Selmayr is almost certainly
Dutch MEP Sophie in 't Veld - featured in Daily Mail and Daily Express online editions - may splutter -
- but it merely shows that many who work inside the EU system do not understand how it operates, and to what end. They think that the EU stands for justice, brotherhood, democracy, openness and so on and expect its governance to reflect their illusions. One day it may; but not now.
The European Union is about power - not because its intentions are evil, but because it is trying to bind together very different countries into a single State. Such a project cannot succeed in a factious democracy. So in the European Union directives and legislation come from above and their Parliament is largely a talking shop and rubber stamping operation.
In some ways it is like Germany in 1871. Prussia - the permanent leader of the federation - centred power on the Kaiser, with the aristocratic Herrenhaus naturally inclined to support him. Representation in the lower chamber or Landtag was skewed towards economic power: one-third of seats went to representatives of the very richest and another to the middle-class; the last third gave a feeble voice to the masses - 82.6% of the population in 1849. Bills were proposed by the Kaiser - or, if it suited his purposes, not proposed; but certainly not by the commoners. The Constitution of Germany was, said Wilhelm Liebknecht, "eine fürstliche Versicherungsanstalt gegen die Demokratie" - a princely company providing insurance against democracy.
The EU manages its people in a similarly autocratic manner, and the chart below shows the flows of its power - and the source of its proposals:
As with Newton's Third Law, antidemocratic force creates democratic reaction. The semi-suppression of the people fostered the development of the German Social Democrats; when the old German order fell apart in 1918 the new Weimar Constitution addressed the unfairness of the voting arrangements with a system of proportional representation. It was a disastrous solution: little could be decided among the squabbling factions, so that by 1933 the Chancellor could seize control in an "emergency" - tragically undefined by the Constitution and therefore open to his own judgment.
We are now seeing similar tensions between centre and periphery in the EU. If matters cannot be rectified within the system, it will ultimately face extra-systemic reactions and possibly end in tyranny, as the organisation seeks to preserve its existence.
Martin Selmayr is a lawyer; in German, a "Rechtsanwalt" - an authority, a manager, an advocate in law. The German for law is "Gerecht", its root "recht" or in English, "right." The soul of law is a sense of what is right (whose opposite is "wrong", a word rooted in the notion of twisting, like other "wr-" formations - wrist, wring, wry etc).
But law is also law as arbitrarily issued by the ruler ("le Roi re veult"), law that is written down and codified, law as procedure. So, technically, Selmayr's promotions by Junker (ratified by Commissioners attentive to their own advantage) were allowable within the letter of the EU's law; but not right, not straight.
Yet those rules have been fashioned for a purpose, one quite alien to the British sense of what is right, and also (it seems) coming as a surprise to some others in the EU who have misunderstood the destination to which they are heading. It is a rough and crooked road, leading to the termination of government by (and possibly one day, also of government for) the people.
Whereas the EU Constitution, like Prussia's, was designed to give power to the executive, the British Constitution - learning from centuries of bloody internal conflict - has evolved to restrain it. This is why we should leave the Union and should never have joined it in the first place: there is a total incompatibility between our respective political philosophies and habits.
Did Macmillan, Heath and the other conspirators who manoeuvred us into this federation not understand?