Thursday, 9 May 2013

Europe: the problem isn't immigration, it's government


I gather that today is Europe Day, the national day for the future super-state:

Today, 9 May has become Europe Day, which is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and the peoples of the Union closer to one another.

Hang out the bunting, crack open the fizz and watch our overlords march by in a celebration of our glorious shared future!

Forgive me for not celebrating. There are many things that are good and right about Europe - open markets and borders being most of them. But any benefit gained from this has been destroyed by government, by the capture of the European bureaucracy by special interests and by a distorted view of the capitalist economy as being about producers and production rather than consumers and consumption.

As you know, dear reader, I concluded that the UK should leave the EU at the earliest opportunity. This isn't to embrace the cold closed economy favoured by protectionists but to open up our economy to all the world, to learn the lesson that John Cowperthwaite taught Hong Kong: the long run, the aggregate of the decisions of individual businessmen, exercising individual judgment in a free economy, even if often mistaken, is likely to do less harm than the centralized decisions of a Government; and certainly the harm is likely to be counteracted faster.

So, to disappoint my UKIP friends, the reason we should leave the EU is so as to be more free, more open, more able to become rich through free trade, free enterprise and free markets. And since we want to be clear, this doesn't mean some sort of stop on immigration or even some state-directed guesswork as to what makes for a good immigrant and what a bad immigrant.

The problem is too much government. And worse the view that only government can resolve the problems we face. Even when - as with today's currency crisis - the problem itself is almost wholly a consequence of government. Getting out from the EU is just a small step to breaking down government, to dragging it back to a human level where people can understand it and play some small part in making it work for everyone.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A really good blog that I've visited a few times.

But you're wrong about UKIP - we would be delighted to open Britain up to world trade