Saturday, November 05, 2011

Things must be seriously bad

There is a certain amount of entertainment to be had – as here with Charlie Moore's latest column - in watching the above-the-liners suddenly discover something, take it for their own and then parade their new-found pearls before us swine, as if they are the founts of all wisdom.

The découverte du jour in Moore's case, as per the headline and strap, is that the EU has lost its vital yet intangible quality of inevitability. It has departed from "le project", never to return, without which the ambitions of the "colleagues" are doomed to frustration.

This, though, is something we had observed in September, and then only in passing, noting that it was only the dinosaurs that still hankered after further European integration. It no longer carried with it the aura of historical inevitability, while the possibility of collapse was now treated seriously.

Nevertheless, we would not even begin to lay claim to be the father of this thought. It is so obvious, to the point of being self-evident, that even Moore's newspaper noticed it in January 2007, declaring that, once the sense of inevitability is removed, the entire construct collapses.

We would not expect the above-the-liners ever to match us, but it might be a good idea for Moore to catch up with his own paper – although his kind never feel the need to do that. In their claustrophobic little world, nothing exists until they personally have invented it.

However, Moore is still in the transitional stage. He has discovered the acquis communautaire and the theory of bicycles, but he is not yet up to speed using the word "inevitability". Soon enough, though, someone will tell him about it during an agreeable lunch, and he will invent it as a concept. It will then become the mot du jour, with the groupescules rushing around applauding the Great Man's "brilliance".

Despite that, the above-the-liners do have their uses. Serving not so much as bellwethers but as canaries down the mine, when they start noticing such things, we can take it that the phenomenon is well established. And that is what Moore is telling us today. If the déshabillé has percolated to his level, things must be seriously bad. In another couple of years, the news might even reach the Tory party.