When I think about the EU, the first thing that comes to my mind is bullying. It was set up to bring more equality to Europe but seems to have failed in that task. There is no EU wide minimum wage, which in my mind would be an obvious starting point for equality, wouldn’t that lift many poor people out of poverty?
Over the last few months we have seen the richer more powerful countries bullying Greece to accept measures that on the surface will resolve a short term problem, but in the long run will keep Greece in both an economic strait jacket and keep finances going to the richer elements whilst the ordinary people struggle to survive whilst paying back loans. If a loan shark had made the equivalent terms to a group of individuals there would be an outcry for legal intervention I’m pretty sure! But dress it up as official, and for the good of the EU, then it is perceived as acceptable by most. Never mind the ledgers were fiddled with a willful blind eye overseeing them as the spiders spun their webs and waited for the inevitable failure that would bring their prey right to them.
As for farming,this week French farmers blockaded their borders to prevent cheaper produce being brought in from other EU countries. I understand that farmers need to protect their livelihoods, and this is their idea of protectionism but is it in line with the ethos of the EU? Historically farmers have been encouraged to produce food stuffs, even at a loss, due to the way EU subsidies are organised. This does not always make sense, so markets are artificially inflated and deflated. I remember the food mountains of rotting unwanted by the EU nations, food that was overproduced but unable to be shipped to other countries even though people were starving. Something about the logistics of shipping it where it was needed trumped the costs of storing and then destroying it. How naive I am to think the life has more value than profit.
The behaviour of the powerful states in the EU seems to be closer to bullying than support, it feels like warfare by finance to me. The European Parliament seems to be run more for the gain of the myriad corporations who lobby there and the personal gain via expenses for MEPs than it does for the people of the member states, making a total mockery of the supposed democratic process it was set up to provide. Tribalism appears to be more apparent than true politics, where are the strides towards unity and security for the ordinary people we were expecting? Ah yes, sitting in the vaults of various banks whilst the players in the shadows wait to get even richer from the misfortunes of another member state. Will it be Spain or Italy? Is that OK as long as the UK survives? Or will the people wake up and make changes that are fair for everyone?
Yes, I do want to get nearer to Utopia, yes it’s a dream I believe is worthwhile working towards.
(My thanks to Max aka @maxjfreeman who asked for my opinion) 😉