This message has hit us like a fire: Great Britain is shutting down its climate change office while Theresa May has appointed a climate sceptic, Andrea Leadsom, as Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs. While the new British government tries to send positive signals demanding more social justice to its own people it does right the opposite towards the rest of the world. The appointment of Boris Johnson as a new foreign minister does not make things easier for Britain´s European and international partners. He has repeatedly caused furor by rassistic utterances and is said to have launched a campaign of ‘hatred and lies’ against the European Union.
We acknowledge the fact that Theresa May would coherently need to assimilate proponents of the Brexit campaign into her government. However we believe that Boris Johnson has been lifted into the wrong position here. It is to speak most favourably unwise if not an affront towards Britain´s former partner states and all other potential countries Britain wants to deal with to make a polemic like him Secretary of State. Apart from the fact that many of his claims about the European Union are simply untrue Boris Johnson is known to have offensively ranted against Africans describing them as “picaninnies” ; furthermore he did not boggle to make fun of President Obama`s Kenyan roots .
What Boris Johnson and other Brexit campaigners told about the European Union can reasonably be seen as campaign of agitation, baiting and an undue mixture of partially applicable facts as well as half truths and even lies.
While Great Britain has profited a lot from the European Union in economic terms Boris Johnson has exaggerated Britains expenditures towards the Union by the factor of three  which is somehow infelicitous as Great Britain was the only country which was granted a deduction of dues inside the European Union (the so called British Discount). He claimed that Britain would have to pay for the Euro crises as a whole which is a bold lie since Britain has never been part of the currency union. All of it while the British finance sector attributing to 8% - 10% of the British GDP made fine profits with exactly these states in the crises.
The felt raising economic inequality inside the country was not a result of Britain joining the European Union. It is a result of the former British policy to foster its finance location. The low interest rates have f.i. made prices for housing more and more expensive as the freshly printed money seeked its investment also in the form of real estates however not fuelling the construction of new houses at all while the grants-in-aid to build new housing were abolished. The British way to foster its finance location were often bemoaned by other member states as they have sabotaged means to achieve more social justice and equality for all Europenas like f.i. the plan to introduce a finance transaction tax. Unfortunately the money from the finance sector will simply be gone after the Brexit as then the US may likely become the only state to back finance industry and tax heavens.
Immigration was also reported to have been felt as one of the major arguments for a Brexit. However it is a fact that most immigration to Britain happened from outside of the European Union. The increased part of inner-European immigration concerning f.i. Polish workers coming to Britain on the other hand were a result of Britain´s own decision not to make use of the transition period for the inner-European free movement of persons. Besides this many young Britains voting in their majority against the Brexit have profited from university exchange programmes and their right to move and work freely inside the European Union.
Coming back to the particulars of Boris Johnson as being appointed as foreign minister we finally need to say that his relationships to continental Europe have been stressed with him being a major head of an up-heated campaign against the Union and its member states which has culminated in the assassination of former Labour deputy Helen Joanne Cox as preceded by several false claims. If he can not be blamed for all evils triggered by the campaigning we still finally need to notice that “good humor” tends to end where other people get unjustifiably assaulted or where potent lies start to poison the mutual climate.
We do not say that every argument about the Brexit is wrong. Neither can we argue that every decision done by representatives of the European Union would be ultimately good or even favourable. The standpoint to ascertain the right of individual member states to say in a matter is very important and a fully right and accurate argument heard from the pro-Brexit wing. Nonetheless Britain will have to find its future role in the context of the whole of Europe. We would welcome an independent but globally engaged Britain iff it committed itseld to adhere to fair policitical play and to its responsibility given on a global scale. Britain is one of the major economies on the continent and highly developed in economical as well as in terms of science.
Unfortunately what the initially acknowledged government under Theresa May is currently delivering does not come up to our expectations; worse than this we claim that much of what is currently happening needs to be seen as derogatory and unworthy for Britain. What about its global responsibilities with regards to an accelerated climate change? What about the future role of its economy? Will Britain fully and solely rely on the force of foreign US-policy to push its own interests through?
In the past and specifically under prime minister David Cameron Great Britain has rendered an exemplary service in climate protection which has contributed decisively to the formation of the “Green Growth Group” at the climate conference of Paris. However now under Theresa May all of it seems gone while the British government is currently making an U-turn against climate protection. We will need to take a stand on this.
Even from inside the country Theresa May´s act to shut down the climate change office has been condemned as “shocking” and “plain stupid” , . The decision came right in the same week when U.K. government`s own advisors warned the nation in a report that it would not be ready for the inevitable short and mid term consequences of climate change like heat waves, floods and water shortages. The decision came less than a day after Theresa May had become Britain´s new unelected leader.
Worse than this Andrea Leadsom the new Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs has in deed asked “Is climate change real?” last year while the scientific proofs that man made climate change is already happening were overwhelming since a long time. The climate change office was officially “integrated” into the office for Business Energy & Industry Startegy, a place that is clearly not accurate for this purpose and also counteracting that purpose due to likely arising conflicts of interest.
It would be the poorest of the poor in the world who have to pay the highest price if Britain started to sabotage the global climate agreement of Paris. Another point of incertatinty is on how the U.K. will try to accomplish their economic startegy.
It is clear, correct and straight forward that the U.K. will have to invest in its industry sector in order to offset its economic balance affected by the pullout of the finance sector. This is right what other European countries do and it needs to be done in a future-oriented way. If done well it could bring the Britains a new prosperous future with a smaller imbalance of domestic household incomes after a certain hard period of contention.
However if these investments should fail or be done in a backward oriented way trying to reproduce the past centuries economic model this could initiate some detremential and dire side effects culminating in two major global chain reactions.
First of all it is well known that a single country sheering off the known climate commitments and taking advantage of it by poaching off especially the pollutive industries (here with respects to GHG emissions) from other countries can trigger a chain reaction and downgrade all other countries commitments to a point where the warming can no more be limited to 2°C, an upper bound of what is generally still considered ‘safe’.
Even worse under current contracts the British government does not even have any limit for CO2 emissions after the Brexit will have been completed. All of what we have is a binding emission target for EU member states. As a side effect the Brexit will in a fact trigger automatically raised targets for the rest of Europe. However this is not something that could globally compensate missing targets in the U.K. in any way.
Right the opposite is true as third countries may need to reshape their policy of trade and industry. Though it might be tempting for the U.K. to exploit the current situation the effect of it would be disastrous especially towards the big newly industrializing countries like Indria and China which mainly need to shape their climate policy on their own.
However climate change is not the only threat towards a possibly confrontative economic policy of Britain. Though a certain decline in the exchange rate of the British pound has already taken place and a further fall needs to be anticipated that would need to be distinguished from active means of trying to further devaluate the British currency in order to stimulate growth. If such a policy was pursued aggressively other countries would need to follow in a cascade triggering a global currency war with all of the known bad or even fatal consquences of such a decision.
Nonetheless the possibility for a mutual or cascadic global currency devaluation kicked off by the U.K. would only be given if the British trade policy was far more successful than its economic policy. Other countries may be well advised to watch out until Britain´s future role is better ponderable before starting trade negotiations; not only in order to assert fair conditions with regards to competition and for not to torpedo the so hard earned global climate agreement of Paris which we need to owe to all participating member states of the agreement.
Yesterday Britain`s new prime minister Theresa May has visited Germany`s chancellor Angela Merkel. A positive and hopeful signal as both countries have emphasized their mutual interest and their will to achieve the best for the citizens of both countries.
Europe is much more than a geographical region while most people on the continent wanna see the European Union as more than just an economic area. Europe is made up by a common culture, history and common values.
However more and more people share a common preoccupation if not a state of alarming about the future of our continent. It is not just the recent mass immigration with people predominantly coming from muslim countries while more and more people in Europe follow the call for Jihad and while an apparently non-ending series of Islamist terror attacks obsess our continent. How can we keep our freedom and our way of live? Bruxelles immigration policy suggesting new distribution quota for immigrants does not becalm those who are worried. At last the Union could be split and implode by people trying to escape in nationalism. If they can not trust the EU they tend to still trust their nation states.
Today, if we see the reaction of many Turkish people in the European Union as well as Turkey itself a certain alienation takes places. The Turks are right to condemn the recent military putsch. However what is happening besides this needs to alarm us. When the relatives of soldiers conscripted to the armed forces are lynched by the mob while major parts of the population hail president Erdogan for his measures to transform a formerly democratic state into a dictatorship * then we need to start to rethink our previous engagement not only towards a possible EU-membership of Turkey and towards Turkey as a country. We would have to pose more far reaching questions.
The Islam is not just a religion. It is a political religion by nature. People who confess themselves to this political religion tend to have views and values that can not be brought into accordance with our rational, democratic and humanisitic view of the world as it has finally emerged out of the roiling and besets of the 20th century.
Considering these facts we do also need to note that Turkey is still a comparably moderate Islamic state. We need to post the question: Can a state which is in its majority dominated by the Islam in a politicized manner become member of the European Union? No! Can we take it for granted that someone who has the Islam as his relegion would keep to adhere to our values and principles? Though we may not answer this question by simply shouting Yes or No now let us first reconsider some facts we know.
The assassin of Nizza had like many others at first lived a Westernly oriented live. He had danced Salsa and did many other things people of his age would do (one of the reasons why he was not discovered). According to publicized intelligence information he has become radicalized and inflamed within a very short time. Finally when he commited that atrocious assassination he had committed himself to the Islamic State and had started to follow its rules and requirements.
There is no worse error that we could commit than equating Islamism with nihilism. The ideology of the Islamic State and that of many Islamists is extremly dangerous (Concerning nihilism there is just nothing that would emerge out of it; no radical changes in opinion or the way we act except perhaps a more passive behaviour.).
It is according to intelligence information that we know that the Islamic State has a strict organization in its interior and that it is using terrorist attacks as part of its strategy not only to intimidate the population of towns before it starts an offensive or militaric attack but now apparently also as it incrementally becomes threatened in its ‘home location’ by militaric losses. The fact that terrorist attacks in Europe focus on France may be another try to split the European population. We know from a number of internal documents of the Islamic State about its strategy in the Near East as these documents had been leaked to European intelligence services. Nihilism on the other hand does not have a plan or a strategy.
Neither may it be denied that the Islam is a political religion and that it can be dangerous for the people and the states of Europe. Those who think different are recommended at least to make a dip into the Koran. There is the Sharia with its wording of law. It says that the pickpocket`s hands shall be hacked off and many other things that are irreconcilable for our ethical believe. Those who believe Islamic prayers when they cite the Koran saying “let those who want it to keep their religion” shall be warned of “Taqiyya”.
It is right that in the Middle Ages the Islam had granted people in subservient nations to keep their religion by paying protection money (calling them “scribes”) while the Koran was calling to kill all the pagans. However those not confessing to the holy Islam were considered slaves. Today the teach of the Islamic State has become even more radical by considering all Christians pagans. Coming back to Taqiyya it means to intentionally delude or deceive non-believers in order to allow the breakthrough of the own religion.
We do also need to remember now about the Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi and the way the crowd has hailed for him being lashed and whipped. He was accused of having regarded Muslims, Christs, Jews and Atheists as equal. Finally he was condemned by the death penalty because of decline from the believe. Death penalty for those who do not continue to believe in the holy Koran is also backed by the Sharia.
We definitely need to be allowed to say that Islamism has its foundations in the religion of the Islam and that it is making use of it as Jihadism does. Concerning Europe our politicians need to have the commitment to protect their own people. Concerning the declaration of human rights it needs to be said that everyone should be granted freedom of religion. However at the same time we need to acknowledge that there is a right which takes clear precedence over religious liberty: the right for live. Consequently we need to draw the necessary implications and say that the right for religious freedom needs to end at least with Jihadism.
Concerning these facts we also need to note a clear misunderstanding of the West when talking with proponents of the holy Islam: We believe the human rights declaration to be legally binding while all people as well as countries who have the Islam as their own religion do consider declarations including this one as subordinate to holy Islam. That means when the Koran tells to kill a pagan human rights would not have to be applied at all.
Now let us come back to Europe, Britain and our further considerations on what to do after a Brexit. One of the hot issues is the free movement of persons inside the European Union. On the continent many people see and wanna keep it as an essential principle of the Union and wanna see the issue to be linked with free trade; - and the British bargaining hand seems to be weak if we let things come out to a confrontation as the exports of Britain into the rest of the Union are far higher than its imports from there.
Nonetheless these facts should not lock our view to the fact that the concern of people on one as well as on the other side of the English Channel are not that different. Politicans in Brussels tend to deny this. Many people are concerned with the recent mass immigration from Islamic neighbor states and Bruxelles does currently not succeed to show complaisance towards their own citizens by suggesting new allocation formula for immigrants without accurately addressing the worry and the crises around its own people. However by refusing to do so they could draw another brick out of the foundations and the cohesion of the Union.
Mass immigration from Islamic neighbour states must be closed down and stopped as good as possible quickly and it must be kept like this. The main issue about it is that the Europeans need to defend not only their lives but also their foundation and their common values. We need to defend our lives and our values and this needs to be considered to also take precedence over the longevity of respective international treaties. Simply dissolving them can be dangerous as well and it can put the strength and cohesion of the European countries at risk. Nonetheless we need to take things as they are. That implies that we need to keep ready for negotiations and in the case of the Brexit it means that continential Europe would need to engage in talks with Britain quickly without trying to take advantage of the situation on any side.
It should be possible to make certain adjustments to the free movement of persons. Important things like univeristary exchange, respective rights to work in the U.K. and vice versa in the EU as well as visa freeness could be kept. The mutual endeavour to address unregistered immigration like already pursued with France which has been keeping immigrants away from the Dover-Calais tunnel needs to be continued. More than this Great Britain shall be expected to continue its participation with regards to these issues.
A French general has recently lamented after the attack of Nizza that his country would not have done enough to fight Jihadism as a whole but specifically to fight ISIS militarically. This is not just an issue for France but for all people in Europe. We do not know why the Jihadists have up to now given priority to attack France; perhaps they try to split the people of Europe.
From whatever viewpoint we might see the current impending crises around the Brexit the countries of Europe need to keep Great Britain as an ally and as their partner. If Brussels does not want to do so then why not have talks between individual member states and Britain?
Concerning the future climate policy of the U.K. we need to know that the ministery for Business Energy & Industry Startegy, Greg Clark has already asserted not to be a climate scepticist. On the contrary he is planning to extend the countries potential for renewable energy. We consider it very important for the country and the world not only because renewable energies tend to have a certain cost advantage over nuclear power as the state driven funding for the nuclear reactor Hinkley Point has ended by the Brexit.
As a mean of fairness we will need to give the U.K. the time and the necessary secureness about the future contractual framework within continental Europe to let the country plan its future business and industry strategy before we may expect the British to announce a new emission target (Their former 50% target will be annulated by a Brexit in its legally binding form as described in the previous part of this article.). This is very important for the world as a whole and for Europe which will desire comparable general conditions for the economies of both countries.
Europe needs to be interested in a strong and reliable partner on the continent. Common problems can only be tackled and resolved together if Britain remains a part of Europe also in a strategic as well as in an economic respect.
2016-07-23 Erdogan is swearing his population by a speech to “freedom, unity and brotherliness”. He announces publicly to have failed in his fight against terrorism.
We wonder: How could the sudden change in courtesy have been caused? Where does the self-criticism suddenly come from? Does he want to calm or even bluff his enemies? Did he in deed think about the values of the French Revolution which are «freedom, equality and brotherliness”? Who is meant with the “terrorists”? Does he mean ISIS? We know that he has been lenient towards their activities for long. He has tolerated relaxed checks at the border and he was looking the other way when oil from ISIS was traded over his territory (according to Russian sources). Would he again think about the Kurds whom he had abused repeatedly as terroritsts and whom he had been persecuting very bloody? We do not think so as they have no relation to the military putsch. Does he in deed think of the putschists? We do not know.appended on
Today on 2016-07-24 supporters of Erdogan as well as the opposition are demonstrating in unison for democracy. However the reporter from the broadcasting cooperation of the Austrian state who has talked with the people says that suporters from the opposition as well as those adhering to Erdogan`s party understand their concern quite differently. Fellows of Erdogan think about the persecution of the putschists and their support for the “islamic unity party” while members of the opposition wanna see the constitutional state maintained as before. How can it be that people who think that different are demonstrating in unison? What about the changes in Erdogan`s rhetoric on the last day? Can it partially be explained by the tactic skills of the organizers or even by Takiyya? The European Union had condemned the planned introduction of the death penalty in Turkey some days before harshly and did take a clear stand by saying it would not tolerate that. Do people show what they mean by heart not directly being conscious about these objections? Do they also want to demonstrate their unity towards foreign countries? We do not know a definite answer for these questions either. At last we will have to think about Erdogan with regards to his deeds rather than his speeches.Nachtrag vom