Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ensemble?

The BBC – as one might expect – has rushed to tell us that the European Union has selected the winning entry for its competition to decide the logo for its 50th birthday celebrations next year.

Szymon Skrzypczak, 26, the winner, made his design using the words in English "Together since 1957", winning €4000 in the process. He was one of 1,700 students, who tried to "encapsulate the idea of European co-operation... and the future of Europe in particular".

Oddly, the theme chosen is the very opposite of the reality. In 1957, only six countries elected to sign the Treaty of Rome, signalling that Europe was very far from "together" (not that it is now). Furthermore, English as a language was not on the official list of the new Community, which included only French, German, Dutch and Italian.

Nevertheless, we are told that this logo "gives a graphic interpretation to the voice of all Europeans, especially the new generations." We are further advised that, "These Europeans look for peace, stability and prosperity without taking anything away from their rights of individuality and diversity."

Why is it that, when confronted with high-flown rhetoric of this nature, one is always minded to express something unutterably rude?

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