Richard North, 19/01/2005  

If I said it once, I said it a hundred times. If the Commission is serious about spreading propaganda and winning the hearts and minds of the European people (or, at least, instilling the notion that there is one true path to knowledge and no-one is allowed to diverge), they should take lessons from the masters: the Soviet Union.

Well, it seems they have finally heeded my advice. Of course, the Soviet Union is no longer with us but a perfectly adequate substitute is emerging in Putin’s Russia, what with his attempt to create a single economic and security area on the territory of the old USSR and reuniting the various energy providers under state control.

At the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Budapest ghetto, the Russian ambassador read out a statement from the Foreign Ministry. Clearly he could not formulate one himself. Among other things he informed the collected and, no doubt, somewhat bemused audience that the defeat of Fascism with Soviet help was the first step towards "a unified, democratic and flourishing Europe".

So now we know. Eat your heart out Jean Monnet.

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