back to article Viviane Reding says imitate US and form FEDERAL EUROPE

Viviane Reding, VP of the European Commission, has published an open letter calling for a Federal Europe, modelled on the USA, claiming the only way out of the financial crisis is consolidation of all the participating countries into a single administration. The letter, published on the same day that European leaders are …

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  1. Nights_are_Long
    Go

    I Fully support the Federalization of the EU, it's something I have wanted to see for a long time.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Nights_are_Long

      So, after they f*ck up the finances the first time round by ignoring their own rules and letting walking-wounded economies like Greece in, all in the name of "euro-sociallism", and then even Fwance and Germany breaking their own borrowing rules (http://www.channel4.com/news/france-and-germany-have-broken-borrowing-rules), now they want to make an end play for total control? Yeah, I'm very enthusiastic - NOT!

      If you fully-support it you must be working in a competing economy.

      1. Nights_are_Long

        Re: Nights_are_Long

        Matt I live and work in the UK, I work for one of the largest Employer in Liverpool who is one of the most profitable company's in the UK, so please don't make assumptions.

        I am a Federalist as it is the only way forward, we have a great past but now we are a small wet rock of the Coast of Europe and the way forward is unification or we stand alone and fall.

        1. Aaron Em

          Unification as the only way forward

          Talk of making assumptions -- where the hell do you get that idea? Star Trek?

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Nights_are_Long

          ".....I work for one of the largest Employer in Liverpool...." Must ignore the chance to make cheap dig about Liverpool and employment!

          "....I am a Federalist....." What a surprise! You're from Liverpool, home of the Militant Tendancy, so I'm not surprised you'd be falling for a socialist fairytale masquerading as an economic plan.

          "....we are a small wet rock of the Coast of Europe...." Us and the other wet rock (Denmark), plus a certain snow-clad one (Switzerland) seem to be doing a lot better out of the Euro than those in it. Apart from Germany, they're all struggling, even the Fwench are fiddling their accounts to the tune of 10Bn Euros to try and get their Triple-A rating back. There is no reason whatsoever that a common market like the EU should be forced into a common bank UNLESS you are Germany and want to dominate all the members of the group. Being outside the Euro but in the Common Market gives us much more flexibility.

          1. Figgus
            Facepalm

            Re: Nights_are_Long

            There is no reason whatsoever that a common market like the EU should be forced into a common bank UNLESS you are Germany and want to dominate all the members of the group. Being outside the Euro but in the Common Market gives us much more flexibility.

            Flexibility to monetize your debt. Remind me not to hold any of your currency, ok?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: Re: Nights_are_Long

              "....Flexibility to monetize your debt....." I'd much rather monetize the UK's debt than have to pay for that AND the massive debts built up by over-spending, head-in-the-sand, spend-it-like-there's-no-tomorrow socialist governmets of Greece, Spain, etc, etc.

          2. John D. Blair

            Re: Nights_are_Long

            Finland and Austria seem to be doing all right as well. I'm still with your sentiment that the UK should stay the hell out.

        3. a cynic writes...

          Re: Nights_are_Long

          The recent experience of a much smaller wetter rock (Iceland) would suggest otherwise.

          Unlike Greece or Ireland they didn't have the EU to look after them so when they found themselves in real trouble they didn't have the prospect of being bailed out. So they defaulted, spent a year in the shit and have now returned to 4% growth.

        4. YARR
          Thumb Down

          Re: Nights_are_Long

          Your statements are nonsensical and provide no rational argument for the opinion you express.

          "I am a Federalist as it is the only way forward"

          Forward to what, to what destination are you heading? I am a Nationalist, and the purpose of a National government is to run it's National services. I see no reason why the individual governments of the nations of Europe are in any way disadvantaged at achieving that task due to their present size.

          "we have a great past but now we are a small wet rock of the Coast of Europe"

          Insults aside, I assume your point is that our economic position in the world is declining, because other world economies are catching up with our level of development? Well so is the relative economic position of the whole of Europe for the same reason. What does this matter? Provided we maintain a healthy per-capita standard of living and keep out of debt, I have no problem with the rest of the world catching up. The EU will make no difference to this.

          "and the way forward is unification or we stand alone and fall."

          How is standing alone, i.e. independence not a "way forward"? How is a world of independent nations representing the different wishes of different peoples not a workable model for the future of the world? How will preserving national governments which bring democracy closer to us as individuals cause us to "fall" in any way? Smaller democracies make it easier for us as individuals to effect change. To effect change in a large country like the US you need lots of money. A small country like Iceland, can quickly throw out a corporate-controlled government by one which says to the global bankers "no we will not take on your private debts as out national debt".

        5. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          Re: Nights_are_Long

          No, it is never the right thing to do, unification is bad mm'kay. I'd rather have the current system over a single egg box thank you :P

    2. Aaron Em

      Here's hoping for your sake

      that it goes better than the federalization of the US did.

      I'm also amused to see that everyone's acting like this is a new idea or something, rather than yet another universalist export from the United States. Yep, folks, the EU -- and the increased consolidation of same now being mooted -- is entirely a European idea, hatched de novo in Brussels without any influence from what is still the world's most meddlesome progressive empire, if no longer the world's most powerful empire of any stripe -- and the Bolsheviks came up with it all on their own, too, and certainly weren't following after the best American progressive thinkers.

      Sure.

      (And if you don't believe there can be any such thing as "progressive empire" -- well, enjoy the Kool-Aid, I guess.)

      1. Peter Stone

        Re: Here's hoping for your sake

        I was under the impression that the first person to suggest a "United States of Europe", was Napoleon Bonaparte while exiled to St Helina

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: the first person to suggest a "United States of Europe"

          Napoleon, eh? That could only be because Julius Caesar didn't have a word for "state".

          But I don't support either of them had a democratic entity in mind and I think that's quite enough of a difference to disqualify their claims to precedent. If done right it would be no worse that a United Kingdom of various off-shore islands.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So... who do they let into the new Federation? Clearly the Euro folks weren't quite picky enough about who got to join the single currency, and now look at the mess that's in.

      Seems like there is limited incentive for the folk with the actual money (eg. Germany) to shackle themselves to a few hundred million debt ridden would-be citizens.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well the Yanks let Nevada and Tennesee in ;) Which Euro countries match those? What I mean is, I am sure some do ;)

      2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        "So... who do they let into the new Federation?"

        Well, I imagine it'll be similar to the Euro, where criteria were drawn up, then whittled down to a point where a few members could just about achieve it 'legitimately', and the rest could cheat to balance the books for a year - such as Italy's selling gold reserves and taxing the proceeds or France's sale of France Telecom.

        A United States of Europe is unlikely to succeed - there is too much historical baggage, differences in culture, differences in economic cycles and good old fashioned rivalry. The USA succeeded because of a largely common heritage and language, as well as a short history with little baggage between the participants. Oh, and the economy of the world (let alone the colonies) was much less complex.

        1. Heathroi
          Big Brother

          To be honest about the USA succeeding, (and the CSA not.) was less to do with common heritage or language was that the USA could put more farmboys with more weapons in the on the battlefield that their southern counterparts and have a bigger navy.

          The good lady has her terminology mixed up as Europe is somewhat of a federal system now, (how loose you could argue about for hours). What she wants is a Centralized system with the 'right' sort of people running it with plenty of avenues for Democracy but none of its spirit.

    4. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Pint

      I for one welcome...

      Closer integration is the core reason behind the EU and the Euro and it still makes sense. I do think a more stream lined governance model is needed to realise it. I'm a republican so that seems a natural model to me, but that republic needs to be less of a warm body democracy because otherwise we'll end up with two many factions to make any decision possible. National sovereignty doesn't mean much in an interconnected world.

      1. Aaron Em

        'Republican' my ass

        You're a Communist internationalist, is what you are, and moreover one who's too ignorant to know the origins of his own received political wisdom. (You know -- just like all the rest of 'em.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Republican' my ass

          Joe McCarthy would be so proud of you. Tell him he's Un-American now as well, yeah?

          1. Aaron Em

            "Joe McCarthy would be proud"

            "Un-American?" Why not? His words reveal him to be an internationalist, which means by definition that he has no use for the notion of nations, the US of A emphatically included. What could be more "un-American" than that?

            And don't think you're going to upset me with a comparison to McCarthy, either -- Tailgunner Joe may have been a drunk with no more chance than Quixote vs. the windmill, but he did make life hard for a lot of rich Hollywood Reds for a while, and I have to say that doesn't exactly move me to shed any tears.

            If you're going to try to shut me up, here's a helpful hint: I am not a progressive, and methods which would generally work to shut up a progressive will not likely work well on me. Try making an argument instead. And if you do, then for pity's sake grow a pair and put at least a nickname next to it, rather than hiding behind the rich boy's affectation? I'd hate to think I was wasting my time arguing with an adolescent.

            1. Heathroi

              Re: "Joe McCarthy would be proud"

              indeed, after the reds had accused everyone not jumping on the war band wagon of being in bed with Hitler or one of the Mitford Sisters depending on your preference.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Joe McCarthy would be proud"

              Don't see anyone else interested in his private life .... and the only Progressives people talk about in these parts are Genesis and Floyd.

              1. Michael Dunn

                Re: "Joe McCarthy would be proud"

                That wouldn't be Keith Floyd the great cook, would it?

        2. Big-nosed Pengie

          Re: 'Republican' my ass

          "You're a Communist internationalist"

          Would it be drawing a long bow to suggest that you might be an American?

          1. Aaron Em

            Re: 'Republican' my ass

            I'm an American Jacobite. I'll wait until you've finished laughing -- actually, I get that reaction about two times in ten, the rest being roughly seven and a half blank stares and say two-thirds of a punch in the mouth, on average. It is an utterly ridiculous thing to say in any case, but I've got a great sense of humor so that's okay by me.

            I would note, if it's necessary, that I don't use 'republican' here in the capital-R sense common in the States, notwithstanding its presence at the start of a title I wrote; I use it in the same sense as the Red to whom I responded, that is, one who considers the republic an ideal, or at least a highly desirable, form of government. For any other imprecise or erroneous usage I claim entire culpability.

            1. Heathroi
              WTF?

              Re: 'Republican' my ass

              You're unhappy with the parliaments interferance in rights of royal sucession?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 'Republican' my ass

              You do know that Bonnie Prince Charlie was a Catholic born in Rome,who spent a lot of time in Rome and Bologna, who wanted the French Royalist Army to invade Protestant Britain? He failed, escaped on a French ship and then had a merry time chasing the wives of nobility in France. Then he was buried in the Vatican. Nice work if you can get it. I believe at no point did he paint his face blue and shout "Freedom" like some folks think William Wallace did, unless, possibly, in French or Latin. The blue face paint would have messed up his "Macaroni" style bouffant wig in any case.

              1. Aaron Em

                Re: 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

                Delightful coward! -- straight to character assassination, in the very best leveller tradition. Don't you ever change.

                For the record, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' is dead, and even a Jacobite would scruple at the thought of restoring a corpse to the throne. And, in any case, it's really not your place or mine to be deciding on precisely this king or that king, is it? Parliament going into that business seems to me to be quite where the present trouble started, and the whole point of calling myself a Jacobite is to make clear that I'm in favor of restoring professional government, not just to the Emerald Isle herself but to her wayward colonies as well. Who am I to tell someone, whose profession I do not share, whom in his field would best do a given job? To have the kind of knowledge I'd need to even attempt to choose wisely, I'd need to be a professional in the same field myself.

                I know, I know, some half-baked argument about appeal to authority is just rushing to your lips -- but hold off canting at me just a minute and give a little thought to what I'm saying, and you may just find it makes a lot more sense than you're comfortable giving it credit for.

                For example: Many of us here are systems administrators. Of those who are -- I'll ask for a show of hands -- how many administer our servers and network equipment by popular vote? Make decisions on equipment upgrades by public acclamation? Anyone? I didn't think so. Hell, most of us won't even let the helpdesk into our server rooms, and for Goddamned good reason!

                Why is this? Because we are professionals, trained and experienced in our field, and that training and experience gives us the ability to better understand how to give our users what they need than our users do themselves. That is our job -- it's why, professionally speaking, we exist; if administering a datacenter was simple enough that any ordinary slob could do it, any ordinary slob would do it, and there'd be no more need for us. But it isn't that simple, and so we persist.

                Now, tell me truly: Do you really think that governing a polity of willful human beings is less complicated than keeping a room full of computers fed and cared for?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

                  Which Emerald Isle colonies were you thinking of exactly? Do tell.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

                  Isle of Man maybe? ;)

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

                    Or Iona ... Staffa might be a good bet in the past ..... ;)

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'

                  Do you wave the Saltire at the St Patrick Day Parades as well? Free Speech, why not.

              2. Michael Dunn

                Re: 'Republican' my ass

                Yeah, but his son was officially deaclared as "Henry the Ninth Cardinal Duke of York" - never made it into the Stuart Line of succession but became a priest and eventually achieved the Red Hat.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 'Republican' my ass

              Which King James do you want to restore then, I think we'ŗe out of those at the moment.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'Republican' my ass

            And possibly actually afraid of a centre-right Euro Federation, which looks like what the banks and this lady are pushing. Maybe because it would be direct competition?

            Maybe that's why he is pretending everyone is a Red?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'Republican' my ass

            Apparently the Brownshirts used to get the Jews to sing the "Internationale" at gunpoint, that is, whether or not they knew the words ....

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'Republican' my ass

            It might be a wild stab in the dark, but perhaps you will have hit your mark. Popinjay. ;)

            1. Aaron Em

              'Popinjay' indeed!

              I don't dress that well.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I for one welcome...

        "Closer integration is the core reason behind the EU and the Euro and it still makes sense."

        Santayana: "Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them." Thos whole concept of the European union arose from The Schumann plan. In spite of the name, M. Schumann was a French man. His plan of combining the heavy industries - coal and iron and steel - of France and Germany was a wheeze to ensure that France was able to reap the profits from German productivity.

        developments along this line led to the European Union and the CAP in which a French peasant with half an acre and a cow would receive subsidies comparable with farmers in other "European" countries with their 15,000 hectares, not producing crops to avoid the notorious food mountains.

        The whole idea of Eurpean union is merely an extension of the dream of Napoleon for a united Europe under French domination.

        Sadly, the lessons of history were not learned, so we have the mish-mash of the current EU ruled by unelected officials with no accountancy to anyone - least of all the populations of the countries ensnared. "They're the common people - they don't understand the dream of Europe!"

        Close integration merely means a Federal States of Europe - fine if we had a Congress and Senate elected but the European peoples, but this won't happen; it will all be decided by "them at the top" and tough luck to all the proles who actually provide the income.

        Sory to post anon. but even Europe has its black helicopters in a quieter less obtrusive manifestation.

    5. Archivist
      Devil

      Federalization of the EU

      It's the least worst option.. but it might already be too late.

    6. Subtilior

      How much Euro-failure would it take to convince you that Federalization is a bad idea? Given the EU has been staggering from one miserable decision to another for almost 2 decades, surely giving them even more power has to be a bad idea?

    7. Alan Firminger

      I am an enthusiastic European and a passionate democrat.

      So this is the theoretical right answer.

      But it will fail because there are few Europeans around. A recent Newsnight discussion centred on what will be best for Britain, not what is best for Europe which happens to be the very best for Britain. And in consequence of creating this great continent wide superstructure by stealth few care for the continent and its people. We have no pan Europe culture, no common newspapers or tv. There are strange outcrops of European culture as a song contest, a footie competition and F1.

      Who cares.

      It won't work.

    8. SleepyJohn
      Big Brother

      You're not the only one "wanting to see it for a long time" ...

      'During a meeting on 5 August 1943, Monnet declared to the Committee:

      "There will be no peace in Europe, if the states are reconstituted on the basis of national sovereignty... The countries of Europe are too small to guarantee their peoples the necessary prosperity and social development. The European states must constitute themselves into a federation..." ... As the head of France's General Planning Commission, Monnet was the real author of what has become known as the 1950 Schuman Plan to create the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), forerunner of the Common Market.' : -- Wikipedia

      And the Common Market was, of course, the forerunner of the EU. This is a very long-term scheme that is now rapidly coming to a carefully planned and manipulated fruition. The current 'economic crisis' is a vital, and deliberately engineered part of that plan - forcing all the eurozone states into subservience to the real rulers of the EU. Now that that has been accomplished, their 'front men' can risk openly calling for a central EU government, and Reding is not the only one currently taking part in that carefully orchestrated brainwashing campaign. Not long ago such calls would have been greeted with derision or horror; but not now. Like greedy, stupid pheasants that have been led into a trap with a trail of free handout food, the Eurozone countries have nowhere else to go.

      The real concern of these states should be that such a disparate mess as the EU is unlikely to work unless it is centrally governed by those who cannot be disobeyed; whatever label they hang on themselves. And the EU has been clever enough to effectively demonstrate that, with its cynically engineered economic crisis, which only it can resolve by taking more power from the states. Well, fancy that.

      With the EU's appalling track record on democracy, the people of the Eurozone should be very worried. But hey, they won't have to change their money.

      1. Alan Firminger

        Re: You're not the only one "wanting to see it for a long time" ...

        interesting theory, it could be right.

        I recall that I attended a very small, not elite, political meeting three years ago and I posed the question "What will happen when twenty-five million people within the Euro zone are unemployed ?"

        No-one was able to answer, indeed no-one thought it a question that needed serious consideration. Now if I could see this then surely the arch schemers were able to see it too, even if their construction was notionally ideal.

        So, SleepyJohn, with total respect, what is your evidence ?

        1. SleepyJohn

          Re: You're not the only one "wanting to see it for a long time" ...

          I don't need evidence. As you imply yourself, commonsense tells me the answer.

          Either the combined might of the EU's highly-trained, expert economists was unable to foresee the result of throwing endless free handouts and promises of cheap loans at the aspiring Eurozone countries whose only purpose in applying was to get endless free handouts and unrealistic cheap loans, or the whole thing was set up specifically to fail so that lots of thusly bribed countries would end up totally subservient to the political control of the empire-building EU bosses.

          Consider this: the moment Germany agrees to the issuing of eurobonds the economic euro crisis will disappear, along with the political independence of every single country in the Eurozone. A country is not independent if another controls its economy. Please do not expect me to believe that the political elites who have constructed the EU did not know exactly that, long before they even proposed the euro. Monnet clearly knew it back in 1943.

          These people are building an economic and military super-state to dominate the world, and they don't give a toss about the destruction of democracy or peasants' lives. They may smarm around in drab grey suits looking sombre and respectable, but they have the aspirations, and the morals of Third World dictators. Unlike those crazies, however, they are clever enough to beat the populace into submission with bureaucracy and bullshit rather than bullets and bombs - the former are cheaper, harder to fight against, and don't destroy the infrastructure.

          We don't need evidence for any of this, just the eyes of a small boy who does not see the fancy new clothes his elders tell him the Emperor is wearing.

  2. SuperTim
    Joke

    I want to be like America...

    Yes please, America is like totally the best place in the world ever... Please can we be like them and their coolness?

    I want to be able to own a gun, drive a big truck and supersize my deepfriedmeal(C). Also, I quite like the Idea of their politics being so truly democratic. Makes me all warm inside!

    Or, let's not eh?

    1. Captain Save-a-ho
      Headmaster

      Re: I want to be like America...

      It's a republic, not a democracy. Even if you're trying to joke (but failing), at least TRY not to mislead the idiots who continue to confuse the two.

      How lucky for you, that the USA is pushing toward becoming more European. Universal coverage, here we come!

      /vomit

      For the icon to qualify, I suppose that I'll criticize your "deepfriedmeal" reference.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: I want to be like America...

        Aye because there's nae European country famed for feep frying everything from Mars Bars to Pizza! :-)

        Well put. I just got a serious headache reading the supreme courts verdict on Obamacare, impressive to see Roberts vote for it rather than follow the conservative line.

        A federal europe will have a serious issue, most European countries have a top down form of government, whereas the US states devolved certain powers to a federal government, leaving that federal power often having to fight or bribe states to get laws supported. I can see an equally messy future in Europe. A Federal Europe is not a fix, it just masks the problem for a while. They need to actually fix the problems first then perhaps it may work.

      2. Robert E A Harvey

        the USA is pushing toward becoming more European

        My irony detector just committed suicide.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: I want to be like America...

      "....I want to be able to own a gun...." Despite the knee-jerk gunlaws of Blair's regime, you can still own a gun in the UK. In fact, in most of Europe it is very easy to own a gun, easier than some US States.

      ".....drive a big truck...." Seen the number of Range Rovers and other much-more-expensive SUVs on UK roads?

      "....supersize my deepfriedmeal...." Yes, because the average European (UK or Continental) is just so slim and health-concious - NOT!

      I suggest you need to update your prejudices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I want to be like America...

        You should get out a little more, people don't routinely carry handguns in Europe. They also mostly seem to be able to walk and don't get shot at for doing so. The hefty Biffers do significantly vanish the further East and South you go.

        You telling me all the Reliant Robin and Metro owners all swapped for Rangies, hoorah for the economic miracle!

        1. Aaron Em

          Re: I want to be like America...

          People don't routinely carry handguns in most of the US either, and you can choose to believe me, or what you see on television instead, just as you prefer on that point. (Don't talk to me about that goddamned Top Gear episode in Alabama, either, unless you think I could roll up on a bunch of chavs, tell them all "fuck you and everything you care about", and expect to get out without a beating. Rocks thrown at the car? A hug and a kiss by comparison.)

          And -- and here's where I get my comment rejected and lose my privileged place outside the moderation queue -- in places where you can't walk around without getting shot at, it mostly isn't white people doing the shooting, yet when we get people talking about how this country sorely needs gun control, it's always white people that need the controlling.

          Sure, call me a racist for that if you like. Until you live somewhere you can sit out on your back porch at night, three nights out of seven, and listen to small-arms fire being exchanged a mile or two further south in one of those areas every major American city has -- you know, the parts where smart white people don't go after dark -- then I don't guess I care all that much what you think of me, do I?

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Re: I want to be like America...

          "You should get out a little more...." I think the real problem here is you need to start mixing with just more than one group of similarly -minded people. You will find that meeting, talking and discussing issues with people that hold differing views will either cause you to change your own or re-inforce your believe in their value. But sitting in the same pub, watching the same soaps, and reading the Mirror every day are obviously not giving that to you.

          "....people don't routinely carry handguns in Europe...." When do they in the States? I can just about guarantee you have never been there just from your silly statements. I have been there many times, including "gun-loving" Texas and I have NEVER seen a handgun openly carried by anyone on the street, other than law enforcement officers. And that means nothing as I can see cops carrying guns in many European cities.

          ".....They also mostly seem to be able to walk and don't get shot at for doing so...." Same as above - I have never seen a shooting in many years of travel to the States. I would also advise you to check the news from more varied sources as they'd explain to you that the "gun-free" UK is actually very violent compared to the States (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html). It's not recent either, a German lawyer got called out for claiming the US was mroe violent back in 2003 (http://www.tinyvital.com/blog/2003/7/26/american-vs-european-crime-rates/). And even the BBC was mentioning the fact that Europe has serious guncrime before that back in 2002 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/debates/european/1900791.stm).

          ".....You telling me all the Reliant Robin and Metro...." I do see the odd Metro every now and again in London, but I haven't seen a Robin since "Fools & Horses" was on TV. I assume you live in the grim bit far north of Watford. But, when I drive in the States, I don't see bumper-to-bumper lines of oversized trucks, I often see lots of "compacts" - Honda Civics, Golfs, MINIs, Ford Escorts (they even had a nasty Mercury version of the old '80s Escort). Your viewpoint on the States is simply not based on any real experience, just on what you have been spoonfed, and all you are doing is making yourself look very stupid by repeating your innaccuracies so vocally.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I want to be like America...

            What I'm saying is that when they had those older small cars they didn't all suddenly trade up en masse to Range Rovers. Incidentally the statistics on gun crime don't back up your claims. Especially as regards Germany. And the only place I've had anyone deliberately try to drive into my car - presumable to try and do an insurance claim -was in a "respectable" part of Silicon Valley. As regards the "typically" Brit social habits you seem to think everyone has... well no. Do you think everyone outside the USA lives like they do in East Enders?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Re: I want to be like America...

              "What I'm saying is that when they had those older small cars they didn't all suddenly trade up en masse to Range Rovers....." No, what you tried to imply was that all Americans drive are great big trucks, ignoring the fact that a lot of drivers in the UK (and the rest of Europe) drive equally uneconomic and even massively more expensive vehicles.

              "....Incidentally the statistics on gun crime don't back up your claims...." What, that Blair was a knee-jerk numpty looking for votes?

              "....Especially as regards Germany...." I assume you will back up that claim with reams of verifiable counters when you get round to pulling it out of your rectum, n'est pas?

              "....And the only place I've had anyone deliberately try to drive into my car...." Try the M25. Or the M4, M18, M62 or the M5. Or the A3 or A86 in Paris, the A10 down near Orleans, and especially on the A9 run down to Spain. I've even seen German road rage on the E41 outside Boeblingen. It's not a uniquely American experience, just one your blinkered outlook seems not to have recognised elsewhere.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I want to be like America...

                No, just the only actual genuine attempt, in any country. And yeah, I have driven on those UK roads and on mainland EU.. Why so defensive about the USAians? The stats on Germany look pretty clear, unless you can't read, you think maybe they swapped with Mexico in 10 years? Maybe the Germans suddenly turned into a nation of berserkers?

                As for the cars, I was nicely backing you up on the fact that they are getting into more modern gear, but I guess your blinkered worldview couldn't understand that..... heck, they were going to give me a Kia Pride before I rebelled and traded several sizes up ..... I think they thought it would get squashed sometime on an on-ramp in the rain so they were also hinting this might not be such a good plan.

      2. magnetik
        WTF?

        Re: I want to be like America...

        "in most of Europe it is very easy to own a gun, easier than some US States."

        Refresh my memory, because I can't remember which EU countries let you buy guns in supermarkets ...

        " Seen the number of Range Rovers and other much-more-expensive SUVs on UK roads?"

        Sure, every country has them, but the US has the dubious distinction of being, by far, the least fuel efficient country on earth in terms of fuel consumption per person.

        "Yes, because the average European (UK or Continental) is just so slim and health-concious - NOT!"

        Most European countries have, at most, less than half the obesity rate of the US.

        http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-obesity

        "I suggest you need to update your prejudices."

        I'd agree if those prejudices weren't backed up by facts.

        1. Aaron Em

          Re: I want to be like America...

          You're fondling yourself at the thought of how much better than us you are. Meanwhile, your lords and masters moot an implementation of government explicitly designed on the American model. Aren't you just too cute for words?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I want to be like America...

            Says a man in a Republic based explicitly on the French Republic, with help from the same.

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: I want to be like America...

          "....Refresh my memory, because I can't remember which EU countries let you buy guns in supermarkets ......." Try France, you can buy hunting rifles and shotguns in supermarkets there. In Germany, firearms carry permits (Waffenschein) entitle licensees to publicly carry legally owned weapons, loaded in a concealed or non-concealed manner.

          "....Most European countries have, at most, less than half the obesity rate of the US...." Which just goes to show all Europeans are NOT superfit, superslim and superhealthy, the whole point I was making. Duh! You also need to check which countries have the highest rising rates of obesity and that is in Europe.

          ".....I'd agree if those prejudices weren't backed up by facts." Your range of facts are very, very limited. I suggest you start by reading this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I want to be like America...

            http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-crime-murders-with-firearms

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I want to be like America...

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Re: I want to be like America...

                "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate" Whilst an interesting list, it only works with reported gun crimes, and in many countries there is no such concise reporting as happens in the USA. Where is Iraq on that list? How about Syria, also not on that list but probably a pretty high ranker going on the current news?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I want to be like America...

                  I'd have thought the relative positions of the stable democracies was pretty clear. Still, no worries, at least Mexico is worse, huh?

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: I want to be like America...

              "http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-crime-murders-with-firearms" Oh dear. Skip to the bottom and check the footer:

              "SOURCE: The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002)"

              So already ten years out of date. There have been massive changes in guncrime patterns Worldwide in the last ten years. In particular, the guncrime rate has gone up in the UK despite Blair's stupid gunlaws. Mexico's has gone through the roof, possibly helped by Eric Holder giving them lots of guns in an effort to stop them getting lots of guns... (It must be a progessive thing.) And countries with "unrest" like Afghanistan, Somalia or Pakistan, where shootings are a daily occurence, do not appear in your list.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I want to be like America...

            I would say less than half of the prevalent rate of anything in a large population is pretty significant statistically.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Try France, you can buy hunting rifles and shotguns in supermarkets there"

            I've obviously been going to a different France! Which supermarket did you say this was exactly?

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: "Try France, you can buy hunting rifles and shotguns in supermarkets there"

              "....Which supermarket did you say this was exactly?" Quite a few of the country stores outside of the main cities have a dealer counter for sporting and hunting guns, just like our department stores have franchise counters. You do have to have a firearms certificate for the area/Department which has to be renewed yearly, but you can pay for certificates to cover as many Departments as you like. The French class different types of rifles shotguns and handguns in different legal weapon groups (eight I think) but you can own several rifles and shotguns from their different classes without restriction. Amusingly, given their habit of dissing America, I'm told the French hunters are particularly taken with the American lever-action rifles for boar hunting.

    3. CheesyTheClown
      FAIL

      Re: I want to be like America...

      You don't have to become American to form another America. There are many good aspects of the states. Your description however is more American than I've seen in a long time. It's extremely black and white. As if there's nothing in-between.

      Europe could be a great deal more than it is if Europe were a single "country" or federation. I'll be driving with my kids from Oslo, Norway to Venice, Italy next week with stops in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France and Switzerland. To make the kids happy, I have decided to get Internet access in the car for the trip. So, today I ordered prepaid cards for each country. I couldn't just buy a single 30-day card from Vodafone or Orange since each country has different rules and regulations, so instead I bought 22 cards day cards, a few for each country. Thankfully, I can read and write all those languages or I'd have been screwed. If this were the states, I'd buy a month card and it would work for the entire country. This is just an example of one small thing that would be better.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is true

    that the EU is a very large trading block, bigger than the US and needs to wake up to its own importance. A lot of this "eurozone crisis" talk seems to me to be US propaganda as they don't want people looking at the mess they're in.

    She may be right that the only way to stand up to this bullying is to become more united.

    I think the UK would be well advised to get involved too, although they're not really needed.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Stand by for the War Against The South"

    It'd be rather surreal, as the South would have to get the North to pay for its war machine prior to the fighting commencing.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: "Stand by for the War Against The South"

      The Greeks, like most of the poorer NATO members, get most of their weaponary discounted from the US (Leopard tanks from Germany being the main Greek exception). In fact, a civil war in Europe could be a good moneymaking strategy for Uncle Sam....

      1. Fibbles

        Re: "Stand by for the War Against The South"

        "The Greeks, like most of the poorer NATO members, get most of their weaponary discounted from the US (Leopard tanks from Germany being the main Greek exception). In fact, a civil war in Europe could be a good moneymaking strategy for Uncle Sam...."

        I hate to break it to you but they already used that trick twice last century...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Stand by for the War Against The South"

      Careful now. Military spending doesn't get cut easily. Who do you think is next in line to take charge of Greece?

      1. Aaron Em

        Re: "Stand by for the War Against The South"

        I can imagine many worse things happening to Greece than another regime in power with an interest in ischia, taxis, kai asfalia. Yeah, I know the junta was hard on Red dissidents, but you know what? That's a clue not to be a fucking Red dissident. Same as how it works with antifas and neo-Nazis: antifas beat the shit out of neo-Nazis and get off with a wink and a nod, neo-Nazis defend themselves from antifas and go to prison for years. Anyone with sense doesn't become a neo-Nazi. Works the same way for Reds under the Greek junta, and being a rehabilitated White myself I have to say I'm not exactly heartbroken by the thought of some ignorant college-kid levellers learning a few hard lessons about the world by way of getting nightsticks broken over their thick skulls.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Stand by for the War Against The South"

          What's a "rehabilitated White", enquiring minds want to know. This conjures up various pictures, most of which are thankfully probably not correct ;)

          1. Aaron Em

            'a rehabilitated White'

            It's nothing to do with skin color, if that's what you're thinking; just as red is the emblem of revolution, white is that of reaction, and has been since I believe the French Revolution. (And, hey, we still use "left-wing" and "right-wing", invented to describe where people sat in the National Assembly, so why not keep up the color code too?)

            Thus, by 'rehabilitated White', what I'm saying is that I was a progressive atheist myself, just as Red as Red could be -- until I wised up and found out just how thoroughly I had been lied to; it does something to a man to discover, having believed himself to be not religious at all, that he is in fact an unchurched Methodist more or less.

            (Hey, you don't have to take my word for it -- or, at least, not this word right here. I've been commenting on the Reg for about five years now; all you need do is compare my comments from five years ago, and my comments in this thread, to see that I'm not kidding when I say I used to be a damnfool Red.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Stand by for the War Against The South"

        I vote Prince Philip, give him a second chance to save them. But he'ļl have to give up some of that Danish schtick. In fact can we also vote him in a some kind of international Euro diplomat, they need to expand their vocabulary in Brussels. Just send some smelling salts with him. ;)

  5. Aaron Em

    Should be interesting

    The American union was formed of two sections with conflicting economic interests, one of which ended up conquering the other in order to keep it from leaving and taking all that agricultural revenue with it. A theoretical European union, as it appears from here, would be formed of several sections, each with interests in conflict with the others'. Should be interesting to see who makes war upon whom.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Should be interesting

      The Germans are too emotionally scarred from the last World War to want to go there again soon. The Fwench are too busy trying to suck up to Germany. The rest can't afford it and their populances don't have the stomach for the old stype militarism. Future "war" in Europe will be between politicians (elected and unelected) in teh corridors of Brussels.

      1. Aaron Em

        Re: Should be interesting

        Most likely, sure -- although I wonder; Europe has a hell of a history, and I can't quite believe the meddlesome damnyankees have managed to beat it out of all of you in a mere century or so. That said, war being economics by other means, why assume the EU's civil war would necessarily involve artillery et cetera? I'd bet more on it being a modern-style "asymmetrical" or guerrilla war, if it's a hot war at all.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should be interesting

        "Future war in Europe will be between politicians (elected and unelected) in teh corridors of Brussels."

        Brilliant! Give them real weapons and install bullet proof camera in the corridors.

        I am sure lots of people would love to watch it on TV.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Should be interesting

          Paintball, fluorescent dye, UV lamps and no armour, just goggles and swimsuits ;)

          1. Vic

            Ick!

            > just goggles and swimsuits

            You want to see Theresa May in a swimsuit?

            *shudder*

            Vic.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Should be interesting

        Plus, let's not forget the French have more nukes than China. I doubt if they fear invasion from anywhere. Germany has a grand total of 0 of it's own. It doesn't actually currently want any, plus the 2 countries are pretty friendly.

        France are in fact no. 3 globally.

        They could independently fry any country you care to name. This was done with the agreement of the US, in order that no-one in Europe or in fact globally could have them over a barrel again militarily. Particularly not any of their neighbors, or any Commies.

        Doom will be delivered to you with maximum politeness from either a nuke-equipped Rafale, if you'ŗe sufficiently near, perhaps from an aircraft carrier or land, or from subs.

        The air-launched ones are meant as a "first warning".

        Longest test was with an M45 from Brittany to French Guiana, South America, so comfortably global range. It worked perfectly. Latest test was an M51 in 2010 to somewhere 2000km off South Carolina, a trip of approx 4000km. Max range is about 10000km, which seems plenty from a mobile sub.

        They did used to have active land silos as well, but since the collapse of the Soviets, these were deemed a little excessive and not necessary any more.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7glI_XAWgc

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQJACZwifi0

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mmm, monoculture.

    So instead of my vote being one in 60 million, it'll be one in half a billion. Instead of being able to take a three hour journey to London, it'll be a day of fucking about to get to wherever in Europe, and you can bet you'll still need an identity card^W^Wpassport. Oh, and what about Portugal's, err, progressive drug laws? Or France's ban on encryption? How are you going to homogenize all that lot?

    Sounds like yet another federalist with no clue, to me.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Mmm, monoculture.

      Well, you don't.

      The Federal Government in Australia - and even the Kingdom of Great Britain was created for economic and trade reasons, Australia to sort out inter colonial trade and GB had the bailing out of Scotland after the disastrous Darrien scheme (Brilliant Idea that, build a Colony in a Central American Swamp, a swamp that the Spannish were convinced was theirs...). Each Colony in Australia's case still has its own laws and Parliament, and only a fool would call Scotland England.

      Portugal can keep its drug laws. You get your 1 in 60 million vote for the UK government, and your 1 in half a billion vote for Europe (just like now), but you wont need a passport to get anywhere in Europe, and wont need to change money next time you go on holiday.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mmm, monoculture.

      Well, Brussels or Paris in two and half or so hours from London today, no passport or card needed to travel across EU plus Switzerland unless your home country has not joined Schengen (oh, that means UK and, umm, GB) - living in continental Europe, I've just driven across Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Germany without showing a passport, except between Croatia (not in EU) and Slovenia (not really best of friends with Croatia) plus a quick sprint across a small piece of Bosnia Hercegovina. My friends living in France have many things to say, oddly nothing about encryption and Portuguese acquaintances and holidaying British friends seem to get in and out of Portugal more easily and safely than, say, the USA or even Heathrow.. So, get yourself a passport so you can get in and out of Schengen, take a chance and try exploring reality. The freedom may take some adjustment; but you may manage it.

      You know, there are about 1/4 million Brits with houses in or actually living in France, more in Spain and Portugal, 60 000 in Brussels alone. Somehow they survive and even quite enjoy life and freedom.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Mmm, monoculture.

        I don't know about France but I can assure you that living and working in Spain or Portugal is lately more on the survival end of the scale than the enjoying end of it.

        A few years back I was as pro-EU as you like. Now I'm convinced that the EU is a failed political project. The Germans have just worked out that lending money to people so they buy their own cars is just as inviable an economic model as flooding a PIGgy economy with easy credit at low interest rates only to feed a corrupt political system.

        The future that awaits the PIGS is not a bright one, as Germany will not give way till they offload their bank debt to someone else which isn't going to happen any time soon. Austerity (AKA bowls of rice) probably for a couple of generations, unless countries walk away from the EU which probably won't be pretty.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    No no no no no

    It's a bit naive of her to say""sharing and federalising sovereignty does not lead to a loss in democratic power"". Even with a constitution expressly written to limit the powers of the federal government, the US Government seems to be able to do pretty much what it wants.

    The sub-heading "Stand by for the War Against The South" isn't a joke. If the European Federal State comes into being then any country wanting to leave will have to 'Secede From The Union', and I fear things would pretty much go the same way as they did in the US.

    I'm all for cooperating with the rest of Europe for mutual benefit, but leave out the power-grabbing idiocy, please.

    1. Aaron Em

      A constitution

      is just a piece of paper, and the restless utopians who've had charge of the United States for the last century or so know it full well -- their very first act was to abandon God and the outward trappings of religiosity, the better to dodge the establishment clause's obstacle to implementing their vision of the earthly kingdom of God.

      This is why I love progressive "atheists" to little tiny bits: they're mainstream American Protestants and too ignorant of history to know it. Of course there's no telling them that, self-righteousness being the inebriant it is, but it's fun to chaff them with it from time to time -- and, if you do it often enough, they go away and stop bothering you with their muddle-headed little ideas about religion and politics.

      1. Ben Tasker

        Re: A constitution

        This is why I love progressive "atheists" to little tiny bits: they're mainstream American Protestants and too ignorant of history to know it.

        OK I'm no expert on the course of American religion, so perhaps I've missed something, but to boil it down;

        Protestant: Denies authority of Pope, but accepts authority of the bible, believes priesthood of all believers and primacy of the bible

        Athiest: Thinks all the above is bollocks.

        I did look up 'Progressive Athiest' but couldn't see any reference to that being a different type of person. Care to clarify and satisfy my curiousity?

        1. Aaron Em

          "Care to clarify?"

          Gladly, Ben!

          Let's start with: no one is what he says he is; instead, what he does defines him. I may say that I am a pacifist, but if I then offer violence to another person, I have disproved my spoken claim and demonstrated that, whatever I may be, a pacifist I am not -- actions, in short, take precedence over words, even in matters lately considered under the ambit of "personal identity" and therefore, apparently, expected to be taken as sacrosanct.

          Fair so far? OK. Now let's look at the publicly declared and stated program of the United States Federal Council of Churches, as adopted unanimously by 375 representatives of 30-some denominations (including Episcopal, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist -- the largest American Protestant sects) in a 1942 conclave at Ohio Wesleyan (i.e., Methodist) University. The article, still hosted by Time Magazine where it was originally published seventy years ago, is here. (The title is a reference to the "Malvern conference" of the Anglican Church in 1941; see Bonhoeffer, via Google Books, to understand why Time called it what they did.)

          Note: If you're a Time subscriber, you can see the full article at Time.com. If you're not a subscriber, you're not quite in as much luck, as Time has recently decided to implement a paywall that can't be circumvented by clicking the 'Print' button. The full article can be found here, reproduced by someone with a religious bone to pick; the blue text is what you're looking for, and it exactly matches the content of the original article, to which I do have access. If you want to assume this is a sign of bad faith on my part, you're welcome; if you can't handle someone with beliefs that differ from yours, and therefore don't want to believe that what you find there is veracious, or if it upsets you to see words like 'pinko' used unironically and with derogatory intent (Time Magazine's editorial policy today isn't what it was in 1942!), then you are likewise welcome -- but before you go, Comrade, let me mention that keeping an open mind is the sine qua non of this exercise. If you're not willing to question the wisdom you've received, why have you read this far?

          Quite something, isn't it? Internationalism to the extent of federalized world government -- the elimination of nations and of national sovereignty -- the elimination of tariffs and quotas to produce "free trade" worldwide -- freedom of immigration, in line with all else that redounds from the erasure of every national border on the planet -- an international bank to lend development capital free of the taint of "imperialism".

          Is any of this sounding familiar? If you're a progressive, it should! If you're a progressive, this is your political program, and if you're having trouble recognizing it as such, perhaps that's because you weren't expecting to see it espoused as the Way of the Future, and the means of bringing about God's Kingdom on Earth, by a convention of gray-haired bishops from back when your granddaddy was still a young man. (You're also used to operating within a superset of what the bishops of 1942 felt they could get away with; we've had seventy years of effectively unopposed social engineering since then, and that counts for a hell of a lot.)

          Thus we have before us the following:

          P. No one is what he says; he is only what he does. If what he does fails to match what he says, then he is among other things a hypocrite.

          S. The convened heads of mainstream American Protestantism, who were responsible for the direction of their denominations and their congregants, in mid-1942 publicly declared themselves and their sects in support of a political platform whose planks are indistinguishable from those of the modern American progressive (i.e., Fabian) platform.

          Given such self-explanatory primus and secundus, tertius hardly need be stated outright, but let's make it clear for the children in the audience:

          T. Modern American progressivism is mainstream American Protestantism, in slight disguise, and vice versa.

          Of course, atheists -- who are progressive almost to a one, and "conservatives" are no more than rump progressives anyway and bear no further respect or discussion -- have plenty of bad things to say about notions like deity, religion, et cetera -- that being the case, though, one might find oneself forced to wonder: If atheists are anti-religious, then why is it, when these soi-disant godless and faithless espouse a political program -- as invariably they do -- that the tenets of that program are bang alongside the new direction for American Protestantism laid out at Ohio Wesleyan in 1942?

          Coincidence, I suppose. And if you can believe that, then congratulations! You have exactly the intellectual and ethical sturdiness it takes to make a progressive true believer.

          Of course, as with everything, there's a lot more to all of this; looked at historically, it can be taken back as far as the Quakers and Puritans vs. the Cavaliers, or further still to the Roundheads vs. the Royalists, which as best I can tell is really where all this modern bullshit comes from -- hilarious, isn't it, to imagine all of modern history as little more than the latest evolution in almost four centuries of uninterrupted warfare?

          But I have to do other things today as well, so if you're interested in more, I can hardly do better than to recommend the incomparable Mencius Moldbug, who will reward your investment of time far more thoroughly and comprehensively than my little effort here. That said, I hope I haven't done too poor a job of answering your curiosity.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Care to clarify?"

            You do know that it's possible for two groups (American Atheists and American Protestants in this case) to share some ideas on the political and social future of the planet without being one and the same right?

            1. Aaron Em

              Re: "Care to clarify?"

              If it were an idea or two here and there, I might agree with you. When the congruence encompasses every idea of any political signficance whatsoever, though, I find the claim of coincidence a little hard to take.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Care to clarify?"

                Since the Atheist and Protestant movements are religious in nature (and diametrically opposed) any congruence between the political ideologies of their members is by definition coincidental.

                1. Aaron Em

                  Re: "Care to clarify?"

                  Religion and politics defined as orthogonal to one another? I'm not sure which is more marvelous -- your foolishness or your arrogance.

                  Well, in any case, that tears it; I am arguing with an adolescent. Run along and play, and come back when you know something about history, should you ever bother to learn.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "Care to clarify?"

                    I'm not the one metaphorically stamping my feet and claiming the other person is a child just because I can't win an argument logically.

                    Religion is often used as an excuse for or claimed as the basis of political ideologies which I assume is where your confusion stems from. Knowing that a person is a Protestant, for example, will give you no more insight into whether they are fascist / socialist / liberal / whatever your preferred labels are.

                    1. Aaron Em

                      Re: "Care to clarify?"

                      No, you're the one who's unwilling to say anything he can't walk away from, meanwhile claiming childishness on my part because, when you tried to define my argument out of existence, I refused to let you get away with it. Speaking of which, and as you mention confusion, in that first sentence there -- are you arguing the logic of metaphor, or the metaphor of logic? I confess I'm not entirely confident of my ability to follow.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Care to clarify?"

              Theoretically yeah but only if you weren't desperate to pigeonhole them for some reason. ;)

              1. Aaron Em

                Re: "Care to clarify?"

                Sure -- in the same sense that I might "pigeonhole" by seeing a duck and saying "Hey, that's a duck." Whether or not it looks like a duck to you is of little consequence to me; a sensible person might go along with a mob in order to avoid a lynching, were he at risk of such, but only an utter fool permits a mob to tell him what he does and does not see.

                It really does enthrall me to see so many people hiding behind the Guy Fawkes affectation to defend the current hegemony, while I detail amazingly unpopular opinions under my own given name. You've already been out-argued by a degenerate neo-Confederate mutant, and I should imagine that's painful enough -- surely you're not going to let me outdo you in public courage as well!

                (And, yes, I know -- you're not using a name, so nobody will know that you, specifically, lost an argument with someone who thinks the United States should never have seceded from England. But you know.)

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "Care to clarify?"

                  Yeah right "Charlie from the Emerald Isle"

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "Care to clarify?"

                  That would be interesting only if you didn't appear to be so desperate to dictate to people what is and what is not. By your logic you take other people for fools, and assume they hold all opposite points of view from you at the moment, which you seem very afraid of, and you seem to think they can all be persuaded out of their perceived "madness". Perhaps what you are afraid of is simply an illusion projected from your own obsessions. Perhaps you are not the slightest bit interested in other peoples 'viewpoint as long as you can pretend it it diametrically opposed to your own.

                  1. Aaron Em

                    Re: "Care to clarify?"

                    Personal attacks again? No more than I should've expected; if you had any argument to make, I'm sure you'd be doing so. Clearly, though, in suspecting you'd have the wit to concede a clearly unsalvageable line of what I'll kindly describe as argumentation, I did you far too large a favor.

                    'Hope springs eternal', I suppose.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: "Care to clarify?"

            "....Of course, atheists -- who are progressive almost to a one, and "conservatives" are no more than rump progressives anyway...." Hmmm, so what about an aethiest conservative like myself?

            1. Aaron Em
              Facepalm

              Re: "Care to clarify?"

              You poor confused man -- I wish there were something I could do for you...ah! Here we are: Dabney on conservatism.

        2. Heathroi
          Childcatcher

          Re: A constitution

          what I think he's getting at is the descendants (by blood or otherwise) of the old timey new england protestants who over time lost practically every part of their religion except of course, the desire to uplift and remake their fallen fellow countrymen, by force if necessary.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A constitution

            They're lucky one of the old wooden warships didn't run them down in the fog or such as they left. No-one would have been any the wiser.

  8. Cynical Observer
    Facepalm

    Solid Dollar?

    despite all that, Reding points out that America's credit rating isn't being threatened and no one is doubting the dollar,

    And this of course is in no way related to the fact that the ratings agencies that people listen to (e.g.Moodies, S&P) are all US based?

    Wonder what would happen if some European agencies or agencies from the BRICs block were to let fly with a rating that was less than favorable to the dollar...

    1. ChrisInAStrangeLand
      FAIL

      Re: Solid Dollar?

      "Wonder what would happen if some European agencies or agencies from the BRICs block were to let fly with a rating that was less than favorable to the dollar..."

      It would cause a global sovereign debt panic which would destroy most of Europe's ability to refinance their loans, leading to European default.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Solid Dollar?

        Joking? USA has more debt and some decent sized US cities are literally bankrupt. They can not pay staff, pensions, police, teachers, maintain streets etc.. People really suffer, even die, for lack of health cover or proper food. Forget the well-off uppler middle class who entertain the journalists and politicians. Vist minor places like Michigan (e.g. the flourishing town of Flint). Even in good times, some of those places were compared, unfavourably, to the old Soweto. It's all about perception.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Solid Dollar?

        If the dollar fails and there is a global debt panic, what does it matter if Europe doesn't pay back the Americans and Chinese? We wouldn't be any poorer, although we'd definitely be kissing goodbye to all those lovely imports.

        Then again, we could just make sure that the market for uranium/thorium/whatever is conducted in Euros by becoming early adopters and convincing Canada and Australia that they'll see more business for their ores if the sell in this currency. Then we encourage the take up of clean and cheap nuclear energy worldwide as a solution to rising fossil fuel costs (or climate change if you prefer). Suddenly everyone is purchasing shed-loads of Euros so they can buy ore for their domestic energy needs and the US is panicking because the Dollar is worth bugger all now that nobody really cares about oil.

    2. Aaron Em

      "No one is doubting the dollar"

      Really? News to me -- last I knew, even half the US has been doubting the dollar since about 2007, inasmuch as we're not all too terrified to contemplate a problem with the sole currency on which any of us really knows how to operate.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I expected this to happen

    When all the EU stuff started, I said (unfortunately, not here in this forum) "This is similar to the way the US was in the very beginning. I wonder how long it will be until they make the same steps along the path of (bunch of independent entities flying in loose formation) -> (bunch of semi-sovereign entities under a limited federal government) -> (federal government asserts all power, states have no real power) that we have made/are making?"

    And *IF* the EU goes down this path, you WILL have your "War between the States". I don't know what the precipitating issue will be (I seriously doubt it will be slavery), but I know it will be horrible and divisive. It will have to be something about which the various constituent (nation-)states have strongly held - and wildly differing - opinions. Whatever it is, you will have a block saying "We want A! Give us A!" and another block saying "A? Are you mad!?! A is barbaric! Not-A, for the good of the union!" The first block will say "Screw you, we want A, and if we don't get it, we are out of here!" And at that point, you have the choice: let them secede from the Union, or tell them they cannot - that they don't have the right to secede (as we did to the Southern states). And you will have your Civil War.

    If I had to bet, I'd bet on the "triggering issue" being related to Islam - one bunch (say, France) will say "You may have some freedom of religion - BUT NOT THAT MUCH! No veils, no Sharia law" and somebody else (say, Spain?) will say "BULLSHIT! You cannot have 'some' freedom, you are Free or you are NOT FREE. We want the freedom to (make our women) wear veils." (and I truly am not trying to be a troll here, but from my outsider's view this seems likely).

    1. Pedigree-Pete
      Happy

      Re: I expected this to happen

      Thanks, I learned something else new about the US. 17th Amendment. Now I get it.

  10. Ned Fowden
    FAIL

    interesting ...

    because the US version has worked so well for them

    1. Figgus

      Re: interesting ...

      It did until the 17th Amendment, after that it all went to hell in 50 handbaskets.

      1. Aaron Em

        Re: interesting ...

        That change you see adding political power to "the several states", at the expense of the Washington government? Seriously?

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. pctechxp
    Coat

    If we have to be federated with anyone

    I'd rather we become the 51st State

    Mine's the leather one with the stars and stripes on the back.

    1. oldredlion
      Holmes

      Re: If we have to be federated with anyone

      Blow that for a game of soliders, there are far too many religious nutjobs and corporate shills masquerading as politicians.

      1. Aaron Em

        'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

        Damn straight! The levellers have been working their way into power since 1865, and haven't seen a real challenge to their hegemony since about seventy years after that. By now, we should be getting into some really bizarre social engineering, and we are -- gay marriage, for example, has never been seriously contemplated as being OK since before Jesus was in diapers, and here the United States goes from zero to nationwide implementation in about ten years. (You don't think the next time the Supreme Court rules on it, it'll be to say "this is perfectly fine, stop bothering us with it"? Bet me a fiver.)

        Whatever your ethics, whatever your opinion on whether gay people should be allowed to marry, you cannot seriously say that reversing well more than two millennia of common law, in less than two decades, is anything other than utopian social engineering on the grossest imaginable scale. If you're a fan of utopian social engineering, of course, you don't see a problem with that -- but it scares the everloving hell out of me, because I don't know what wild hair the people with their hands on those levers are going to get up their ass next.

        1. oldredlion
          Alien

          Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

          Social Engineering? What?

          Setting or amending laws to reflect changing times and people is social engineering?

          That bit about levellers and 1865 - you're not suggesting that instead of the Illuminati and the Masons it was really the gays we should be watching out for?

          1. Aaron Em

            Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

            You don't really deserve a response. But one point bears reiteration:

            When things have been one way for more than two thousand years, and then things suddenly become the diametrical opposite way in less than one one-hundredth that time -- well, of course this seems natural to you, because you have no understanding of history and thus can't recognize that, historically speaking, shit don't work that way -- never has, and all the hockey-stick graphs and claims of eternally accelerating technological progress in the world can't change the fact of it.

            (On that point: has it occurred to you yet that "eternally accelerating technological progress", aside from being a cipher for the kingdom of God, implies the manufactured world somehow magically converting itself into a perpetual-motion machine? Sure you were taught to believe it without question, but look at it for a minute -- does that make sense to you?)

            1. oldredlion
              Childcatcher

              Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

              You have too much faith in the last "two thousand years" of history.

              Look at society long before that, consider the great philosophers and thinkers, people of science who came up with beautiful theories and ideas without any machine other than their brains.

              What our civilisation has done in the last two thousand years is insignificant, in the great scheme of things.

              Thought for the day: Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

              1. Aaron Em

                Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

                Have you a point, aside from citing the Golden Rule to prove you're not a Christian?

                1. oldredlion

                  Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

                  Yep. People - whether gay or not - are more important than any religion. If laws change to reflect that, that is a Good Thing.

                  Religions are a construct of man, and man changes. Why can't religion change as well?

                  1. Aaron Em

                    Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

                    oldredlion: In your last statement addressed to me, you utter two significant assumptions, neither of which I share.

              2. Vic

                Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

                > Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

                I thought it was "Do unto others before they do unto you"...

                Vic.

            2. Simon Ball

              Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

              The reason that, historically speaking, “shit don’t work that way” is because for most of the last two thousand years, the levers of power have been in the hands of a theocratic/aristocratic elite who had every incentive to maintain a status quo which kept them on top. The sensibilities of the common man (or woman – you do realise that if legitimising homosexuality is “Utopian Social Engineering” then so is equal rights) had little to no influence on the shaping of the law until at most two hundred years – hell universal adult suffrage is less than 50 years old in the UK. It is not in the least bit surprising that things would start to change rapidly once government actually became accountable to the majority, rather than a tiny minority.

              1. Aaron Em

                Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

                So, then, one section running roughshod over the other is perfectly OK when the section doing the trampling outsizes the one getting tromped. You have heard the phrase 'tyranny of the majority', I'm sure -- did you give it any thought when you did?

                Actually, come to think about it, I don't need external references to show you're not making sense -- you yourself chose the verb legitimize, which means "to make something legitimate" -- in other words, taking the word back to its Latin root, to make something legal which never was before in millennia of common law and common practice. If that's not social engineering, what is?

                To be clear, it is not the idea of gay marriage in particular with which I have a problem; it's just a handy, if controversial, example of the degree of social engineering I'm talking about. Another example, possibly less controversial than the one I've been using if that helps any, would be the replacement of charity with federal largesse under the general name of "universal health care" -- but I rather prefer to use the example I have been, because it leads very naturally into the question of whether ends justify means.

          2. P. Lee

            Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

            > Setting or amending laws to reflect changing times and people is social engineering?

            It could be, if you consistently push a message about what is and is not acceptable socially using carrots/sticks approach, without reference to what the recipients feel about the message, its social engineering.

            That isn't to say its necessarily bad. Anti-slavery campaigners for instance - I would suggest that it is acceptable of state resources. Suggesting that the poor deserve everything they (don't) get, so we shouldn't help them? I'm happy to go along with attempting to reverse that idea. Redefining the term "marriage" to include relationships with animals? No, I don't think so.

            1. Aaron Em

              Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

              Suggesting that the poor deserve everything they (don't) get, so we shouldn't help them? I'm happy to go along with attempting to reverse that idea.

              Oh, honey. Honey. Please put that down. I don't want to see you hurt yourself with it.

              1. Aaron Em

                Ah, here we are!

                I knew I was leaving out something important. No, "amending laws to reflect changing times and people" isn't social engineering. Changing times and people is social engineering. Conspiracy theory, you say? Your homework assignment for today begins with Walter Lippmann's Public Opinion -- a technician's service manual. This man was no fringe crackpot; on the contrary, he moved in the highest circles of the Progressive Era, and his entire career consisted in teaching movers and shakers how to move and shake the moved and shook. He also, possibly by accident, helped invent advertising, which as a good progressive you loathe -- or believe you do. Does the existence of, say, Yul Brynner's anti-smoking PSA, upset you by the very fact of it? No. You don't loathe advertising for its own sake; what you loathe is seeing it bent to such a coarse, crass, and sinful purpose as the mere making of money -- God gave thee those tools to spread the Inner Light, friend, not so thee might steal bread from the mouth of thy neighbor.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

          Reagan was a Leveller? Who knew? ;)

        3. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

          Allowing Gays to marry is nothing more than "equality under the law", "the right of contract", and "separation of Church and State".

          Add in a little "mind your own business" for good measure.

          All of these are core American values even if Washington or Adams might be horrified by the idea of two guys getting married. They would probably be equally horrified at a Catholic and an Anglican getting married.

          Religion and Liberty are orthogonal. Following your conscience and imposing it on others are two entirely different things. One does not require the other unless you are a theocrat.

          1. Aaron Em

            Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

            Jedidiah: What you say is true -- now. Thirty years ago it was quite literally unthinkable except among the world's most radical Reds. No doubt this seems perfectly natural to you. It is not.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Far too many religious nutjobs' indeed

          They're going to prohibit heterosexual marriage, of course. It b acame legal, now it is compulsory. At least it prevents overpopulation!

    2. Subtilior

      Re: If we have to be federated with anyone

      We don't.

      Federation only appeals to power hungry politicians, and people hoping for handouts.

  13. Roger Kynaston
    Pint

    Interesting idea

    While avoiding the loons on various sides. Political union does seem to be a solution worth considering for Europe. The current issues are at least a part of the fact that global financial systems are in need of serious reform. A federal Europe could provide impetus to that.

    The democratic deficit in the EU can be readily addressed. Make the EU Parliament a real legislative body rather than just a rubber stamp for the Council of Ministers for example. Other reforms could address other undemocratic areas. The biggest problem would probably be getting power from the Council of Ministers or making them directly accountable rather than just accountable through the elections in their own countries.

    Whether the different areas of Europe can be melded into one unit is an interesting question.

    I might have to look at the headlines in the Daily Fail and other europhobe papers tomorrow though.

    Beer because I _really_ like good Belgian ones (and UK ales, german, dutch ...). Can we have a wine icon for good wine from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal. Then we need a harp for a certain Irish stout.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Interesting idea

      > I might have to look at the headlines in the Daily Fail and other europhobe papers tomorrow though.

      Suspect they've just ordered extra red ink for tonight's print run. Or possibly green ink.

    2. Aaron Em

      Re: Interesting idea

      Yep. Half the damn world just had an economic meltdown because its financial systems are so tightly tied together that there was no stopping everyone cheating like a motherfucker, despite the fact there are probably ten million human beings worldwide employed in the cause of making sure the fuckers don't cheat. The entire eurozone is losing its mind and getting scared about polities seceding over economic problems -- sound familiar? it should -- and you're telling us the solution is to tie everything together more tightly!

      Do you also offer investment advice?

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Interesting idea

      "The current issues are at least a part of the fact that global financial systems are in need of serious reform."

      No they are not. Central Banking, and rampant centralisation however, are in need of abolition.

      "Beer because I _really_ like good Belgian ones"

      Good for you. Incidentally, Belgium is a salutary warning on what becomes of forcefully federated, centralized and taxfeeder-exploited regions. When will it come out of the crapper? God only knows.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting idea

        I thought they were screwed because they were "Dutch" ;)

        Plus they were responsible for "2 Unlimited" ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting idea

        And the average Belgian still lives better than the average Brit.and they do n't waste moeny and lives on American wars.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Interesting idea

          I'm aware of that, and quite envious. Just teasing, plus I like the waffles, beer and choc. And let's not forget Andre Citroen. And the Smurfs. And the girls ;)

        2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Interesting idea

          ".....the average Belgian still lives better than the average Brit...." The so-called Belgian Economic Miracle was based on 130% budget-spend (i.e., they had to borrow 30% of their national income every year), and that was soon squashed down to squeeze into the Euro. Ever since, they're lifestyle has been a lot more modest.

          "....they don't waste money and lives on American wars." Well, they do partake of many NATO actions such as in Kosovo, and have lost plenty of lives in the mess left by their own little empire (the Congo, Rwanda), and did send their F-16s to bomb Libya. In fact, apart from Iraq, they've been pretty busy dying all over the place, often in "American" wars.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting idea

        Funny, most people seem to think it was caused by deregulation of financial markets and lack of oversight?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm for -

    - a Federal Republic of Britain

    1. Pedigree-Pete
      Unhappy

      Re: I'm for -

      Hmmmmm! We are having enough trouble trying to keep the United Kingdom together let alone Europe.

  15. wowfood

    Welcome to the united states of europe.

    The funny thing is I started writing a story several years ago before teh banking crisis where this happened. Except it was due to oil not money.

    Just hope the rest of my story doesn't come true... Europe winds up broke, USA and Asia war with each other for ages, with Europe using the wars to bolster their own economy, and then stupidly joined in half way through.

    1. Aaron Em

      Well

      it won't be a war between the US and Asia for ages, at least -- Asia'll win it handily, probably won't even take more than a couple of years. We might start a war with Asia, if we're stupid enough, but I guarantee we won't win one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        The Chinese don't have THAT much hardware if you discount the nukes. They seem to be reducing their crazy-size infantry also. Seemingly they'ŗe not so interested in spending a totally huge % of their GNP directly on arms, more on Soft Power.

        1. Aaron Em

          Re: Well

          They don't need to; the American tool of power projection is the aircraft carrier. Moskits are awfully damn cheap by comparison, especially for the world's preeminent industrial powerhouse. How many seven-hundred-pound warheads does a Nimitz-class have to stop before it goes to the bottom? Probably not many. How many can the PLAN throw if they feel like it? Hard to say, but given the way our point defense sucks, I'm guessing plenty enough and then some.

          1. Aaron Em

            Re: Well

            (And I'd also quickly note that you don't have to send a carrier to the bottom to put it out of action; a carrier that can't launch aircraft is nothing but a big fat wallowing target, and all that takes is one good hit to the flight deck.)

  16. ChrisInAStrangeLand

    "And *IF* the EU goes down this path, you WILL have your "War between the States". I don't know what the precipitating issue will be (I seriously doubt it will be slavery), but I know it will be horrible and divisive."

    What if Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy demanded to leave the union? Germany says no and sends in tanks. UK and France say "oh no not this again" and fire missiles at Germany...

    1. JimC

      @ Germany says no and sends in tanks. UK and France say "oh no not this again"

      And the USA makes a killing selling new and secondhand armaments to everyone and ends up owning everything and making a full economic recovery. Not that anything like that has ever happened before...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to start an empire again, methinks

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Time to start an empire again, methinks

      Too late, Woodrow Wilson stitched up the European imperial powers with the League of Nations with the intent of stopping any new empires. The best you can hope for now are "spheres of economic interest", which is how China and the US are duking it out.

      1. Aaron Em

        Re: Time to start an empire again, methinks

        "[...]Woodrow Wilson, God damn his carpetbagging Yankee soul to hell and fry it to charcoal[...]"

        Fixed that for ya.

        1. James O'Shea Silver badge

          Re: Time to start an empire again, methinks

          Woodrow Wilson was a good ol' Southern boy,(born in Virginia, educated in North Carolina, first serious job in Georgia) and most definitely was NOT a Yankee. (He was also the most racist prez of the 20th century and one of the more three racist ever, which is pretty good going considering how many prezes were actually slave owners.)

          Exit, stage right, to the tune of 'Marching Through Georgia'.

          1. Aaron Em

            Re: Time to start an empire again, methinks

            Is this an Irishman telling a Mississippi son what makes a Southron? How adorable. So you know, being born in Virginia's not nothing, but coming of Ohioan Puritan stock far outweighs it.

          2. Aaron Em

            Re: Time to start an empire again, methinks

            Oh, yeah -- and if you don't think it's possible for a damnyankee to be a racist, boy oh boy have you got another think coming.

  18. Aaron Em

    Think I'm kidding about Quakers?

    Exhibit A.

    Don't see anything wrong there, you say? Of course you don't.

  19. Wolfclaw
    Mushroom

    Hell No !

    I don't want anything to do with that sh!t hole called Europe and Reding is only banging her drum to secure her job.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will piigs ever fly? I don't think so, especially while this obese!

    As someone stated the USA is supposed to be a Republic and have a decent constitution, and be nothing like as Federal as they are, so she really has no clue, unless she is referring to the Corporatist Statist cancer there.

    This socialist prostitute should be told to take her trade elsewhere; the EU is a Communists and Fascists Wet Dream, and my Nightmare; the sooner this inverse pyramid of folly collapses and all the EU Commissars are thrown in the gutters, the better.

    I pity Germany, it will lose big time for their Euro folly eventually, either by exiting unilaterally and facing some big losses, or climbing injured out of the ruins of a collapsed EU and facing far heavier loses! Germany better hurry up and leave because I doubt the Eurozone will survive for much longer, even if the ESM or EFSF, or some other acronym, becomes a 'real' and highly leveraged fractional 'reserve' bank for the Eurozone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will piigs ever fly? I don't think so, especially while this obese!

      Apparently the "Socialist Prostitute" 'is affiliated with EPP which is a centre-right party, and includes France's UMP. Which means she may well be politically similar to Sarkozy..... who was also centre-right.

      Just how much further right-wing were you prefer she might be? ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just how much further...

        Many extreme nut jobs have very distorted ideas about right/left wing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just how much further...

          Indeed so.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As long as it isn't modelled in the image of Chicago School Neoliberal Economics types that got us into this mess in the first place. You know, those folks that have a Big One for Austerity, which as we can see isn't working, and who wants Feudalism again anyhow, that didn't work either. Unless you had shares in a guillotine manufacturer, in the end.

  22. JEDIDIAH
    Linux

    No real panacea...

    When I first heard about this idea, there was also this little detail about the various countries in the EU being treated like children and being forced to run their budgets through the federal government.

    That is not quite like how the US runs things. States are autonomous and run their own affairs. There's even supposed to be limits on what the Federal Government can do. Basically, it's supposed to be there for things of an "international" nature.

    Mapping the US structure to Europe would not stop the Greeks or the Spanish from doing things their own way. If you tried this "the feds must approve your budget" idea in the US, you would likely get a 2nd Civil War.

    1. Figgus
      Facepalm

      Re: No real panacea...

      Yet this is the direction things have been going for nearly 100 years now. The 17th Amendment and all that.

      States are having their autonomy stripped at an alarming rate and all central control is focused in one place that isn't even a state!

  23. Valerion
    Alien

    In 500,000 years time

    When we've conquered the stars and inhabited countless other planets, I wonder if the idea of countries and different currencies being used in places only a handful of miles away from each other will seem incredibly weird and outdated.

    1. Aaron Em

      In 500,000 years time

      what we today call humanity will no longer exist, and neither will it be remembered. Keep on dreamin', though.

    2. Aaron Em

      ...hell, for that matter, in a half million years' time years won't even exist any more!

  24. Chad H.

    The problem is...

    She's bloody right. The only way the Euro is going to work is if there is a "big government" doling it out to the national governments, and taxing the people, ala the USA and Australia.

    Of course, do that and you can kill any idea that the UK will be a part of it dead.

    1. P. Lee

      Re: The problem is...

      > The only way the Euro is going to work is if there is a "big government" doling it out to the national governments, and taxing the people,

      True. One currency can only work with one government. However, it can fail due to many different forms of fraud and disagreements.

      The French wanted the EU to promote trade so the Germans wouldn't invade them again - they'd have too much to lose. However, there isn't much point doing that if you then give the Germans control by allowing them to out-vote you in a democracy.

      If you think the current Greek unrest is bad, just wait until you have blond-haired and blue-eyed soldiers sitting on tanks as they roll into Athens to enforce EU law overriding the Greek parliament.

      Despite the EU's pretense and social engineering (passports, drivers' licenses, flags, money) and America's lack of geographical and historical knowledge, Europe is not a country, it is not one people and Europeans tend to have a healthy disrespect for all government, especially empire-building ones. I can't imagine a European vowing to defend the president at all costs. How many people even know the name of the EU president, much less what his politics are. Even the name is just an abbreviation. Use the full "European Union" in context of any news and it becomes a painfully obvious oxymoron.

      As someone once said, Europe is like a mix of iron and clay. Its going to take a lot more than global financial collapse to fix that.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would work.

    because instead of Germans giving Greece loads of money with nothing to show for it, they'd instead be shraing a tax policy, and Germans would all be paying taxes, and Greece would be all living tax free.

    I think it's a good idea, because it will hide from the Germanic countries, just how much they're paying for the PIIGS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It would work.

      But how much are the Germans getting from exporting things to the PIIGS, I imagine it's not entirely peanuts. I doubt if they really want them to fail.

  26. M7S

    Would this plan make the UK the Hawaii of a United States of Europe?

    Rocky Island, off to the left a bit (as you look at the map).

    Where would they film our equivalent of Lost?

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Would this plan make the UK the Hawaii of a United States of Europe?

      As long as we're not the Tasmiania in a federated Australia, I think we're okay.

    2. P. Lee
      Happy

      Re: Would this plan make the UK the Hawaii of a United States of Europe?

      > Where would they film our equivalent of Lost?

      The Isle of Wight

  27. Snowy Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Euro

    Germany wanted it so much it looked the other way while others cooked the books, and now Germany does not want to pay for it without the Federalization of the EU. I wonder if this was the plan all along.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Euro

      Their last attempt failed abruptly in 1945. Now they've found another way. Lambs to the slaughter.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Trucks ne Range Range Rover.

    If you think that a Range Rover/BMW X6 or Porsche Cayenne etc are big then boy you are in for a shock.

    Over in the UsofA a big Pick-up is Huge. At least a 6ltr V6/V8 Huge tyres and at least 2ft ground clearance.

    5mpg at most. They start with the ford F150 and go upwards.

    Even my 'compact' rental car last week had a 2.5ltr engine. (VW Rabbit). Went like a reliant robin but at least it went round corners properly. Most yankee cars don't go round corners, the wallow arond them.

    As for the Federal Europe, if they impose this, there will be an almighty run on the banks and pension funds. Europe would love to get their hands on OUR money. I for one will convert everything to US Dollars and make a hasty exit for other climes. It will be bloody.

    1. Spanners Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: 'compact'

      I note that you put the word in inverted commas. Good job. I think that if someone tried to sell a really efficient internal combustion powered vehicle to the USA, they would shoot them. It just does not fit into the mindset that you can have that sort of performance with that level of fuel economy.

      I have seen US tourists find modern vehicles very puzzling - and not just the fact that they do not have automatic gearboxes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'compact'

        Ah come on now, they seem to be getting keen on importing smaller turboed gasoline jobs - easily as much power, more economy. Sound not so good, sadly. Aren't they starting to bring in some advanced diesel sedans as well? Plus Euro cars are getting a bewildering array of automated manuals and so on.

        OK I can imagine some of the more trad types might be looking for a 3-speeder slushbox and a Hemi, but good luck to them!

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Re: 'compact'

        "....I think that if someone tried to sell a really efficient internal combustion powered vehicle to the USA, they would shoot them...." The VW Beetle was a massive success in America. Having said that, many, many years ago I had the fun of taking a load of American colleagues on a circuit day that included both tin-tops, karts and bring-your-own. The tin-tops were Sierra XR4i's so not too unfamiliar to the cousins, though some of them had fun with the manual gearbox! I took along my (proper) Mini Cooper S and lapped them in it, to which they complained that I shouldn't be using a "race-car" against road cars - they seriously didn't realise the Mini was a road car!

        Nowadays, though, the US is firmly in the lead in both designing and using hybrid and electric vehicles. All the hybrids you see on UK roads came about because of the US market.

  29. Greg 16
    WTF?

    I dream of the break up of the UK and hope for an English Parliament, so the last thing I want to do is become more entangled with the clusterfuck that is the EU!

    I can't really understand why anyone would want less sovereignty and diluted democracy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can't really understand why anyone would want less sovereignty and diluted democracy.

      I could not agree more and you've put that so succinctly. The more levels of government there are the farther they are from the people who elect their representatives. The easier it is for said representatives to be dishonest and manipulate, or simply ignore, the electorate.

      This, of course, works very well for those in the halls of power.

  30. Dan Paul

    Save us from the Ignorant (or Stupid), Kill all the politicians now!

    Folks,

    Federalizing Europe = REALLY Bad Idea (A.Y.F.C? Yes, you all need more "big Government telling you how to run your daily lives whilst taking another kilo of flesh closest thine heart to pay for it) The Alsace Lorraine region should begin work on a new Maginot line immediately (on BOTH sides) There will be Civil War between Northern Europe and Southern Europe soon after the consolidation or during. Has anyone read "The Unincorporated Man" ? Might want to do so.

    http://www.theunincorporatedman.com/reviews.cfm

    Consolidating sovereign banking systems into one EU = PLEASE,... I'll have some of what Reding has been smoking. I really need to be completely delusional. (Well I will be after that happens)

    Making snide comments about the USA = Shows exactly how frigging ignorant most of you are. (WTF people, do you have any real understanding of the US, our people and our politics? It sure doesn't seem so. Clue: If you get your "understanding" from Fox News, you got it from the Neo Fascist Party viewpoint, there is a whole lot of difference between them and reality. BTW, that guy that supposedly got shot while hitchiking actually shot himself to gain publicity. Most of us are pretty rational regardless of your stereotypes)

    The Euro = Worst Idea EVER....Currency is essential to national identity. Direct control over that currency is an absolute requirement to good monetary policy. Allowing multiple countries and their respective governments (and citizens) to have a say in your own monetary policy is frigging insane.

    Groupthink or government by committee, please tell me how that has worked out for you? It doesn't work in life, corporations or governments, nothing can ever be accomplished.

    The "Worst Ideas" above are just some examples of what Politicians come up. All the more reason they need to be shuffled off this mortal coil as soon as possible.

    Hell, we can't get anyone in the House or Senate to agree on anything and they have alot more in common than France has with Germany, or either of them have with Greece.

    At the ripe old age of 56, I'd love to have free health care, 6 weeks of paid vacation and a four day work week but I DON'T live in France. I also have a hard enough time paying for the slackers we have here in the US, let alone if I had to pay for that kind of program here. I'LL be lucky if I ever get the "Social Insecurity Checks" that I have been promised when I do retire at 62 (if they don't raise the age to 70, when my father died at 72) might as well plan on bank robbery as a new career then, at least I won't be living in a cardboard box if I fail at it.

    Maybe we should all just go on a sitdown strike all over the world until we get some attention and recall every politician there is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At the ripe old age of...

      At the ripe old age of 52, I have (mostly) free health care (until a bunch of clowns sells it to another bunch of crooks). I have 33 days of paid holidays and 8 statutory bank (national) holidays.

      I looked at my taxes (income tax and NI) last year and they worked out at about 21% of my income. How many % do you pay on your tax and not-free healthcare each year?

      I like the idea of federalism because it will stop the ever rightward veering of our governments. Our conservatives are so right-wing now that they are the most right-wing mainstream party in Europe and they share ideas with some US politicians. A democratic feralism would balance that.

      1. Aaron Em

        God bless your little cotton socks

        "Feralism", of course, being the eventual tendency of every democracy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: God bless your little cotton socks

          Go to the Swiss and explain you think they're "feral" not "federal". Take a videocamera too, like a good laugh.

          They're armed too, they just don't shoot people much.

          Maybe you could put an apple on your head if you don't get much of a reaction.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Re: At the ripe old age of...

        So - you like the idea of federalism because it denies voters the right to choose their national government.

        And you call that 'democratic federalism'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Save us from the Ignorant (or Stupid), Kill all the politicians now!

      Apparently Germany has the same health care model as France, Belgium and Netherlands .....

      logically, since it originated in Germany.... but don't let that stop you.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It won't be easy

    Back in 1901 it took a great deal of persuasion to get 6 British colonies to join together and form one nation - Australia. There were a lot of objections, and concessions were demanded and given.

    If it was that difficult for us, I can't begin to imagine the problems of uniting a larger number of states that not only speak different languages, but seem to have spent most of the last few centuries at war with each other.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: It won't be easy

      However Tanya, 111 years on and the Federal government has still not achieved one of the key objectives behind its creation - a national standard railway gauge.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It won't be easy

        Ah, but Chad, these things take time. The relevant committee hasn't finished considering evidence yet. After all, you try deciding what colour it should be.

        1. bep

          Re: It won't be easy

          Actually, it's the fault of the Irish and the Scots (look it up). On another note, the Federal Government didn't collect income tax until World War 2, and I think a lot of people in Europe just don't get how autonomous the states actually are; own governments, own budgets etc. At least most of Australia speaks the same language, I understand the situation is somewhat different in Europe.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Marshalltown
    Pint

    Speaking as a Californian

    What a horrible idea.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Almost right...By all means imitate an America

    Only it should be the Confederate States of America and we should immediately seccede from the (European) Union.

    If they won't let us go we should fire on Fort Brussels!

    Up the Confederacy!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Scotland would probably jump at the chance to join"

    Huh? What would be so great about having Brussels determine fiscal policy in Scotland? Only the most anglophobic of Salmondites would claim that they'd prefer that arrangement!

  35. Fenton

    A managed economy aka USSR!

    The biggest difference between a federal Europe and the US is that the US was a reletivley new Country able to come together under one flag with roughly similar values and the same language.

    Now a federal Euroupe would be much closer to what the former USSR was, older countries with a long history, different values, different languages. The USSR was controlled by fear from Russia, who didn't have a clue how to manage their own economies, with some countries being forced down a single economic route with no diversity, so when it split up most countries where in the shit.

    It would become a two tier federation with the rich north, exporting the cheap low value jobs to the southern countries (A bit like Germany post reunification).

    The Italians/Greeks/Spaniards will never have the same work ethic/values as the Germans, so they will never be able to compete internally.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A managed economy aka USSR!

      Ah, so the same, but with capitalists instead of communists. And no command economics. So, totally identical, right? Identical to something else maybe, not the USSR....

      Already is 2-tier, isn't it? Maybe the intent is to try and change that, seems an uphill task though.

  36. Robert E A Harvey

    I don't understand

    I don't understand why the right thing to do in Europe is to create a single union, when apparantly the right thing to do in Britain is to break up the union.

    Which of us is doing it wrong?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unification eh?

    The Browncoats won't like it.

    Not one gorram bit.

  38. Anonymous Coward 15
    Devil

    Europa, Europa, über alles...

    (letters)

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If we hit 199 and over, do we get a reset where Matt turns into a real American and Aaron turns into a real Scot?

  40. Tom 13

    I won't pretend to have a qualified opinion about whether or not a federal European Union

    would be good for Europe, or Britain more specifically. That not withstanding, it is quite clear that Viviane Reding is as much of a twit as the character in the Dr Who episode (Tom Baker) who went around meming "The Nimon speaks of many things." His remarks on the foundational years of the USA are so rife with errors it is impossible to catalog them in space appropriate to a comment. So I will only note that since 1790, the extant banking system has been destroyed and rebuilt in the image deemed appropriate by the pols at the top no fewer than 3 times: under Andrew Jackson (who simply hated the National bank), under Franklin Delano Roosevelt (during the bank failure of the Great Depression), and under Richard Nixon (when he took us off the Gold standard).

    So whatever the specific merits or demerits of a European Federation might be, the events of 1790 have no bearing on them whatsoever.

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