Letter to the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph,
Messieurs les Anglais tirez enfin! - do something at last. This is not the battle of Fontenoy (1745) with all its romantic talk about which side should fire the first shot. In the opaque “business” of allocating posts in the public-free and undemocratic zone that the EU polity has become, my country is firing away. To be precise, it is calling all the shots (Sarkozy Taunts Britain as Losers in the EU Jobs Battle, 29 Nov. 2009). A first year political science student - but apparently not the Labour leadership - could have concluded that after the appointment of Madame la Baronne as high representative, the UK was heading for a diplomatic “Berezina” as we put it when referring to a major disaster (since the Russian victory over Napoleon's forces in 1812).
President Sarkozy is the winner because with his man (Barnier) at the helm of the Internal Market and Financial Services, this means more economic dirigisme and over-regulation a la francaise from the new seat of power, Brussels. Thinking otherwise would be naïve and reassurance to the contrary the height of hypocrisy. Unfortunately it gets worse with France having also “won” another important portfolio by proxy with the nomination of Dacian Ciolos (Romania) for Agriculture. In both countries the sector is dependent on state and EU subsidies so forget any serious reforms of the CAP and an end to protectionism. A former leftist radical for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (Greek nominee Maria Damanaki) does not abode well for the future of our fishing communities. The messy failure of 30 years of Common Fisheries Policy will most probably be addressed with more central planning. The road to more berezina of the maritime kind.
The irony is that our President's push for more Europe (centralisation of decision and policy making) is not in our best interest. The EU needs a re-think, more free trade and more democracy. The French people voted “non” to the Lisbon constitutional treaty. But as former President Giscard infamously said after the democratic slap to the ego of our self-serving elite, the Sovereign People's decision (no) is not France's (..). There is something rotten in the Union and now the UK is the last line of defense. So where is your gallant hero to fight for freedom? Messieurs les Anglais tirez les derniers (be the last to shoot) but for goodness sake, do fire that referendum at the EU knowsbestocracy!