Monday, May 30, 2005

It's all very well for Paul Reynolds to get into the French-centred history of the EU, as though it were some intricate watch mechanism that the French, having constructed, have just dashed to the ground in a huff.

The truth is that it's a lot less delicate than that, a lot more chauvinistic than some airy-fairy vison of Monnet and Schumann, and it's post-modern in its imperviousness to the pleading or reasoning of its subjects.

EURef sums up well the narrative which is being presented by the likes of Reynolds:

'The morning after, it looks like the end of a Dick Tracy episode. The hero is bound and gagged, facing a certain, horribly violent death - and the credits start rolling.'

While Reynolds has seized on the drama, and builds up the sense of crisis, the Telegraph offers the realistic conclusion to the referendum affair:

'the Euro-elites will make some soothing noises about the need to address voters' concerns; then they will carry on as if nothing had happened. This is, after all, not the first time that they have had to deal with rejection in a national referendum.'

In other words, what Reynolds builds up is that satisfying sense that the Euro-elite has been wounded; that it is hurting. In fact, such is the imperviousness of our technocratic masters, they don't know what hurt is.

Reynolds suggests that 'the EU will stagger on under existing treaties.'- and this, like much of his article, might seem like a criticism, but in fact it tacitly endorses the project and the need for the Constitution.

As the Telegraph says:

'From the first, the EU's founding fathers understood that it needed to be immune to public opinion. The genius of Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman was to design a system in which supreme power was wielded by unelected officials, and in which the peoples were presented with a series of faits accomplis.'

So when the public say 'no', this is inconvenient, but you don't change direction, you merely show the effort that progress requires. You stagger, maybe you fall like some tragic Greek hero, but you don't change your mind.

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