29 December, 2011

Monnet9: The BBC becomes a propaganda voice for the Monnet Myth

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is now broadcasting a Monnet-propaganda view of Europe. Its emphasis on Monnet the initiator of everything European is not only false but its anti-British tone is likely to turn the younger generation off Europe. Monnet is shown as ignoring the British concerns. Yet he seemingly controls the French, US and German governments and turns them around his little finger. This is ridiculous -- Monnet was a minor civil servant in France in 1950 with few staff. It is also a dangerous policy to broadcast counterfeit history to the British population but also to many others who listen to the radio. The Monnet myth is one reason why Europe is in such a mess with its democracy.

The threatening magnitude of the present crises specifically due to the Monnet Myth is why I felt it necessary to ask a few questions that perhaps the young people may care to explore, given that the older generation appears incapable or too lazy to do so. I hope that they will also ask a few more questions too about national broadcasting media.

Beyond Borders, a play about Jean Monnet by Mike Walker; BBC Radio 4, 16 December 2011, 14.15 GMT.
The European Dream, a documentary by John Tusa, BBC Radio 4, 17 December 2011, 20.00 GMT.

The play and the documentary were designed no doubt to glorify Jean Monnet as the ‘inspirer’ of the European Union. They presented no evidence that Jean Monnet was behind the European Community idea. Strange. But also indicative of the lack of critical thinking about someone who was after all trained as a salesman. One excruciatingly flattering biography says that 'Monnet was above all a public relations man.' Shouldn't that be a red light warning to communicators? (M & S Bromberger: Jean Monnet and the United States of Europe, p33.)

In Monnet’s case he was a salesman of cognac, he received little education, wrote very little but was surrounded by a group that included publicists and journalists. Compare that with Schuman. From 1919 on, Schuman was an elected deputy for the great Steel City of Thionville that had to import German coal to survive. He knew a thing or two about the industries where Monnet still showed ignorance, even when he was President of the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community. The Monnet myths started being publicized at this time and are now paid for out of taxpayers’ money by the EU-funded Jean Monnet professors.

'I feel obliged to speak about Jean Monnet,' said one such professor recently, 'because I am a Jean Monnet professor.' This sort of nonsense should be stopped. He should be reminded that he is paid out of public funds not out of Jean Monnet's treasury. Universities have fee paying students. It is an insult to subject them to glorified public relations operations. They should be taught how to discern the truth from falsehood.

Chris Patten, former European Commissioner, now Lord Patten, is Chairman of the BBC Trust, its governing body. Lord Patten is a history graduate of Oxford University and currently Chancellor of Oxford University. Doesn't he feel a little shame that the BBC has fallen to such depths and poor scholarship? The British and international audience of the BBC deserve better than propaganda and repetitions of the Monnet industry lobbyists.

Both the play and the documentary were fiction. The documentary by John Tusa, an experienced journalist and former managing director of the BBC World Service, was frankly disappointing for the same reason. It failed to ask critical questions or even look into the myth-busting national archives that are now open for all to see. It largely ignored Schuman but then reiterated Communist propaganda that Schuman had fought for the Germans in WW1. He never even wore a German uniform. A quick look at the British archives alone would destroy Monnet-centered mythology. Why wasn't this done?

What happened to investigative journalism? Any self-respecting broadcaster or journalist should ask: Are Europeans a victim of a clever salesman and public relations campaign? This is a reasonable question, as the testimony of other witnesses and the archives of the USA, Great Britain, Germany and France provide no evidence that Monnet had the part he says in the invention of the idea of a supranational European Community. All that is certain is that several members of Schuman’s staff were involved with Monnet in writing a document. If three or four Schuman staffers were involved, why suddenly does Monnet become a prima donna? What happened to Schuman?

Paul Reuter, a member of Schuman’s staff, wrote the first draft of the Schuman Proposal, not Monnet. Monnet made few useful or substantial corrections. Monnet himself says he eliminated some essential sentences. So was Monnet at the center or did he play a different part at the periphery? Schuman, an erudite, multilingual, innovative Prime Minister, finance minister and foreign minister, had already introduced the concept of a supranational European Community into public discussion long before Monnet was ever involved. Monnet is factually incorrect in saying it was discussed only once in the French Cabinet. It was discussed twice in Cabinet. What does that say about Monnet's understanding of events?

Schuman, however, was the opposite of a self-publicist. He was humble and shunned personal publicity. Schuman was unstinting in his praise for all his collaborators, including Monnet. But this does not mean that Monnet’s subsequent story of self-praise is true. Schuman, very unusually for a politician, concealed his own part. It was effective politics. After Schuman, many other people, such as Bidault, Reynaud and Philip, claimed that they were the originators of the European Community. Yet only the followers of Monnet persisted with this outrageous personal claim. Persistence, powerful PR or impudence is no proof of Monnet’s involvement. Persistent Public Relations about lies are still lies.

Documents now out in the open after the thirty-year rule show what is true and what is factually impossible in Monnet’s claims. The BBC did not check the facts. Thus the listener is left with a sad conclusion: the BBC doesn’t seem to care about truth when it comes to Europe and the future of millions of Europeans.

The play shows Monnet having some ideas after a walk in the Alps in April 1950 – when he is supposed to have hit on the idea of European unity. But hundreds of people had written books about European unity before this famous walk – and they all had specific ideas. Monnet did not. He even says he had no clear ideas. Where are they, even today? No facts were presented to indicate that he made any special contribution, except being involved in the preparation team of the Schuman Declaration.

There is nothing that is specially Monnet’s in the Declaration. Far more important words and action are evident in Schuman’s work in the years before April 1950.

Thus the big failure of the play and the report of John Tusa is the failure to take any critical microscope to the Monnet fable. Instead the Monnet fairy stories were not only repeated but augmented with other quite imaginary material that were demonstrably nonfactual.

Here are a few items that any student of history can check.
  1. Monnet did not invent the term Community. In his Mémoires, (pp 379, 625,), he claimed to have invented the term European Community on 21 June 1950. However Robert Schuman had used it many times before including at the United Nations General Assembly a year before this. Schuman also talked to the Member State delegations to the Schuman Plan conference and defined the supranational European Community. When? On the 20 June 1950! Monnet was part of Schuman's French delegation that included Jurisconsult André Gros and deputy Jurisconsult, Paul Reuter.
  2. Monnet did not invent the idea of supranationality. (In his Mémoires, p352, Monnet says he did not like the term and never fancied it. So obviously he was not the inventor of supranationality!)
  3. He was not the inventor of the term High Authority. In his Mémoires Monnet says that the term came from Paul Reuter, a close Lorraine colleague of Robert Schuman.
  4. Paul Reuter was not just a professor as Monnet maintains. He was one of the highest officials working for Schuman in the Foreign Ministry. He was Deputy Jurisconsult, empowered to supervise and check all treaties and legal documents. He provided a political guard for Schuman because other top civil servants such as the two directors general in his own ministry, were hostile to his policy of reconciliation with Germany.
  5. The play only provided a series of hype and non-factual events, meetings and conversations, which can be easily disproved by any competent historian who has looked at the material mentioned above. Proof comes from the other people in the conversations who refute the Monnet version.
  6. Monnet seems to have persistently claimed the parentage of earlier ideas that were first circulated by others. The BBC should have been aware of this, especially when it could easily be checked where it dealt with British politics. For example, in 1940 although Monnet may have played some part presenting a paper to de Gaulle about the wartime Franco-British union idea, he was not the inventor of the idea. (Nor was de Gaulle an alternative government at the time.) It was being circulated independently six months earlier by other Frenchmen in government and British people before he arrived in London. Curiously one of the major exponents was a close friend of Robert Schuman, then serving as under Under-Secretary of State in the French government. (De Gaulle was also an Under- Secretary of State in the government – which is why the British thought it useful to deal with him.)
  7. Sylvia says in the play that Monnet was a very good liar. Later Monnet says that he thought Schuman had the reputation for being an honest man. He made it sound like a public relations trick. But it came from deep within Schuman’s character. In contrast to Monnet, Schuman always told the truth even when his life seemed to depend otherwise – such as when he was held by a Nazi Gauleiter and SS general and interrogated. He said politicians should always tell the truth. He refused to lie even though he had been threatened with death by the Nazis and offered posts as a collaborator. The incident where Monnet had a conversation with Schuman about honesty had nothing to do with the Schuman Declaration. It occurred years before. Schuman was insistent that, following years of Nazi and government propaganda, Europe had to be based on TRUTH.
  8. In April 1950 Monnet was ‘inspired’ to say ‘there will be war’, as if no one else knew about the threatening Cold War with the Soviet Union. Nearly everyone expected a war at this stage. The Statesmen too! Schuman not only understood the significance of the Soviet Atomic bomb but proposed a solution – Euratom – in 1949. Both the UN's International Atomic Energy Treaty (IAEA) and the European Atomic Energy Treaty have similar goals, even the same articles.
  9. Monnet says: ‘We have done nothing.’ He meant the statesmen had done nothing, those who were not guided by him! This is rubbish. Schuman had started the Great Debate on the future of Europe, asking whether it should be a federation, confederation or something else (such as a Community). Hardly anyone was interested in the question. Where did Schuman pose these questions? Everywhere, to stimulate a debate. He said it in the Parliament and around Europe. He said it at the United Nations in 1948 and again in 1949. Yet Monnet did not seem to have read the speech even though it was obviously in all the newspapers and on the international radio etc.
  10. Schuman’s government and the following ones where he was foreign minister created the Council of Europe. Its specific task was to define the new Community system – which they did in detail. Monnet seems to have been ignorant of this – but it no reason why the BBC should be.
  11. The main problem of Europe and its wars was not about land, as Monnet says. It was about coal and steel cartels that controlled governments and world politics. Such cartels including financial ones could control political parties and were often the cause of wars.
  12. Monnet never seems to have written anything at the Planning Agency about Germany – a country he knew nothing about and did not know the language. He had never visited Germany as far as it is recorded. How could he advise Schuman about Germany? Schuman was involved everyday in German politics as Foreign Minister and it was the major thrust of his policy. He knew Germany well, being the foremost German specialist in the government, spoke the language, had many German friends, knew exactly about Nazis having been threatened with death by them, and had many meetings with the new German democrats and shared ideas with them about a supranational Community for coal and steel. A stream of his friends maintained contact with German democrats. As Foreign Minister he also received the diplomatic reports.
  13. Schuman gave a masterly analysis of the postwar problems, German and Soviet, in a speech, perhaps the most important postwar speech, in May 1949. This was the year before Monnet was brought into Schuman's editorial group. Monnet seems to have no knowledge of it, even though it was distributed widely within the French government and to all European governments. The lack of consideration of Schuman’s achievements in Monnet’s Memoirs indicates either widespread prejudice against Schuman’s achievement or vast ignorance by Monnet and those who helped him write it.
  14. Who controlled the Ruhr? French governments where Schuman served as minister or prime minister brought in the International Authority for the Ruhr (IAR). It was not run by the Americans, as Monnet says. It was run by an Authority (like later the Community was) composed of representatives of the Allies, such as France, UK, USA (three votes each) and the Benelux (one vote each) plus Germany (THREE votes)!! Thus this is a direct distortion of historical fact.
  15. Why did Monnet use the term Authority – suggested by Schuman’s staff member, Paul Reuter? Because this was the term Schuman had selected to point to a new way to do European politics. He used it for the Ruhr.
  16. The anecdote about Monnet and Hirsch in wartime Algeria is misleading. Monnet's discussion merely involved modifying minor aspects of de Gaulle’s preposterous idea of recasting Belgium, Luxembourg and Alsace-Lorraine plus Switzerland into some new State called Wallonia or Lotharingia. Monnet was also thinking in terms of destroying the constitutions of these countries and reforming them into a buffer State. Totally unrealistic. He even believed this was possible as late as 1950! It has nothing to do with a Community system which is based on the existing nation states. Hirsch told Monnet it was rubbish (‘utopian’). How could the Americans dismantle the existing European States! What chaos it would have caused. At this stage Monnet was still greatly influenced by de Gaulle who was active but out of power. De Gaulle fulminated against the newly created Federal Republic of Germany at Bonn, calling it a Fourth Reich and wanting to dismantle it. US diplomatic records show that the Americans and British followed Schuman's lead about creating German democracy.
  17. Monnet who was in charge of the Modernisation Planning Agency seems to have been oblivious of the German steel problem until the last minute. Schuman was involved with this on a daily basis as it was subject to Allied diplomatic discussions. It was by Allied agreement that the steel ceilings for production were set.
  18. Coming to the time of the Schuman Proposal, the BBC continues to propagate Monnet errors of fact. The anecdote that in May 1950 Schuman had to present a proposal on Germany and a European solution at the Allied conference in London is also fictitious. Schuman said the opposite at the time. It was not on the agenda. Schuman said other factors showed it was the time to act.
  19. Monnet did not first attract Professor Paul Reuter to do some work by jumping into his taxi to the train station of Gare de Lyon. Why should he? The idea makes no sense. The phrase ‘A chance to save the world’ is also fictitious. Reuter's accounts show this is all false. Monnet had no concrete ideas at this stage, so he says in his Mémoires, p342. Reuter was the initiator not Monnet. Reuter took exact notes about what happened and wrote a detailed report later. Monnet’s Mémoires were written by friends because Monnet had a poor memory for details. Reuter wrote the phrase ‘World peace can only be safefguarded etc..' It is in his notebook written in pencil by his own hand. Reuter describes when he wrote it.
  20. Reuter came to Monnet’s office and then got Monnet into a long conversation which ended in Monnet accepting the idea of helping write a paper. So it was Reuter who got the ball rolling (to use Reuter’s phrase). Monnet said of Reuter that he was a young professor that he did not know that chance had brought to his office. He was Schuman’s right-hand man in the Legal Department of the Foreign Ministry! He was known for clear thinking and writing. He arrived the day after Clappier, Schuman’s Director of Staff arrived to talk to Monnet and try to persuade him to write a paper. The reason why Monnet was brought in at all relates to internal French politics.
  21. Reuter, not Monnet wrote the first draft. This was then typed in the office not at Monnet’s home. Monnet made minor changes to some of the subsequent drafts. Reuter re-introduced some phrases and thoughts that Monnet had cut out. Monnet did not know the background of Schuman’s ideas which were expounded at the Council of Europe.
  22. The word ‘supranational’ is a precise legal and political term used frequently by Schuman. It was not used by Monnet before 1950 and very little after that as he did not like the term. It is not the equivalent of international as was implied in the play.
  23. The term Authority was used by Schuman in the years before 1950 and Monnet. Several supranational Authorities were discussed at the Council of Europe. It was also used practically by the International Authority of the Ruhr.
  24. The last draft of the Schuman Declaration was not finished on 17 April, as stated. The final typing was on just before the Cabinet meeting of 9 May and Schuman made last minute, hand-written changes as well.
  25. Schuman’s Declaration included a page-long introduction that was never seen by Monnet and is far more important in many aspects. For reasons that the European Commission has yet to explain adequately, the Commission has never published it.
  26. In the play the alleged absence of Clappier to receive 'Monnet's paper' in April-May 1950 was farcical. If Monnet wanted to speak to Clappier and his whole grand design depended on it, why did he not phone him? He was prepared to speak to Schuman directly. It is factually incorrect to maintain that Monnet went to the train station and breathlessly gave the paper to Schuman before leaving on the weekend of 6 May 1950. The Cabinet papers were given as usual to Schuman by Clappier a day before.
  27. It is also nonsense that Schuman decided on the Monnet paper only over the weekend. The drafts of the paper indicate that Schuman made changes to them to correct errors in the earlier drafts.
  28. The incident with Monnet and Dean Acheson in a restaurant is also pure fiction. Schuman specifically arranged the stop-over of Acheson in Paris. Schuman spoke to Acheson on the Sunday and explained to him what he said would be the greatest innovation in European politics for centuries. This shows Schuman's minute planning. The US Secretary of State does not end up in Paris by mistake. The BBC should check the interviews Michael Charlton did with Acheson’s team. The BBC published it as a book, The Price of Victory.
  29. As for Monnet writing his ‘guarantee’ that the scheme did not involve a cartel on a napkin – this is just plain crazy. Would a scribble on a napkin convince Congress, given that the German cartels had financed Hitler and encouraged his dictatorship?
  30. The Adenauer incidents are also laughable. Robert Schuman had met Adenauer several times and kept a correspondence with him. Monnet had no contacts. Robert Mischlich was a member of Schuman private staff and was sent with the documents secretly to Adenauer – two days in advance!
  31. Monnet was not manning the phones for the message from Bonn as Mischlich had already communicated to Schuman the day before the Cabinet meeting. The reception book in Bonn and Adenauer's return letters prove this date. There was no break for lunch on 9 May with Schuman recalling the ministers to the Cabinet table. There was a long debate in the Cabinet as is clear from the books of those present – Auriol, Teitgen, PM Bidault, etc.
  32. The remaining material about Great Britain was very badly drawn and gave entirely the wrong impression that it was a fait accompli by Monnet against the British. Was the purpose of the play to antagonize the British or present history? There is no point in writing false history that makes plots against the British. Schuman was anxious to have them on board and bent over backwards to do so. His idea of creating a European democracy would have been greatly helped had the British been there to support the French and others.
  33. In the Documentary, The European Dream, John Tusa, and the academics Kiran Klaus Patel, Desmond Dinan, Piers Ludlow should be well aware of previous political designs for Europe. Schuman listed and addressed failed utopian schemes in his great speech in May 1949, before the Council of Europe actually met. There is a great deal of difference between the Pan-Europa ideas of Count Coudenhove-Kalergi, which involved classical federation of States, and a supranational European Community of Coal and Steel. What do these academics teach their students? Schuman said these classical federalist ideas were unworkable and history had proved them so. That’s why he introduced the idea of a supranational union at his St James’s Palace speech in May 1949 with an audience of diplomats and foreign ministers.
  34. Academics have to ignore a whole series of events to come up with the ridiculous idea that Schuman suddenly realized he needed to do something and luckily Jean Monnet 'turned up at his office with a solution'. Take the oft-repeated story of Churchill’s Zurich speech of 19 September 1946 on building Europe based on French and German reconciliation. What about Churchill's first postwar European speech that he gave in Metz, capital of Lorraine and home city of Schuman, on 14 July 1946 on the same theme with Robert Schuman at his side? What about Schuman’s role in organizing The Hague Congress of 1948?
  35. What do the academics think was the origin of the supranational Community? When was the term first used? Why supranational? It was not coined by Monnet and was used many years before 1950. How did the Community stop war that had been the constant feature of European history for more than two thousand years?
  36. Have the journalists and academics not read the documents which show that the plans for the European Defence Community were called the Schuman proposal before it was ever called the Pleven Plan and Monnet even knew a thing about it?
It is sad to see that what should be independent news organizations like the BBC being victims of a PR con trick and that so many academics go along with it. The world needs peace and a way to stop wars. Monnet did not have a clue how to do so.

The public deserves better. It is hoped that next year the full extraordinary account of Paul Reuter will be published written from his original notes made at the time. He had a few laconic remarks about the Monnet Memoirs which broadcasters, journalists and academics would do well to read.

14 December, 2011

EURO8: Why the present EURO soup will FAIL and inevitably a NEW EURO will be born

Even if all the plans of the December European Council are passed into law, one outcome is certain: the Euro as presently designed will fail.

Even if all 27 Member States joined the Euro and tried to stay within the guidelines of the Stability and Growth Pact, one thing is certain: the Euro as presently constructed will fail.

Even if all the Member States scrupulously adhered to the Six Pack, with close inspection of national accounts by the European Commission, the Euro as presently conceived will FAIL.

Yet the vision of a European currency is not only reasonable. A solid European currency in a single market is inevitable. One day Europe will have a strong, single currency. It will be far stronger than anything yet discussed behind the closed doors of the European Councils and the hyper-secretive EuroGroup, now the main body dictating the guidelines for the European currency and the economy. The EuroGroup is a non-institutional body of the European Union and not subject to democratic control.

The Euro was badly designed from the start. It does not confirm to supranational principles -- open Community democracy. It is not based on a single supranational standard agreed democratically and enforced by law.

While the measures taken by the heads of government at the European Council to ensure fiscal responsibility -- including a new intergovernmental treaty -- might be useful to prevent and predict fiscal irresponsibility at the national level, they are insufficient. They place the instruments again in the hands of the governments and the politicians. These are the same ones who fiddle the books, overspend and then ask for 'understanding' from fellow politicians and chums. The cartel-like approach of the Council provides NO independent arbiter for the citizen to ensure fairness and justice.

"Nothing is easier for political counterfeiters than to exploit good principles for the purposes of an illusion; and nothing is more disastrous than good principles badly applied." So wrote Robert Schuman (Pour l'Europe, p70).

What the politicians did was at a certain time baptise their national currencies the EURO but there was no repentence from fundamental monetary sins. From a European point of view its politicians are still immature and unwashed. How can I say that? The unwillingness of politicians to study revolutionary supranational principles has led to this disaster. Governments still continued their old way -- with deficits, government-induced inflation and budget overspending. Changing the name of national currencies to the EURO did not effect anything fundamental in the honesty of their governance systems. They counterfeited a European currency made up of a soup of their own inadequate currencies.

The public is not convinced by this renaming fraud. "Drachma, you are now a Euro. Lira you are now a Euro. Deutschmark you are now a Euro."

The markets are not convinced by this renaming fraud.

And now the politicians are beginning to realise that the jig is up. Everybody has found this conjuring trick out. The most deceived are not the markets or even the public, but the politicians themselves, some of whom are still deceiving themselves. They are only starting to wake up because of a series of law cases coming up about monetary fraud and corruption in high places.

The inability of politicians to install a proper European currency -- when such a currency was clearly needed -- has been thrown in sharp relief by the present crises exacerbated by hostile external forces and the dollar sub-prime political frauds and banking meltdown. Europe's crises are their own fault, the fruit of wilful blindness and refusal to deal with Europe's main problem over decades. Their mistakes are not lethal. Speculators are wrong. Breaking the present Euro will not break the European Community system. It will outlast the avarice or ignorance of any group of politicians.

The politicians constructed a currency based on some of the worst aspects of old politics -- that have always failed in the 2000+ years of European history. They counterfeited money. A little cheating, they said, won't be noticed. In the past governments shaved the edges of silver and gold coins. Today they do it electronically via inflation and overspending. They have no gold, no silver, no paper, just electrons. Now they are chipping the edges off the electrons.

Many politicians want to do this coin-clipping to help their economies. Some think they have a right to cheat to catch up with the stronger and more honest Member States.

The politician-creators of the Euro refused to apply supranational principles to an opportunity foreseen in the founding treaty requiring a supranational currency. Instead they made a soup of their own currencies and it has no solidity. They hoped against experience and history that it would work. It hasn't. They had an opportunity after the Euro's launch to reform the foundational structures. Instead they made the lax principles looser and ignored legal obligations and Court judgements. They undermined the European Commission and refused democratic obligations of the treaties and the citizen's rights of the Declaration of Interdependence (which they still refuse to publish!).

The founder-politicians and subsequent politicians can't see how they can run an economy without shaving edges off the currency. Yet they want to have a single market and that works best with a single currency. They had the arrogance to think they knew best. Experience has now shown they didn't.

Firstly, let us examine the present inadequacies. In the past the political chums turned their eyes away as other chums indulged in fraud and overspending -- even though they knew the consequences ate into their own economies. The Greeks were involved in frauds for decades, but so was France under de Gaulle and practically all the others.

Some like the Dutch complained so loudly that at one point the Commission even took the culprits to Court -- for breaking the Stability and Growth Pact. In the early days of the Euro in 2004 -- before the Lisbon Treaty --the Commission still had pretensions of being 'Independent' and the 'Guardian of the Treaties'. It wasn't entirely taken over by party politicians and national representatives. After much cajoling the Commission took the Council to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg because of open violation of the Stability and Growth Pact.

The biggest culprits against the Stability and Growth Pact were France and Germany. The Court made its judgement against the Council. What did the Council do? It laughed in their face, saying it was up to them if and how they would interpret the Law.

Today the questions Europe's citizens and democrats should ask are:
  • What has changed nowadays? If the Court came up with a similar judgement, would the politicians in the Council again thumb their noses at the judgement? The answer is probably, Yes. They would make a fudge AGAIN. But it is questionable if the rule of law and the Court would play a part. The penalties foreseen in a non-Community international treaty cannot be placed before the Court of Justice of the Communities or the EU. This form of 'solution' shows that the Council is acting like an illegal Cartel of power and despises the rule of law.
  • Would a legal case even be raised against a State? Probably not. Today the Commission is stuffed with politicians who quite shamelessly vaunt their party political loyalty. There are no Commissioners representing non-party citizens. They are all chums of the same people who violate European law.
  • Would the States influence the Commission to stop any exposure of manipulated statistics or hidden overspend, unrealistic assessment of inflation or other economic indicators? Probably Yes. Anyone who did so would not have his or her mandate renewed and be subject to vilification as a betrayer of the national interest. (That is why the Founding Fathers required in treaties that the Commission should not be composed of national representatives.)
  • Would the Commission turn a blind eye if they saw that the national banks or international banks on their territories were using as deposits worthless derivatives? What if the banks had again collected as assets something like bundles of sub-prime mortgage loans -- which common sense tells you are largely worthless -- but the credit rating agencies label as AAA? What if again the national governments would smile from ear to ear at the new revenues coming in from a property bubble or a dot com boom? Would the Commission's party politicians call them out and say 'You are living in Dreamland. This is unreal. This is pure cheating. You are colluding with fraud and hype.'? The Commissioners are nominated by States whereas the fundamental supranational principle is that the Commission should represent the overall European good and any direct communication or instruction is forbidden whether from the national governments OR political party OR any other body or association. Today it would be surprising if the Commission would ever take the Council to Court or raise embarrassing matters if they could be covered, whether quantitative problems of statistics or quality of banking. Events this year indicate that politicians still manipulate and cover inconvenient but illicit banking operations.
The present crisis derives from legal and technical problems that can only be removed if all politicians are simultaneously honest and law-abiding. Why? Because the present system has politicians as both the culprits and the guardians of rectitude. No independent checks and balances exist in the system devised by the politicians themselves.

Secondly, a major flaw exists in the design and structure of the present Euro itself. Under the present agitated state of the markets, any flaw in a system will be tested to destruction. It is inevitable that this will cause a rip in the fabric of the euro and unless immediate wise action is taken the European economy will suffer catastrophically.

The politicians have been unsuccessful in playing at speculation themselves. When Euro-candidate countries wanted to join, they took some action to clean up their finances, and the interest rates for their bonds declined as they were a better bet. When the markets saw that fraud and obfuscation was involved the interest spread increased between the reliable and the unreliable. The politicians in Council thought that they could play the same game. Instead of correcting the monetary system to a supranational one, they decided that they would make a counter-bet using the European institutions and national treasuries as the fodder. They thought that if the fast crowd in the City and on Wall Street used leverage, well why couldn't they do so too? They hopelessly underestimated both the nature of the game and the money required to do so.

The European Financial and Stability Facility was set up in what finance ministers had only recently denounced a tax haven, Luxembourg. Previously they said companies set up in places like Switzerland and Luxembourg, not to mention other exotic places, were defrauding their treasuries because national taxpayers were sending their money there and they couldn't trace it to grab it.

Now, all of a sudden, the ministers of finance are employees of such a company in the 'tax haven'! OH! What are they doing there? Speculating on the currency market! They thought that they would be able to make a nominal deposit of the States' money -- taxpayers' money -- and then leverage it. At first they said they wanted to raise only a few hundred billion Euros. Then they said they needed a few trillion. They did not succeed in raising anywhere near that sum. Not even one.

Which brings us to the second main reason why the present Euro will fail. There are many people betting against the Euro, more now than ever. At the centre of this, as the Schuman Project warned the Commission in 2001, are forces inimical to the existence of a united Europe.

Europe is at war, whether the politicians recognize it or not. Europe needs an impregnable currency.

But it does not require just one group or ideological cartel to be at war to cause major destruction. Many people with vast resources will use their money and also leverage it to bet against the Euro project when they think that it will inevitably fail. This is the herd instinct and the herd will include many European and American citizens who will be hurt far beyond their gains if the Euro collapses. These turkeys are voting for the slaughterhouse because they think they will gain from higher prices at the butcher's.

What sort of forces are the finance ministers in their Luxembourg company offices up against? No one knows for sure, even those responsible for future trading markets. The best estimate is that more than SEVEN HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS are involved in such Over the Counter (OTC) volatile money, according to the Bank of International Settlements. It is growing at a considerable rate -- 18 per cent in the first half of 2011.

What currency, what raw material, what future market, what derivative will not be affected by the collapse of the Euro or even by the default of one Member State? By comparison the entire EU budget is around 140 Billion euros -- one five thousandths of this sum. The entire EU combined GNP is a mere 12 trillion euros. A sum sixty times -- and now probably more -- bigger than the EU is being laid in hot money bets and its value depends on the stability of the Euro currency soup. How can our politicians -- now apparently turned hot-rod speculators and esconced in their little Luxembourg office -- compete with the big bucks?

The really big hot money is on the bet whether the Euro and the EU will survive. Now if you know that the Swedes would vote four to one against joining the Euro, how do you think the big betters should place a bet? Do you think it has a future? And if this was reinforced by the opinion of the Danes where only one in five also think the European Council's Euro package will solve its problems, do you add more money to you stake? Or do you bet on a Euro collapse? If many of the investment companies and pension funds found that big money was heading against the Euro, where do you think they would then go to stick their money? And then the masses of smaller money will be also headed in the same direction.

Let's be as wildly optimistic as the present politicians. Let's assume that the Euro survives the present struggle. Let us further assume that the mass of corset-tightening measures also work. Most Euro countries stick with a spending deficit limit of around 3 per cent, keep in line with designated inflation differentials and bring their debt below sixty percent. That means some Member States are shaving only 3 per cent off the currency income they don't have, but some others are shaving a little bit less and being a tad more honest. They hope this will be resolved by inflation. What happens then?

The smart hot money will then be bet more or less the same way. Some countries will be at 2.99 deficit and 59.99 debt. Others will be at 2 per cent deficit and 40 per cent debt. Some may be generating a good surplus. There will still be a differential in the bond market among the States. The huge mass of trillions of foot-loose money will then be bet on trying to split the strong from the weak AGAIN. This is just new apples in the game of apples for the rich men economics that exaggerates any difference in quality for equally exaggerated prices. The hot money folk will use their trillions to lever any holes in the system to break it up for the big, big prize -- the bets on the destruction of the Euro.

The two main practical consequences for Europe with the present Euro policies involve its lack of national freedom and the non-convergence of the economies. Years ago one European prime minister who was formerly a banker warned other leaders that to build a Euro this way and ignore hard reality by egotism would cause major problems in the future. He was right. The Euro-constructors did not listen but conditions were imposed, albeit reluctantly, on the headstrong politicians by some others.

They imposed the Stability and Growth Pact. It doesn't solve the problem but constrains all Member States to its own version of monetary chastity. But it is no chastity at all with an arbitrary chiseling of the currency by 3 per cent deficits and resultant inflation and credit card limit of 60 percent. (These conditions never applied for the budget of the European Communities, or the EU, where book-balancing is absolutely necessary and no debt hangover is allowed.) The 27 Member States and the 17 Euro zone members all have different potentials for growth and these are also squelched by the EuroGroup policies.

The supranational system for a common currency gives national governments complete freedom to choose what they want to do. It provides freedom to grow, especially in times of crisis. However it establishes a single standard for all. It does not make an unsatisfactory mixture of strong, weak and weaker currencies but a standard that all currencies can attain to. Schuman recalled that it took a thousand years for Europe to develop its democracy. It will also take time to develop the moral qualities and civic courage among leaders to build a European currency fit for all.

A Supranational currency is far superior to a currency soup. It will therefore inevitably replace the very expensive mistakes of cartel politics. Politicians had better think about how this can be done before they reach the edge of the cliff. Time is short.

One essential ingredient is humility. Europe is not about defending without question one's nation or one's currency. Its supranational purpose is making it a better nation, a better place by providing a more useful service for both the nation's and the Community's citizens. The politicians in Council have temporarily blocked the democratic imperative for both the Parliament and the Consultative Committees. The latter provide for non-political discussions and collaboration across all groups, associations and enterprises thus boosting growth and career opportunities.

A supranational currency will show up the faults in all the currencies but it will also provide a sure path to improve the nation's, Europe's and the global economy.

07 December, 2011

Budget12: Fiscal Union? No thanks! Open Letter on Openness to President van Rompuy and Parliament President Buzek

Some government leaders and commentators are advocating what they call a FEDERAL fiscal authority to tax everyone and spread this money to governments. Some call this a supranational authority. It is not. It involves reinforcing secretive, cartel-style politics.

But would a FEDERAL fiscal union and a new "authority" help at all? It would tax more money from the public to help those who are already convicted by the facts and public opinion to be
  • untrustworthy,
  • crooked,
  • distorters of statistics,
  • in collusion with each other in fraud,
  • liable to criminal prosecution under the treaties.
Nearly all governments have shamelessly violated the treaties such as the Stability and Growth Pact to control budget overspending and inflation. (In a Community system overspending and inflation involves stealing from Member State partners as well as deceiving national citizens.)

A fiscal union without openness or proper democracy is a fraudulent fiscal compact or a cartel compact.

In the face of a European Court judgement a few years ago, they shamelessly thumbed their noses at it and said it was up to them to decide whether they -- France and Germany in this case -- would be punished for this violation or not.

The European Central Bank has shamelessly violated specific articles of the treaties -- and done the exact OPPOSITE of what it was supposed to do, because an unelected, technocratic President of the ECB decided -- without asking the public -- that it was necessary to deal with the long-term fraud committed by politicians over decades.

Will a 'normal' FEDERAL-style fiscal union stop fraud among European politicians involved in tax and statistics scams? No. The guardians are the politicians themselves! The Commission has been shorn of all independence. It is a politicians' club.

Will it open up the present secrets of what they discuss behind closed doors? No.

Will it stop the international cartel of political parties acting in their own interests? Hardly, it will only encourage it.


Supranational means international democracy. Robert Schuman defined supranationalism in terms of democracy and openness -- which is precisely what the Council and the European Council or the EuroGroup are NOT practicing. They want more secrecy now to hide the past and present scandals and political collusion.

What is proposed has nothing of democracy or light about it. If they wanted a supranational institution, it would be dead easy. A complementary supranational institution already exists that would instill HONESTY supervised by taxpayers. But it is in cold storage -- thanks to the Council.

A supranational Community system is a democracy of democracies. We have 27 member democracies at present. WHY should the governance system of European Union be typified by the hyper-secretive EuroGroup or the European Council whose main characteristic is that they do not let the public know what they are discussing, let voters listen to what is said, let companies, associations, trade unions hear what their reasonings are or how the so-called democrats propose to tax and spend the citizens' money?

In the case of the EuroGroup it is not even an official institution of the Community or the EU and it is the EuroGroup that is now ruling the roost. Its chairman says he has to lie for Europe. So the citizens cannot trust even his information about when it will meet. It makes secret treaties, sets up a shady company in Luxembourg that employs government ministers and tries to lever money as if they were a bunch of Wall Street derivative crooks. They lack the expertise. They are already far from the 1.4 Trillion that was boasted about after they set up this ramshackle operation. (That is more than TEN times the annual budget of the EU!)

They lack open confidence of saying whom they are acting for (their parties or their nationals in Europe?) and even their identity (democrats, ministers or perhaps pseudo-bankers, or even conspirators against the too powerful markets?). The dog's tail of the parties is wagging and shaking the nations. The Euro Zone Heads of Government now meet in an huddle or conference that is in NO WAY DEFINED OR REGULATED BY TREATIES. They are not sure whether to call themselves a European Summit, the European Council (which they are not! They exclude the ten non-Euro Member States) or a Council of Ministers (which they are NOT, even though they fraudulently use its letterhead paper to say they are all honest!)

How can Europe get honest finances again? Supranational democracy requires that the Consultative Committees -- the bodies for democratic associations in Europe like the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of Regions and the equivalent body in Euratom -- be elected based on (1) a reference list of relevant European associations (2) elections within the list of those properly registered associations for a smaller number of seats in the appropriate bodies. (This was part of the Founding Fathers' grand design for Europe and is still active in the body for NGOs in the Council of Europe but has been blocked by Council in the Communities.) The elected body would establish the rules for defining what is a democratic association and what is to be excluded as an unrepresentative lobby.

The Consultative Committee of the European Coal and Steel Community -- even though not properly elected on a European basis because European associations did not yet exist -- was able to control the finances and the budget of the pioneer Community and make sure that housing for miners etc paid out of the European tax did not involve corrupt practice and that the European tax of the Community was properly collected from all firms in the Community. Europe had a real European tax until 2002 -- but this was stopped by the politicians when they decided not to renew the Coal and Steel Community Treaty for another fifty years.

At the start of the first Community politicians delayed the implementation of the changes to make the Consultative Committee a truly European body. They preferred to choose the members themselves which was the interim agreement. Then de Gaulle tried to move the European government system of the Communities to French control inside the Council with its closed doors. De Gaulle is long gone but his undemocratic deformations remain. Can they be reversed? Yes. They will be when we have Europeans with moral courage and honesty. The process of justice and democracy is ineluctable.

We, the citizens, are still waiting for the present Consultative Committees to produce plans for THEIR European elections. Don't hold your breath. The European Parliament took decades to fulfill the minimum electoral requirements in the treaties and still has not once had a proper Europe-wide election under a single electoral statute as required by treaty law.

Such Consultative Committees -- if active -- would have prevented the decades of corrupt and fraudulent practice among Member States, the bad construction of the euro and the present mortgaging of the future planned behind the closed doors of the European Council and the EuroGroup. (See the budget series on http://democracy.blogactiv.eu and the commentaries at http://www.schuman.info/news.htm )

The Consultative Committees should have specialized subcommittees on monetary affairs, representing various types of associations of taxpayers. These would be open and would eliminate much of the comitology -- which is neither open nor democratically approved.

Meanwhile both Parliament and the European Council make sure that Budget matters are dealt with the doors closed to the public.

What is to be done? I wrote to both presidents asking for justification, morally and legally, for what is clearly UNdemocratic practice. The following is the latest correspondence.
5 December 2011
Mr Herman Van Rompuy
President, European Council

Dear President van Rompuy,
A year ago I sent a letter asking for the legal and moral justification that the European Council closed the doors on meetings on the taxation of European citizens and budget expenditure matters. This is in opposition to the articles of the Lisbon Treaty. The treaty says clearly that all such matters, especially those dealing with the earliest consideration of legislation, should be dealt with openly. Morally, all Member States adhere to the principle that there can be no taxation without fair and open representation, which is then the basis for public awareness and public consultation. Consultation is impossible if the consideration of such vital financial matters is presented cut and dried by politicians, without public access to the debate so they can employ the means in the treaties to influence the decisions, to ensure control and provide adequate inspection of the results through properly elected Consultative Committees.

The public is showing increasing distrust of politicians and so are markets. This lack of open responsibility has now resulted in proposals for trillion euro operations mortgaging the future of the next generations. Even before the European Council was designated an institution in the Constitutional and Lisbon Treaties, it had the moral obligation to have open meetings. It did not. That was the reason that a decade ago the principles of openness were written into the treaties. Half a century ago Robert Schuman said that "the Councils, the Committees and the other organs {of Europe} should be placed under the control of public opinion."

Secret political 'deals' of the past are now paralyzing Europe. Why is the principle of openness and democracy still not being respected? European finances are not the property of politicians.

I am therefore sending this reminder, as I believe the public has a right to know the legal and moral opinion why the European Council deems it can close the doors while attempting to extract tax money and design its plans for spending public money.

Many thanks for your help in this matter.

Yours etc
A reminder letter was sent to President Buzek of the European Parliament with this complaint introduced to the European Ombudsman for non-response.
The Parliament has not replied to my letters. They deal with my exclusion, press exclusion and exclusion of the public to matters of primary importance to all, namely, holding secret, closed door meetings on taxation of European citizens and use of the budget.

I was excluded from meetings as noted in the correspondence. President Buzek's earlier argument made for exclusion is not logical or consistent. The Parliament excludes journalists and the public whether or not the Council is involved.

The Parliament says it upholds the principle of open meetings. As for the Council setting the rules in prima facie violation of the treaties, there is a simple way to resolve any potential 'bullying' of the Parliament by the Council. That is to get a ruling by the Court of Justice on such articles as Article 15 TFEU and general principles of taxation and open representation.

For decades the institutions involved which are supposed to be independent and sovereign have refused to do so, being submissive to Council. The public which is the most important partner in the taxation debate should under no circumstances be excluded from discussions among politicians who have their own agenda and interests that are not identical with their electors (the voters are a minority of the electors who increasingly refuse to vote) or the public in general. All the institutions were created for the citizens, not for the political parties who are now (often contrary to the treaties) firmly ensconced in all the institutions, save the Court.