July 02, 2016

Laurel and Hardy

Laurel and Hardy

Again, as a statistical generalization it is true that the more educated were inclined to vote to remain than to vote to leave. It is only a statistical generalization, however; there were many highly educated people (my friend Professor Norman Stone, for example, who can hardly be described as a xenophobe) who voted to leave. Education and wisdom, let alone foresight, are in any case not the same thing: I will not rehearse the proofs of this, but merely point out that the Russian intelligentsia were not notable for their political prudence, the German professoriate for its resistance to Nazi ideas, or the educated leaders of the Khmer Rouge for their humanity. I could go on: Suffice it to say that educated people are not ipso facto always wiser than the uneducated, but they are usually surer of themselves.

If the 52 percent voted for Brexit because they feared that the “€œEuropean project,”€ so-called, is the creation of a vast sovereign state to slake the thirst for power of megalomaniacs of the political class, impossible of even minimal democratic oversight, a kind of giant Yugoslavia, then they were, in my opinion, wiser than those who voted the other way. (I am not saying that this actually was the reason in the majority of cases they voted for Brexit.)

The leaders of France, Germany, and Italy have said that they want to push forward to closer political union. The folly of this is unspeakable. Consider, if you will, just the following: The French government, whose legitimacy no one will deny even if he denies its competence, is currently attempting some weak reforms of the rigid French labor market. This has resulted in months of conflict and continued violence. But at least the reform is the work, or attempted work, of a French government. Imagine if the reform were imposed by fiat of a European government despite the opposition of the French government and members of the European parliament: As Shakespeare put it, hark, what discord follows!

The European project is not the solution to a problem, because there is no problem to be solved. Moreover, there is not a problem to which it could be the solution. It is the work of men as ruthlessly incompetent in their own way as David Cameron. I therefore suggest a law is passed”€”a Europe-wide law”€”making obligatory an epitaph on the graves of all members of the European political class (including British). It would not be from the Bible, but from Laurel and Hardy:



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