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.