Thursday, March 22, 2007

Vive la difference

Timothy Garton-Ash is trying his best to promote his favourite bastard offspring of Sovietism - the EU - in today's Guardian.

If Europe were a person, he'd send her to a psychologist. So says the Polish film director Krzysztof Zanussi, and I think he has a point. Why is this 50-year-old feeling so depressed?

Well, for a start, Europe is considerably older than 50, Timbo. If you can not tell the difference between the continent of Europe and the European Union then perhaps you're in the wrong job. As to why the EU is feeling depressed - what evidence have you got to suggest it is?

A recent Financial Times poll conducted in Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain revealed that even in these leading, prosperous countries of the EU, 44% of those asked thought that life in their country had got worse since it joined the EU.

Ah, right. You mean that the people in the various nations that make up the EU don't like it anymore and that makes pro-EU barmpots like yourself a little depressed. The EU steamroller itself continues on it's narrow little path crushing all dissent before it - gently veering further and further leftward as it does, those left in it's wake shake their fist and you wonder why?

For a brief moment, Garton-Ash suffers a minor does of lucidity.

If our citizens associate the EU with bureaucracy, that's because it's too bureaucratic.

You don't say. Unfortunately, this period of lucidity is all too brief. He quickly lapses back into foggy vacuity.

If the EU and its member states can create more jobs, reduce inequality, invest in research and development and combat climate change, then more Europeans will feel better about it. Actions, not words, are what is needed.

Er, right. Actions not words. And what does the EU consider to be "action"? More bureaucracy. The only action the EU is capable of taking is creating regulation - and that means more red-tape, not less. So Garton-Ash's suggestion to make the EU seem less bureaucratic is more bureaucracy!

Just to make matters worse, Garton-Ash reveals his la-la land perception of what people want.

[I]t remains true that many Europeans do not fully appreciate how much of what makes their lives more agreeable - the ability to live, work and travel wherever you like in Europe, cheap flights, cleaner air and beaches, football teams with players like Thierry Henry, not to mention peace and freedom - can be ascribed at least partly, and sometimes directly, to the EU.

Garton-Ash is typical example of EU elites. They are so out of touch with the reality of life for the vast majority of people that they do not understand what it is that matters to most people. The vast majority of people in Britain AND in Europe do not want to live or work anywhere else, clean beaches and air are nice (though the suggestion that this is due to the EU is ludicrous - most of it is down to improving technology), but far higher priorities are clean and safe streets. Peace and freedom has nothing to do with the EU at all - it is all down to NATO and the USA, but again what people really want is peace and freedom from crime and anti-social behaviour. The threat of a crack-head breaking down your door to rob and possibly even kill you is far greater than the threat of a foreign soldier parachuting into your garden. Garton-Ash's elitism is fully exposed by his comment about football. The man clearly knows nothing about it.

Garton-Ash's "big idea" that will solve all the bad feeling about the EU amongst the people of the nations of Europe is - wait for it - a "new European narrative". Yep, that's it. What we used to call "propaganda". Unfortunately for Garton-Ash, this presents a problem because the people of Europe suffer from a terrible disease known as "nationality". We all read different newspapers in different languages and watch different TV stations and like different things. For Garton-Ash and the EU, this is a problem. The one-size-fits-all approach falls at the first hurdle because we are not all the same.

We are different and the vast majority of us like being different.


xoggoth said...

Excellent post stan. Don't know where you find the time.

rop said...

The left has an interesting dilemma. They despise nationalism unless it is in support of a designated victim group. But in order to create a European superstate, they must invent a matching national identity endorsed by the majority. Since the majority can never be a designated victim group, this purpose is contrary to their basic instincts.

Stan said...

It's a dilemma for them, alright - and one which I believe can not be overcome. That is why I think the EU project is doomed to failure and will fall apart within the next 20-30 years. It may celebrate it's 50th anniversary this year - it won't see another 50.

And I'm afraid that the inevitable collapse of the EU is going to have some serious repercussions for the nations of Europe. Repercussions along the lines of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. It will be messy - and that is why I believe we need to leave sooner rather than later.