Anyone who has ever witnessed the terminal struggles of insects in a killing bottle will recognise the nature of the paroxysms contorting the EU “leaders” today. The Greek pantomime is beyond parody. It is a shadow-boxing contest between two factions of the dinosaur left, both equally irrelevant to the future of Europe.
The more immediately recognisable element is the troupe of retro-Marxist comedians that calls itself the Greek government. This is a nostalgia freak’s dream team of 1960s polytechnic agitprop Reds, dedicated to the proposition that there is such a thing as a free lunch – every day, in perpetuity. There has been nothing like it since Citizen Wolfie Smith and the Tooting Liberation Front furled their protest banners and got jobs in local government with gold-plated pensions.
In the opposing corner are the superficially more sophisticated neo-Marxists of the EUSSR, smart-suited, well-dined, opulently subsidised and exuding an even larger sense of entitlement than Tony Blair and the Scouse Spouse. They are incandescent because their right to rule by arbitrary decree has been contradicted by a rogue electorate presumptuously demanding access to basic foodstuffs, essential medicines and old-age pensions.
The fact that so many commentators and spokesmen for “business” wrongly interpret this crisis as a conflict between “the Left” (i.e. Comrade Tsipras and his subsidy junkies) and “modern, free-market Europe” (i.e. Juncker, Hollande and their communautaire-chic subsidy junkies) is a telling illustration of how little the mainstream commentariat understands – or chooses to understand – about the European Union.
This EU crisis is an internal conflict within the international Left. Anybody who lived through the Soviet party schisms and purges of the 1930s would recognise the character of this confrontation. It is a war between the doctrinaire, unreconstructed Trots of Syriza and the pragmatic, power-crazed Stalinists of the EU. To Juncker et al. it is hugely frustrating that the crude fundamentalists of the old-style Greek left will not accommodate themselves to the slick, modern, cultural Marxist agenda of Brussels.
There is nothing “modern” or free-market about the EU. It is an old-fashioned cartel whose roots lie in the Confederation of the Rhine and Bonaparte’s Continental System. Like those precedents, it is a political project with dirigiste economic objectives bolted on – most notoriously the unworkable euro currency. It aspired to extinguish national and popular will across Europe and enslave the continent to the delusional aspirations of a selfish and bureaucratic elite. With the complicity of the media, for decades it contrived to brainwash electorates into accepting its mendacious claims. Now, that is all over.
Across Europe, over the past week, there has been a wave of revulsion against the EU, its tyrannical diktats, its contempt for the will of electorates, its economic incompetence and its transparent lies. Suddenly, all the hype, the jargon and the pretence have been stripped away. The evil empire’s lost credibility can never be recovered. We are living in a new climate where any politician who attempts to comply with Brussels will forfeit domestic acceptance. The U-turn by Alexis Tsipras, now attempting to railroad through a democratic parliament a “bailout” package harsher than that rejected by 62 per cent of the Greek electorate just ten days ago has destroyed the last vestige of credibility of the political class.
When even “revolutionary” politicians with a massive mandate to resist Brussels roll over before the EU juggernaut – now more accurately to be described as a rickety Heath Robinson contraption – the days of the political class, as currently constituted, are numbered. And it is in this crisis situation for the discredited EU and its Toytown currency that a referendum on continuing British membership is impending.
Now is the time for Eurosceptics to press home their advantage. In Greece, surely the discrediting of Tsipras must now extend to rejection of his unsustainable contention that it is crucial for his country to remain in the euro. It is time for the scales to fall from the eyes of the Greek people and for the country that pioneered the science of logic to acknowledge that all its troubles are attributable to the euro and therefore departure from that doomed project is the precondition of recovery.
In Britain, the task of Eurosceptics is to induce among the public the same level of realism regarding the entire European project. Greece cannot be bailed out. It has no money to repay its debts. Further impositions of “austerity” will prevent, not promote, its recovery. The euro currency is a farce. The EU leadership is a confederacy of dunces: it is no longer fashionable or “sophisticated” to espouse the fiction that they are wise men leading us into the future, while UKIP is a collection of blazered geriatrics and xenophobes.
The EU is 64 years old and it is showing its age. It was the product of panicky post-War reaction to a recent frightening experience, when the German guns menaced England from Calais. What menaces us from Calais today is a more successful invasion by feral aliens sponsored by the EU. We must get out and that view is rapidly becoming a majority rather than a minority opinion.