situations that countries found themselves in has not helped to engender faith in politicians.  The complete lack of vision and inertia has meant that the electorate has lost faith in the political elite and the current political structures.

The danger that regional nationalism raises, is that the leaders of the Nationalist movements will repackage the same unfounded political promises in order to gain power, whilst leaving out the important details which would “distract” the electorate.

I am not advocating that sticking with the existing political structure and political elites is the only solution to the problems of the western world, but I am suggesting that before irrevocable decisions are made that the all the questions are asked and answers are analysed and debated.

To borrow a quote from the film Dave

It’s the definition of modern leadership.

You set out a bold goal and you don’t say how you’ll do it.
The other less endearing feature of the Scottish referendum debate and electioneering, was the vitriol and abuse that was heaped on any on anyone who even dared to suggest that the proposal on the table was the wrong choice.  Again as we are seeing in Catalonia, that the only “publicity and electioneering” that is taking place is that for the “pro-independence”.  Everyone who disagrees or questions the veracity of the argument.
Healthy political debate needs to be had, but the electorate needs to become more involved and not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by charismatic politicians.  We all need to understand that budgets and the country’s finances are the responsibility of all and that we should hold the political classes accountable.  In the UK, we have seen the Labour Party mess up the country’s finances that it will take us nearly a generation to get this under control again.  Yet again, the Labour Party is promising to spend more money on this, that and the other without telling us where the money is going to come from.
Debate
I would call all of Europe to hold a debate on how we want to be governed both on a national basis and also on a Pan-European Basis.
What do we want /expect our individual countries to provide in a huge number of areas.  I am going to suggest a number of areas for consideration, but would welcome comments / feedback and suggestions.
  • Social Services
  • Transportation (Roads / Rail / Air / Ferry)
  • Health
  • Defence
  • Currency
  • Banking
  • Education / Primary / Secondary / Tertiary
  • Business Services / Industry
  • Work
  • Pensions
  • Environment
  • Immigration
  • Decision Making
  • Utilities
  • Energy / Climate Change
  • Parliamentary Representation
  • European Integration and How we want the EU to work?
  • International treaties
  • International Organisations
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