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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

January 23, 2014
by Nosemonkey

Ukraine uprisings: News coverage of events in far-away lands, 2004 vs 2014

The pictures coming out of Kiev yesterday (decent galley here) gave me – and no doubt plenty of others – a bit of a flashback to November/December 2004’s Orange Revolution. The riots are in protest against the same president and … Continue reading


January 4, 2014
by Nosemonkey

Succinct dismissal of Michael Gove’s fatuous take on the First World War

Sock it to ‘im, Prof Evans! http://zite.to/1cr5zxb “‘ How can you possibly claim that Britain was fighting for democracy and liberal values when the main ally was Tsarist Russia? That was a despotism that put Germany in the shade and … Continue reading

January 3, 2014
by Nosemonkey

Lessons from writing about the Habsburgs for writing about the EU

A review of a book I’ve been meaning to pick up (Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe,  by Simon Winder)  has some useful passages: “Austria-Hungary seems rarely to be taken seriously, appearing as ‘genial, backward and ineffectual, in a … Continue reading

January 1, 2014
by Nosemonkey

Anaximander and the importance of finding new perspectives

From Jerry Brotton’s promising A History of the World in Twelve Maps (got for Christmas, currently reading, good so far, but too soon to properly rate it): “virtually all Greek wtiters point to Anaximander as the first thinker to provide … Continue reading

July 14, 2012
by Nosemonkey

Why the UK’s “audit” of EU law is a waste of time

So, supposedly in a bid to allow any future in-out referendum on UK membership of the EU to be based on facts rather than ideology (fat chance), Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced an “audit” of the influence of EU … Continue reading

June 9, 2012
by Nosemonkey

The failure of European centrism: Towards a hypothesis of historical recurrence

Likely the first of many posts on this – as a fairly hardcore centrist (arguably a stupid concept in itself, that, if you ask most people today) with a dogmatic refusal to align myself to any one political party this … Continue reading

June 7, 2012
by Nosemonkey
Comments Off on My return to blogging: A mission statement

My return to blogging: A mission statement

There’s infinitely more being written about the EU these days than when I started this blog 9+ years ago. Some of it is excellent, some of it interesting, some of it utterly fatuous. My aim with this blog has always … Continue reading

June 6, 2012
by Nosemonkey
Comments Off on The euro: A domesday machine

The euro: A domesday machine

As a counter to the last post, an interesting from investment banker Marshall Auerback at EconoMonitor, worth a read for a bit of history on the (evidently flawed) economic assumptions underpinning the formation of the euro and some links to … Continue reading

May 30, 2012
by Nosemonkey
1 Comment

Is the Drachma doomed?

Interesting piece by an American investment and free trade advocate giving a handy bit of background to Greece’s money woes – just in case you weren’t pessimisitc enough already. Has some convincing, interesting points – worth reading in full: “Modern … Continue reading

May 28, 2012
by Nosemonkey

The Grexit, fairness, and the English Poor Laws

The New Yorker highlights the primary point that advocates of the “being able to devalue their currency would have saved Greece” / “they should just return to the drachma” / “let’s abolish the eurozone” crowd have yet – that I’ve … Continue reading

May 27, 2012
by Nosemonkey
Comments Off on A right-wing American history of the euro

A right-wing American take on the history of the EU and euro with which I don’t entirely agree. Except on this point – it’s mostly France’s fault, and mostly due to French national interest. (Which was why the Americans wanted Britain to join and be active in the first place, of course – to keep France in check…)

The question is, following this hypothesis, can the new French president change this pattern of repeated slow failure? Worth a read, if you’re not familiar with the classic US take on the EU.

October 24, 2011
by Nosemonkey

The constitutional position of referendums in the UK

Ahead of today’s Commons vote on a possible EU referendum, some basic points that many are overlooking (originally posted as a comment over at Jon Worth’s place): Referenda have a decidedly unclear position within the UK constitution. The people are … Continue reading