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Helmut Schmidt: 'britain's Empire Has Gone, Though You Think It Still Exists'

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/helmut-schmidt-europe-crisis-interview

Helmut Schmidt takes a last, long drag on his cigarette and stubs it out. Within a minute, the man who piloted what was then West Germany through the last global economic crisis leans forward to pluck another smoke from the box he keeps on his desk on the sixth floor of Die Zeit's offices, where he is a publisher, in Hamburg.

Rumour has it that Schmidt has 30,000 menthol fags stashed away in readiness for a possible EU-wide ban. As one butt follows another into his ashtray, the former chancellor bemoans the leadership vacuum that is hobbling Europe, discusses the respective merits of British prime ministers, and questions whether it would be a good thing for the UK to join the euro.

But first, he wants to talk about how his first interview in the Guardian was carried 81 years ago, when the 14-year-old Schmidt came over in the last days of the Weimar Republic on a pupil exchange visit to Manchester. The piece was headlined "Too Many Kisses" after Schmidt complained that the mother of the boy he was staying with was a little too keen to show her German visitor some Mancunian affection.

Born in the year the first world war ended, Schmidt was a young soldier at the siege of Leningrad, was awarded the Iron Cross, rose to prominence as a politician who got things done during Germany's postwar economic miracle and became chancellor when Willy Brandt resigned as a result of a spy scandal in 1974, just as the first oil shock brought the long boom to an abrupt end.

..

Schmidt says he is concerned about the "enormous, outlandish" debts of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Ireland and about the lack of jobs for the young.

"We need a better co-ordination of fiscal policies. We need more solidarity in order to cope with these debts.

"The most immediate danger is youth unemployment, which in some countries is above 50%. This is a timebomb. I remember the youth movement in 1968. It started on American university campuses as a protest against the Vietnam war, then came to Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin. Within a year you had an uprising of youth against their elders. The same could happen as a result of youth unemployment in Greece or Spain. It must not happen but it is a possibility."

...

Asked whether Britain will ever join the single currency, Schmidt says: "I don't know. I don't know whether I would like Britain to join. The British are very stubborn. The Queen, the Commonwealth and the special relationship with the US is much more important than Europe. Britain still believes in the old values and it has every right to do so. Britain is less European-minded than Greece.

"Winston Churchill was a great European but he was quite clear that Britain was not joining because it had the empire. But it's gone, even though you think it still exists."

He adds: "Britain has a problem which that will make itself felt in the next 15-20 years. In the 19th century it was the most advanced engineering nation in the world. Now it has more or less given up on engineering and replaced it with finance. That means you can be hurt."

And does he actually have 30,000 cigarettes stockpiled? "Don't believe everything you read in the papers," he says with a smile.

Wow 95 and 30k cigs stockpiled. Just how many does he smoke!

The problem is with Europe is that the old games from 1400's onwards between the various royal families all seeking the upper hand hasn't gone away. Europe isn't united all the old divisions are still there, but the game has changed.

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/helmut-schmidt-europe-crisis-interview

Wow 95 and 30k cigs stockpiled. Just how many does he smoke!

The problem is with Europe is that the old games from 1400's onwards between the various royal families all seeking the upper hand hasn't gone away. Europe isn't united all the old divisions are still there, but the game has changed.

I actually agree with him on a couple of these points...but we both know that this was completely deliberate.

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Lack of jobs for the young was part of the lefty policy of inflating the cost of living so theres no opportunity and so total reliance on the state for everything. We're on a journey to become a third world nation. There was a rt article about people complaining about the government giving eu funds to help young people get jobs instead of food banks, thats the stuff right there. Some fat bloke complaining about having to use food banks because he can't be bothered to get off his ass and do something. This food bank thing is going to send us to the third world.

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Lack of jobs for the young was part of the lefty policy of inflating the cost of living so theres no opportunity and so total reliance on the state for everything. We're on a journey to become a third world nation. There was a rt article about people complaining about the government giving eu funds to help young people get jobs instead of food banks, thats the stuff right there. Some fat bloke complaining about having to use food banks because he can't be bothered to get off his ass and do something. This food bank thing is going to send us to the third world.

Lack of engineering, and a reliance on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate will send us there and keep us there. 'Us' might not include me by then.

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Its their guilt. We invaded dozens of countries. So now we're invaded. We took ownership of foreign peoples resources, so now we must allow them to take ownership of ours.

Of course, if it was a just world. We'd give them the royal and a few thousands of the landed gentry to lynch and have fun with, rather than selling the average Brit down the river. But thats not how they think.

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He's pretty much right.

And we don't HAVE to do anything we don't want to. Which he seems to understand, though our utterly incompetent ruling class don't seem to get that.

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Lack of jobs for the young was part of the lefty policy of inflating the cost of living so theres no opportunity and so total reliance on the state for everything. We're on a journey to become a third world nation. There was a rt article about people complaining about the government giving eu funds to help young people get jobs instead of food banks, thats the stuff right there. Some fat bloke complaining about having to use food banks because he can't be bothered to get off his ass and do something. This food bank thing is going to send us to the third world.

Yes- evil trade unions carefully plotted their own destruction by offshoring their industrial power base- the fiendish cleverness of these people is incredible.

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He adds: "Britain has a problem which that will make itself felt in the next 15-20 years. In the 19th century it was the most advanced engineering nation in the world. Now it has more or less given up on engineering and replaced it with finance. That means you can be hurt."

London has it's new empire, as a wealth pump for Asia.

Germany maintains a eurozone empire.

Will they go to war? Like ******.

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