The Spine of Europe

Article Index

So, shall Merkel and Macron succeed where both Napoleon and Hitler failed? We shall soon know if they have the tools to so do. The Treaty of Lisbon is actually legally the same as the Constitution as Valery Giscard d'Estaing outlined in his open letter, was eventually signed into law in December 2007, by David Miliband as Foreign Secretary because Brown lacked the political courage. With the European Union, everything is hidden in plain sight, thus the game of political intrigue is played according to the Rule of Law laid down in the Treaties. Thus, the Brexiteer's can shout and rage as much as they like (it's a freewill thing) because the European Treaties are all constructed to give each of the 28 member states their say but at the end of the day the process is still being conducted under both the letter and the spirit of the Treaty of Lisbon. To which on the 23rd June 2007, Tony Blair gave his consent, at a closed meeting (like UK Cabinet's) of the Council of Ministers, in Brussels, by agreeing the substance of the Treaty of Lisbon. The next day, the 24th of June 2007, Blair resigned as Prime Minister. On the 23rd June 2016, David Cameron gave the British people a vote in a Referendum, The next day the 24th of June 2016, Cameron announced his intention to resign as Prime Minister. Yes, there was no coincidence on the date chosen for the Referendum. Note, as an aside, on the day Blair resigned he was appointed Representative to the Quartet, comprising the UN,US,EU and Russia, his tenure ended on the 27th May 2015. This chorography has relevance for Brexit and the Conventional Force in Europe Treaty which ended the Cold War, which endured from 19th November 1990 until the 11th March 2015, with a hiatus in April 2007. Significantly this now represents an opportunity for an EU special relationship to be formed with Russia once the UK departs. This will need to be established in the context of NATO's Article 5 and the EU's Article 43. How is Russia to be brought into the European fold given their withdrawal from the CFE Treaty? Answer: the same way as Theresa May set out in her Florence Speech through application of Article 8. The problem is that Article 8 was inserted at d'Estaing's instance to address Russia not the UK. What is Article 8 you ask? I have appended Article 8, 49 and 50 for readers to digest for yourselves. Note that Article 49 is the preferred mechanism of return for The City even to sustaining the loss of Sterling.

The current European peace has indeed been built on the Iron and Steel based infrastructure, as anyone at Tata and ThyssenKrupp shall argue, but the future shall be built on the Internet and AI and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Look beyond the duplicitous propaganda and lies peddled by certain UK government ministers and you shall discover that the UK is not very well placed to go it alone in a globalized world of technical standards and supply chains. Even within the Digital Single Market. Consider why Theresa May has to appeal to the UN for support in seeking leverage over the global technology companies. And why she shall fail. The technical themes to be on the look out for are Data Sovereignty, especially in the EU dimension, and Cyber Sovereignty, especially in the China dimension, with Net Neutrality, especially in the US, all coalescing into either an Open or Closed Internet. Currently there are over 700 separate LTE networks which interface into this global network of networks. But how shall satellite networks be incorporated both tactically and strategically?

Returning here to Negroponte, who in 1995, wrote: “Some people worry about the social divide between the information-rich and the information-poor, the haves and the have-nots , The First and the Third Worlds. But the real cultural divide is going to be generational.....Early in the next millennium your right and left cuff links or earrings may communicate with each other by low-orbiting satellites and have more power than your present PC........ Mass media will be redefined by systems for transmitting and receiving personalised information and entertainment. Schools will change to become more like museums and playgrounds for children to assemble ideas and socialize with other children all over the world.... As we interconnect ourselves, many of the values of a nation state will give way to those of both larger and smaller electronic communities. We will socialize in digital neighbourhoods in which physical space will be irrelevant and time will play a different role. Twenty years from now, when you look out a window what you see may be five thousand miles and six time zones away. When you watch an hour of television, it may have been delivered to your home in less than a second. Reading about Patagonia can include the sensory experience of going there. A book by William Buckley can be a conservation with him”. (Being Digital p 6). Globalization of transnational Social Networks are already with us. Governments are scrambling to either push back by trying to put the genie back in the bottle or just play catch-up. Again it is a power and control thing. AR is on its way, but what are the consequences going to be? I shall skip over the mass media and educational aspect for a later in-depth Blog bringing Negroponte up to date. Furthermore it is to Craig Mundi, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen we should look to assess what the“values of a nation state giving way” means.

However, this generational divide is primarily the root cause between Brexiteer grandparents and their grandchildren who fail to see the value in or appreciate their traditions (or prejudices?). Tragically the old truism “Identity is forged in opposition” applies. It was Simone Weil (who greatly influenced the European Founding Fathers especially Maurice Schumann who read the prayer's at her funeral) who gave an account of this, in her 1943, “The Need for Roots” subtitled “prelude towards a declaration of duties towards mankind”. De Gaulle thought Simone a madwoman and it is largely because of his failure to absorb her concept of “Uprootedness” that underpins most of the as yet to be corrected aspects of the Treat of Lisbon. That shall come. It is Weil's “Uprootedness”, the disconnection with the past and the loss of community, foreseen by Simone that is being exploited by Brexiteers today. Simone gave some guidelines solutions that are as yet to be enacted. Simone also foresaw how “journalism becomes indistinguishable from organised lying” when people don't have the time to establish for themselves truth from fake news. Simone's diagnosis and remedy could be a good staring point for Levison II. We shall shortly see if the new DCMS Select Committee encompass these aspects in their resumed “Fake News” Inquiry. Also with Karen Bradley appearing before the new DCMS Select Committee on the 11th October to discuss her new Code of Conduct. Hopefully, we shall see if the topic of OFCOM's loss of influence via the RSPG with a new chair up for selection at the Plenary 21st November meeting. Shall Philip Marnick's follow William Webb and take to the world stage as per 5G World in London?

Theresa May said in her Florence speech: “And we will do all this as a sovereign nation in which the British people are in control. Their decision to leave the institution of the European Union was an expression of that desire - a statement about how they want their democracy to work. They want more direct control of decisions that affect their daily lives; and that means those decisions being made in Britain by people directly accountable to them. The strength of feeling that the British people have about this need for control and the direct accountability of their politicians is one reason why, throughout its membership, the United Kingdom has never totally felt at home being in the European Union.”. Utter nonsense, this, “strength of feeling” is an older generational cultural matter, due to loss of Empire, having survived both the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Cold War yet still fostering old deeply felt grievances, unable to let go. Our younger Digital Generation do feel at home as citizens of the EU and the world. The family relationship and community issues that intimately effect their lives, are matters in essence beyond their politicians control. It is a yearning for something else and not ultimately a reaction against the propaganda and lies fed to them over sixty years. They won the war's of their generation but lost the economic peace and now risk a generational fracture. Some don't care others do at this loss of respect from their grandchildren.