The decisions facing David Cameron at 4am this morning cannot have been easy. He is pulled many ways and the choices he makes will always be the wrong one to some-one whose support he need. I understand why he chose in the end to exclude Britain from the next stage of negotiations but I am not convinced that it was the right choice.
It is time that European political leaders, including our own Prime Minister listened to the voice of the people who are protesting on the streets of many European countries. In a crisis situation – solidarity must prevail. It is time for more coherent economic governance, a closer political oversight over financial markets and a move towards a developed fiscal Union – no sustainable future will be found without it.
A global Financial Transaction Tax would be a step in the right direction. It limits financial speculation, redirects a small part of the gains from financial transactions to the needs of the people, particularly in the southern hemisphere and is supported by huge numbers of people – that the financiers don’t want it is not the issue; the people do.
The current crisis is an ethical crisis as well as a political one and the solutions European need to be based one ethical principles and values. For two years political leaders have attempted to address this crisis – none of them have worked. They have all been insufficient and unsustainable. They have done nothing to regain the trust of the people in the European Union and deal with its crisis economic management and governance. In reality every delay fuels the crisis and is costly.
Decisive action must be taken now. And a financial Transaction Tax would be a good start as it begins with a key first principle for politicians in a crisis; act together- focusing on the needs of the people.