Sunday, January 15, 2012

An Alarming Trend Across the Continent

Last Thursday the emeritus Norwegian Labour politician Thorbjørn Jagland, now an apparatchik in the EU superstate, expressed his concern “that other countries, and not just Norway, will start to demand to govern themselves.”

The horror!

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has kindly translated Mr. Jagland’s piece. The translator includes this note:

Have a look at this op-ed authored by Thorbjørn Jagland, former Norwegian Labour Prime Minister, now current Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee. It was published a couple of days ago, and gives us an insight into the totalitarian mentality of diehard EU fanatics.

Pay particular attention to the last half of the op-ed, which I’ve highlighted. It’s truly scary stuff.

The translated op-ed from Nye Meninger:

Our freedom of action can be used
By Thorbjørn Jagland

Instead of complaining about Norway’s EEA [European Economic Area] membership, opponents of this agreement should muster some courage and imagination and actually start using the freedoms that this agreement gives us.

Stein Ørnhøi wrote an opinion piece in Dagsavisen (29/12-2011) about Norwegian EEA membership. He suggested that Norway should terminate it, and replace it with a free trade agreement, which he claims would give us more freedom. He also claimed that proponents of the EEA Agreement have exaggerated the dangers of using the reservation clause.

I can agree with him on the subject of the reservation clause. But it amazes me how certain members of the Left are opposing an agreement which has given us a stable framework, although admittedly we’ve had to swallow a couple of camels in the process, and we might have to swallow a couple of more in the future. There are no guarantees that our freedoms will improve by stepping out of the EEA agreement. More often than not it’s those on the outside who desperately wish to show that they’re on the inside.

Instead of complaining about the EEA agreement, they should mobilize some courage and imagination and actually start using the freedoms that it gives us.

One example: It strikes me from my vantage point that Norway is one of the few countries in Europe where the absence of a social housing policy is almost complete. The Left’s policy on this issue has been to lambaste the Willoch Government’s liberalization of the housing market in the 1980s. But in all honesty this liberalization had to take place. The housing market was dominated by misleading prices and money under the table. What was missing was the absence of incentives to introduce a better housing policy, but one can hardly blame Kåre Willoch for this. He stepped down as Prime minister in 1986.

When I was growing up, most people believed that steady employment and education were the most important factors in combating poverty. I still believe that this is the case today. In order to combat poverty a good social housing policy has to be present.

The EEA agreement has never prevented the Norwegian Parliament from combating poverty or adopting a fair social housing policy. The EEA agreement has never required Norway to maintain a tax system which favors those who have property and those who wish to invest (or to overinvest) in the housing market at the expense of those who are renting.

Another thing that worries me about Ørnhøi’s demand for the termination of the EEA-agreement is the total and utter disregard for the consequences of such a drastic step. To put it another way: in the current political climate in Europe he can expect the support of the nationalist right to break up not only the vast open European market which Norway is part of through our EEA membership, but also the euro and the entire EU cooperation.

This will be the starting point of a renationalizing process of politics in a wide range of areas, including human rights policies. Politicians would then be able to emulate the behavior of Prime Minister Orban in Hungary when he answered the critics of the new Hungarian constitution: “Nobody has the right to tell us which laws we adopt.”

Yes, we do. This is precisely why we built the new Europe after the war: the obligation and the right to interfere in each other’s internal affairs. European countries accepted the commitments stipulated in the European Convention on Human Rights which requires us to do so. A court was even established in order that citizens could take their own countries to court. The European nations are collectively responsible for ensuring that the verdicts are upheld.

The single market of which Norway is a part through the EEA agreement, is an expression of the same: mutual rights and obligations.

I see an alarming trend across the continent at the moment: more and more people are talking about taking back the decision-making processes from the EU. Ørnhøi’s wish may come true, but perhaps not in the way he had intended, namely that other countries, and not just Norway, will start to demand to govern themselves.

In an age when Wilders, the True Finns and Le Pen’s daughter appear in the shadows, it’s simply too dangerous to jeopardize what is built through agreements and legislation.
[emphasis added]


Nemesis said...

You're right Baron, scary stuff indeed. I guess the only thing missing from this man's wardrobe would be an armband with a Swastika on it!

Anonymous said...

So, who wants to bet when the EU will crumble? Late 2012-2015 tops is my guess. Anyone got a more educated reason for assuming it won't fall on its' face soon?

andy said...

If this is a stupid question I`ll apologize in advance,but just what is the objection to this new Hungarian constitution?

Anonymous said...

Conversely, no one has the right to "renationalize" what is already a nation without the consent of the people. He provides no evidence to support his claims about the right. It is all smear. Classic politicized projection: blaming your political opponents (without evidence) for what one is, in fact, responsible for themselves. They project their own evils onto "Nationalists" whether it be accusations of racism or destruction of euro. You name it, it's the nationalists' fault. That's called ethnic scapegoating i.e. our troubles are the Jews fault, said Hitler. This is also the farmer's pig telling the wild pigs how good life is on the farm. See link to AT re the analogy:

Anonymous said...

I'm a member of the True Finns party. Before reading this text I had no idea I was appearing in the shadows. Sounds as if he was describing the armies of Mordor :\

Anonymous said...

The message from Hungary to EU is that

- Thank you very much, we will be ruling in our own house.

This is terrible for the EU, and in particular for a useful idiot of the brotherhood.

There is also the aspect of telling European peoples

- Look! Hungary has become a fascist state. You wouldn't want that to happen to your country, would you? Now you know what to vote, Labour, the guarantee against fascism.

Bravo, Hungary! You are showing Europeans how to stand firm against the totalitarian ideology that is paralyzing Europe, both financially and socially.

Anonymous said...

Swastika, yes. You can bet he has a koran at home, to prove how tolerant he is.

Skalman said...

Some fruitcake.
How can he seriously say that it´s an evil when the people of a nation wants to govern themselves according to their own will and in their own interest?

Is the man completely out of his mind? What he´s actually proposing is a rule of unelected oligarchs whose will should be imposed on the lesser knowing peasants. This really has a foul smell to me.
Medieval, to say the least...

Anonymous said...

Many here speak of the resurrection of the USSR, but I really think the EU is not the USSR. Rather it reminds me of the 16th century Papacy.

Anonymous said...


If all European countries would start to govern themselves, how would the supranationals and brotherhood useful idiots then get to power?! Just the thought of it.

Using the EU and EU connected organizations is much more efficient, and makes decisions easier to implement.

That's why they cannot have European countries govern themselves.

Anonymous said...

And, European countries CANNOT govern themselves because they have NO oil - or other alternate power source to maintain modern life.

We'll see how Medieval things get if the oil flow to Europe is stopped by the OIC.

The ONLY way for Western culture to survive is for the West to possess - and the world to value - an asset more valuable then oil.

Zenster would say water - plain and bound up in food shipments to the barren Middle East.

Professor L said...

More often than not it’s those on the outside who desperately wish to show that they’re on the inside.

Of course, when the house is collapsing, those on the outside may find great benefit being there.

But this:

This is precisely why we built the new Europe after the war: the obligation and the right to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.

takes the cake. We used to call this warfare. I guess now it's lawfare.