Upon learning the full terms of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, the German provisional government in Weimar was thrown into upheaval. ‘What hand would not wither that binds itself and us in these fetters?’ Prime Minister Philipp Scheidemann asked, and he resigned rather than accept the treaty.
It might be interesting to compare the terms of Versailles with the harsh terms being agreed by Mrs May for the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement.
Remembrance Sunday brings us close to millions who gave their lives to defend our nation against a military Leviathan, and for those who labour under the misapprehension that WWI was the fault of all participants, I recommend The Shield of Achilles by Philip Bobbitt. He demonstrates the German policy goal of conquest and adduces a depth of evidence that is totally convincing. Whether the German people wanted war is of course quite another matter. The end of WWI brought with it a very fierce treaty imposed on the defeated nation in the 1919 and it is a savage irony that these terms bear comparison with what Mrs May is said by the commentariat to be about to agree with the EU. The trouble is that she is not remotely bothered with the depth and breadth of the concessions she has given away, having taken ‘personal responsibility’ after sacking David Davis in favour of Remainer Robbins.
Here I depend on the online Encyclopaedia Britannica for a summary of the 1919 Versailles Treaty terms on the Germans. Territories were ceded and annexed by neighbouring states; the Rhineland was put under League of Nations suzerainty as a guarantee of German cooperation – the Rhineland backstop, as it would be called in today’s EU language. The coal-rich Saarland was put under League of Nations control so the French could take the coal for their own benefit – not the German fishing grounds, we note, but coalfields. Danzig was declared a ‘free city’ under the League of Nations, another annexation of territory to be economically controlled by this agency dominated by France, not Northern Ireland however. Upper Silesia was put under League of Nations control, another coal-rich and industrially developed province, until a plebiscite gave it to the new state of Poland. Very damaging were the treaty’s commercial clauses that took from Germany most of its foreign financial holdings and reduced its merchant carrier fleet to roughly one-tenth of its prewar size. The trading capacity of the defeated and humbled nation was severely hit, and its financial sector degraded likewise. The League of Nations was given the role of a controlling agency over German interests, territories, and trading powers. Sounds familiar?
The massive ‘reparations’ imposed on Germany are said in the Britannica article to have amounted to 132billion gold marks (about £6.6billion). The justification for this penalty was that of German guilt for the losses incurred by the victors in fighting the war. The UK has for decades been a net contributor to the EU budget, has given free access to its territorial waters to other nations’ fishing fleets, has an equitable stake in the EU vast buildings and has been called on help keep the Euro afloat by assisting with the bail-out loans for Greece, despite having opted out of the euro. So the massive reparations Mrs May has so generously agreed to are not based on the guilt of the UK, rather on its innocence and vast contribution towards the EU. But the EU is in fact operating as an enemy, despite Barnier’s demand for trust in the early phase of ‘negotiations’. The art of war is to subdue your enemy without fighting: Barnier has succeeded totally in this, and no doubt beyond his wildest dreams. The EU is now toying with the UK, adding demand to demand, knowing May will yield again and again.
May has totally inverted her initial Lancaster House agenda and is about to announce her new plan amounting to remaining under Brussels regulation, agreeing to a ‘League of Nations’ type of suzerainty over Northern Ireland, UK territorial waters and trading regulation possibilities. And this will be so embedded in law as to be more difficult to escape than from full membership of the EU itself. The temporary annexations of German lands in 1919 did have a termination date, it seems.
How and why any ‘Conservative’ MPs can sign up to the May Versailles ‘deal’ is quite amazing; no withering of their hands but hopes of government jobs instead. They sign themselves into a hall of national shame, with May, her Cabinet and civil servants, plus their propaganda arm of the BBC, being near the top of the list. And how dreadful that all this humiliation and loss has been totally voluntary and invited on the nation by Mrs May personally, in 2019 a replica of Versailles. There are not 48 MPs ready to challenge this crazy plan before it gets to Parliament, and bring in the Canada-plus plan already developed? Why not? They brought down the great patriot Margaret Thatcher, but want to keep this very reverse of a PM and her toxic degrading version of Remain with no say.