The European Xenophobic Union

Now here’s an odd contradiction: four parties from the European far right have come together in the European Parliament to propose a new pan-European party of ultra-nationalists. They need three other parties to join them for the party to get party rights in the Parliament, but their eventual goal is to have a member party in each state of the Union. Then they can presumably all join hands and hate each other. (BBC).

MPs show their deep personal commitment to democracy

A number of MPs have renewed calls for a referendum on the EU constitution, reports the BBC. This is, of course, because of their deep personal commitment to direct democracy. The fact that a lot of the public happen to agree with their personal views on the constitution is entirely irrelevant.

Their deep personal commitment to direct democracy has outweighed the fact that a referendum on the EU treaty would be conducted in the pages of a ragingly paranoid press, and in an atmosphere where rational debate and consideration appears to be absolutely impossible.

It should also be noted that all those in favour of a referendum on the treaty are either Euro-sceptics or whatever you call people who want to declare war on Germany. But this is obviously just one of those remarkable coincidences. The only thing that brings them together is their deep personal commitment to direct democracy.

Gripping stuff

This is the lead story in the Wadhurst parish council newsletter.

Queen’s Cottages: The Planning Inspector allowed the appeal against the Planning Application refused by the District & Parish Councils and granted outline planning permission for the proposed development subject to a number of conditions. A link to the full document is in the News section of the Parish Council web site

The International Order and China

Really interesting article in Foreign Affairs this month, sets out very clearly the importance of building a liberal international order that can accommodate the rise of China rather than try and resist it. The article is mostly about the US, as is natural given its source, but there is a great deal that Europe needs to do to prepare for the new multi-polar world.

Why Tony Blair won’t be President of Europe

In January next year, or thereabouts, the European heads of Government will choose a permanent President of Europe, who will serve for two years.

In today’s Le Monde, former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur explains why he thinks that, although Tony Blair is a good candidate, he can’t be appointed. The main reasons: Britain is so eurosceptic, and Blair is too close to the US.

Cameron’s message to EU: Shut up and do what you’re bloody told, you ghastly Krauts.

David Cameron has promised a referendum in the highly unlikely event that the EU Reform Treaty is not ratified by the time he takes office. More generally, he has shown that his attitude to Europe would be just as constructive as Margaret Thatcher’s.

He added: “I think Margaret Thatcher showed in recovering the British rebate that if you have a very clear, very straightforward approach in Europe and say look, we want to be in the European Union … but we’re not happy with the status quo and there are some things we want to change, if you’re single minded about that then there’s no reason you cannot achieve your objectives.”

Of course, given that Margaret Thatcher gave us the Single European Act, and her successor, via the Maastricht Treaty, gave us the Euro, there could be a case for saying that they both made strong advances in European unity. But I don’t think that’s what Mr Cameron means.