SOME RECALL the 1968 Buy British campaign that saw little Union flags stuck on homemade goods.
The initiative was inspired by the need to keep British money and jobs in Britain. It wasn’t much of a success. If today we were to remove foreign made products from our homes I doubt even the wallpaper would be left.
Britain’s governing elite today promote a Buy Russian campaign. As a consequence, 144 million Russians now take pride in their country’s growing self-sufficiency and economic buoyancy. Not much of an EU strategy if their anti-Russian embargo adds to European Union impoverishment.
The anti-Russian economic blockade cost the UK £10 billion in 2015 and hasn’t recovered. Trade between the UK and Russia is down 50 per cent and has cost the EU $60.2 billion.
As I write, 2.3 million, mostly Russian and Ukrainian citizens of Crimea, celebrate their freedom from Soviet imposed Ukrainian colonialism. Crimea’s economy has improved considerably. Their tourist industry, enjoying a 20 per cent increase in tourism, is now placing table cloths out for an estimated 6 million high-spending Russian tourists expected during 2017.
Spain grimaced when in 2015 Russian tourism dropped by 32 per cent. It gets worse; the Russians are high spenders and only the Chinese exceed their spending power. Before the blockade Russian tourists spent €7 for every €1 spent by EU nationals.
Remember the golden rule: those who have the gold make the rules. Russia retaliated by blocking EU products and produce. The loss suffered by 550 million EU citizens is the gain of trade rivals. It is party time in Turkey, Belarus, Brazil, Columbia, Syria, Pakistan, and Iran. Even Greenland and the Faroe Islanders are cock-a-hoop over replacing fish products once sold by Baltic EU members.
Of course, if we lived in a democracy we could deselect our political representatives. Sadly, we cannot. The European Parliament to which we elect MEPS is an advisory body only. The real decisions are made by two unelected EU Presidents and 20 faceless Commissioners. On March 13 this witless coven decided to extend their Buy Russian not European policy. You couldn’t make it up? You don’t need to.