Blair does a Thatcher to the EU, only ruder: Tony Blair urged European leaders yesterday to heed 'a wake-up call' from voters, saying they should not kid themselves it was 'business as usual' after the No to the EU constitution from France and the Netherlands.
In a blunt, at times passionate, 30-minute speech to the European Parliament in Brussels the Prime Minister poured scorn on the EU's habit of responding to crises with navel-gazing and tinkering with its institutions.
Visitors in the public gallery likened his address to Margaret Thatcher's 1988 speech in Bruges, when she sounded the alarm about a 'European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels'.
They were only half-right. Compared to Lady Thatcher's Bruges oratory, Mr Blair was much ruder, mocking the EU for issuing empty declarations at times of crisis and hinting that France and Germany should tackle their own economic woes before lecturing him.
He noted acidly that the collapsed constitution had been sold as a measure to 'bring Europe closer to the people'. Yet in most member states it would now be hard to secure a Yes vote on the treaty. Time and again European summits ended with conclusions claiming that leaders were 'reconnecting Europe to the people', Mr Blair said.
'Are we?' he asked rhetorically. He was met with scattered applause, some heckling and long periods of sullen silence from MEPs.
'It is time to give ourselves a reality check - to receive the wake-up call. The people are blowing the trumpets around the city walls. Are we listening?'
Friday, June 24, 2005
The idiots in the British Tory Party threw Margaret Thatcher out of office because they feared she was taking too hard a line with the developing European superstate. Her party has repeatedly paid a heavy price for it's short-sightedness. I'm glad she's lived long enough to see her views vindicated.
Posted by Mike's America at 6/24/2005