Romano Prodi, erstwhile commission president and now Italian prime minister is in full self-justification mode about the debacle over mass migration to Europe.
He tells The Financial Times that Europe completely underestimated the scale of the exodus from Romania after the country's accession to the EU this year. "Nobody could expect that [scale of influx]," he says. "Nobody was expecting the outflow from Romania [across Europe]."
Even then, he goes on to defend the principle of free movement of EU citizens and then has the nerve to say that the directive governing the free movement of EU citizens, drawn up when he was president of the Commission, was "inadequate".
So, on an issue of acute sensitivity, with profound impact on the indigenous populations of member states, Prodi got it wrong. Furthermore, on his watch, the EU produced legislation (Directive 2004/38/EC) which made a potentially dangerous situation even worse.
But, so obvious was it that there was going to be problems, once the barriers were lifted on the Central and Eastern European countries, that Booker and I wrote about it in detail in The Great Deception published in 2003 – the bones of which argument I set out again here.
Yet, we are not the "experts", with zillions of taxpayers' money slushing around to fund our studies. We just applied common sense, combined with logical analysis based on an evaluation of migration drivers which, in the past, have produced similar effects.
But now, having got it so spectacularly wrong, with barely a blush, Prodi is now suggesting that the very organisation that got it wrong, should have another go … and, presumably, another go, when they get it wrong again.
For all the facile apologists for the EU, the one thing they never seem to be able to recognise is that we are ruled by a bunch of incompetents. Whatever the perceived merits of the EU, the fact of the matter is the operation has all the characteristics of a septic tank – it allows incompetent turds like Prodi to float to the top, with plenty more where that came from.