You tell \’em, Sam

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".

4 thoughts on “You tell \’em, Sam”

  1. I just love the fact that they had a Europe-wide competition to choose the new slogan, and then changed the winning entry.

    In my penultimate year at school I eagerly seized the chance to go on a trip to Paris, even though the object of the trip was a dreary Euro-conference to “discuss” the implications of the 1992 project. Some colourless Eurocrat droned on about the single currency for about 45 minutes and ended his address by urging us all to take part in the competition to find a name for the new currency. “We have already had many exciting suggestions,” he said, “from the ‘Beethoven’ to the ‘Gazza'” [which he mispronounced as “Gaza” to the delight of all present].

    How typically EUropean of them to labour for all those years and then announce that the currency would be called, er, “the Euro”.

  2. Let’s start a campaign to change the anthem to ‘Ring of Fire’ by Johnny Cash. Imagine the pride we would all feel when Sarkozy strutted out of the inevitable Air Force Europe 1 to the tones of Johnny Cash and the sight of the gold-studded anus fluttering in the breeze.

  3. Indonesia has a similar slogan. Can’t remember what it is exactly – ‘unity in diversity’, ‘unity through diversity’, or what. As a slogan it is, to put it mildly, ‘as common as mud’. Plenty of other modern nations, states and governments use slogans of this nature. It’s just a bland statement about multiculturalism, after all.

    But they had a school competition and this was the best the kiddies could come up with? Weird.

  4. “But they had a school competition and this was the best the kiddies could come up with? Weird.”

    Surely it wasn’t the best that the kids could come up with, but the one that the EUrocrats liked the most?

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