Tuesday, May 25, 2004

There have to be better reasons than that ... or maybe not

The oddest questions get asked about the European Union and, to be fair, the oddest answers get given by some unfortunate minister.

On May 20 Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty’s Government “whether they will uphold in the European Union a moral vision in its internal and external policies appropriate for a reunited continent”.

The whole thing beggars belief. What reunited continent? When was it last united in one state or political entity? Does Lord Hylton know any history at all? And what’s with the moral vision, as some of my younger acquaintances would say? Is all that minutely detailed regulation of everybody’s life part of a moral vision?

Come to think of it, is the endless kow-towing to some of the world’s worst dictatorships, like China, even North Korea, certainly Iran and so on, just to score off the Americans part of a moral vision? What about the feebleness of the EU’s response to President Mugabe of Zimbabwe? A curious sort of moral vision this is that needs upholding.

However rum Lord Hylton’s question was, Baroness Crawley’s reply was even odder. Without batting an eyelid, she said:

"… the European Union has helped to create an area of peace, prosperity and shared values in Europe after centuries of conflict and instability. The recent accession of central and eastern European countries has dramatically extended this area, reuniting a continent divided by the Cold War."

Well, well, well. We have already dealt with the myth of the EU keeping and preserving the peace that had nothing to do with it. What of those shared values? It seems that a major part of them consisted of "centuries of conflict and instability". Perhaps peace and stability are not part of the European values at all. Or perhaps, Europe has somehow managed to preserve its "shared values" without any help from the eurocracy that skims off so much money and power for itself and its pet projects at the moment.

To read the full debate click here.

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