The Great EU Stitch Up…

If you go to pages 5 and 6 here, you’ll see a strange consensus between the headline writers of the Guardian and the Daily Mail: The Great EU Stitch Up… on the appointment Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy as president of the European Council and the UK’s EU Commissioner, Catherine Ashton. Same as it ever was… Jon looks at what might have been…

  • What kind of horse gets designed by a committee? Don’t blame the 26 committee-members: consider the decades of resistance to any attempts to redress the “democratic deficit” of the EU.

    My impression remains that many EU bureaucrats, and far, far more supporters of the European idea devoutly wish to bring the thing closer to the people. The obstacle is that such efforts are instantly branded as “federalism”. The antis, of course, are only too keen to confuse the latterly-acquired and negative connotations of English federalism with the more benign continental notions of Föderalismus or fédéralisme (which remain closer to the original Latin of foedus/foederati).

    Since the best we could expect from that horse-drawing committee was balance and competence, they didn’t do too badly. Anyway, what’s wrong with “ticking the boxes”?

    Then we have the new, wonder Vergeltungswaffe launched by Timothy Kirkhope, bosom pal of those dubious East European ultras. This suggests that Britain got it all wrong: the aim all along should have been to secure an economic or financial oversight rôle. As if the 16 (and growing) members of the Eurozone would allow an outsider anywhere near those particular levers of power … Meanwhile, William Hague (who, for some reason, gets phonetically-confused by many contributors to the Tory chatrooms with a brand of whisky) pontificates that the Tories would work with the new EU Council “in the British national interest”. Oh, hoo-blooming-ray! Interests end where the wogs begin.

    And, for heaven’s sake, who gave the egregious Farage (£2 millions of Euro-takeaway and still counting) leave to be an authority on what is “disgraceful”? I fully accept, though, he should be well capable of recognising a fellow “political pygmy”.

  • Dave

    Paul Belien of The Brussels Journal explains why Herman Van Rompuy is the perfect choice and what makes him the Commission’s puppet: his hatred of nation-states and his abject contempt for democracy. It’s all a downward slope for Herman. He once had high ideals and a recognition that Belgium, a country that isn’t a nation-state, could never be more than a dysfunctional little statelet, but he ended up as rotten as the system he represents:

    [i]Belgians do not like their state. They despise it. They say it represents nothing. There are no Belgian patriots, because no-one is willing to die for a flag which does not represent anything. Because Belgium represents nothing, multicultural ideologues love Belgium. They say that without patriotism, there would be no wars and the world would be a better place. As John Lennon sang “Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too.”

    In 1957, Belgian politicians stood at the cradle of the European Union. Their aim was to turn the whole of Europe into a Greater Belgium, so that wars between the nations of Europe would no longer be possible as there would no longer be nations, the latter all having been incorporated into an artificial superstate.[/i]

  • Greenflag

    The times were against Tony Blair. I think it’s safe to say that his Euro Presidency ambitions were done in by the economic crisis and the reluctance of the Council to have a former British Prime Minister batting from a height against a possible Tory future PM . The last thing the EU needs is for the ‘internal politics ‘ within the UK to be dragged onto the european one .

    ‘There are no Belgian patriots’

    I did’nt think the Belgians were that clever 😉 Location -location location in Belgium’s case was no doubt the adaptive mechanism which enabled them to evolve to a ‘higher ‘ form of nationalism .

  • Nomad


    Belgians do not like their state. They despise it. They say it represents nothing.

    On this note your source is incorrect. I for one know several* Belgians who like their state. Perhaps they wouldn’t die for it, but they certainly don’t want it split and do are proud to be Belgian.

    *All the Belgians I know.