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More on Q&A

6.21.2005

Last night while posting about the interesting Q&A we were all watching, I mentioned the whole EU thing again and the thoughts of John Gray (Professor of European Thought at the LSE) on the whole Britain in Europe paradox and the direction of Europe generally. While the timing is a little out of date his analysis is incisive. He argues that the purpose of the EU is most certainly to rebalance the power currently held by the states as a global superpower in doing so it can outline differing approaches to international and internal issues like social provision and cultural identity. By offering a second major rallying point for international actors some of the damage done by the US globally can be undone. Culturally the EU is far closer to the consensus driven and often war torn history of much of Asia and South America.
In striving toward this goal, which he argues is essential for balance of some sort in the world order, the EU is best served by Britain remaining on the sidelines. Thus the latest scene of divisiveness only serves to offer more opportunity for the EU to respond to voters concern and define Europe, give it a narrative and make it relevant to people.
From the look of it, Tony reckons he can start to hammer his way out of this in the same way he hammered himself into Iraq and a series of other messes. I am amazed by the man’s belief in his own ability to make the world see things his way. He should be busy tidying up the mess left by his forces in Iraq and his labour party. Not picking old fights with France again.
Still its unlikely France will ever follow a British ideological lead. The divisions within Europe are startling. For the first time in years the voters have asked “what is the EU for?” The political response was naval gazing and turf wars. This nonsense will get sorted out, it always does.
On a similar vein, isn’t it funny how the lack of direct democratic accountability has actually insulates the EU from the devastation of two ‘no’ votes? Were it a regime of elected representatives, heads would have rolled and paralysis set in at all levels. However because it doesn’t answer directly to us the EU can carry on regardless. A wonder of progress and modernisation.
RR

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