by UnHerd
Friday, 14
May 2021
Video
16:28

Douglas Murray and Yanis Varoufakis: the EU is broken

Two thinkers of Left and Right find common ground in their critique of the bloc
by UnHerd


The EU has had a difficult pandemic. A slow procurement of vaccines, followed by a botched rollout, and blame-shifting by its leaders has drawn together critics from all politics stripes. Two of unlikely bedfellows from very different political traditions, Douglas Murray and Yanis Varoufakis, joined Freddie Sayers for a discussion about the bloc at an UnHerd members event.

Murray’s feelings about the EU are well-known, having long been a critic of the bloc and writing a best-selling book on the subject. Varoufakis, meanwhile, has been on more of a journey. Once a staunch proponent of the ‘Remain and Reform’ position of the EU, the former Greek finance minister was a prominent backer of the Remain campaign in 2016. But fast-forward four years and Yanis’ views on the EU began to shift. In an interview with UnHerd during the UK’s first lockdown, he said that was so dismayed by the efforts to undo the result that he changed his mind on Brexit. This week, he made his most unambiguous statement yet, confirming that the EU’s poor vaccine rollout has convinced him of the virtues of Brexit:

The last thirteen months since the pandemic began have been a never-ending fiasco. Looking at the vaccination, the vaccine fiasco, the corruption and incompetence of the [European] Commission, I have to confess that I’ve changed my mind. I think that Brexit in the end, when you’re weighing things up, was probably the right way for Britain.
- Yanis Varoufakis, UnHerd

He explains why he supported Remain at the time, and quickly saw that the Remainers’ refusal to accept the result would be counter-productive:

The UK was lucky not to be in the Eurozone. I was ambivalent about my support of Remain. But you know, weighing up the pros and cons, I thought that Britain was better off, [and] the weakest people amongst the British population would be in the long-term better off. The day after the referendum, I could see that the problem were the Remainers, because they were simply anti-democratic, they treated those who voted with a slim majority — with but with a majority, nevertheless — with contempt. And they went into a four-year long path towards a second referendum which I opposed. And, you know, my view was, we fought for Remain we argued, and we lost. Brexit had to take place.
- Yanis Varoufakis, UnHerd

Varoufakis and Murray agree on the problems with EU’s democratic deficit:

Many things can be said about Jean-Claude Juncker, the former head of the European Commission. But how is it possible that during somebody’s presidency, they lose one of the largest contributors to the EU budget, they lose the UK from the EU, and he just sails on? There’s no self-questioning. There’s no self-interrogation. This seems to me — even more than the issues of the Eurozone crises and the migration crises and many more crises that will be to come — to be the central issue that must be grappled with. Why is this entity so incredibly incapable of responding and adapting and most importantly, listening?
- Douglas Murray, UnHerd

As you might expect, Varoufakis and Murray took very different positions on the question of immigration — Varoufakis retains the more universalist ideals of the Left, and confidence that large numbers of immigrants can be successfully integrated. He rejects the notion from some Leftists that the free movement of people is an asset to big business and a way of driving down wages.

There is no doubt that there have been Leftists who have been lured by national socialism, Mussolini was one of them, and others who have not identified with fascism or have fallen into this trap… Look, I’m a Left-winger because I’m liberal — I’m a liberal Left-winger. I cannot imagine that the Left would ever want electrified fences as a means by which to support wages. And in any case, as an economist, I can tell you, there’s absolutely no evidence that in the medium run, let alone the long run, migration is detrimental to the interests of the local proletariat.
- Yanis Varoufakis, UnHerd

But on the question of the EU’s democratic deficit the two were in violent agreement:

We have run into trouble in Europe in recent years because a certain type of bureaucrat has decided that they can pole vault over the inconvenience of public plebiscites and over the disturbing habit of having to go to the public for electoral approval. I think that issue of legitimacy and democratic accountability is the thing that people — Left and Right — could agree on.
- Douglas Murray, UnHerd
There is no democratic deficit in Brussels. It’s like saying that there is an oxygen deficit on the moon — there is no oxygen on the moon. There’s no democracy in Brussels. It has been ruled out of court by design. It’s a designer feature not to have democracy in Brussels
- Yanis Varoufakis, UnHerd
When I was having the debates in Britain in 2016, prior to the referendum, I was often on the BBC, ITV and so on, with Brexiteers, with whom I got on quite nicely, unlike [some] Remainers, I would say to them: Look, folks, you have one good point, don’t waste it. Stop talking about the great windfall that you will get from exiting the EU and the billions that you will be able to spend on the NHS. This is all rubbish, in the same way that the Treasury’s estimates of the loss of GDP were equally rubbish. It’s a question of who governs us, and what legitimacy they have and what we can get. How can get rid of them? Because you’re absolutely right. I mean, we have Ursula von der Leyen, who is a failed Defence Minister from Germany, leading the European Commission only because Merkel and Macron had a meeting behind closed doors in a room, and they decided that she would lead. And she has been the most spectacular failure in terms of managing the procurement of vaccines, and we can’t get rid of her, even if we wanted to.”
-

Our thanks to both Yanis Varoufakis and Douglas Murray for a fascinating discussion. You can sign up HERE to make sure to attend the next members event.

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elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

Yaris said that he doesn’t care about cultural difference. As he is the father of a daughter I was surprised. From the female perspective, well at least mine, I would like to draw to the attention of these three men the concerns I have with regard to large numbers of unreconstructed males from countries whereby they regard women and girls as very second rate humans. Men whose ‘need’ to control and restrict their women is paramount, and, unrealised by them, one of the main reasons why they are in such economic poverty. You cannot compete in a world economy if you keep your women uneducated and breeding. Women in the West have struggled for equality, we are a long way from getting that, but to watch other women coming here in quite large numbers in situations that we have manage to overcome is deeply dressing to witness. We have in this so called civilised county, the 21st century UK little girls, British citizens who have had their genitals mutilated. We have forced marriages, child marriages and ‘honour’ killings, all going on with impunity here. Its very depressing to say the least. And we haven’t the courage to demand social cohesion.

Last edited 1 year ago by elaine chambers
Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
1 year ago

Totally agree, it is quite obvious to anyone with common sense, that there are people out there, normally men coming from certain extremist ideologies, or sections of ideologies, normally Muslim, who are totally incapable of living in a secular ‘free west’. I wont insult anyones intelligence by listing the many examples here, all you have to to do is read the news each day. These people should not come to the west, and we should not dement our laws to accommodate these people. It’s totally unacceptable.

Last edited 1 year ago by Looney Leftie
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

It should be the same law for all if they are living in this country. Why the government bends to this uncivil way of living astounds me. If we went to their countries I am certain that their laws would have priority and not my laws from my country.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

To say nothing of the mass rape of our girls in Bradford and other cities by some of the children of these immigrants ignored for so long by Labour councils presumably in the name of equality.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

The Left in the UK has courted the incoming Muslim godfathers for their votes. It has abandoned any recognition of upholding the human rights of their women, it simply turned a blind eye. What is interesting is that it’s the Right that has brought about some liberty and made protests against these HR abuses. It’s obvious to me that the liberty of women was and still is an unintended consequence of capitalism. Capitalism needs all citizens to work and earn money to then spend it. If you have half the population uneducated and unable to work, kept at home to breed, you can’t fit into a modern economy.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Indeed Tony. The British establishment is terrified of a Muslim uprising as I’ve written in my response to Charles Stanhope.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago

When we went to fight in Afghanistan , after realizing we couldn’t defeat the enemy. it was suddenly claimed we were there to give their girls an education. I thought at the time its a shame all girls in Britain don’t get the chance of an education. In Britain any differences of culture , which obviously were quite illegal, were ignored , but apparently we could enforce our culture on another country ‘for their own good’.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

James Cleverly, UK’s Minister for Middle East and Africa has not very cleverly withdrawn funding for girls education while claiming to support this! Man speaks with forked tongue. He even withdrew a mere £50,000 grant to a very successful campaign group carrying out work in Pakistan to educate their girls!

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago

Except that the ‘mere’ £50,000 should be spent in Britain. If the people of Pakistan want to educate their girls-let them.This is not a country that is friendly to Britain-so the money is not’soft diplomacy’. I said it was ridiculous to claim to help other countries in western ways ( ie education) while ignoring their compatriots who live here who are doing all sorts of illegal & horrific ( body ironing anyone?) here.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“the 21st century UK little girls, British citizens who have had their genitals mutilated.”.

Yes an outrage, but who actually does the mutilation? Other ‘old’ woman off course.

On your other point about how (UK) woman have struggled for equality that is entirely down to Christianity. As a Semitic religion, rooted in the Judean Dersert it carries all the neurotic sexual beliefs and practices of such a cult including ‘institutional’ misogyny. Hence the Married Women ‘s Property Acts of the 1870’s and the vote in 1928.

A civilised society? How the Romans would have laughed!

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

Charles you have not understood why the women do this to each other. Please do more research., I can’t write it all out here. It is a male dictate. No men will marry uncut girls and its expected that the elder women will do the cutting. Women from these societies believe they are dirty if they are uncut. It’s not as though they can say, ‘ to hell with that, I wont marry, I’ll get a job in an office. Un cut unmarried woman in those kind of cultures would be an outcaste have no means of work and would then starve. So please be careful when you quite wrongly blame the women.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

I wasn’t blaming the women, just pointing out who the ‘ surgeons’ were.

I completely agree the men as just as culpable, if not more so. No doubt because they are circumcised shortly after birth they are indifferent.

To think we tolerated this savagery in England for the past thirty years is a national disgrace.
All in the name of that wretched word ‘
Multiculturalism .

I gather the French have been far more proactive in stamping it out

The Desert Sand has a lot to answer for!

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

The most interesting essay on Multiculturalism is one by Kenan Malik entitled, ” Against Multiculturalism ” It was available on the Internet but it disappeared for a while, I think to protect Malik. It is also worth reading his book “From Fatwah to Jihad…The Rushdie Affair and its legacy”. Since the Muslim rioting 30 years ago, the burning of the ‘Satanic verses’ this country’s establishment has been living in terror of a Muslim uprising and has gone to great lengths to ignore the shocking grooming gang rapes of white children, as well as failing to intervene in the crimes I mentioned before which the ethnic godfathers uphold in order to contain and control the lives of their own women and girls.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago

Women from these societies believe they are dirty if they are uncut.

Beliefs are personal choices.
Women are no less to blame than men. Roughly half of any society is comprised of women. The state of women in muslim societies is as much a result of women’s complacency as of male dictate. If the muslim women really wanted to change things, they could and would have done so already.
(In case if i get called ‘sexist’ – i’m a woman myself, for the record. My username is taken from a 19th century fictional character by E.T.A. Hoffmann.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Johannes Kreisler
elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

I disagree Miss Johannes Kreisler. Patriarchy is very powerful, so powerful that it’s everywhere. Even we women in this 21stC modern liberal democracy are constrained by patriarchy. Are we so week we can’t put a stop to it? We haven’t manage it yet! It’s a very tight web upheld by religions, all of them. And yes your point of view is sexist, you too have been hoodwinked by patriarchy to the extent that you can’t see the power of its pervasiveness.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

“Even we women in this 21stC modern liberal democracy are constrained by patriarchy.”
specifically how are you constrained by patriarchy?

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

Have you not noticed how many women are killed each year by men? Did you not hear the MP Jess Philips read a list in Parliament of these women killed? Are you not aware of the rape count? Do you not realise that being out at night alone is a danger for women, even if she’s just making her way home and not wearing a short skirt! Do you know what the proportion of women to men is in boards rooms? Are you not aware of the huge salary discrepancy between female graduates and male graduates? I could go on but may I ask, where have you been living?

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

Why is this minus1?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

minus 2 now

Because some of us know the actual world, and not just the tiny portion of it you inhabit.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Oh dear,yun really believe that we in the West are not under the control of patriarchy, albeit a generally benign one. Hmmm!

Colin Haller
Colin Haller
1 year ago

You’re new around here, right? There are a large number of unreconstructed revanchists hereabouts, or hadn’t you noticed?

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

Eh?

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Colin Haller

As I wrote in the beginning, we women here in the West are still under the grip of patriarchy. And yes, we have a selection of unreconstructed women, amazingly(!) as well as men on this thread.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

All thanks to Christianiy.
Like the other two monotheistic Semitic cults it is inherently misogynistic.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

Agreed.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago

Actual figures are more men get attacked and sometimes killed by other men than women. Also that other thing you mentioned , it happens to men-they don’t report it – ask some men about experiences at school. However your point culteral norms. In 19th century it was fashionable for women to have tiny waists. The way this was achieved led to illness , broken ribs & even death- so it was stopped. The practice of cutting can leave some women unable to have children, have trouble with periods & once given birth some have bladder problems-so its really stupid & self defeating thing to do to a child.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
1 year ago

patriarchy – a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it -is this how you would describe the UK ?- even tin pot gender study courses rarely use the word

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Baggley

Simon, the word patriarchy is in full use amongst the educated.

Simon Baggley
Simon Baggley
1 year ago

Ha Ha – more like the deluded – I’m sure it exists in some countries but not here

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

yawn

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

Johannes – you are 100% correct – the problem is the posters here have never lived in Muslim lands, or if they did it was in a Western enclave.

The Muslim women are exceedingly powerful in reality. They are not the docile, abused, sheep these ‘Feminized’ Westerners say they are.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I thought we were discussing people who live in west? Private practice is kept busy performing these operations here and through out Europe-the places people claim to be fleeing to. Others take the girls home ( that dangerous place they fled from) on holiday to have it done.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Stanford.Oh dear me!

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

“No men will marry uncut girls” There are people who say that it is the Mothers of the man who refuse to allow their son to marry an uncut bride. That the mothers of girls insist on the cut as they want it as being the best because the Mothers in Law insist (as they would for their own son’s bride), and that unless the women maintained this all it would soon die out.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Oh I give up Stanford. Have your opinions that are in my opinion deluded.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

“On your other point about how (UK) woman have struggled for equality that is entirely down to Christianity.”

The women enjoy their freedoms because of the Christian heritage. I suppose you have lived in India and seen how progressive they are, and everywhere else. Maybe you prefer the Sub Saharan Africa condition of Women where they do the work and the men lounge about, or the Chinese foot binding, or the American Planes Indian where the woman worked from dawn to dusk and were the pack animals of the tribe till the horses arrived.

But then I suppose you are a gender non-binariest so believe any differences between men and women are pure social constructs, and the worst of all are us of Christian Heritage, with our sexual equality.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

When we have a female Pope, a Mama rather than a Papa, or for that matter a female Archbishop of Canterbury, then your comment will have some validity.

Until then women will remain in the subservient position allocated to them by the Jehovah person, do you not agree?

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
1 year ago

Great comment, Elaine. In the paper by Gabriella Lazaridis, “Trafficking and Prostitution: The Growing Exploitation of Migrant Women in Greece”, she notes: “In 1995… 75 Greek and 474 migrant women trafficked for prostitution and working as prostitutes were arrested in the Greater Athens area; the majority were Albanians (202), Russians (62) and Ukrainians (56).” The following year, the Albanian group was also the most important numerically. This was just four years after the mass immigrations to Greece in 1991 that Varoufakis claims was such a great success. Ms. Lazaridis’s work centres on the prostitutes and not their pimps, but it seems a fair assumption that if Albanians were so strongly represented among the prostitutes they would also be heavily represented among their pimps. It’s nice that Varoufakis had so many motivated economics students who had completely assimilated to Greek society, but he speaks as if they constitute a representative sample of Albanians who have moved to Greece. I doubt that he even believes that himself. He is just virtue signaling. I think he is also exaggerating the differences between Greeks and Albanians. Both peoples were victims of the Ottoman conquest. Most of the Albanians, initially Christian, converted to Islam, but many remained Orthodox or Catholic. Whether they grew up in Albania or Yugoslavia, the Albanians who arrived in 1991 also had gone through a Communist education system, which, ignoring its obvious evils, did tend to favour the education of girls and women. Douglas is surely right in thinking that there is much less difference between Greeks and Albanians than between Swedes and Somalis.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

Andrew, Thank you for that detailed account, and yes, Douglas is right to point out that there is much less difference between Greeks and Albanians than between Swedes and Somalian.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Baldwin

On a more light hearted tone, now that we have left Europe can’t we leave the Eurovision Song Contest-each year our effort is dire.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Is UK losing it’s edge in ‘Grime’ love songs?

John Mack
John Mack
1 year ago

There should be a test of attitude to women and other key democratic values, with failures excluded. There should be a provision that violations of the rights of women and other important democratic values be grounds for deportation. Democracy is fragile enough without inviting in and coddling its enemies.

Hamish McDougal
Hamish McDougal
1 year ago

Bang on.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago

I can tell you, there’s absolutely no evidence that in the medium run, let alone the long run, migration is detrimental to the interests of the local proletariat. [Varoufakis]

(1) There’s much more to a society than its proletariat. Especially in these post-industrial times, when much of the “local proletariat” has been replaced by a global lumpenproletariat. Even in the industrial era the proletariat wasn’t the most defining segment of society.
(2) There’s overwhelming evidence that in the short, medium and long run the immigration of fast-breeding, noncontributing masses from the third world is detrimental for all layers of European societies. Including the local proletariat and the local underclass.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago

I also turned the interview off at that point as it obviously was just crazy, and I also copied the same as you did:
“And in any case, as an economist, I can tell you, there’s absolutely no evidence that in the medium run, let alone the long run, migration is detrimental to the interests of the local proletariat. – Yanis Varoufakis,”

OK, like the NYC leaders saying removing ‘cash bail’ (and therefore releasing criminals to the streets in exchange for their promise to show up for trial much later) does not increase crime, or Sanctuary Cities blocking ICE from deporting illegal migrants who are criminals, that is a terrible crime inflicted on a nation’s citizens by its government.

Outsourcing Immigration decisions to foreign crime syndicates (people smugglers) is INSANE! But is what Europe, UK, and USA have Done!

Allowing the unskilled, uneducated, and not very bright to decide to migrate to a country with huge cash benefits for not working and having children is INSANE! But it is what the Global Elites want as it will impoverish, and divide, otherwise strong nations, making them able to be forced into globalism as the masses of poor people dependent on free money will vote for more instead of for what is good for the country! This open border is NOTHING like 1800s ‘Ellis Island’, the opposite in fact.

Ian Wigg
Ian Wigg
1 year ago

If it’s actually the case then Greece and Italy are going to be the standout economies in the next decade or two. Just behind the Calais area.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wigg

The brains behind this planned replacement theory don’t seem to realise that it won’t just replace the lower educated unskilled local population that they don’t like , the new society they have created will replace them.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Wigg

Varoufakis als said that because of the Bee die off he encourages the bee farmers to begin farming wasps, as one flying, stinging, insect is much like another, and wasps are so much hardier.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago

Yanis Varoufakis is one of the more engaging characters on the EU issue, and thanks UnHerd for hosting this. But his “Remain and Reform” aspiration was every bit as delusional as some of the wilder “Leave” flights of fantasy because, as he now says, the EU simply doesn’t do democracy.
When I hear this immigration argument, I always question where you draw the line from which the “medium run” started. It would not surprise me at all to learn the UK had net benefits from immigration flows before during and just after 1939-1945. I’d go as far as saying there was virtually a national settlement on the issue, from the Scarman report to the arrival of Blair. My point being not that things were perfect, but lessons had been learned and embedded in legislation.
What has happened in the past 15-20 years is boneheaded, ignorant and benefited few other those in the City of London who have enriched themselves on the brightest and the best from Europe. Having worked in the City before during and after this period, I have also witnessed the removal of an important ladder up for the poorer areas of London. That once great City now reaps the whirlwind in some of it’s communities due to the inexhaustible supplies of devil’s work for idle hands.
The UK had 50/60 years of experience of immigration’s impact on cohesive society up to 1997. It is astonishing that nobody in the UK, let alone Europe, wanted to learn from that.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dustin Needle
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

They learned, and liked what they saw. The elites, who own the politicians. want the Western nations divided and with a great number of poor who depend on handouts and free money, as then they can rule for ever by buying those votes, and keep their seats in power for ever. Your nation is being purposefully destroyed because the Middle class vote for the good of the Nation, and that does not serve the elites, so the Middle class are being destroyed (from within and without). The Poor vote for their own poverty, and for the super rich to be even richer – just as long as they get enough free money to have crummy housing, entertainments, and get high. (same as in Rome)

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
1 year ago

If Varoufakis is going to sell himself as an economics expert, he should reason like an economist. He doesn’t even try. In Borjas’s book “We Wanted Workers”, he concludes, based on US data that “a 10 percent increase in the size of a skill group probably reduces the wage of that group by at least 3 percent.” So fears of large-scale immigration over a short period reducing wages in the recipient country are quite reasonable. Varoufakis won’t admit as much. Instead he tries to switch the conversation to electric fences and the proletariat. He’s a failed Finance Minister, who achieved nothing while in office. Why does Freddie want to give him a platform?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

“I’m a liberal Left-winger. I cannot imagine that the Left would ever want electrified fences “.

Unfortunately as History tells us that is just not true.
‘Left -winger’s or Communists to give them their correct name, have murdered more that 100 million souls, during their century long ‘reign of terror’,* many of them behind electric fences.

(* albeit intermittent)

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
1 year ago

Charles, are you saying that there are no degrees of being left wing? Do you think that someone who is slightly left of centre is a communist or that there are no people slightly left of centre?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

No, there are many who are just left of centre, but in my experience that are universally in ‘denial’ as to the horrors committed by the far Left.

There is a similar, although not so serious problem with those who are just right of centre. *

(* as to the centre , most are bored by the whole thing.)

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

They have blinkers as to what happened in these left wing countries and is still happening today.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

In discussions with friends it’s hard to define the difference between fascism and totalitarianism.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

The Left practice ‘Classicide’ whilst the Right prefer Genocide.
After that it is just a matter of competence, or lack of.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
1 year ago

Stanhope, Oooh that’s a bit melodramatic!

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Obviously the lesser foot soldiers don’t have these privileges & its quite funny to hear a very ‘right on’ person speak when they don’t think they have to be ‘online’ ie a social worker who complained to me that they made her go visit poor people who lived in those ‘nasty’ flats.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

I suppose you are right but it is frightening how naive they can be from my experience. I have read a report about a visit from the governing socialist part in Britain to Moscow described by those underneath in the dungeons under their feet as they walked. They were all smiling pally pally with the communists while they were in a living hell below just for their views. Whilst we think differently now the idea still remains that people can be cancelled because of their views.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

There were some notable exceptions, both Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin recognised the barbarism of Communism very early
on.

They subsequently made sure that wretches such as Harold Laski & Co did not prosper.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago

Liberal left wingers always make sure they live in villas in Tuscany or gated communities in Britain, far away from any problems they created. Even in Soviet Russia Stalin made sure the ‘special ones’ lived in a community near Moscow & enjoyed all the privileges so long as they behaved themselves.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  kathleen carr

Yes that smug, even sanctimonious attitude that pervades every Quislington dinner party.

I must admit I do enjoy tormenting such self righteous pillocks, so much so that my Chief of Staff has banned me from any further contact with such people.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

Not only Quislington dinner parties, but also those held in Woke Newington.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

Plus the 69 million in East Germany as revenge for Hitler’s attack on Russia.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
1 year ago

There’s still the unquestioned, unspoken assumption in this podcast that goes, “…and of course we all agree that Le Pen is evil”. No, we don’t, because all I’ve heard about this are words and noises. Show me the evidence, bearing in mind that the statements of journalists and public intellectuals carry no weight whatsoever. Completely worthless.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago

I haven’t listened to the podcast (only flicked through the article), so i missed the bit about Le Pen. Guessing it was Varoufakis taking it upon himself to utter such a slur on behalf of “we all“.
Marine Le Pen is one of the very few decent and sane politicians in Europe, and i dearly hope she will win next year’s election.
I also hope Varoufakis will be taken to account for his tacit support (at best; or complicity at worse) for swamping Greece with the migrant mass.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

If LePen wins the next election then France would have to go back to the Franc. If they can get over that burden then it would be possible to leave the EU but they had better hurry up as the EU are forever increasing their stranglehold on Europe. Never say never.

Johannes Kreisler
Johannes Kreisler
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Italy is in constant flux too, with any luck tipped back to La Lega soon. And there’s the steadily growing impact of the V4 – or rather V+, with Austria. I wouldn’t completely rule out yet the EU crumbling from within, which is what the V4 are playing at – that’s why they don’t intend to leave it, although they will leave if they are made to by EU blackmail.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

I don’t think LePen is following her father who was questionable. I think she has very good points in the present circumstances.

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
1 year ago

I share Douglas Murray’s bewilderment at the total failure of the EU leaders to modify ANYTHING of their outlook and conduct following a lengthy succession of reproofs which during the past 20 years they have had from numerous EU member countries.
The Danes have voted No in a referendum; so have the Irish. The French and Dutch vetoed the new EU Constitution in 2005, by convincing majorities (so it was simply relabelled the Treaty of Lisbon and signed by heads of government).
The Italians and the Greeks have indicated in successive national elections total unhappiness with the way Brussels has treated them; and for their pains have had (in Italy’s instance) technocrats ousting politicians and ruling them instead; (in Greece’s case) flat imposition of hardship.
There has been the victory of the Leave vote in the UK, followed by our kinda/sorta departure (which will almost certainly be converted into complete exit soon enough).
Populist parties, full of criticism of the EU leadership, have gained many seats in national parliaments across Europe. –
AND NO EU OFFICIAL, nor any French president nor German chancellor, suggests a blue skies meeting in which they and their peers might usefully consider what concessions they could make to win back public opinion.
Even during the drawn-out period of the 1st French Revolution, Louis XVI tried to meet his ever more radical parliaments some of the way.
I can guess at partial reasons for this robotic behaviour on the part of the EU leaders; but they don’t amount to a full explanation.
Has anyone got any better insight into the motives of Europe’s ruling caste with their arthritic or petrified minds? (Petrified as in ‘turned to stone’; they don’t seem to know any fear of the electorates.)
Here are my guesses; any one or all of which may have some application.
* These rulers are 4th-rate human beings incapable of any new thinking. They were appointed to do the bidding of big business and don’t know how to create any other agenda than what is commanded them.
* The EU was devised as an anti-democratic technocracy, the likes of Monnet and Schumann having been appalled by the conduct of the French and German electorates in the 1920s and ’30s. Listening to the people NOW would be a complete reversal of this federalising scheme’s raison d’etre.
* The EU has always appealed – exerted a huge gravitational pull – to politicians looking to hide from electorates and NOT be accountable; to enjoy all the benefits of high office and none of the brickbats. If you enrol in a retirement home, the last thing you think to do is resume sweaty labour as (say) a woodcutter.
Even if those suggestions have merit I still, like Mr Murray, fail to understand why there is never a suggestion, a hint or a peep, from the EU hierarchs about tweaking anything in their rotten empire, or offering to take one baby-step towards the sensibilities of an ever more disenchanted populace.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter Scott
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

An excellent synopsis of what is wrong with the wretched EU. Thank you.

I particularly agree with your opinion of Monnet and Schumann, and their contempt for the French and German electorates. Their malign influence seems to be ever present.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Colin Haller
Colin Haller
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Scott

I think your second and third *s are at the root of it. See Quinn Slobodian’s “Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism” for an analysis of the rise of this sort of anti-democratic thinking that arose out of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire and led to the technocratic hyperglobalist order of which the Euro zone is the jewel in the crown.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
1 year ago

Murray is always great, never a foot wrong in my opinion. Varoufakis, while obviously very intelligent, seems somewhat deluded. When he said he was a ‘dreamer’, he completely lost me. I’m more of a realist, and I think this is a time for realpolitik, rather than pie in the sky dreaming.

Last edited 1 year ago by Looney Leftie
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
1 year ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

He seems pleasant enough but a bit infected by socialism I think which makes him a bit inflexible.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

He had the misfortune go to Cambridge, that historic source of treachery on an epic scale.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 year ago

I don’t agree with Varoufakis on the immigration issue but he very good on everything else. I recently read his book And The Weak Suffer What They Must?, which mainly concerns the origins of the euro and the reasons why it is such a disaster in many respects. The book makes a good companion to Ashoka Mody’s magisterial EuroTragedy, which everyone should try to read.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

He wants the WEST DESTROYED BY INAPPROPRIATE MIGRATION! Who cares what else he thinks? Sure Gretta T wants to destroy the World’s economy and impoverish billions, but, hey, she is very good on environmental matters.

Last edited 1 year ago by Galeti Tavas
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

Loved this! Thank you, Unherd!

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
1 year ago

Varoufakis wanted Greece to stay in the Euro but remain sovereign. Impossible. Some economist.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme Laws

I think he did say he knows that’s impossible, but the alternative, getting out now they’re in, would be even worse. Whether he’s right about that is way beyond me.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
1 year ago

It was interesting to see how much Varoufakis, often portrayed as an extreme left loony, and Murray, something of an Unherd hero, have in common on this topic. They both seem in especial agreement on the fundamentally anti-democratic nature of the EU and its institutions.

lgoudarzi
lgoudarzi
1 year ago

Great discussion. This is why I am a member!

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
1 year ago

It would be nice to have a solid debate between two or three economists on the future of the EU, if there is one. This wasn’t it, obviously. Douglas isn’t an economist and Varoufakis is a failed economist. I was inspired when I read the 1995 book by Peter Kenen, an American economist, not a European, “Economic and Monetary Union in Europe.” Then I read Norman Lamont’s “Sovereign Britain”, who held quite different views. I haven’t really made up my mind. I’m still furious at the EU for nixing the incorporation of the OOHPI series in the HICP, but grudges shouldn’t really influence policy preferences. Will or should the remaining EU countries outside the euro all adopt it? Should there be a fiscal union? Was there a case for a hard drachma during the Greek crisis or a hard whatever for some other euro area country in similar circumstances? These are important questions that really need to be discussed. I don’t believe in open borders, but it is boring to debate them all the time, ignoring the other economic issues. Sadly, Peter Kenen is no longer with us, and Norman Lamont isn’t an economist; he just knows a lot about economics. Who do UnHerd readers think would be the best economists to have in such a debate?