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Is UK now half-baked US and half-baked EU?

Is UK now half-baked US and half-baked EU?

Some of our fundamental laws and practices are based upon the membership of EU and our 57% external trade with EU. Other fundamental beliefs, trade, investment, ties, etc. lean more towards US connections and the U S Dollar.

We seem to be on a seesaw but sitting in the middle and not really moving forward with full force. I genuinely believe that either we should join the EURO and be whole hearted in the EU or we should get out altogether and follow the American system of capitalism wholeheatedly.

For example, SMEs in Germany make up about 30% of all the businesses in terms of market share that are very strongly supported by local, regional and national German government and commercial banks. In the UK, SME's "equivalent" market share is only about 10%. In the US, the bottom 10 per cent of the work force is 10 times worse off than the bottom 10 per cent of the work force in EU which has a fundamentally different kind of capitalism.

My recent visit to Paris and use of the Metro with a packet of 10 tickets for 10 Euros convinced me that if we subsidised our tube by 100's of millions of pounds, we would gain billions of pounds extra in tourism. We must look back 200 years and look forward 200 years before jumping to a conclusion just based on five economic tests and one political test. Does anyone have views on this?

It is not money we need to spend to persuade the public on which way we should go. It is deep thought and profound debate on these issues.
Nagin Khajuria


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07th Sep 2002 15:42

laissez faire, monetary policy, fiscal policy, etc. etc.
All these concepts interact with one another and in any case they only are of necessity half-baked answers to explain what is happening to the markets and to the economy.

Historically, we have been putting too much faith in assessing monthly and quarterly statitics, which themselves are half truths and many times revised two or three times, and then fine tuning interest rates to influence inflation rates which in turn affect exchange rates, etc.

This fine tuning takes 18 to 24 months to work through.........however, we have been so anxious.......that we nullify this effect by fine tuning at much shorter intervals.

Then by the time 18 months have arrived, we realise that our economy is also affected by what is happening in the rest of world as we now live in a global village economy.

The vision of the 18 EU countries and the vision of the other 12 EU countries who have applied to join them, is their realisation that to act as a team of 400 million people, despite all the hurdles and all the ridicule that a tiny island like UK with 60 million people may throw upon, that is the best way forward for the 21st century.

30 countries cannot be stupid and ignorant to join the EU and Euro in the long run.

The US is 8 times the size of UK in economic terms. We have to find friends who have the same size economy as we have: Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

If US was a real friend of UK, then when Bush has a problem, he should come to Blair, Blair should not go there........or at least...once Blair goes there and once Bush comes here. There is a saying that if you want to see Rome you have to go there, Rome cannot come to you. Bush is not Rome. He should also go China, Russia and France rather than make phone calls. He is not ordering a Hamburgher and Chips when he sends air planes over Iraq. Money or military power does not make anyone superior to anyone else.

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05th Sep 2002 18:55

Nagin - left hand side of the road???@@@!!!
I really do enjoy arguments that are contrary to my views that are compelling and well thought out - however yours! The left hand side of the road - you have got to be joking?

Driving on the left is an historical nuance that is impractical and beyond imaginable expense to alter.

That aside, the most successful car producers in the world - the Japenese drive on the left - it is neither here nor there, I only know of one vehicle that it has caused a production problem for - the Renault Twingo, and they are changing that in the next release because they are missing out on markets in GB, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa to name a few.

You dont work at the commission do you.

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06th Sep 2002 15:16

Car, Motor car or Automobile mass production
Dear Oliver

You probably know that UK produces about 2 million cars a year. The world produces may be about 40 million a year. Out of that about 35 million are those that drive on the right side of the road.

The car became a reality only because Mr Daimler invented the medium-speed internal combustion engine in 1884. Henry Ford mass produced them in early 1900s. Europeans mass produced the small family car in the 1930s. Then the Japanese challenged the Europeans and Americans in the 1970s.

This led in the 1980s to a series of amalgamations of companies into ever larger multinationals, including the Japanese. This process has continued in an attempt to offset massive costs of design and mass production by exploiting economies of scale and global marketing.

We, the Brits, I am more English than European, could do better by catering for the 100 bigger countries that use/produce 35 million cars a year then the 57 smaller countries who use/produce 5 million cars a year. DTI gave me that "57 countries" number last year re left hand drive countries. Have I convinced you?

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04th Sep 2002 21:19

Informing the public is different from intellectuising the publ
For 400 years now we have been driving on the left side of the road with may be 80% foregn cars imported from abroad and perhaps 40% of British cars exported abroad. I do not know for sure but I guess 75% of cars manufactured in the entire world are for those who drive on the right side of the road including US and EU (excluding the UK) who probably make up, again I do not know, but may be, 75% of world market. Are we not losing a bigger share of the motor car market by insisting that we drive on the left side of the road over the next 400 years just to be different......? Like the oil industry, the motor industry is one of the vital engines of the wealthier economies throughout the world. Do we always know what is best for us? Have we done any homework?

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04th Sep 2002 10:15

If you look back 200 years you will note that European Union has always been on the agenda for the French, although I don't believe Napoleon was overly concerned with convergence criteria.

In fact looking at Europe over the last 200 years you would probably conclude that the very idea of a happy harmonised European Union is laughable, and whilst happy is stretching it a bit the fact that there is a Union at all suggests there is no point looking back 200 years or even 50 years for guidance.

In terms of values and beliefs I don't think they come much more diverse that Germanic and Spanish, so I hardly think the UK would be a fish out of water.

As for looking forward 200 years, I think it is a bit much to ask.

This leaves us with the economic tests, I'm not sure that Gordon Brown invented these tests, but if he did, good on him as they are common sense considerations to factor in before deciding to relinquish control of monetary policy.

Germany is currently in a recession, however they cannot cut interest rates to stimulate investment as this decision has to be made by the European Central Bank, who have other members, Ireland for example, with growing economies.

What this demonstrates is that you need to consider the compatability of your economy with those you are linking with, not just in the short term but in the long term.

Of course the only way it will work is to have truly flexible capital and labour markets throughout the EU. As this would involve us Brits (and the French for that matter)embracing foreign languages rather than shouting in our own tongue I am highly sceptical, though happy to be European.

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03rd Sep 2002 20:36

Deep thought and profound debate
I rather think there has been too much of this already. Honesty and simplicity is what the voting public respond to and it is their choice.

Honesty says that yes it is completely a question of democratic choice and simplicity says yes it is absolutely about 1000 years of sovereignty and the constitution that has been carefully woven over that time.

You can argue for and against until you are blue in the face - both arguments are compelling but it is down to what the nation wants and you cannot intellectualise and say the populace is wrong since we are still a sovereign democracy

Edward Heath said in 1972 that he would only join the EC with the whole hearted consent of the people. As it turned out it went through parliament by 2 votes on its third reading after much bullying of backbenchers. In the meantime old Ted had already signed the treaty before parliament had given consent and that was the excuse he gave for not allowing amendments since the treaty could not be amended. The tone was much the same as it is today i.e. we will do the right thing after careful consideration (but we know best anyway

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