Here is an aspirant state run not by dangerous ideologues, but by second-rate branding consultants.
I\’d be annoyed to be ruled by the sort of people who think that reordering stationery with the company name in lower-case sans-serif puts them at the table of the great, but I wouldn\’t be frightened.
The motto that will now adorn every document issuing from the Parliament? "Unity Through Diversity."
That, of course, means no more than "diversity through unity" would mean. Or "sameness through difference", "white through black" or "one through zero". And it will have exactly as much effect as any of those slogans would on our "identification of or with" and "emotional attachment to" Europe.
Do you know who came up with this hearts-and-minds-winning phrase, incidentally? The committee\’s document tells us.
A competition was run among 2,200 schools in the then 15 member states. In May 2000, the European Parliament\’s president, Nicole Fontaine, announced the result: "Union in diversity". "This phrase was altered slightly by the European Convention," the document explains.
So. This slogan is the bland expression of an abstract contradiction. It was arrived at through a quasi-democratic process; and then unilaterally altered by people who decided they knew better in order to get a result they preferred.
It is, as the Committee on Constitutional Affairs so elegantly puts it, "the perfect definition of the essence of the European project".