Feature

Nigel Farage banner på sedvanlig vis i kirken når han i Europa-parlamentet den 9. mai sier at euroen kan føre til opptøyer eller sågar revolusjoner. Stilen hans er utvilsomt populistisk, og han kunne kanskje spart tyskerne for den stikkpillen det er å minne om krigen, skjønt det kan se ut som om det var tit for tat etter en vittighet fra Martin Schultz.

Men kan det likevel hende at han har et poeng eller to? At euroen har katastrofale økonomiske konsekvenser, og at det storslagne forsøket på å unngå noe som ligner gjentagelse av nasjonalsosialismens mareritt risikerer å virke stikk motsatt av hensikten? Ansiktsuttrykkene i forsamlingen vitner om at man ikke bare kan avfeie eller le ut mannen.

Well, happy Schuman Day, or Europe Day, as you now call it, although I thought the celebrations were rather muted. The only bit of real passion we had was Mr Schulz slagging off the English but that now appears to be the sort of popular sport in this parliament.

And when people stand up and talk about the great success that the EU has been I’m not sure that anybody saying it really believes it themselves anymore. I think we are celebrating the wrong day.

We shouldn’t be celebrating the 9th of May, we should be celebrating the 8th of May, Victory in Europe Day. We should celebrate the last time the Germans tried to smash the continent and they foundered and at least half the continent got its democracy back.

What we are celebrating on the 9th of May is another attempt through different means, to smash democracy across Europe. I don’t doubt for a minute that Jean Monnet was well intentioned from the start. He thought that if you abolish nation states you would stop there ever being another war. He didn’t at the time of course have the benefit of seeing that theory as it played out in Yugoslavia.

But like Communism, this has all gone badly wrong. And the EU Titanic has now hit the iceberg. It is a European Union of economic failure, of mass unemployment, of low growth, but worst of all, it’s an EU with the economic prison of the Euro. And this now poses huge dangers to the continent. We face the prospect of mass civil unrest possibly even revolution in some countries that are being driven into total and utter desperation. But there is perhaps an opportunity. There is perhaps some good news.

That now a democratic rebellion has begun, and it began in Finland last year, with the True Finns getting nearly 20% of the vote. And we’re seeing in country after country new political movements on the right and the left making big scores.

But that may not all be good news. Because in Greece what we saw, last Sunday, was rather reminiscent of the German election of 1932. We saw the status quo centre collapse the extremes of right and left rise. You know this project could even cause the rebirth of national socialism in Europe. We are headed the wrong way. We must break up the Euro zone. We must set those Mediterranean countries free. We must try to build a Europe, I want a Europe — but a Europe based on trade. A Europe based on co-operation. A Europe based on us sitting around the table and agreeing sensible rules on crime and the environment. We can do all of those things. But we cannot do it if we are asked to rally behind that flag. I owe no allegiance to that flag and nor do most of the people in Europe either!