European Union

The new Star Wars movie will be filmed in the UK, it has been announced.  Everybody is thrilled, apart from UKIP who fear a sudden influx of Jawas will spark a crime wave.  Meanwhile, in a galaxy not-so-very-far-away, David Cameron is worrying about the latest rebel alliance within his own party.

Euro-sceptic Tories are raging because they feel the government should have included plans for an EU referendum in the Queen’s Speech last week.  Europe is the question that has for so long divided the Conservative party.  In, or out?  In, or out?  You do some okay-cokey then U-turn around, that’s what it’s all about, Dave!

Er, where was I?  Oh yes, the EU.  It’s terrible isn’t it?  A nightmarish world of straight bananas, driving on the right, foreigners and the bloody metric system.  To make matters worse it’s run by a shady cabal of unaccountable, freeloading politicians and technocrats, most of whom wouldn’t know what a public school looked like if it jumped up and caned them on the backside.

Surely it’s time to go back to a Europe of individual national sovereignty?  Because before economic and political integration began back in the 1950s Europe was a much more exciting place to live.  For the best part of a millennium the continent played host to some of history’s most brilliant wars; there was the classic Norman invasion of England back in 1066, the largely naval Anglo-Spanish war of the 16th century, the game-changing Europe-wide Thirty Years War and the splendid Napoleonic Wars.  Of course, it wasn’t until the 20th century that things really got interesting when man invented cool shit like machine guns, missiles and atomic bombs- which shifted the whole mass-killing paradigm to another level.  Yup, they might have been called ‘World Wars’ but we know where they started don’t we guys?  Yeah, Europe.  The home of war.

It’s obviously a fluke then that since the European ‘project’ began, the nation-states which comprise the Union have lost fewer soldiers and entered into fewer conflicts than at any stage during the past, oh what, 1,500 years.  The last 6 decades have also been a time of rising prosperity throughout most of Europe (the current recession not withstanding).  Again, this must be a mere coincidence.

The ‘Brexit’ could start a trend.  Of course, the ‘Cyxit’, the ‘Itexit’ and the ‘Porxit’ don’t really work, but then neither do their economies.  Nevertheless, the countries on the verge of breakdown could follow suit and drop out of the EU.  They might then elect politicians who claim to be able to sort out the problems.  Some people will look around for scapegoats if things get bad, but that’s pretty unlikely to lead to social unrest and a growing clamour for reactionary leaders.

OK, so I’m stretching sarcasm to breaking point here.  But the point is that the EU exists because people don’t really like each other.  Europe learned that harsh truth over many centuries.  Not until individuals are bound together in families, in communities and in civilizations do conflicts become disagreements, and wars become squabbles.  Whatever its deficiencies (and democracy and accountability are chief among them) the EU has been an overwhelmingly positive phenomenon for the majority of its members and every endeavour should be made to improve the way the system works.  Leaving shouldn’t be an option.

And personally, if you don’t believe the EU can work, I find your lack of faith disturbing.

BY: John Lucas