Europe in Crisis: Hear the Silence

A former British Prime Minister, James Callaghan will forever be remembered for the words ‘Crisis? What crisis?’ eventhough he never actually said them. Callaghan had the misfortune of having his ever so slightly complacent remarks on his country’s dire economic situation turned into tabloid-ese in the late 1970s. He never really recovered politically. It didn’t help that he had just flown back from sun soaked Guadeloupe, where he had been attending an IMF Summit. To damp, foggy and economically depressed Britain.

Fast forward three decades, and the whole British political class is at it. ‘Crisis? What crisis?’ they all seem to be saying as the World teeters on the edge of a second seismic economic downturn. And what of the Euro-zone, the source for much of our contemporary woe? And what of Greece, the country at the epi centre of the great Euro-zone melt down? Strangely enough we hear virtually nothing from the politicians. What of the attempts to shore up the Euro zone, to save Greece from itself and to tackle the giant Euro deficit which lies at the heart of those current crisis? Again from British politicians, barely a peep.  And what of the logic being heard from German politicians and the Bundesbank, that the only way to save the core Euro zone is to apply the rules it was supposed to abide by when it was formed? Again, there is nothing from British politicians, because none dare face the truth behind the relentless logic that will drive Europe together fiscal ly and politically in full, integrated union. That means giving the European Commission and Central Bank extraordinary new powers.

These are all hugely important issues. Doubtless there will have to be another referendum across the European Union to allow this next step of integration or centralisation to take place. The Germans are talking about this, as are the French and East Europeans. In fact everywhere in Europe they are talking about it, except in Britain.

Last week The People’s Pledge,, which is dedicated to achieving a full referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of the planed new European state, commissioned a YouGov poll. As the Labour Party meets in Liverpool and the party’s leader prepares to give his keynote address, will Ed Miliband speak about any of this great issues?

He should, since the YouGov poll makes it absolutely clear that Labour voters – and many of the five million lost working class Labour voters are absolutely clear; that before anything else is allowed to happen, Britain should have a referendum on the EU.

Some 53% of Labour voters support a referendum, while 33% are against, with 13% undecided.

The democratic logic is remorseless, as is the electoral logic. If Labour really wants to win the next General Election it needs to allow the British people to make their own minds up in a referendum about the country’s future relationship with the European Union.

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less