Eggs and Baskets

There has been much talk over the last couple of months as to how certain countries or political subdivisions (states, regions, etc.) have taken a better approach to dealing with the current pandemic.

I can’t help noticing that many voices expressing admiration for varied approaches are people who favoured increased political centralisation through continued membership of the EU.

It’s true that EU members still have the right to act using approaches which they think work best for their citizens. That’s a good thing, but only the wilfully blind fails to understand the direction of travel, based on the journey to date, the openly expressed desire for “ever closer union” embedded in the heart of the treaties, and the utterances of key EU figures.

The great strength of decentralisation and localisation of powers (at both national and local levels) is not only the very important matter of improved accountability of decision-makers and more appropriate and timely decision-making, but the opportunity it affords the world to learn from multiple, varied approaches.

You think that the Swedish approach has worked? Think that Wales is doing the right thing? Hear people praising the Finnish education system or the Swedish welfare state, or the Swiss railway system?

You can only praise the merits of a better system or approach because they exist in the first place.

Those who favour increasingly centralised governance never seem to grasp that rather obvious truth. And if your supranational organisation makes a decision which affects us all and takes the wrong decision, everyone is screwed.