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Fight, Fight for Europe! No Thanks.

By MICHAEL BLACKBURN.

THE SOUND OF INTELLECTUALS squealing in unison against the unfairness of reality is always a delight. It’s so operatic, so melodramatic, so full of high-mindedness and hypocrisy. This time it’s 30 authors putting their signatures to an open letter published in Libération and the Guardian, urging European “patriots” like themselves to resist the rise of populism and nationalism. Their beloved European Union is being threatened, they say, by demagogues and “false prophets drunk on resentment”, who want to wreck the whole project.

The great sin of these wicked people is their desire to “reconnect” with their “national soul” or “national identity”, which are no more than perfervid abstractions. Unlike the “idea” of Europe proposed by the intelligentsia. It’s a game of “my idea trumps yours because I’m an intellectual and you’re just a gullible oik”.

And what will be swept away in this tide of nationalistic oikery? Nothing less than Europe itself, its “legacy of Erasmus, Dante, Goethe and Comenius”. But, you ask, if you can stir yourself from the depths of your populist darkness, weren’t these chaps the product of a diverse Europe of empires, principalities and city states, without an overarching, single, enlightened political authority to make sure they did everything right? How on earth did they manage without the EU?

Well, you won’t get an answer to that.

In truth our fretting intellectuals needn’t worry: their beloved EU is doomed to survive and continue its imperialistic quest for many years to come.

In truth our fretting intellectuals needn’t worry: their beloved EU is doomed to survive and continue its imperialistic quest for many years to come. It will grind on remorselessly, driven by its own internal machinery, the authoritarian vanity and complacency of its leaders and the docile acquiescence of its useful idiots.

The UK is the only member that has been serious about bailing out. The others, whatever the stresses and pressures they are undergoing, are content to stay in. The Continental mindset is strong — they’re Europeans, after all. Even the gilets jaunes who are busy being batoned by the French police each weekend and having their eyes popped out or hands blown off by flash-balls are not anti-EU. If they want to live in a superstate that wishes to become an empire, let them. The longer they stay in the more they will be subsumed and in the end totally dominated by Germany.

A clear sign of the direction the project is taking is apparent from what happened in Aachen recently. France and Germany signed a pact that paves the way for further and faster integration of the two country’s economies — and the formation of the EU army (dismissed as a “dangerous fantasy” by the charlatan Clegg just a couple of years ago). It’s telling, of course, that neither the BBC nor any of the other major British news broadcasters thought it worthwhile to tell their viewers that Merkel had called for a “real” European army in the EU’s parliament in November. I suppose they were preoccupied with totally different matters of the day — such as Britain’s withdrawal from the project.

Unlike our colleagues on the other side of the Channel, our problem in Blighty is not the “arsonists of soul and spirit” but the useful idiots of the ancien régime which is the EU-loving establishment. Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, for instance, has only now decided it would be a good idea to find out why people voted leave. Lucas is pretty dim even for a modern British politician; it should have occurred to her over two years ago that finding out why people chose as they did would be a good move. So now she’s going to visit places that voted leave and ask them why, oh why? Then patronise them by telling them why they were wrong, obviously. That’s the usual drill for politicians of this stripe.

We may be a vulgar shallow nation of peasants here on our “cake-filled, misery-laden, grey, old island” but the one clear, incontrovertible truth the Brexit business has demonstrated to us in our knuckle-dragging oikiness is the blistering ineptitude of our politicians. The more these bloviators quibble amongst themselves and try to pull the wool over our eyes the more we despise them. Which is what we’d do with those trembling Euro intellectuals and their fake patriotism, if we could be bothered paying them any attention.


suxcoverCurrente Calamo columnist, poet and writer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire. A Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Lincoln University (2005 – 2008), his poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent book is Albion Days (perennisperegrinator press). Sucks to Your Revolution is a collection of his Fortnightly columns.

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