Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
A great grey Tower of Babel reaches up into the sky over Europe, lopsided, full of cracks and likely to collapse in the fullness of time...
For Britain, Europe’s oldest continuously independent sovereign state, [...] it is the end of 1,000 years of history, as predicted by the Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell as long ago as 1962...
In the EU, Ireland – no longer a Tiger – takes its place alongside Slovenia and Lithuania as a quirky, minor possession on the damp and unvisited fringes of the Continent, with almost no voting power.
Shorn – as it is now – of its ability to get in the way, it may find that the flow of subsidies will become much thinner in years to come...
The ascent of the EU happened to coincide with several decades of unheard-of prosperity and growth. But the EU did not cause that prosperity...
It was based on American Marshall Aid and helped along by American and British willingness to spend heavily on defending Europe against the USSR, while most of the EU nations kept their military budgets small.
The EU also cannot guarantee that Europe’s prosperity will go on forever. With so many member nations, many of them devastated by decades of Marxist misrule, its capacity to hand out subsidies is running out.
The credit crisis has not finished yet, Western Europe is fast running out of its own energy supplies and the shift of economic power to the Far East is speeding up, not stopping.
The European nations have not worked out how to deal with the enormous Muslim minorities which they have encouraged to settle on their territory and which increasingly demand the right to live according to their traditions.
Nor can they stop the slide of the manufacturing industry towards the regions where labour is cheapest.
Germany, still in a sort of post-traumatic shock over the cost of absorbing the Communist East, may not forever be willing to share a currency – and so a joint bank account – with the poorer and less well-run nations of the Eurozone.
... At the coming Election, refuse to vote for any of them, and do so in such numbers that they can no longer claim they have any mandate to rule, so that their zombie parties collapse in a heap of dust and worms, and we can start again.
The alternative is the accelerating death of our civilisation.
People often wonder why national leaders are so ready to hand their powers to Brussels. Each successive EU treaty has weakened national parliaments, yet each has been enthusiastically ratified by those same parliaments, often in overt defiance of public opinion.
What makes the politicians do it? [...] Perhaps – let’s be blunt – they are defying their electorates in the hope of getting lucrative positions in the EU when their terms expire.
I realise that this is a big claim. But, in ten years as an MEP, I’ve seen it happen time and again.
I’ve watched people arrive in Brussels as moderate Euro-sceptics, but change their views as their lips become clamped around the teat of the expenses. I’ve watched ‘No’ campaigners turn into Euro-enthusiasts after being given sinecures.
Now Tony Blair is plainly not in that category. He was a Euro-enthusiast to start with, albeit in a rather vague, pro-Italian-holidays kind of way. And he’s hardly poor...
No, the charge against him is not that he abandoned his beliefs, but that he abandoned Britain’s interests...
Could the issue of the [EU] budget have been linked in Blair’s mind, even subliminally, with that of the presidency?
... if Blair really did seek to buy the presidency with British taxpayers’ money, he was almost literally selling his country – and there is a very unpleasant word for people who do that.
For those who believe in history with a human face, perhaps this is a punishment, for believing we could create some small and imperfect version of an Earthly Paradise, where even the poorest man would have a voice in his government, and have hope to better his position in society; where the bully would be held back by fear of punishment, and the powerful restrained by the apprehension of condign retribution.
My wife says she feels aggression everywhere, people arguing with bus drivers that they shouldn't have to pay. I say the hungry sheep look up and are not fed; we are lost and leaderless ; those at the bottom of society live in fear of the future, despair, impotent rage, having nothing but meagre dole given them with grandstanding condemnation and impossible promises of opportunity.
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help, said the Psalmist.
Le Prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
It always ends in a building project, whether the new EU Parliament or Ceauşescu's Casa Poporului...
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more
It's not for us to take up arms. Worldly powers will rise and fall. Our defence, and the future, is the family. That is the nearest we can have to the Earthly Paradise.