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"What's done is done and cannot be undone"

Posted by Helen Thursday, November 25, 2004

So said Lady Macbeth to her husband as he intimated that he was beginning to feel certain twinges of conscience after murdering King Duncan. On the whole, Lady M is not the most admirable of role models and, if memory serves me right, ends up walking in her sleep, perpetually washing her hands and, finally, committing suicide.

Yet she does seem to be the presiding genius for EU officials, who feel that there can be no going back, unravelling, changing or altering on anything that has been decided in however unsatisfactory a fashion. In particular what cannot be changed, altered or unravelled is the draft Constitution.

All this came up because of the ongoing rumble of complaints about the absence of Christianity from that document. What with that and the saga of former Commissioner-designate Rocco Buttiglione, there is a feeling of beleaguerement among the very many believing Christians of Europe.

A Christian coalition has collected 1,149,000 signatures across Europe for a petition that is being delivered to all the EU leaders, asking that the Constitution be published with a different preamble by each country with God mentioned in it if desired. They claim that all references to Christian values were blocked by France, which may be true as the battle between church and state in that country has been long and bloody and is not yet over.

The current version of the preamble talks in a vague and woolly fashion of “the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe”. The reason this meaningless form of words was decided on is because it has become remarkably clear that there is no all-embracing European culture or European outlook on the world. (More of this in another posting.)

However, the one thing all European and probably other officials have in common is a fear of having to admit that they were wrong and of reviewing what had been done. As one EU official muttered:

“These Christians could at least have the good grace to accept that they lost the argument.”
Might not the Emperor Nero have used those very words?