Friday, 27 June 2008

Tunnel Vision

David Marquand, a social democrat and former chief advisor to the European Commission has an article in (where else?) the Guardian, in which he laments the Irish 'No' and calls on Europe's leaders to push forward with federalisation.

Do we want our children and grandchildren to live in a world run by the Americans, Chinese, Indians and perhaps Russians, or are we prepared to make the qualitative leap towards the federalism that Kissinger's question implies, and become at least a quasi-superpower in our own right?

Though it's rarely put across as starkly as Marquand has done here, this seems to be the unquestioned received wisdom shared by Europe's leaders. The 21st century world is going to be a more complex place, with numerous challenges to the current order.

In response, what the various nations of Europe all need to do is, regardless of what the people wish, to divest their power to control their own affairs away from democratically elected governments and into a wasteful, corrupt, unwieldy and unaccountable bureaucracy...

Hold on a minute. Are you sure this is really such a good idea?

Even some of the more sensible and honest pro-EU commentators, like Nosemonkey, acknowledge that the only way Marquand and his ilk will get their federalist wish is to ride roughshod over the wishes of the people. As one commenter succinctly put it
Maybe the Irish like being Irish and don't really care about this whole wanna-be superpower business.

The people of Ireland sent a strong signal two weeks ago that they didn't wish their nation to become a state in the United States of Europe of the federalists' dreams. As did the French and the Dutch when they voted on the original Constitution back in 2005. I don't think it takes a genius to predict how the British would have voted were we given our promised referendum.

But as we've seen in post after post at DK's and elsewhere, European leaders don't think much of democratic dissent from their grand federalist plan, and will do whatever they can to avoid it. Is it all in aid of a Marquand-like desire to be part of a superpower to rival China and the US? Is there something closer to home that drives this unwanted political consensus that national sovereignty must be surrendered?


fake consultant said...

i'm gonna take a guess here, but i suspect "eurofederalists" would be pointing to the challenges of acheiving commonality of action if european nations maintain their sovereign structure.

they might then use nato--and the french--as an example of how tough it can be.

i'm not suggesting i support this proposition, only that if i were trying to sell the eurofederalist story that's one sales pitch i would employ.

QT said...

Why is commonality of action necessarily a good thing?