April 02, 2015

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Many supporters of the Union claim that it preserves the peace in Europe. This, of course, is both absurd and profoundly anti-German. There never was a prospect that Portugal would attack Estonia, or Greece Belgium; the only conceivable conflict in Western Europe would be that between France and Germany, but to conceive such a conflict would be to assume that the Germans really did not change after 1945, which is absurd. The peace after 1945 came about because there was neither the will nor the means nor the desire to resume war in Europe, and had nothing whatever to do with the establishment of the Common Market, as it then was.

It is, however, easy to sympathise with politicians who grow tired of the political game as it is played in parliamentary democracies with its tiresome and anxiety-provoking necessity to be re-elected every now and then, and who therefore want to retire to the sunny uplands of the European administration with its large salaries and even more generous expense accounts, where nothing so vulgar as an election ever takes place and where you can be important for ever, avoiding tax in perfect tranquillity and never have to pay for lunch. And who, after listening to a conversation on a bus or in a bar, would want to make it his life’s work to solicit the votes of the idiotic participants, or to make sure he said or did nothing to upset them? Such would be a life of hell, of never being able to say what you really think, of walking always on eggshells, of being so afraid of saying something that is out of line that you are reduced to the langue de bois of Artur Mas. 

The nationalists who claim to want independence but who are simultaneously enthusiastic defenders of the construction of Europe are, whether they realise it or not (for we are often at our most blind when we feather our own nest), even more enthusiastic place-seekers. How many new, self-important Ministries of Foreign Affairs “€“ each with less and less to do, of course “€“ will have to be created, how many ambassadors and cultural attachés, second and third secretaries, military attachés (all without armed forces in which to be senior officers) appointed, heads of state elected, etc., etc? It will be excellent for the limousine industry, to say nothing of the production of tinted and bullet-proof glass, and chauffeurs need fear no redundancy, but freedom is unlikely to be much served.


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