Benny Hill still lives in Brussels
Posted by Fraser at 8 33 PM on Saturday, November 21
PRESIDENT Herman Van Rompuy. I challenge you to say these words out loud with a straight face. What a result.
He is the new face of the EU. And with a name like that, he won’t be taken seriously in any English-speaking country.
Some people are outraged at the stitch-up—the way EU leaders enstooled their president over dinner.
Not me. I’m delighted that the Union will now be seen for what it is: A bureaucratic machine, with no democratic legitimacy.
Let’s take Rompuy’s new sidekick, Baroness Ashton, named foreign minister of the EU.
She embodies all the values of the EU. Never stood for election. Put in her job after a stitch up. Utterly unaccountable. Such a nonentity that even her patron Gordon Brown couldn’t remember her name, calling her “Cathy Ashdown”.
You won’t forget Van Rompuy’s name in a hurry, though. He sounds like a lederhosen-clad extra from a Benny Hill sketch.
Just a few weeks ago I was worried that the EU would start to assert itself on the world stage by making Tony Blair president.
The British Prime Minister, I feared, would struggle to be heard with an eloquent, thespian Blair speaking for all Europe.
Henry Kissinger famously asked: “Who do I phone when I want to call Europe?” He was very close to getting an answer.
Certainly not Van Rumpey. He’ll always sound like someone you’d only call from a Soho phone box.
Crucially, Nicholas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are sniggering too. A president (a real one, like Blair) would have upstaged them. So they decided not to have a strong EU with a strong president.
They’ve made it a joke position, held by a comedy candidate.
Sarkozy may just be 5ft 4ins but he has the tallest ego in Europe.
Would Sarko really want to bring the 6ft 2in Blair back and face all that competition? Non.
Would Germany’s Angela Merkel want Blair overshadowing her when she’s sucking up to China? Nein.
For the same reasons, they wanted an empty suit as EU foreign secretary. In the robotic Baroness Ashton, they have a bureaucrat guaranteed to stay dull.
What is also great about this Euro-pair is they haven’t worked out, yet, how to lie. They’ll expose the EU time and again.
Belgians like Rompuy love the idea of the EU as the new Roman Empire governing all of our lives. They can’t hide it. Already he has let this slip. He’s called for another EU tax (don’t worry, he won’t be listened to).
And next month’s global warming summit in Copenhagen will, he says, be “another step towards global governance of our planet”.
The EU is a bureaucrat’s sweetshop – some massive apparatus where nerds invent new taxes, then regulate the world.
But for the EU to speak on the world stage? Not any more. Britain, France and Germany will handle their own world relations.
Rompuy is our guarantee that there will never be such a thing as a country called Europe.