I’m revisiting my Europe Dies posting because Vicky gave such an eloquent comment that I thought it worthy of a new post rather than just a reply. As ever, Vicky is too the point but more importantly her views are insightful and stimulating.
Anyhow on we go.
As I mentioned I’d been in Rome for a few days R & R, nothing to do with the new Pope, I renounced Christianity some years ago (its a very long and way too personal story for this kind of a blog posting) but just for a bit of break. We had been to Rome before and we enjoy Italy enormously as a holiday destination. Never-the-less I get the impression that trying to live there would be an impossibility.
I mentioned the queues which are actually symptomatic of Italy generally. The worst case I saw on this trip was when my wife had nipped into a book shop in the Termini train station, I was stood waiting outside; people had to queue for a ticket which gave them a time to queue for the information stand and then had to queue to buy the appropriate ticket to travel. The examples of inefficiency started on arrival at the airport; a bus to take us a distance of about 100m, I’m certain we could have walked.
Italy is inefficient! plain and simple. Little wonder that economically speaking Italy is in the pickle it is.
Add to this Berlosconi’s comments during the recent election regarding EU/EEA regulations and economic policy being German Centric and there you have the basis of how Italy, Greece and just about any other European Nations people are starting to think. The EU/EEA isn’t justified in the minds of most.
What they seem to have forgotten is the EU was established to bring about lasting peace in Europe. A lurch to the political right is happening, its obvious to me anyway. The European project is in danger and I’m worried, very worried indeed.
Now think about the French lady and her son named Jihad with the tee shirt reading “I am a bomb, born September 11”. If this isn’t provocation or encouragement of or glorification of Jihad then I’m not sure what is. This lady should not be allowed to be a parent, she’s just nothing like responsible enough.
I also think about what my elders say and feel about the changing face of my local area (which is happening across the EU). They are worried, frightened even. The pace of change is fast, less than 20 years ago where I live it was all white, all British and everybody spoke English. Today of course this is no longer the case and for me I am thankful. I enjoy the mix of cultures, the mix of people and the mix of cuisine, its just great for me personally, but I do see the fear and know that in part the fear is justified.
I will defend local enterprise, local endeavor as long as I live. But I will always support the European project too, it brings peace and opportunity in abundance. Its a fragile thing though and must be cared for, not taken for granted. By ensuring that liberal values are predominant and then not caring to look after them we allow those who do not value our freedoms to take advantage.
Vicky is more than right when she says that the French lady has taken full advantage of liberal values and is trying to wriggle off the hook by saying is was a stupid act but not intended to harm. Little wonder then that there is a lurch to the political right, with these awful political right-wing movements capitalizing on fear, the unknown.
The Jihadist’s would have a Caliphate installed no doubt and whilst I have no problem with this as such, I do when it imposes on the European project and clouds the clarity. We have to guard carefully on this one. The Islamic world in next door to the Europe and Europe so presents the obvious route for expansion. Europe has liberal laws allowing such expansion, be careful I warn.
The EU is should be noted is the largest financial contributor to the Palestinian Territories but makes NO demand for peaceful negotiation with Israel proper. Again a massive oversight. Israel is our friend (or perhaps it should be more than Palestine at any rate) and we should recognize that they are a beacon of hope in the Mid-East. They should be supported and cherished not made out as the villain. Israel is our hope that the number one priority of the Jihadist’s, their perceived Palestinian injustice is dealt with but we have to help. Peace in the Mid-East will more less = peace in Europe.
I still have faith that the leaders of our great continent can pull it off, if only they would just wake-up a bit, see the financial realities of keeping up the austerity and its impact on public perception, see that the constant bickering about how much its all going to cost and weather the particular nation should remain in the EU or leave is nothing but a distraction. The real work is about working together but keeping the local.
If we do not look after this fragile but great thing, the EU then it dies and we will all be worse off for it.