An extraordinary op-ed by Mary Riddell in The Daily Telegraph today bears the headline: "Britain's on the wane, and the EU is our only hope of influence."
If this was just the vapourings of an airhead columnist, it could be dismissed but, unfortunately, it follows on from Miliband's speech yesterday, which said much the same thing. Look also to what Lord Heseltine is saying in The Times - the man whom is likely to join a Cameron administration – and there can be no doubt that Riddell's defeatist diatribe represents the received view of the political establishment.
Essentially, they have given up, sold the pass, and are ready to surrender our place in the international community as an active "player", handing over the initiative on foreign affairs to the EU, while our vassal administration deals only with internal matters. Decoded, these statements confirm our final retreat as a nation, the point where we formally cease to become an independent state and assume the role of a local authority, one province within the greater European empire.
As we pointed out yesterday, one of the defining attributes of an independent state is its control over its own foreign policy. For our establishment to sell the pass, whining about this once great country being "on the wane", and casting our lot in with "Europe" is indeed the final surrender, the acknowledgement that we are no longer an independent state.
That we should be doing this, without – it would seem – a squeak of protest from the media, or the opposition, demonstrates just how far the political process in this country has degraded. As we pointed out, in 1919, a country went to war to recover its control of foreign policy.
Those were the days when people understood the nature of statehood, and the real meaning of independence. Today, it slips from our grasp with the bulk of the population not even realising what has happened – or caring. But, whether they know or care, we are now a second-rate vassal state. We are a province of the European Empire, shortly – if the media has it right – to be ruled by the new Emperor Blair.
Thus, the EU will have achieved something neither Napoleon nor Hitler could achieve – the subjugation of the British Isles. And all without a shot being fired.
Nevertheless, the idea that, by surrendering our independence, we shall thus gain more "influence" is preposterous. The world is changing – as it always does – but the centre of power is moving away from its Eurocentric base, to the Pacific and Asia, where we see the economic dynamism and the potential for conflict that once typified Europe.
And, as the former major colonial power in the region, and the one with more troops on active duty there, other than the United States, we have in our own name, enormous influence. Furthermore, as that former colonial power, we have an institutional memory – one shared by states such as India and Pakistan – that gives us a unique status and capability.
The rest of the member states that comprise the EU are, by comparison, losers, incompetents and lightweights. None of them, as history so readily illustrates, have the capacity or understanding to become serious players in the region. We did not become "players" by accident. We had the temperament and the skills, inherent in our Anglo-Saxon heritage.
This is not unimportant. In fact, it is of vital interest. With our troops committed to Afghanistan, we are in the epicentre of a region on the brink of war. Serious commentators in both India and Pakistan are predicting that these two nations will be at war within two years. And two nuclear-armed nations at war is not a prospect any of us can regard lightly.
The EU's incompetence in this region, its lack of weight and gravitas, renders it a bit-player of very little consequence. Yet, just at the time when British skills and diplomacy are most needed, to head off a conflagration of appalling potential consequences – with knock-on effects of global proportions – we have sold our birthright to Brussels.
It sounds so melodramatic to say that we have been betrayed by our political classes. But that is exactly what has happened. We have been betrayed. But we betray ourselves by allowing it to happen – and by not caring. And there is a price to pay. The bill will shortly be presented. We will pay, most of us not even realising why.