"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Thursday, 11 November 2010

van Rompuy: Euroscepticism Leads To War

van Rompuy gets everything back to front, as usual. How will they 'fight euroscepticism'? By spending even more taxpayers' billions to tell us how wonderful and benign the EU is, or by banning opposition parties and criminalising free speech? (Note: see the Lisbon Treaty for references to making it an offence to 'insult' a politician; deface the flag and so on).

Mr Van Rompuy linked hostility to the EU, and the idea that countries could leave the Union, to a revival of aggressive nationalism.

"We have together to fight the danger of a new Euroscepticism. This is no longer the monopoly of a few countries," he said. "In every member state, there are people who believe their country can survive alone in the globalised world. It is more than an illusion: it is a lie."

The controversial comments made on Tuesday come less than a fortnight after David Cameron, the Prime Minister, declared that he was a Eurosceptic after his gruelling Brussels summit battle to block a sharp increase in the EU budget at a time of national austerity.

Bill Cash, the Conservative chairman of the House of Commons European scrutiny committee, "entirely repudiated" a link between Euroscepticism and the rise of nationalism.
"It is not anti-European to be pro-democracy. The problem is that the democratic base for the EU is wanting. The solution to the rise of the far-Right is proper democracy exercised through national parliaments," he said.
Clarifying the remarks, a spokesman for Mr Van Rompuy, stressed that he was not talking about Mr Cameron's brand of Euroscepticism but about those people who want to leave the EU.
"It is nothing to do with what Mr Cameron thinks. It is a point that Britain or other countries are not able to survive on their own. I am sure Mr Cameron would agree with that," he said.
Downing Street declined to comment.
Dan Hannan, a Tory MEP opposed to EU membership, dismissed the idea that countries cannot go it alone. "Norway and Switzerland seem to be scraping by somehow, with higher living standards than anyone else in the EU. Neither seem to have been involved in a war in recent years," he said.
Mr Van Rompuy and other senior EU officials are concerned about the spread of populist Eurosceptic groups, such as Ukip, beyond Britain to Germany and the Netherlands. The former Belgian Prime Minister, who was appointed as President of the EU Council a year ago, sees the new nationalism as being based on fear.
"The biggest enemy of Europe today is fear. Fear leads to egoism, egoism leads to nationalism, and nationalism leads to war," he said.
"Today's nationalism is often not a positive feeling of pride of one's own identity, but a negative feeling of apprehension of the others. Our Union is born out of a will to co-operate, to reconcile and to act in solidarity."
Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, which supports Britain leaving the EU, said: "This man is an overpaid catastrophe who wants to abolish our nation. Nation states will not disappear because they are the expression of peoples' will. The EU is swimming against the tide of history. The number of nation states in the world is increasing all the time."

For the record:
Chaytor, Devine & Morley appeal dismissed
EU Dog fitness centres
Fees increase for British students to accommodate foreign students
Sketch of PMQs 10.11.2010

Part 1
Part 2

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