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The ‘beautiful game’ teaches us the positive aspects of nationalism. To play it you have:
- A defined playing area.
- Qualifications as to players. Only these, plus the referee, are allowed on the pitch.
- A clearly expressed objective.
- Rules that set down how the game is played and influence its style.
- Impartial judges to enforce the rules.
Similarly, with a well-run country you have:
The European Union does not work because it has:
You would think that once free of all that we would be ‘full steam ahead.’ What do we have?
- Clearly defined and potentially very defensible territory. We kept out the mighty German war machine in my father’s time.
- Rules for who should be allowed to reside, but which are overriden by international conventions on refugees that are easily abused by bogus claimants, at huge expense to our country.
General de Gaulle made clear to our Ambassador that he wanted to see a Europe completely independent of the United States, which would result in the disappearance of N.A.T.O. as we know it; and that he would like to see the European Communities changed into a looser form of free trade area with arrangements by each country to exchange agricultural produce, and a small inner council of a European political association consisting of France, Britain, Germany and Italy.
What a shame that the then Labour Government sniffily rejected both proposals, as that link goes on to show.
What a shame, too, that we have forgotten the wisdom of Lord Palmerston:
We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.
We need to launder our kit, get onto the world’s field and play our hearts out.