Quiet assassin of European democracy and of European nation states.


Yesterday in Berlin, the ‘not-my-president’ of the EUnion made good on his reputation as the quiet assassin of European democracy and of European nation states. In his “Berliner Europa-Rede” (pdf), van Rompuy stated:

We have together to fight the danger of a new Euro-scepticism.This is no longer the monopoly of a few countries. 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 time of the homogeneous nation-state is over.

Moreover, Van Rompuy knows exactly where love of country stems from and leads to:

The biggest enemy of Europe today is fear. Fear leads to egoism, egoism leads to nationalism, and nationalism leads to war (“le nationalisme, c’est la guerre” (F. Mitterrand)). 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.

That, apparently, is all that this mindlessly tedious dish-rag of man is able to conjure up, when he thinks of his home-land. No looking upon the landscape and feel ones heart fill up with joy of the recognition of home, the warm memories and the sense of belonging. No sense of the generations before him that have shaped his home and himself. No sense of the roots of his existence that lie beneath the soil. This man is all alone in this universe, adrift in a world where he belongs nowhere.

And if you don not agree with him, your one of those people that will lead our benighted continent down the path of war. Got that?

Maybe that is to be expected from someone like van Rompuy. As Gawain points out: Belgium never once was a real country. Just read this piece by Paul Belien on the history of that failing state. Even nowadays Belgium balances on a knives edge: Will the country split or not? But just because not-my-president hails from that artificial construct posing as a nation-state, that doesn’t mean all Europeans feel the same. Don’t think we are all Belgians.

Besides, van Rompuy is demonstrably dealing falsehoods. Both Gawain and Witney point out the continued thriving existence of countries such as Switzerland and Norway.

Ian Parker-Joseph (via reader defender) expresses admirably a sentiment that should be echoed around Europe (1). Certainly it should be a sentiment that needs to be nurtured in this damp corner of the world:

I will never be an EU ‘citizen’ – I do not consent. The unelected Van Rompuy, the quiet assassin of nations, has just declared war on the peoples of these Islands and the rest of Europe who will not quietly submit. I WILL fight if necessary to defend my homeland.

Dr. North also has some observations to make, the most important of which is: “This is a tribe so scarred by the experience of continental Europe and the rise of the Nazis that they can only see history in terms of a one-dimensional pastiche, and are locked into the mistaken belief that nationalism is evil. But that truly makes them our enemy. There can be no accommodation or compromise for they mean to destroy us”.

That sentiment is echoed by Witney when he asks “Is not the EU the imposition of a creed in which ‘decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made in the interests of a collective society’?” and wonders what the differences between the EUnion and the USSR really are, fundamentally.

The one thing that is missing from all these, the one crucial observation that seems to be old hat to the hardened, gritty, genuine euro-sceptic (since they knew or suspected this all along) is the observation that van Rompuy dropped The Mask.

As far as I am aware this is the first time a EUrocrat comes out and bluntly states what the goals of the project have always been, ever since the timid days of the European Community and the European Coal and Steel Community: The abolition of European nations. The destruction of national identity. Gone are the days of economic co-operation. Van Rompuy is out to take away our home and our self-determination. His Berlin speech conveys that message loud and clear.

And for us that is a good reason to put up this new motto. And mean it!

(1) Plus generously handing me a new motto for this modest blog (above right).

[UPDATE001] Autonomous Mind is tracking reactions around the blogosphere. Check it out. Van Rompuy may have done some harm to the project with his careless discarding for face-cover.

[UPDATE002] Archbishop Cranmer has a particularly astute observation to make:

As the EU’s auditors fail to approve the accounts the 16th consecutive year, our President told us that the age of nation states is over and the Euroscepticism leads to war.

Funny, that. His Grace thought it was a lack of democracy and the lust for power and geopolitical supremacy which led to war, and that the EU was shaping up perfectly to foment precisely the sort of oppression which leads to social breakdown and civil disorder.


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The court of Amsterdam is working to resume the case Wilders in the short term. The court is consulting with parties about the progress and planning of the case. The court combination that will re-try the Wilders case in the Amsterdam court are mr. A.A.M. van Oosten (president), mr. G.P.C. Janssen (senior judge), mr. J.C. Boeree (junior judge).

Elsevier (NL) reports there is still some discussion whether the trial should not be moved to another court, in Utrecht for instance, after the dismal performance of the Amsterdam court. But apparently the live-action Monty Python sketch-show last time around was not grounds for the Amsterdam court to consider this option. 

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3 responses to “Quiet assassin of European democracy and of European nation states.

  1. Wednesday, November 10, 2010
    The continuing persecution of Iraq’s Christians

    While one church here croaks of acquiring five converting bishops, and rubs its hands with glee at the prospect of winning ‘a wave’ of entire parishes; and another obsesses over issues of gender and sexuality, as though the possession of a penis were the soteriological disputation of the age, it is worth putting such trivia into perspective.

    Three more bombs have exploded in Bagdad, specifically targeting the churches and homes of Christians. First reports say that at least four have been killed and 26 wounded.

    This atrocity comes just the week after the slaughter in the Church of Our Lady of Salvation.

    Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for that bloodbath and warned of further attacks on Christians.

    They said they had carried out the church attack to force the release of converts to Islam allegedly being detained by the Coptic Church in Egypt. Days afterwards it declared Christians everywhere ‘legitimate targets’.

    It rather gives the Ordinariate turf war and gender obsessions a referential apocalyptic reality.

    There have been Christians in Mesopotamia for almost 2000 years: it is the land of biblical Nineveh where the Chaldeans still speak Aramaic, the tongue of Jesus. Their presence in the region predates Islam by some 700 years. The region is home to the descendents of the ancient empires of Assyria and Babylonia, and their gospel heritage can be traced right back to the 1st Century AD. Assyrians are Semitic cousins of the Jews: ‘Parthians’ were present on the day of Pentecost and became the first nation to adopt Christianity as their state religion in AD 179, more than a century before Armenia. They claim to have been the first to build churches and to translate the New Testament from Greek into their vernacular Aramaic. Learned Assyrian Christians kept Greek science and technology alive while Europe lurched through the Dark Ages. For over a thousand years since the Muslim conquest of their homeland, Assyrians have lived in relative peace in the region. They have been second-class citizens of various caliphates, and endured several interludes of active persecution.

    Most Iraqi Christians are Chaldeans, Eastern-rite Catholics who are autonomous from Rome but who recognise the Pope’s authority. But there are also Syrian Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian Catholics and Armenian Orthodox, Greek Catholic and Greek Orthodox communities, as well as Anglicans and Evangelicals.

    Saddam was too preoccupied with persecuting the Kurds and Shi’as to bother much with the Christians, some of whom, like Tariq Aziz, rose to the highest offices of state under his regime. By the time of the 1991 Gulf War, they numbered about one million. By the time of 2003 invasion of Iraq, they had fallen to about 800,000. Now there are about 500,000 remaining. And they live each day as if it were their last, having seen their churches bombed, their congregations sprayed with bullets, and their priests brutally beheaded and dismembered. Christian boys are being crucified and girls are being raped.

    And now they face a stark choice, which is a world away from having to worry about ordinariates and women in the episcopate.

    A senior Iraqi clergyman said at the weekend that Iraq’s Christians should leave the country or face being killed at the hands of Al-Qaeda. “If they stay they will be finished, one by one,” Archbishop Athanasios Dawood told the BBC.

    Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, however, has cautioned other countries not to encourage Christians to abandon their homeland.

    His Grace received an email last week asking him to support a petition in favour of granting Iraq’s 500,000 Christians asylum in the UK. This communicant wrote: “This sounds like a good idea to me, although obviously of the eastern orthodox variety it might reinvigorate Christ’s mission in England. It might also be interesting to see the reaction of the ‘diversity’ lobby if it were put forward. You are a man of influence, would you support a petition in favour?”

    His Grace responded that he had no influence at all, but promised to consider the matter.

    And as he was doing so, he received another email from another loyal communicant, drawing his attention to the website of Canon Andrew White, the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’, who tells us that his trusted lay assistant Faiz Basheer was ordained last Sunday, thereby becoming the first Iraqi to be ordained in the Anglican Communion.

    This communicant wrote: “Whilst the exiled leader of the Syrian Coptic Church calls for Iraqi Christians to leave the country, this community of over 1000 Anglicans is determined to stay put… As we enter the season celebrating the Kingdom of God it is good to hear of brave Anglicans doing what many others fear to do in a difficult world.”

    His Grace knows what it is to capitulate, relinquish and flee: the flesh is weak. But he also knows what stay put, contend and suffer for the faith.

    Martyrdom is a symphony of agony. But to die each day for Christ is the vocation to which we are called.

    If His Grace were in Baghdad, he would stay, come what may.

    For there is nothing to do here but squawk over women in the episcopate,
    and watch the bishops come and go,
    talking of Michelangelo.
    posted by Archbishop Cranmer at 9:37 AM Permalink 27 comments


  2. From Archbishop Cranmer- link above to site…

    ‘The end of Britain as an independent nation state… the end of a thousand years of history.’

    These were the words of Hugh Gaitskell at the 1962 Labour Party Conference, as he warned of the inevitability of surrendered sovereignty should the UK become a member of the EEC. He continued: ‘You may say “let it end” but, my goodness, it is a decision that needs a little care and thought.’

    But with almost no care and very little thought, a decade later the UK acceded to the Treaty of Rome. The world didn’t end and British history continued. So Gaitskell’s speech must have seemed somewhat histrionic. But successive European treaties have shown that his fears clearly had foundation, and yesterday’s speech by President Herman Van Rompuy (made in Berlin, of all places) should leave us in no doubt.

    As the EU’s auditors fail to approve the accounts the 16th consecutive year, our President told us that the age of nation states is over and the eurosceptism leads to war.

    Funny, that.

    His Grace thought it was a lack of democracy and the lust for power and geopolitical supremacy which led to war, and that the EU was shaping up perfectly to foment precisely the sort of oppression which leads to social breakdown and civil disorder.

    President Van Romupy’s speech is really quite astonishingly hubristic: not since the Jesuitical Jacques Delors called for the creation of a country called Europe has a eurocrat been so audacious. He said:

    The time of the homogenous nation-state is over…
    The national and the European interest can no longer be separated; they coincide…
    We have together to fight the danger of a new Euro-scepticism.
    This is no longer the monopoly of a few countries.
    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!

    Franklin Roosevelt said: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’
    The biggest enemy of Europe today is fear.
    Fear leads to egoism, egoism leads to nationalism, and nationalism leads to war (“le nationalisme, c’est la guerre” (F. Mitterrand)). 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.
    Whilst accepting that extreme expressions of nationalism may indeed lead to conflict, and that our earthly survival is dependent on mutuality, cooperation and compromise, President Van Rompuy seems unable to conceive of a political model beyond his native Belgium or of spiritual virtue beyond that of his monthly monastic retreats.

    Perhaps if His Grace were an ashamed Belgian with devout Catholic monkish tendencies, he might adopt the creed and doctrine of the President.

    But he is not: His Grace is an Englishman of distinctly Anglican conviction, and his doctrine and creed made the United Kingdom what it is. It is the democratic nation state that has kept the peace; not advanced the cause of war. It is national identity that has created security; not precipitated fear. It is patriotism which manifests itself in Euro-scepticism; not bigotry, xenophobia or egoism.

    As 25 Conservative backbenchers defied the Whip yesterday in rebellion over ‘European Union Economic Governance’, we await another Whiggish Non-Conformist to proclaim ‘No, no, no!’ to the Delorsian divine right.

    God will speak through whom He wills, even a numb-skulled, money-grabbing seer, or his ass (Num 22-24). Whether sinner or saint, a believer in the one true God or not, Balaam was inspired to declare God’s will and was given a vision of his nation’s future destiny. From time to time, Britain has raised its own ‘eccentrics’ who have sounded the alarm. Hugh Gaitskell did it for Labour; Enoch Powell did it for the Conservatives. The following article from The Times (4 June 1975) may have been a word of Jeremiah-like prophecy, for which the author paid the inevitable price of being dismissed as a merchant of doom and derided in perpetuity for daring to philosophise on the eternal social consequences of short-term political policy. His arguments are more relevant now that they were a generation ago:

    It is the old, old worry: will the British people perceive in time what is happening to them and where they are being taken? If they do, I am not afraid for the outcome. But will they?

    The nation is being invited to confirm the surrender, and the permanent surrender, of its most precious possession: its political independence and parliamentary self-government, the right to live under laws and to pay taxes authorised only by Parliament and to be governed by policies for which the executive is fully accountable through Parliament to the electorate. Above and beyond all the arguments about butter mountains and Brussels bureaucrats there lies a stark fact, undenied and undeniable. It is undenied because that is what the European Communities Act of 1972 says; it is undeniable because that is why the advocates of British membership commend it. The difficulty is that to most British people the thing is inconceivable – as I remember that the idea of the Second World War was inconceivable to most of them during most of the 30s. “But surely,” they often say, “the French and the Germans and the other member states have not given up their independence and self-government, and don’t intend to.” The question – and the answer to it – are typical of the mutual incomprehension between Britain and the Continent in matters political.

    The answer is, “Yes, they have given up their independence and self-government; they fully intended this and that to them is what the EEC is about.”

    Let us take a closer look at the founder Six. The West Germans make no secret of not merely not desiring, but actually fearing to be an independent nation: the EEC is for them an insurance against themselves. For the Low Countries – Benelux – national independence was something never more than precariously secured to them by a balance of power in Western Europe in which, with good reason from experience, they have lost faith. Their position as provinces in a West European state, or as states in a West European federation, would represent no noticeable loss. In Belgium especially the pride of independence and distinctiveness and of self-government has belonged, since the Middle Ages, to the city and not to the territory.

    About the strength and reality of the national pride of the French there is no manner of doubt, but it attaches neither to independence nor still less to democratic self-government. The Fifth Republic is nearer to an elective dictatorship than to parliamentary democracy. A Frenchman in the Council of Ministers, or the will of the French executive brought to bear through the institutions of the Community, is for France the reality of national power – the wider stage on which Louis XIV, Bonaparte or General de Gaulle perform the greater glory of France. Nothing could be more remote from French experience or conception than our British inability to understand liberty and nationhood apart from the supremacy and independence of Parliament.

    Italian nationality owes even less to parliamentary self-government than does that of France. A federation of European states in which Italy was absorbed would seem but a natural extension of the process by which modern Italy was so recently assembled from its diverse component parts.

    The case of Italy is a reminder too that all the founder states of the Community, in sharp contrast with ourselves, are historically familiar with the idea of a larger and European imperium exercising an acknowledged, if for long a shadowy, authority which oversteps national boundaries. The rule of an external law is nothing new or strange to them, whereas for close on 500 years – the whole of our history since the Middle Ages – the very notion has been totally repugnant to the English. When kings like Henry VIII, and Edward I before him, declared that ‘this realm is an empire of itself’, they were speaking the mind of the Englishman.

    Even when the Community seems to our ears to be using the language of parliamentary sovereignty, it is really talking about something quite different. The directly elected European parliament, which is integral to the Treaty of Rome and which the other members of the Community are serious in envisaging for no more than two or three years ahead, has nothing but the name in common with what we mean by Parliament and what Parliament means to us. It is another instrument for creating a new artificial state, a delegate assembly perfectly intelligible and familiar to member states whose written constitutions, which brought them into existence, prescribed just such assemblies.

    To us, a parliament not representing an electorate so homogeneous as to accept the majority as binding the minority and the institution as endowing with authority the outcome of debate, is an absurdity or a monstrosity, a device in our terms essentially undemocratic. Parliament for us does not produce unity: it is the expression of a pre-existing unity.

    The British people have no notion of what the rest of the Community assumes that they are meaning by accepting membership. The mutual misunderstanding would only be heightened and rendered more dangerous if British membership appeared to be confirmed by a method which the rest would mistake for the equivalent of one of their own constitutional procedures.

    Before and during the referendum campaign, the supporters of British membership, with a few honourable exceptions, have not only not endeavoured to make this clear to the electors, they have gone out of their way to soothe away any suspicion that the renunciation of nationhood through Community membership is fundamental, deliberate and relatively imminent. All the more bitter and damaging would be the revulsion on both sides when the realisation eventually dawned that each had been deceived. Albion Perfide is a slander; but it is a slander we have often courted, and never more recklessly than now.
    When Enoch Powell confronted head-on the lies of the Heath government, he was dismissed as a bigoted eccentric. Those who dare may now acknowledge his dimensions of truth, but prophets are always easier to understand in retrospect. Whatever the future of the British may be, it is still God who ‘removeth kings and setteth up kings’ (Dan 2:21), and what he does for kings he doubtless also does for prime ministers. Let us pray, for the battle for the soul of Britain has never been so great, nor so subtle.
    posted by Archbishop Cranmer at 9:47 AM Permalink 43 comments

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