Charles de Gaulle

was a prophet on the EU and Brexit:

De Gaulle—the leader of the Free French resistance in World War II who went on to found the Fifth Republic under which France still lives today—understood the problem best. He thought Britain would never truly be at home in a European union. “England in effect is insular, she is maritime,” he said in his remarks blocking Britain’s entry into what was then called the Common Market in 1963. “She has in all her doings very marked and very original habits and traditions.” He added that “the nature, the structure, the very situation that are England’s differ profoundly from those of the continentals.”

Sadly, that’s not as much the case. One of the strongest drivers of Leave was to prevent further deterioration and Europeanization.

11 thoughts on “Charles de Gaulle”

  1. Is it really United Europe? Or is it a New Carolingian Empire starring FR-GER-BEL as the rulers and the rest as the vassal states? If that is the case then Great Britain was both unnecessary and a hindrance to the goal.

    1. Indeed, it was yet another attempt to recreate the Roman Empire. It used bribery of national elites instead of conquest, as the glue to keep the whole thing together. Unfortunately for our modern-day imperialists, the change to representative government since 1815 has made it harder for bribing elites to stick, either.

      That the EU’s top administrative hierarchs are dominated by graduates from places like the “Ecole de Superior Administrative”, whose accepted students at last count were 85% from families with other graduates from that “Ecole”, is well known in Europe.

      Academic certification was what was *supposed* to make a Europe-wide elite acceptably competent. Instead, it is degenerating into just another way to keep a European version of what Senator Fritz Hollings used to intone as “The fiiiiiiine old families of South Carolina” on top and in power. Well, we can hope that it does not end in the bloodshed other attempts at reviving imperial rule by bureaucracy have always seen in Europe.

      1. It wasn’t just bribery of the ‘elites’, but bribery of the people. The EU exists because it takes money from taxpayers in rich countries and gives it to poor countries, most of whom then want to be part of the EU.

        Problem is, the people of the rich countries are starting to notice that it’s made them less rich. If average Britons had benefited financially from the EU, they’d still want to stay. Instead, their taxes are shipped to Brussels while millions of foreigners are imported to take the jobs Britons used to do.

        1. Actually I put much of the blame for that on Margaret Thatcher and her followers on both aisles of the British Parliament. They were responsible for most of the UK industry collapsing. While the French bailed Renault at a time they could not compete with Japanese car manufacturers it gave them time and resources to modernize and become competitive again. The UK government basically forced national companies to merge and when the Japanese competition came, they were caught flat footed, but the government just let the companies go bankrupt. As a result all UK car “brands” either evaporated or have been purchased by companies from abroad.

          The only reason for the economic “miracle” during Thatcher’s governments was the discovery of North Sea oil just before she got into power. It had nothing to do with her economic policy which only turned it into a services economy which does little actual productive work.

          You can try to blame that on the EU but the issues predate that. Besides, it’s not like they were asked to become EEC members. They themselves asked for it after a referendum. Before that they tried to counter the EEC with EFTA which failed miserably.

          1. God lord. She’s been out of politics for decades and dead for years, and much of the time since the few years she was in power the country was run by Labour… yet it’s still “All Thatcher’s fault!”

            UK industry was already collapsing in the 70s, which is exactly why Thatcher was elected. British products were the laughing stock of the world thanks to the shoddy quality of unionized nationalized industries. She just put the dying dinosaurs out of their misery.

            The real destruction came under Blair, whose policies encouraged the remaining British manufacturers to sell their factories for housing developments, take the money to Eastern Europe or Asia, and build a brand new factory employing foreigners on lower wages. Britons, meanwhile, were supposed to make a living selling overpriced houses to each other.

            And Britain was already in the EEC when Heath had his referendum. He blatantly and knowingly lied about what they were planning, because no-one would have voted to remain if they’d known what was really planned. He will go down in history as one of the worst traitors Britain ever had.

            And where did I mention any of those things in any case?

          2. Blair basically followed her policies verbatim. He might have been Labor Party but he was basically a neo-liberal.

          3. Much of British industry was already Dead Man Walking by the 70’s. State-owned coal pits and steel and auto plants were antiquated and produced crummy product. The Trades Union Congress effectively ran the country, much of the ordinary citizenry of which was poor as church mice owing to ever larger subsidies paid to keep unproductive “enterprises” afloat and unionists in “jobs.” When I worked in Western Europe in the late 70’s many of my co-workers had spent time working in the U.K. before I hired on. The stories they told sounded like they might as easily have been set in the U.K. of the decade following WW2 when socialists also wrecked and impoverished the country and kept most of the wartime rationing going for no good reason too. Thatcher broke the TUC and the Labor Party and saved the U.K.

        2. The UK wartime rationing was kept for a decade after the war to pay the massive loans that the government had contracted during the war. Especially without having colonies anymore, they were quite steep indeed. A lot of people think this could have just have been hand-waved, but if you examine the rationale at the time, that was precisely the reason invoked. To reduce the cost of imports and basic consumer items on the economy and make it export driven to pay the foreign debt.

          I also don’t know what you are talking about with regards to socialists in the UK post WW2 when the Prime Ministers in the UK in that period were conservatives including Churchill, Eden, or MacMillan. Those were the Prime Ministers during the rationing period. All conservatives from the Tory party.

          Labour was in power for like a decade in the 1960s-1970s in two non-consecutive 4 year terms which included the the oil crisis. At the same time the entire world economy was tanking. Yet Thatcherites always think that Labour did all the damage to the economy. Which is risible.

          Guess who cancelled the Black Arrow launcher, making the UK the only nation to gain space launch technology, only to give it up? A conservative government. Minister Frederick Corfield under Prime Minister Edward Heath.

          Guess when the major oil&gas fields in the North Sea were found and initially drilled? When Labour was in power.

  2. “If this thousand-year experiment in island liberty should come to an end, let it find every Member, lying face down, in a pool of their own blood.”
    W. Churchill

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