Richard North, 10/05/2005  

My apologies to our readers for returning to this subject but reading some of the later comments on Margot's blog of over two weeks ago and the actual speeches the silly woman made in Teresin and Prague, I could not help thinking that the lady might benefit from a little good advice.

Setting aside the huffing and puffing on the part of the moderator and various other of the fragrant Commissar's spokespersons that proved nothing except that the Daily Telegraph article flicked them all on the raw and that they know nothing about British politics (one silly little twit thought it was very funny to chortle about UKIP not getting any seats – ho-ho-ho) there are extremely useful links to the two speeches and the text of the remarkably silly statement by the Commissioners.

I am afraid Margot's speech in Terezin does make all the comments I refer to (wandering Jewish teacher and all) and shows only the most cursory knowledge of European history and of the Second World War, which appears to have been everybody's fault without exception (all that greed and nationalism with no mention of Nazi ideology).

Her reference of what could bring about a new Holocaust is even stupider than the Daily Telegraph made out:

We also came to this terrible point in our history through nationalistic pride and greed, and through international rivalry for wealth and power. It was precisely to put an end to such rivalry that the European Union was born – the first ever supranational organisation in which sovereign nations voluntarily share their sovereignty.

European nations may well disagree over all kinds of issues – but instead of fighting we now sit round a table and discuss them until we reach an agreement. It means a lot of compromises, but it works!

Yet there are those today who want to scrap the supranational idea. They want the European Union to go back to the old purely inter-governmental way of doing things.

I say those people should come to Terezin and see where that old road leads.
Let me get this quite straight: if we do not have a supranational organization but inter-governmental negotiations, we necessarily have a Holocaust? Or is it the fragrant Commissar's contention that there have never been negotiations in the past (or even in the present) without a supranational organization, run by unelected and unaccountable elites, which impose their ideas on all and sundry?

She also has a strange idea that if she keeps repeating that something is happening that it actually is happening:

The founding fathers of the European Union set out to bind nations together, through shared sovereignty and joint decision-making.

I believe we now need a Europe that binds people together, through shared goals and dreams, shared friendship and respect.

Not just a Union of economics and politics but a union of hearts and minds.

A new demos for a new democracy.

The transformation from a technocratic Europe to a truly democratic one, a real Union of people, is potentially as dramatic as the metamorphosis of a chrysalis into a butterfly. Terezin is, to me, an ideal place in which to begin that metamorphosis.
Whether Terezin is the right place or not is irrelevant. But where has the silly woman managed to find a European demos? No-one else has noticed anything remotely resembling it.

And a union of hearts and minds? What a convenient substitute for actually asking people what they really think about integration. While some Swedish politicians are fighting for a referendum, that is for the people to have the right to express their opinion whether the political structure actually does reflect their dreams and shared goals, our Margot is not one of them.

In fact, the fragrant Commissar expressed certain reservations about having a referendum, on the grounds that it might encourage people to disagree and in her world, peace and harmony are achieved by a unanimous point of view.

So we come to the fragrant Commissar's speech in Prague, where she once again forgot to mention Communism as being quite a nasty sort of regime. She sort of mentions that things were not all rosy in Eastern Europe but does not give a reason. In fact, let's face it, our Margot is incapable of concise, straight thinking. Her image of fluffy bunniness has clearly affected her brain.

The rest of the speech is the usual blah about benefits of the EU, much of which has nothing to do with it – economic growth in the Czech Republic was stronger before it became a member.

There is a certain amount of bare-faced lying as in her assertion that it is the national governments with the European Parliament that pass the legislation, forgetting for the moment about the role played by her and her colleagues. And, anyway, does that not smack of inter-governmentalism that leads to Terezin and worse?

And, of course, the right to petition the Commission (the Commission? I thought it was the national governments and the European Parliament that legislated.) as long as you get 1 million signatures and even then the Commission has every right to refuse. In any case, this is a juvenile idea, guaranteed to produce any number of silly suggestions. Hardly a substitute for democratic accountability.

For a display of really muddled reasoning, I refer our readers to the fragrant Commissar’s ten reasons for signing up to the Constitution. A mish-mash of inaccuracies and irrelevancies, if ever I saw one. Space and an inability to keep a straight face, prevents me from quoting them but it is always better to read these things in the original.

Well, no, I can't resist the last one:
Finally, my tenth reason for supporting the Constitution is that it gives more direct power to the people. As I said earlier, if you manage to collect one million signatures in a significant number of EU countries, you can ask the Commission to propose a new law or policy.

In effect, this gives you a right of initiative that had previously been reserved for the Commission alone. That is real progress for direct democracy in Europe.
It is not just history the woman is incapable of understanding but even ordinary political concepts. Her idea of direct democracy appears to have been culled from mediaeval fairy tales and legends of the righteous king listening to his people. For her information, many of us in various European countries have long gone beyond petitioning rulers to lend an ear to our pleas.

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