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A straightforward case of a nation acting in it's own self interest - and any other logic or consistency be damned.  The key issue here is not to get annoyed with the UK - it is only doing what all nations do - the key thing is to ensure that it pays a fair Price for what it is looking for from the EU.  Putin plays this game very well as well, and knows the score.

The meta-problem is that the EU has been giving its services and strategic advantages on the cheap - and getting nothing but abuse in return.  Why doesn't Sarkozy - in his capacity as President of the EU Council and interlocutor with Russia give a speech giving the UK some home truths about what is required from Britain - e.g. fair play for French energy utilities - thus nicely serving French interests as well?

Just wait for the wails of EU bullying.  The EU is not a club where everyone gets everything they want on the cheap - a message which could also, usefully, be directed at Ireland.  The wails are the sound of chickens coming home to roost...

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 06:02:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the interest of the City financiers, and of the Whitehall politicians, full stop.

And they've found it easier to buy the elites of other countries as an alternative to traditional balance fo power politics: make the elits "one of us" and presto, the trick is done.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 08:57:36 AM EST
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National interests are always defined by national elites.  In a functioning democracy those elite's self interest is held somewhat in check by the electorate at large.  So it is easy to buy off the national elite of (say) Georgia, where the democratic process is suspect, at best.

But why does the EU sell itself so cheap?  Because there is little emotional identification with its citizenry and structural democratic constraints on it doing so.  There is no sense that the EU is run by the parliament or directly elected officials and the indirect democracy conferred via the participating Governments doesn't seem to work very well in terms of generating legitimacy for the collective.

No one seem to care what Barrosso says because no one (directly) elected him and thus no one has a psychological identification with him one way or the other.  He is not "our" Commission President and we take no responsibility for what he does.

Likewise Sarkozy will always, primarily, be President of France and thus a "foreigner telling us what to do" rather than our President.  Ultimately the President of the Council or Commission may have to evolve into Directly (or parliamentary) elected positions rather than appearing to emerge from conspiracies behind the closed doors of the Council.

Its more about psychology and media presentation rather than reality.  It's still too easy to take no ownership of what the EU is and does - and for the EU elite to to be spineless and relatively powerless in the face of things that effect peoples fears and real lives

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 09:59:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's continental European elites selling out on their citizens to join the ranks of the money making Anglo financial elite. Just like in the UK and US, the citizenry is duped thanks to the non stop fearmongering and distraction (oh, look, another enemy!), although patience is running thin as the ongoing looting becomes more and more obvious.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 10:40:44 AM EST
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That too.  Either way its a problem of a lack of democratic political control of the means of production and media presentation.  We have got to think strategically about how political institutions can be strengthened vis a vis economic institutions (corporations).

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Sep 1st, 2008 at 11:40:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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