How many readers know where the Spine of Europe is? Recently I asked an Irish political philosophy post-graduate, who promptly identified the founding countries of the Iron and Steel Community. Geo- politically, he was completely mistaken, and essentially this could have been the same reply from any UK university student; especially those studying PPE. Where and how people are educated matters.
So, for the latter's benefit: The Spine of Europe is an ancient European concept that goes back to Charlemagne and comprises, the peoples and nations, within the current borders and states, of Spain, France, Germany, Poland and Russia. Simply stated, for Europe to have an enduring lasting peace these nations of, so-called States, need to be united politically and economically. It is a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals thing.
Eventually the peoples of our four nations shall come to appreciate that this union is in their own interests, even the vast majority of the currently hoodwinked English people. The problem is that for 500 years the policy of the John Milton Brigade has been to keep The Spine of Europe apart through the application of Divide and Rule, via conflict and war, not trade. It was and is an imperial thing, bordering still on the colonial methods of conquest and domination and overlordship.
The Founding Fathers of the Treaty of Rome knew this fact very well. Hence they adopted the Carrot and Stick generational approach of ever closer union of its peoples. The Roman Empire has gone, as has the British Empire. That ended with Suez. Neither will be coming back. However much our Italian and English neighbours fantasize about it - Empire 2.0, indeed! But a new one is arising, as José Manuel Barroso said: ”Europe is an empire. A non-imperial one, it must be said. But still, an empire.” when commenting on the Treaty of Lisbon. An empire being slowly and patiently and painfully constructed to maintain peace and prosperity in Europe. An non-imperial empire built on the Rule of Law and setting out now to complete an Energy Union, a Security Union, a Capital Markets Union, a Banking Union and a Digital Single Market, all by 2025, as Juncker's State of the Union Address scoped out. The prospect of this reality is anathema to the JMB. This address, on the 13th September, was the day the new Data Protection Bill was placed before Parliament, and a new EU framework for Investment Screening was proposed. Consider here the disposal of MIPS to Tallwood VC in the US to permit Imagination's sale to Canyon Bridge of China. The JMB won't want either incorporated into UK Law. Nor welcome the prospect of a European Cybersecutity agency.
Recall what Margret Thatcher had to say in her much maligned and deliberately distorted Bruges Speech of 20th September 1988: “And let me be quite clear. Britain does not dream of some cosy, isolated existence on the fringes of the European Community. Our destiny is in Europe, as part of the Community. …... The European Community is a practical means by which Europe can ensure the future prosperity and security of its people in a world in which there are many other powerful nations and groups of nations. We Europeans cannot afford to waste our energies on internal disputes or arcane institutional debates. They are no substitute for effective action. Europe has to be ready both to contribute in full measure to its own security and to compete commercially and industrially in a world in which success goes to the countries which encourage individual initiative and enterprise, rather than those which attempt to diminish them” But how does one define success? Her “destiny” aspect is usually suppressed in the media but note the “Europe has to be ready to contribute in full measure to its own security” aspect. “Full measure” has geo-political meaning and connotations, alas, that latter phrase was her very real undoing. It emanates from Lincoln's “last full measure of devotion” in his Gettysburg Address. In the Tory Party civil war she knew it would be incendiary. Thatcher, as I have written before, always referred to the JMB as “The Enemy Within”. Which was why they engineered her downfall and orchestrated and scapegoated the pro-European element in the Tory party for her demise. In their false pride the pro-Europeans naively claimed the credit. And that is not a revisionist view of recent history because we are still living through it's consequences. It is also why I take the time to read and absorb speech's and the signals being sent, not what the media report was said or their interpretation and spin. Free speech and freedom of association are the enemy of the JMB. Thus, I believe, Margaret Thatcher would be horrified at the prospect of their Cubanisation of the UK. There shall be nothing “cosy” about it.
Recall also that it was Churchill who had to face down the fascist tendency both in England and the rest of Europe. Just as Merkel shall now have to so do once again but this time by peaceful and democratic means. It shall always be thus, for all nations have their fascist element. Merkel, thankfully, is more than capable. But is May up to it? Alas it was Jane Austin who wrote that “Irony is a truth warped in a contradiction”. Hence why Statesmen (or Stateswoman) are acknowledged as such because they put the interests of their people and nation above that of The State and their own personal interest.
Everything is being played out according to The Treaty of Lisbon, resurrected from the much maligned European Constitution by Merkel in 2006/7, which encompasses both tactical approaches. As Valery Giscard d'Estaing (the former French President and president of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which drafted the “Constitution for the people of Europe”, in 2002-2003, brought to a standstill by the No Vote Referendums in France and Holland) stated in an open letter on the 27th October 2007 : “lift the lid and look in the toolbox: all the same innovative and effective tools are there, just as they were carefully crafted by the European Convention: a stable Presidency; a streamlined Commission; a Parliament with genuine legislative rights; a Foreign Minister, even if he [she] has been given another inadequate title; decisions taken by a double majority of governments and citizens; and the most advanced charter of fundamental rights in the world. When men and women with sweeping ambitions for Europe decide to make use of this treaty, they will be able to rekindle from the ashes of today the flame of a United Europe.”
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