Thursday 19 November 2009

Those funny little foreigners in the EU

Quite irksome really, with all those funny little foreigners wanting a say on running the European Union, and not recognizing the self-evident leading role of the United Kingdom in European integration. If this continues, Britain will have to expel the rest of the EU member states to put Europe in order.

Forgive the poetic licence, but here are a few examples from the UK debate about the EU summit this Thursday evening, convened to nominate the president of the European Council and the high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.

Labour’s Europe minister Chris Bryant hit back by branding Van Rompuy a “federalist” who threatened Britain’s national interest. And he slammed shadow foreign secretary William Hague, the former Tory leader, for opposing Mr Blair’s bid; The Sun, Graeme Wilson: Germans to block Blair (19 November 2009).

A furious backlash was growing last night against the drive to anoint Euro fanatic Herman Van Rompuy as President of Europe; The Daily Express, Macer Hall: Britain ruled by a Belgian? You must be joking (18 November 2009).

The favourite to become President of the European Union is determined to replace Britain’s Union Flag and national anthem with “European symbols”; The Daily Mail, Macer Hall: EU threat to the Union Jack and the National Anthem (17 November 2009).

The gradual loss of our flag, national anthem and even licence plates matters as much as the loss of veto power under the Lisbon Treaty, for it is partly thanks to the splendidly robust symbols of British identity that we have acquired our unique character; Telegraph View: We don’t want to fly the flag for Europe (16 November 2009).

The Honeyball Buzz, Mary Honeyball, Labour MEP, patiently explains why Britain’s own Tony Blair is the only sensible choice; Crunch Day for Europe President (18 November 2009):

This mindset has led to Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy emerging as the front-runner. I hardly think Belgium is a shining example of how to run a country. A population of about 10 million is split into two linguistic groups with three federal regions, a system which is so unworkable that Belgium was recently without a federal government for nearly two years as the various parties were unable to agree on a coalition.

The other two small countries who are realistic contenders aren’t much better. Peter Balkenende from Holland verges on the Thatcherite. Luxembourg has, as ever, staked its claim. Yet can anyone take Jean-Claude Junker seriously when the entire population of Luxembourg is only 488,000. Yes 488,000 compared to over 60 million in the UK and Germany’s 82.5 million. I am tempted to use that dreadful Americanism – “give us a break!”

The Times (opinion), George Walden: A bogus, pompous, ludicrous, overpriced job (19 November 2009):

Finally there is the comic aspect. The EU is hugely sensitive about status, though careless, it appears, about its dignity. How does it expect the world to react to the sight of an unknown former politician of a medium-sized European country, let alone a Belgian or Luxemburger, junketing from capital to capital playing at being a global power? Seen that way, Ubu Roi and The Government Inspector aren’t in the same league.


If you live on the wrong side of the Channel, you know that your measure has been taken.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Do you find EUSSR myths fascinating? Are we EU citizens worth a better European Union? Read the Euroblogs aggregated on multilingual, and discuss our common European future.


  1. *Sigh* Unfortunately this attitude in the British media is all too widespread. It's annoying to see supposedly knowledgable commentators on TV saying that they haven't a clue who the candidates are, and so they must be unworthy of inspection.

    It's also baffling - what's the purpose of these commentators if they're just wheeled out to shrug and say "I don't know" with a sneer?

  2. Eurocentric,

    One of the problems, in my view, is that even the better media in Britain do not really look for input in other languages or from other countries on a regular basis and an with an open mind.

    The paid and unpaid anti-EU campaigners use stereotypes and distortions in the best "Völkische Beobachter" tradition, to an extent one would think impossible in a 'civilised' European nation during times of peace (not to say membership in a common European project).

    Leading UK politicians are not much better. The most pro EU types sound like Eurosceptics and the rest like anti-EU campaigners.

    As a result, we have a 13 per cent approval rate for constructive British EU membership - an untenable situation in a society with a democratic system (although archaic).

    Humility and a willingness to learn are the hallmark of prosperous nations. In this regard I am not overly optimistic about the correctness of the latest scenarios about a flourishing UK ten years after leaving the European Union - although secession would probably be in the best interest of Europe.


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