Invective-laden commentator and British Lenin-enthusiast Richard Seymour has a little history of the Tories’ love(ish)-hate relationship with “Europe”. He goes through the Conservative Party’s shifting positions on the subject – they were once Europeanist while the Labour was Eurosceptic – due partly to the clash between the politics of “the nation” one the one hand and the enthusiasm of Big Business for Europe’s vast, delicious Common Market on the other.
He is especially good on developments since the 1980s. There is the triumph of Thatcherism and, with it, the view (shared by American “vulgar libertarians”) that the Soviet Union, European Union and “Washington” are not fundamentally different phenomena. Rather they are different incarnations of the same “liberticidal-bureaucratic-totalitarian” monstrosity. In the 1990s, a pre-EU and pro-American consensus by all parties in government – under both John Major and Tony Blair – led to participation in radical new treaties (Maastricht above all) as well as in American wars.
Seymour is rather pessimistic on the future of the ConDem coalition. The Liberal Democrats are traditionally open Europhiles but their enthusiasm has been tempered by the euro’s overpricing and the crisis in Greece. The EU’s prestige is at an all-time low. Still, with a Europhile party core with the Liberals and an obnoxiously Europhobic wing in the Conservatives, he predicts that “it wouldn’t take a great deal, I suspect, to get this light bound coalition tearing itself to ribbons over the issue.”