Monday, 30 June 2014

Europe: Hard to agree with Cameron.

While the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission 'president' is in itself a fairly meaningless exercise, it does demonstrate a regrettable lack of willingness for reform.

This should not be seen as humiliation for David Cameron, but rather for the millions of voters who recently cast their Euro-sceptic ballots.

It also brings the UK's departure from the EU, a small but significant, step closer.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Europe: Business as usual?

It is a month since the European Parliament elections saw mainstream politicians beaten and battered and looking more like occupy Brussels protesters than bone fide representatives of the people, rubbing their reddened, pepper-sprayed eyes, as they returned home to their constituencies, desperate to form the new groups that could somehow paper over their cracked and creaking house of cards.

Apart from the distasteful bed hopping that followed, while established alliances shifted and squirmed and newer connections were made, not much has really changed.

In typical bureaucratic mode, the consensus now seems to be to ignore the people's voice, and just hope that these results were an isolated protest, as if some collective electoral madness had gripped millions of Europeans.

But the truth lays a long way from that particular Flanders field, and perhaps the greatest tragedy in this Centenary year of the start of WWI, is that Marine Le Pen seems to be the only politician who actually grasps the historical and political significance of modern Europe; although, as the deadline approaches for groups to declare themselves in the EU assembly, the Front National are still without their required numbers, but last minute deals are still there to be made.

For those unfamiliar, this is a mechanism that was devised to minimise the wider effects of rogue results in individual member states, but it now looks more like a means of preventing new and dynamic parties from climbing aboard the EU gravy train.