The reality of European democracy remains national, and behind that truth is an even deeper fact: there is hardly any more of a European public sphere today than there was when I started studying and travelling in Europe 40 years ago. There is a thin layer of publications, now online as well as in print, that reach a small, educated audience across the continent – the Guardian online is part of that layer – but most people in Europe still get the bulk of their news and views from national media – even when there is a shared language. In Vienna recently I was told how much the Austrian coverage of Greece differs in tone from that in Germany.
So there is not just one Greece, but 28 different ones, according to the country you are in. The Estonian and Latvian “Greece” would barely be recognisable to Italians, let alone Greeks. Equally, there is not just one Germany but 28: and few Germans would recognise their country in the Greek media’s “Germany”.
These drastically contrasting narratives are fed by national politicians, who emerge from every Brussels summit to trumpet their own successes and blame any concessions on other governments and nasty European institutions. The Belgian foreign minister rather amusingly says he is the only one who can’t blame it on “Brussels”.
Quite so, there is no Europe, so let’s stop pretending and send them all home, eh?
Anyone who was around in the 60’s will remember all those totally shite pan European films that were made at the time. Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, The Great Race and the ever execrable Casino Royale.
All playing up to the caricature national characteristics, to try and win a bigger European return at the box office.
There was the writing on the wall right there, for the ill conceived, ‘The Project’.
Well, if you disregard the pathetic hubris, the problem with the education of Guardian readers is either that it didn’t stick, or that it was in the wrong things in the first place.
Not a bad article, for the Guardian, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that this:
“there is a thin layer of publications, now online as well as in print, that reach a small, educated audience across the continent – the Guardian online is part of that layer – but most people in Europe still get the bulk of their news and views from national media ”
wasn’t meant to imply that only Guardian readers are educated, although know many of them see it that way.
Regarding yourself as ‘educated’ is a sign of arrogance, or ignorance, or both.
Otherwise, a really good article. If you want to construct.a democracy it might pay you first to find a demos.
There is a thin layer of publications, now online as well as in print, that reach a small, educated audience across the continent – the Guardian online is part of that layer
As I said before, the new Greek Finance Minister was born in the Netherlands and educated in Britain. He did his Ph.D. thesis under Włodzimierz Brus, born Beniamin Zylberberg, who was married to Helena Wolińska-Brus.
The Poles tried three times to have Helena Wolińska-Brus extradited for war crimes. Specifically:
Too brutal for Stalinist Poland? Yes, I remain delighted that I paid for her comfortable retirement in Oxford.
However if I was the Guardian I would not be proud of that audience. In fact I would be doing everything I could to find some other audience.
Ironman – “If you want to construct.a democracy it might pay you first to find a demos.”
The question is whether they want to construct a democracy.
However we know there is a solution to this problem. We know that it is possible to weld together disparate people in a single, actually very successful, country. It has to do with the power of the Crown. The four nations of the United Kingdom are united by a general fondness for the Queen. And a thoroughly good job she has done. But she is the Queen of Britain and Northern Ireland so she can’t really serve as anyone else’s monarch.
However I said it has been shown to work. So there was a man who could have done it. Unfortunately Franz Joseph Otto Robert Maria Anton Karl Max Heinrich Sixtus Xavier Felix Renatus Ludwig Gaetan Pius Ignatius von Habsburg recently died. A good chap he was too. He would have been an excellent pan-European monarch.
In fact if it came down to it, as his name shows, he was virtually pan-European all by himself.
The Holy Roman Emperor was the closest thing Europe has ever had to unity. Otto von Hapsburg was the heir to that. And all things considered an excellent job they did too. So we need another Hapsburg on the Throne in Europe. Step forward Karl von Habsburg.
If nothing else, I would just enjoy seeing the Guardian supporting one of the most reactionary Catholic dynasties in Europe. What I wouldn’t pay to see a k.u.k on the Guardian’s masthead.
He even claims descent from the last Byzantine dynasty of note. Which is a bonus.
I don’t know about Lithuania nor, of Slovenia.
What I do know…
Britain and what occurred here.
Where long ago, the FO caved in during and in the aftermath – after the war and Europe – it had designs on some sort of united states of Brussels, it was always on their mind. They missed the boat in 1957 but that didn’t faze them in the slightest – all they needed was a suitably weak headed and vain PM, a hollow man wishing more than all else, to put his name up in lights, he will go down in history.
Heath performed the perfidy, though the administration had been prepared, long before Jan 73 and the local government act in the pipeline in 68 signed into law in 72-74 was just what the Brussels bureaucrats ordered and required – their men in at local level and it worked a treat. Plus, running the ship, at every large governmental department – the question is, “what does Brussels need?”
The media was easy – on the Brussels project – there is no defined nor real dissent in the British press – with certain correspondents maybe but be apprised: the editorial of all the major newspapers is PRO EU.
Easy, easy, it’s so fu**ing easy – the British political class now prostrates before Brussels in absolute obeisance, they are fighting each other to be teachers pets.
Britain now, is no more than a province, it has been swallowed, subsumed by the Brussels Empire and with it the British political class and establishment, the corporates who needed no persuasion.
And the demos?
Happy days in Brussels, lounging on the chaise longues in the gilded Palais de Berlaymont, senior Bureaucrats mouth “Britain who TF cares? In ten years time it will be an Islamic satrap.”
Brussels – they ordain that, the people will be made to understand,
that, Brussels is good for them,
that, there is no other way than the Brussels way,
and that, all the British ever need is stamped with Brussels imprimatur, “Imperial Brussels is good for you” – or else.
Brussels (the city, that is) will be an Islamic satrap way before Britain. Or shithole, take your choice of words, it doesn’t matter.
I didn’t mean that the pathetic hubris was that “Guardian readers are educated” – I agree that they are (usually badly and in the wrong subjects.)
The hubris, as I see it, is the claim that, somehow, the Guardian Online (of which CiF is the core part) belongs in some family of international sources of reliable information for the educated European.
Let’s be honest – the Guardian, particularly online, is a source of clickbait and self-justification for the moderately articulate left (whatever their level of education) but that’s about it. Offline, it is the jobs pages for the un-necessary petty bureaucrats* of the UK.
* Some petty bureaucracy is necessary. Just very little of it. And those bits that are necessary generally don’t advertise in the Guardian.
Re: Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines:
It did give rise to that memorable line from Robert Morley: “That’s the trouble with these international events; they always attract foreigners!”
The late Von Habsburg, while an MEP, was once asked if he was going to watch the Austria /Hungary game. He replied “Maybe…. who are they playing…?”
So the EU has a limited degree of unity. More in some things, less in others, none at all in yet others.
We haven’t become a centralised homogeneous mass with no distinguishing cultural features? We don’t all read the same Pravda? But we have created a system with a lot less killing, a lot more freedom, and in particular a lot more freedom for people to live their life as they see fit anywhere across the continent?
Sounds like it’s working pretty well to me.
Biggie: Absolute garbage.
Peddling the old EU-has-saved-us-from-war shite?. Atomic weapons have made the old games of the euro-elite no longer tenable so they decided to join forces and rip everybody off as a team–that is the EU.
More freedom ?–horseshit. These people –as PJ O’Rouke said “would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the breeze if they could get away with it”.
Freedom for people to live their life etc. You mean that those who don’t care for other peoples unusual sex antics have had their freedom to express their dislike curtailed. By reason of the fact that the left have taken (certain) groups as their clients. Not out of any concern for the well-being of such groups (the left has after all murdered hundreds of thousands of homosexuals and is still doing so in China etc). But out of the hope of using them to undermine bourgeois society.
Working rather well? Only in the fantasies of your deluded brain.
Also “The Great Race” wasn’t a euro-movie. The money was American as were the stars and supporting actors. The race was supposed to end in Paris but the main “European” scenes involved a “Prisoner of Zenda” spoof with Jack Lemon playing a double role. Unless Ruritania is up for membership of the EU there is no real euro connection there.
A lot more freedom? Do you think the European Arrest Warrant increases or decreases freedom, for example?
Bloke in Germany said: “and in particular a lot more freedom for people to live their life as they see fit anywhere across the continent?”
Only be diminishing the rights of nations to police their own borders.
NATO and nuclear weapons kept the peace. The single market rules improved competition and trade. The social policies ladled on by Brussels are an attempt to build a european nation ruled by technocrats.
The EU is not the cause of peace in Europe, but rather is only capable of existing due to peace in Europe. If the peace were to break down, so would the EU. There is no reason to think that binding populations into a single nation state prevents war. It just means the wars are “civil” wars when they break out.
Mr Ecks is SMFS for sure.
@ianb rather is only capable of existing due to peace in Europe. If the peace were to break down, so would the EU. Yes indeed, good point.
There is no reason to think that binding populations into a single nation state prevents war. It just means the wars are “civil” wars when they break out. this is just daydreaming mate. It inconceivable that the people could take on the govt these days, whoever captures the govt is in charge.
It is just utterely ridiculous and silly to even start to imagine how rebels could raise an army in France / UK / Germany / Spain etc these days.
There exist only the government, the obedient and the dead.
SMFS: Putting an heir to the Holy Roman Empire (take the obligatory Voltaire witticism as read) in charge of the EU would be a red rag to the American dispensionalist nutcases who already think the EU is the Beast from the Sea, the Whore of Babylon, the rebellious City of Man, and generally liable to be the great harbinger of the end of the world. The most likely outcome would be some kind of pre-emptive nuclear strike by a loose cannon somewhere.
I should move somewhere nice and remote were a Habsburg ever to ascend the heights of European political power once more.
Your freedom to spout bigotry was curtailed by the British Labour Party. There’s no EU directive against gay-bashing.
Has the warrant increased freedom? You bet. Increased freedom from criminal scum who now find it harder to flee the jurisdiction. Has it also decreased freedom? Quite possibly. These things always cut both ways but being typical politicians you only look at one side of the balance sheet. A bit like Greek accounting, that.
Please, please, the line is “who are we playing”
Biggie: Bigotry? Is it bigoted to point out that the sanctimonious left(which includes you despite your protestations of support for economic freedom–a pose that does not square with your support for the EU) –who now claim to champion gays–are in fact the murderers of hundreds of thousands of homosexuals?
Bigoted against leftist scum certainly.
There may be as yet no dictat from the EU supressing free speech but, as previous topics showed, Princess Toni is even now being asked to head a group looking to promote the suppression of free speech in all areas to a far greater degree than even ZaNu promoted. A group that you falsely claimed had no EU influence. IanB pointed out to you that NGOs are were most EU bollocks comes from but you had no answer to that.
As for the EAW. Extradition procedures already existed to give alleged criminals a fair hearing as to whether or not they should be returned to another country. The EAW was created as a kangaroo court procedure where a person can be whipped out of the country double-quick with the only real “due process” being that the bureaucratic scum have filled in the right forms. Including turning over “suspects” accused of actions that are not crimes under English law.
BTW no Englishman should ever be extradited from his own country for any reason whatsoever. If his accusers have evidence against him–evidence of actions that would be a crime under English law (they can take plane spotting charges and bugger off) they can bring it before our courts.
Arnald: I am SMFS?
What is it with leftists and identity confusion? Soak up enough leftist raw sewage and you become confused not merely about your sexual identity Bruce Jenner-style but you can’t even keep straight (no pun intended) who is who? Watch too many Alfred Hitchcock films?
Hell you don’t even know who you are–your efforts range from raving abuse to hesitant attempts at logic. There has to be more than one of you in there.
Easy to imagine you talking to your own face in the mirror repeating your namesakes words from the 1990 Total Recall film “Here is the bad news buddy. You’re not you. You’re me”.
The EAW is based on the idea that we have a single country.
In England (Germany), if you live say in Derbyshire (Nordrhein Westfalen), and Nottinghamshire (Hanover) police want to arrest you, you’ll simply get arrested.
And that’s fine, it works, because England (and Germany as well I presume – but correct me if I’m wrong if the different Lander make their own laws?) has a common legal system, common procedures, and crucially common protections, and all that.
The EU is NOT a single country, with common laws and protections. A Bulgarian gangster “could” bribe a Bulgarian policeman to bring a charge against you, BiG, and off you go. And that’s Bulgarian rules when you arrive in your rat infested cell for however long it is going to be before a charge is brought, not civilised German (or UK) rules. Hence, the concept of the EAW is flawed in principle.
The only (half coherent) defence of the EAW I have heard is the one where the EAW is justified as “putting the cart before the horse”, ie the common rules will follow (and less salubrious parts of the EU will wonderfully become much more like England!) as a logical reaction to lots of false arrests etc… Please forgive my contempt.
The above is a simple summary, and if I’ve got any facts wrong, somebody can correct me, but the principle I believe is right. The EAW (extradition from England without a UK judge hearing the case first, and agreeing extradition) only works if it’s ONE country, ONE legal system etc. Ie as the deluded dreamers in Brussels would like it to be. And if it’s going to be (one country), then unless we (the British) are going to run the damn thing and completely (yeah right), we need to exit and fast…
BiG, your blind adoration of, and faith in, the EU is increasingly delusional.
Jesus’ tear-stained bike you’re stupid.
Regardless of anything else, the idea that the EU has kept the peace is ludicrous.
Who would have started this new war anyway?
You are so convincing. It must be the way in which you calmly express your view and disagree with such respect for your opponents. Your approach is so brilliant that it is almost as effective as telling people that they are obviously retarded leftists, talking out of their arse, and just like Hitler.
Biggie: I never said you were retarded or just like Hitler. That you talk out of your arse is not my fault although the phrasing is, again, yours, not mine.
You answer none of the points that I made about alleged bigotry, about the forthcoming attempts of the EU to attack free speech, nor did you answer my points about the EAW or PFs equally valid points either.
Is that the guy who used to be Chairman of the EU Parliament?
Sounded like a good guy – when some journalist, lacking language skills, rang him up and asked him whether he had seen the Austro-Hungarian football match (there had been an Austria v Hungary football match) he replied “No, but how interesting: who were we playing?”
That is indeed Otto, our man. I know someone who worked (not for, but with) him and he says he was a top bloke.
He was also the guy who organised the “picnic” on the Hungarian/Austrian border. You know, the one that led to the Hungarians allowing E Germans out, and thus the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Totally top bloke.
Tim Worstall – “He was also the guy who organised the “picnic” on the Hungarian/Austrian border. You know, the one that led to the Hungarians allowing E Germans out, and thus the fall of the Berlin Wall. Totally top bloke.”
It shows the importance of fashion and intellectual conformity in academia. People like Otto did not leave enough room for bossing people around. People like Stalin did. Who is more popular in academia? Is there any book on Eastern Europe which points out what a disaster the fall of the Hapsburgs was? Academics clearly do not imagine themselves Slovakian peasants and so think what is best for them. They imagine themselves like Trotsky disposing of said peasants.
Better Otto than Adolf. Better Franz Josef than Uncle Josef.
The only EU a sensible person should support would have had Otto on the throne with a proper pan-European House of Lords. If we are going to be undemocratic, let us be undemocratic properly. And with style.
Philip Walker – “Putting an heir to the Holy Roman Empire (take the obligatory Voltaire witticism as read) in charge of the EU would be a red rag to the American dispensionalist nutcases who already think the EU is the Beast from the Sea, the Whore of Babylon, the rebellious City of Man, and generally liable to be the great harbinger of the end of the world. The most likely outcome would be some kind of pre-emptive nuclear strike by a loose cannon somewhere.”
The problem with getting your information from the anti-Western mainstream media is that their deranged fantasies become everyone’s deranged fantasies. There is more chance of a 12 Monkeys style Green effort to wipe out the planet than the basically decent people who are Born Again hurting a fly. The violence in America comes from the Left and their allies.
“People like Otto did not leave enough room for bossing people around.” Maybe he had learned from history: when I looked at an account of his great-great- uncle I was taken aback by his working hours, just checking and approving/cancelling the decisions taken by subordinates – and I have worked in the City of London so I know about working days longer than 24 hours. If von Moltke hadn’t pushed Germany into invading France and Belgium, Otto might have inherited an Empire smaller and more cohesive than the EU and worked himself to death as a consequence – he realised that no-one could boss the EU competently.
So I disagree with “The only EU a sensible person should support would have had Otto on the throne with a proper pan-European House of Lords.” because Otto would have abdicated or died in harness.
Arnald – “What?”
The media always insists that attacks come from the Right but they don’t. Well the odd South Carolinian attack aside. Gabby Giffords was shot by a Leftist. JFK was killed by a Leftist. His brother was killed by a Leftist.
Most political violence in the USA comes from the Left.