Europe…here I go again…

Well I thought I had put the Europe demon to bed for a while but clearly I haven’t. However, in truth this is more a considered?? rant at how the Tories are eating their own babies or as they were described this morning …’Mad swivel eyed loons…’.

In what universe do these Tory politicians live? Certainly one I’m not aware of. We have a major problems that need to be addressed like, oh I don’t know, the economy yet there seems to be a significant proportion of the Tory MP’s who want to bang on about Europe, Europe, Europe , I know this is ironic as this is what I’m doing but it is my blog so I’m allowed to be ironic. They seem to want a return to a world that we left behind a long long time ago. A world where people knew their place, including Johnny Foreigner, and that the Conservative party could muster together enough votes to get an overall majority. It has a vernier of respectability placed on it by has been politicians who when they were in power and could have done something didn’t, and now claim to have had some misgivings all along. And I haven’t even got onto UKIP.

Lets be clear the EU has a huge democratic hole in its middle – we have elections to a parliament that is almost as ineffectual as local councils with the same level of support. We can expect that the 2014 European elections will be a ‘triumph’ for UKIP just as the recent council elections were a ‘triumph’…that is 25% of the 25% of the electorate who bothered – that is 5% of the overall figure. Which in itself is a good showing for a fringe, or should that be ‘Farage’, political movement but hardly representative of the electorate as a whole.

But back to the problems with Europe. It may be the the idea of a Union of European nations is not what a lot of people want but you have to ask what the alternative is? A very simple scan of recent European history would quickly suggest that without trying to work together European countries very quickly start to not work together with deadly consequences for the millions who have died. I know this is a broad over exaggeration but not too much – the last 70 years have been some of the most peaceful in European history which I think is something to celebrate. In fact one of the most logical reasons why Britain should keep their nuclear deterrent is because the French have the bomb. I am not joking and a quick drive across the fields of Flanders, as I did the other week, demonstrates just how dangerous European countries are when left to their own devices. Or perhaps a more modern event would be Kosovo – we are dangerous people when we don’t make a really hard effort to get along.

Now we in the British Isles can pretend that Europe doesn’t effect us, we are not European and that conflicts across the channel are ‘their’ problems. Well this never happens, from the western Atlantic ‘celtic’ civilisation, classical Greek tin traders, Romans, Vikings, Normans, 100 years War, Dutch wars of independence, Napoleonic Wars, Two World Wars what happens in Europe never stays in Europe. I am reading a book at the moment about how the Johnny Foreigner destroyed the salt production trade in the Fens in the Middle Ages. Salt from Europe, in this case Gascony was much cheaper to import than produce at home and so salt production in the Fens ceased. And the ironic thing about all this was that the centre of this import trade was Boston and Kings Lynn – two of the places where UKIP had a ‘strong showing’ in the recent elections.

So what is the message here? Well the first is that perhaps I shouldn’t get so vexed about such matters – fair enough. The second is, I suppose, that we are not isolated from Europe but a part of of Europe and it is, and always has been, vitally important to our national interests to be involved in what happens on the European mainland because when we are not it usually ends badly for many young men from the British Isles. After all we have much more important historic links to Europe than we do to say, oh I don’t know, the USA where “the special relationship’ was only forged because of, well, a European war that we were loosing badly. Before then both the USA and Britain had a very stand offish relationship.

And the third lesson? I guess Tory MP’s should perhaps be a little more honest with the British people, actually make that the English, when obsessing about Europe. Being out of the EU isn’t going to stop the EU influencing what we do in Britain it just means we’ll have no say on what the EU does and therefore will have to put up with any half baked vindictive measures that may well come our way.

Here endth today’s rant about Europe and the Tory right.

Simon Marchini

About Guthlac

An artist, historian and middle aged man who'se aim in life is to try and enjoy as much of it as he can
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