Monday, 28 June 2010
Me ne freggo
A spectre is haunting Europe -- the spectre of fascism. All the powers of new Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: the Presidents of the European Commission and the Council, Manuel Barosso and Herman von Rumpuy, Swedish liberals and German socialists.
Sorry, please forgive this free adaptation of a well-known song by a communist double act but it underlines a simple truth: the Europeans can’t get fascism out of their mind. Everything they dislike is ‘fascist’ – the nation state is ‘fascist’, hostility towards the European superstate is ‘fascist’, the desire to give the people of Europe, the individual national communities, a say over their own destinies that, too, is ‘fascist.’
The fact is that the whole ghastly European project would seem to be based on two things: fear of the past and fear of freedom. Margot Wallström, the Swedish Social Democrat and European commissioner, said on the anniversary of the liberation of Theresienstandt concentration camp that “There are those today who want to scrap the supra-national idea. They want the EU to go back to the old purely intergovernmental way of doing things. I say those people should come to Terezin and see where the old road leads.”
So there you are America, there you are all of the free nations of the Earth, all those who are not part of the “supra-national idea”, you can take it from Margot where your particular road will lead. The simple truth is the woman has not got a clue what she is talking about. It was the Germans who were responsible for Theresienstandt and most of the other concentration camps of the united Nazi Europe, not the old “intergovernmental way of doing things.” But, when in doubt, when devoid of imagination, just conjure up the spectre of fascism.
Yes, people like this are afraid of the past, a European past, just as they are afraid that democracy, true democracy, will mean a return to that past. How else is one to understand the observation by Martin Schutz, head of the European Socialist group, that the Euro-sceptic MEPs made him think of Adolf Hitler? What was their offence? Were they suggesting that all freedom should be sacrificed to a central Führerprinzip, that individual nations should lose their sovereignty in the body of a particular will? Actually, no; it was because they advocated referenda on the Lisbon Treaty; advocating giving people the choice that they were promised, in the end only a choice that the Irish were allowed.
Here I’m reminded of some lines from an old Fleetwood Mac tune, words that might very well serve as the swan song of European democracy;
…don't ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to.
That just about sums up the whole sorry Lisbon campaign up, the whole campaign of the anti-democratic anti-‘fascists’, at least it does for me. Come to think of it people like Wallström and Schutz almost make fascism sound appealing. If it’s a choice between them and their path, if it’s a choice between a monstrous bureaucratic superstate and national freedom I know which route I will take. If that makes me a fascist all I have to say is Me ne freggo – I don’t give a damn – the original battle cry of a certain Italian gentleman and his followers. Be warned: I might even be tempted to sing Giovinezza. :-))