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Friday, June 24, 2005

That Speech

President Tony’s speech to the European Parliament is one of the major headlines of the day. Wake up or the EU is doomed, thunders The Sun, EU must reform or it will risk massive failure, echoes the Times and even the BBC says Blair tells EU to change or fail. The FT has a little more positive spin with Blair vision for revitalised EU enthralls MEPs whilst the Guardian is most positive of all with Blair finds a little heaven in euro hell. This is a speech that the Telegraph refers to as Like Thatcher only ruder and yet Robin Cook, ex Foreign Secretary and current Guardian Moonbat can say I found myself agreeing with every paragraph. So can they both be right? Was it an attack on the old way of doing business or a vision of a brave new future? There has been much speculation concerning Mr Blair’s alleged Euroscepticism over the last couple of weeks and with this in mind, I thought we should look at the speech to see what Our Dear Leader really thinks about the EU.
I am a passionate pro-European. I always have been.
I have heard of speeches given by a young Mr Blair calling for Britain’s withdrawal from the Common Market, but that apart, this sentence is backed up by everything that he has done since being in power. A fact that he acknowledges:
Since being Prime Minister I signed the Social Chapter, helped, along with France, to create the modern European Defence Policy, have played my part in the Amsterdam, the Nice, then the Rome Treaties.
Hardly the words of a Eurosceptic.
This is a union of values, of solidarity between nations and people, of not just a common market in which we trade but a common political space in which we live as citizens.
Which can only be described as the words of a federalist.
Today the EU stands as a monument to political achievement. Almost 50 years of peace, 50 years of prosperity, 50 years of progress. Think of it and be grateful.
The Cliché. So what is it that Tony wants from the EU?
Law Enforcement A relevant JHA agenda would focus on these issues: implementing the EU action plan on counter-terrorism which has huge potential to improve law enforcement. Defence We should be agreeing practical measures to enhance European defence capability, be prepared to take on more missions of peacekeeping and enforcement Environmental Action We are leading the debate on climate change and developing pan-European policies to tackle it. Foreign Affairs A strong Europe would be an active player in foreign policy This man is as far from Euroscepticism as it is possible to be.
So why is he hectoring our European Partners?
Again some have suggested I want to abandon Europe's social model. But tell me: what type of social model is it that has 20m unemployed in Europe, productivity rates falling behind those of the USA; that is allowing more science graduates to be produced by India than by Europe; and that, on any relative index of a modern economy - skills, R&D, patents, IT, is going down not up. India will expand its biotechnology sector fivefold in the next five years. China has trebled its spending on R&D in the last five.
He wants Europe to be able to meet these challenges. The BBC’s Blair tells EU to change or fail is the closest to the mark. Blair believes in the Liturgy of the Cult of Europe. What he wants to do is to change it to make it stronger. He is the EU’s Gorbachov, desperately trying to change the system he believes in so that it will not fail. He warns of the consequences of failure:
Those who garner support will be those not in the traditions of European idealism but in those of outdated nationalism and xenophobia.
That’s us. The only questions left are if he and his philosophy are actually able to make a difference, would they save the European Union or will he like Gorbachov, release powers that he is unable to control? Only time will tell.

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