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Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 4

Members of the Council of the European Union react to news of the 1 June Dutch referendum

Mark Steyn is in fine form concerning what the failure of the European Union's constitution means:

My favourite headline last week was in the International Herald Tribune: "EU leaders and voters see paths diverge." Traditionally in free societies, when the paths of the leaders and the voters "diverge", it's the leaders who depart the scene. But apparently in the EU this is too vulgar and "Anglo-Saxon", and so the great permanent Eurocracy decided instead to offer up Euro-variations on Bertolt Brecht's jest about the need to elect a new people. Whatever the rejection of the European constitution means, it certainly doesn't mean the rejection of the European constitution.

"I really believe the French and Dutch did not vote no to the constitutional treaty," insisted Jean-Claude Juncker, the "President" of "Europe", continuing to celebrate his stunning victory in the referendum. Even if the French and Dutch had been boorish enough to want to vote no to the constitution, they would have been incapable of so doing, as the whole thing was designed to be way above their pretty little heads.

I love this next line...worthy of Lileks:

"It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text," declared Valery Giscard d'Estaing. "Europe's Jefferson" has apparently become Europe's Jefferson Airplane, boasting about the impenetrability of his hallucinogenic lyrics. The point is the French and Dutch shouldn't have read beyond the opening sentence: "We the people agree to leave it to you the people who know better than the people."

And then there's this:

All European anti-Americanism does is redefine defects as virtues.

Hence, the Guardian's attack on the Prime Minister for demanding reform of the [Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)]: "It is unreasonable of Mr Blair to repeatedly flourish as if self-evidently outrageous the simple arithmetic of 40 per cent of spending on four per cent of the European workforce, when rural life is of such social, psychological and aesthetic importance to a vastly larger proportion of the continent's population."

I think "aesthetic importance" means "we have to drive past a lot of French farms to get to our holiday homes". Rural life was central to France's sense of itself. But so was the Catholic Church, and it's empty now. And so were Catholic-size families, and they're down to one designer kid in his late 30s. So the character of those quaint villages is utterly changed. Why should the British taxpayer subsidise an ersatz French heritage park about as authentic as Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame? If Pierre's given up the church and the family, what's the big deal about giving up the farm?

Yup. Read the whole thing. Yet another of many reasons to be cheerful.


Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 5:
The remarkable Paul Johnson has an article up at the WSJ Opinion Journal about the same subject:

That Europe as an entity is sick and the European Union as an institution is in disorder cannot be denied. But no remedies currently being discussed can possibly remedy matters. What ought to depress partisans of European unity in the aftermath of the rejection of its proposed constitution by France and the Netherlands is not so much the foundering of this ridiculous document as the response of the leadership to the crisis, especially in France and Germany.

for an entire generation, the EU has gone in the opposite direction and created a totalitarian monster of its own, spewing out regulations literally by the million and invading every corner of economic and social life. The results have been dire: An immense bureaucracy in Brussels, each department of which is cloned in all the member capitals. A huge budget, masking unprecedented corruption, so that it has never yet been passed by auditors, and which is now a source of venom among taxpayers from the countries which pay more than they receive. Above all, règlementation of national economies on a totalitarian scale.

In accordance with Council of the European Union's Executive Committee on Social and Cultural Affairs, Needlessly Meddlesome Rulemaking Division (English Department), Directive No. 05-120987453219/Z, Subparagraph 1342567(i), Section (189), [to be found on page 6,574,329 of the European Union's Draft Constitution], I hereby direct and require you to read the whole thing.

Prostetnic Eugon Monk

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