About Me

"Setting the world to rights"...one blog at a time! Plus anything else that comes to mind

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Let the EU wind down

In January I published a post called 'Differences' that included my views on why the EU couldn't work at this time. Yestewrday I read a newspaper article that brought that post to mind.

The article was slanted towards breaking up the EU and quoted a...

'Nobel Prize-winning economist, Milton Friedman...in 1997: "Europe exemplifies a situation unfavourable to a common currency. It is composed of separate nations, speaking different languages, with different customs, and having citizens feeling far greater loyalty and attachment to their own country than to a common market or to the idea of Europe". As he hardly needed to point out to his American readers, currency in the US took place after, and not before, political union, the right way round.'

Interesting..so close to my own ideas! At some stage in our lives I expect most of us make discoveries that we think are unique but in fact are common knowledge. I can remember as a young child making the discovery that if I filled the bath too full it overflowed when I got in - I had "displaced" the water. I was a little put out to learn that not only had some long-ago Greek already made the discovery but he'd taken it a step further with some mysteriously clever calculation or other. These days I'm happy to accept that if others are thinking along the same lines then maybe my ideas hold some water after all.

The EU and the single currency are in a woeful state at the moment. However we get out of it it's going to be messy. So, if there's a chance we're right about it being the wrong time for the EU to develop perhaps it would be a good idea for our illustrious leaders to rein in their ambition and work towards a loosening of ties in a considered and careful manner until we're in a situation we can all live with.

It's going to hurt one way or another, let's do it quiety and amicably or at least ensure we end up with a good solid basis on which to build a better arrangement - slowly!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The ties that bind us

The lovely, serene and beautiful aunt I mentioned as dying in a previous post has died. There was no blood link, no family link but she was still my aunt. Because neither of our families had much money when I was a child, my parents sent me and my brother to stay with my aunt and uncle for a couple of weeks holiday during the summer and they sent their daughter to stay with my parents. It was great! We lived in the London suburbs, it was green enough but my aunt and uncle had a small-holding on the coast. Auntie took us cockling down in the cove and afterwards I can remember standing at the kitchen sink helping her wash them before boiling and pickling them. Delicious! I picked up a small shell from the beach and gave it to her. She kept that shell for the rest of her life, in her purse, took it with her abroad on holidays, everywhere! It's still in her purse and her daughter is going to keep it, in her own purse from now on. A couple of years ago she laughingly reminded us of the chickens she kept. There were two enclosures and my bother and I were each given responsibility for one of the enclosures. It involved feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs. We were so excited about this we virtually followed the chickens round with our hands out waiting for them to lay an egg. It wasn't all fun, I can also remember crouching on the corner of their stairs crying my eyes out with home-sickness. Auntie just came and sat with her arms round me before taking me back to bed with the promise to ring my parents the next morning. Of course, everything was great and exciting again the next morning. Dad and uncle have been friends since they were youngsters and the families have remained close down the years. Holidays, family celebrations, even now we live hundreds of miles apart we stayed in touch. Mum rang auntie regularly during her final illness, Dad's ringing uncle regularly now she's gone. So there's no blood link but so what? Shared history, shared experiences, memories of a kind, smiling lady who brought pleasure and happiness to all who knew her. Those are good, strong links that will never break and why I claim her as my aunt. I love you auntie.