The Corner

Ignoble Nobel

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard runs through a few facts for the benefit of the Oslo Nobel Committee:

Some extracts:

Precisely because the victim states have surrendered their key policy levers to the EU Project, they have no means of defending themselves or answering the cries of their people. Hence the warnings this week from Portugal’s former President Jorge Sampaio that the economic asphyxiation of his country threatens to destroy its fledgling democracy.

The Nobel Prize comes, in short, as events have shown that the Hegelian push for breakneck integration – the supranational assault on the ancient nation states of Europe – has proved to be an unmitigated disaster. The disaster has occurred because ideological extremists have tried to rush history, and because the likes of the Nobel Committee and their counterparts in EU capitals believe the European Project to be a higher ideal, and pan-European institutions to be more exalted…

Yes, we can all agree that the EU’s Franco-German machinery today beats Verdun, but it was not the democratic nation state that caused Verdun. It was a long-premeditated attack by a military autocracy….Nor was it the democratic nation state that caused the invasion of Prague and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, and all that was too follow. This veiled attempt to blame the wars of the 20th century on Europe’s feuding states is a sleight of hand, too easily allowed to pass. There was no full continental war for a century after the Congress of Vienna. What changed this in 1914 was very specific. The EU’s high priests draw on a caricature version of history that must be challenged. The post-war national democracies – nurtured by the Marshall Plan, Nato, and benign American influence, nota bene – are not the problem, they are the solution.

The central threat to this once happy state of affairs in Europe comes from EU aggrandisement itself as it builds structures beyond parliamentary control. We will find out soon enough whether Euroland really will cross the Rubicon to fiscal union to stop the euro breaking apart, and in doing so usurp the tax and spending powers of these parliaments altogether, that is to say whether EMU leaders are really willing to rip the heart out of democracy.

Mr Evans Pritchard, trying, I think, to be kind, slips up only at the end of  his conclusion:

The Nobel committee likes to deploy prizes to push its agenda and encourage what it believes to benign behaviour. In this case the purpose is to press North Europe to stand full square behind the Project.

“We want to focus on what has been achieved in Europe in terms of peace and reconciliation,” says the Committee’s Thorbjørn Jagland.  “It is a message to Europe to secure what they have achieved and not let the continent go into disintegration again because it means the emergence of extremism and nationalism.”

We should not doubt his good intentions. We may however, abominate his judgment.

Oh yes, we should. A quick glance at Jagland’s past reveals that the man is a fanatic, not, rather more forgivably, a fool. And, judging by what he must now know about the direction in which the EU is going, he is a fanatic possessed by an unsettling contempt for democracy.

Whatever his intentions may be, they are far from good.


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