Saturday, 21 November 2009

the Blairingly obvious

appointing Herman Rumpy Pumpy, prime minister of Europe's only failed state, and Baroness Nobody, whom I had never heard of when she was a UK government minister and we were told she supported the saving of Ryeish Green School (she didn't) as les plus grands fromages in Europe is barmy. It reduces accountability and bolsters the positions of Sarko and Angie. which is what they wanted. George Grant posting on The Scoop has it right:

Don’t be fooled. The choice of Herman von Rumpty and Baroness Nobody as EU President and Foreign Minister was a big mistake.

Eurosceptics will doubtless be breathing a sigh of relief that the reviled showman Blair is not to fill the top job after all, and traffic will be spared the need to grind to a halt every time Blairforce One touches down. The choice of two non-entities has at least stemmed the growing influence of the European Superstate... for now.

Yet the ironic truth is that those most concerned about the growing and increasingly unaccountable nature of European politics should have backed Blair all the way. The brazenness with which the EU’s upper-echelons ignore popular opinion is indeed approaching the level of farce. Nobody was asked about the Lisbon Treaty, except the Irish, who had to be asked twice. The same goes for the new EU President, Belgian’s Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy, (technically president of the Council) and his foreign affairs sidekick, Baroness Ashton. The Baroness, Lord Mandelson’s successor as EU Trade Commissioner, does in fact have the dubious honour of never having held elected office in her entire life.

Consequently, the argument goes, the less real power these people have, the better. The truth, however, is that by choosing these backroom characters to represent the EU globally on our behalf, we are only making the EU’s chronic accountability crisis even worse.

One of the EU’s single greatest impediments is that virtually nobody, in Britain at least, understands the first thing about how it operates. Rational debate on the EU is consequently almost impossible because any matter is reduced to Europhiles supporting whatever the proposal happens to be, and Eurosceptics opposing it, regardless of what it actually says. Nowhere was this clearer than with the Lisbon Treaty itself. Had more Eurosceptics bothered to read it they might have found they actually quite liked it precisely because it seeks to address many of the issues that make them so anti-European in the first place.

The appointment of such a high profile and intensely controversial figure as Tony Blair to the presidency would thus have been very healthy. If nothing else, it would have opened up the inner workings of the EU to public interest and thus scrutiny as never before, and that, more than anything else, is exactly what the European Union needs.


Anonymous said...


howard thomas said...

It always amuses me that we try to push democracy into countries all over the world like we are the ones to follow.
Then look at our system that allows our PM to appoint his buddies to positions in the 2nd chamber and then to recall them to serve in powerful positions in our government or despatch them to Europe on our behalf.
How dare we preach democracy while we have such a corrupt system ourselves.
As for the European president,what a farcical arrangement----and I wonder just how many votes they had on it before they achieved the 'right' one!

dreamingspire said...

And I disagree. Blair would have caused first friction and then open aggression between leaders of EU states. Those who operate the EU (the bureaucrats) would have a field day.
Leaders of the EU states have to appear in public, and thus we get increasing opportunities to find out what they think - we need to keep on asking them what the EU is about, so that they start to think seriously about the effects on us citizens.
But of course, Jane, you are a Blair Babe.

Jonny said...

In the spirit of the favourite poetry of the new President:
Herman van Rompuy
Keeping Belgium together -
Now try Europe, mate

jane said...

anonymous 0835 yes indeed I am a Blair Babe, as are all women elected as Labour MPs for the first time in 1997 - whether we like it or not. I do like it.

Anonymous said...

You like being associated with Blair ?
Christ, some people have no shame.

Anonymous said...

Jonny - well done! Keep it up, you might have invented a whole new genre of poetry here: the political haiku.

"Peter Mandelson
Came back to help Gordon
But it didn't work."

"Martin Salter said
He did not claim housing cash,
But Jane says he lied."

Anonymous said...

I am so surprised Blair did not get the role as he has made such a wonderful fist of things as envoy to the Middle East. But it is probably just as well as this Christian warmongerer would undoubtedly have attempted to embroil the EU in yet another hopelessly unwinnable war as his first task. Helps to get highly paid work on the American after dinner speech circuit though.

jane said...

three election victories, policies and a government the country actually liked - or are you among the Guardian readers who just LOVE Tory governments so they can rail against them and let people who actually BENEFITED from the minimum wage go f*** themselves - oh and I forgot, democracy, humn rights and the rule of law are not for brown-skin people in other countries, especially if they are Ay-rabs, hein? Go back to your Guardian you pompous piece of shite.

jane said...

or how about this:

David Miliband
Is in charge of foreign stuff
But he's rubbish

Jonny said...

What have I started?
It's all getting out of hand.
Poetry suffers

Fruity said...

Agree, Jane.
He is hardly 'the top bananna' is he?

Anonymous said...

So is it 11:33 or 20:35 who is the pompous piece of shite. I do hope it is 11:33. By the way you probably haven't noticed living in France that democracy, human rights etc ceased to exist ages ago in this country under Blair's labour.

jane said...

No, I disagree.
The poets will thank us soon
Night falls on red leaves.

Anonymous said...

Zut Alors! As the "pompous piece of shite" who clearly touched a nerve and brought on a hissy fit, could I ask which countries we've brought "democracy, humn rights and the rule of law" to, because it isn't Afghanistan, and it's not Iraq either.

And I know you'll censor all this, but your adoration of Blair is akin to the people who thought Adolf was wonderful for making the trains run on time, giving Germany full employment and building all those luvverly autobahns.

jane said...

I think this may be called someting like Rudkin's law, but in blogs the rapidity with which a comparison with Hitler or the use of the word "Nazi" ensues is deemed to be in inverse proportion to the validity of the "arguments" used. Excellent stuff. Do keep it up.

Anonymous said...

It's Godwin's Law, which states: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1".

More significantly, perhaps, it was Mussolini who made the trains run on time, not Hitler.

Anonymous said...

Is there a similar law which covers the irrelevant introduction of the race card as an attempt to close a discussion down, especially where race had previously not figured ?

Say perhaps a situation like this : "oh and I forgot, democracy, humn rights and the rule of law are not for brown-skin people in other countries, especially if they are Ay-rabs, hein?"

If there's not, I propose we call it Griffith's Law.

Jonny said...

Good point, anon 11:32. In fact the failure to build decent railheads on the Estern front was one of the main reasons the push to the Caucusus failed, and was certainly the reason for the Stalingrad defeat. Hitler never understood trains or industrial production. He was pretty bloody useless as a leader, in fact.
I don't like the fact that I seem to know this, so I'd better stop before I get on to the Pripyet marshes

Anonymous said...

Any news yet on those countries to which we've brought "democracy, humn rights and the rule of law" ?

The meter's running..........

Anonymous said...

Hitler failed because he put more energy into killing Jews, Roma and others than in winning the war.

Stalin succeeded because he put more energy into winning the war than in protecting his own population.

The real warmongers are the Stop the War people who encouraged Saddam, Al Qaida and the Taliban.