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Boomer Europe is dying Is Macron right about our defenceless world?

Made in Europe. (FABIAN SOMMER/dpa/AFP via Getty Images)

Made in Europe. (FABIAN SOMMER/dpa/AFP via Getty Images)


May 23, 2023   8 mins

Born in 1945, from the wreckage of its decades-long civil war, our mother continent Europe is a boomer, prone as many boomers are to comforting and self-aggrandising myths as it slouches towards death. Unlike the generation which led Europe through the Cold War, which had lived through Europe’s great convulsion and understood power, the generation of politicians which led Europe through the post-Cold War decades — a type of which Angela Merkel, once lauded and now reviled, is the purest distillation — were the first to have fully internalised the continent’s post-1945 value system.

Power politics was a barbarous relic of a rejected past; the world was destined to move towards harmonious free trade, in which Europe’s hard-won moral clarity would guide lesser civilisations, still trapped in history, towards the light. Timid, comfortable, fearful of change and obsessed with petty rules and regulations, once Europe reached middle age with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was happy to observe a changing world tutting from behind its net curtains, the parish council Nimby of continents. Half museum and half retirement home, Europe grew fat and complacent as history was made elsewhere. But from a cave in the depths of Asia something stirred, which would restart history: Covid fatally weakened the boomer continent, and now something new is straining to be born.

It is striking that it took a disease which primarily affects the elderly and unfit to finally make Europe’s leaders notice what had already been clearly apparent: that the continent’s willed deindustrialisation in favour of China had left it weak and helpless, entirely dependent on the charity and vigour of stronger empires. The conjunction of Covid with America’s worst period of internal political disorder since the Sixties also fed a perception among America’s rivals that the global hegemon was itself ailing in turn, fuelling Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Yet if Putin’s war has been markedly unsuccessful on the battlefield, in a pyrrhic sense it has proved the validity of the central assumption driving it: that the post-Cold War world is dead, and we already live in a multipolar order.

In the Middle East, South America, Africa and Asia, even America’s allies remain happy to trade with Russia and submit their disputes to Chinese arbitration, viewing the Ukraine war as a distant European border skirmish irrelevant to their interests, and America’s role as global policeman lost to history. Only now are EU leaders, such as its chief diplomat Josep Borrell Fontelles, able to face the dawning realisation that “many countries see the geopolitical influence of China as a counterweight to the West and therefore to Europe. They will seek to strengthen their own room for manoeuvre without picking sides”. The latest war in Europe thus helps mark the boundaries of a European civilisational space, delineated by solidarity with Ukraine. For decades, Europe’s leaders flattered themselves that their moral worldview was universal, fated by history to reshape the entire world. Instead, Europe’s values and its interests are revealed as utterly parochial: merely the customs and assumptions of one civilisation among many, and a weak one at that.

It took both crises, Covid and Ukraine, to awaken Europe from its post-war dream. Dependent on China for industry, Russia for energy and America for security, Europe suddenly realised its vulnerability within the new order. As Macron recently wrote in the Financial Times: “because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war Russia decided to inflict on Ukraine, we have acknowledged our strategic dependencies and decided to act to reduce them… We are no longer naive.” Rejecting the idealistic free-trade dogma that had dominated European thinking for decades, Macron further argued in a landmark speech that “we are not destined to become consumers of American industry”, nor is Europe’s relationship to China a choice between economic subjection and conflict: “Rather than trying to fight the Chinese, we are going to do the same as they do: defend our European sovereignty and produce what we need in Europe.”

In a strange way, Macron’s civilisational dream of Europe’s role in a multipolar world echoes the foreign policy thinking of the two giants of Germany’s interwar Conservative Revolution, Carl Schmitt and Ernst JĂŒnger. Writing from very different perspectives, just as Germany’s bloody attempt to unify the continent began to look doomed, the two friends tried to visualise a new place for Europe in the world. For JĂŒnger, in his long essay “The Peace”, begun in 1941 and secretly circulated amongst the Wehrmacht generals plotting to assassinate the FĂŒhrer he so despised, the historical result of the Second World War would not be a reversion to the pre-war order of squabbling nation states brought about by Versailles, but instead the consolidation of the earth’s continents into great civilisational power blocs: “For the first time, the earth as a globe, as a planet, has become a battlefield, and human history presses on towards a planetary order.”

This was a moment of great danger for Europe, JĂŒnger warned: “Napoleon prophesied that in our day the world would become republican or Cossack. If he had foreseen our situation in detail he would have said ‘American or Russian'”, for “at the moment when Europe raises itself to the status of a continent, the gravitational pull of America will be­come more perceptible”. For JĂŒnger as for Macron, history presented the mother continent with a great and fateful choice: vassalisation at the hands of one of the two great empires, or an autonomous civilisation state.

Instead, for JĂŒnger, Germany’s defeat was also the moment for “Europe’s Declaration of Independence”, a time when “the old frontiers must be broken down by new alliances, and new, greater empires must unite the nations”. Here, JĂŒnger does not sound markedly different to Macron in declaring that “Europe must become a partner in the great empires which are forming on this planet, and are striving towards their final form.”

Indeed, like Macron, the Francophile JĂŒnger believed this should happen under French tutelage, as “for long the spirit of that country has been striving towards greater unity in which its labours too will be crowned”. Like Macron’s summoning of the Napoleonic spirit, JĂŒnger celebrated the previous failed champion of a great continental empire: “For this reason secret shrines in honour of Napoleon have been maintained in all lands — for in that prince the old dream of one great monarchy had seemed to be realised.” No wonder Mitterand, meeting the Right-wing warhorse turned idealistic prophet of European unification in 1984, would remark that “Napoleon would have made you a marshal”.

Never quite rejecting his early Right-wing radicalism, the later JĂŒnger directed it towards a pan-European identity and political Catholicism, and died lauded as a prophet of European unification and the Franco-German alliance. JĂŒnger’s ideal European union indeed prefigures our own, where “there should be uniformity of organisation in what­ever concerns technical matters, industry, commerce, com­munications, trade, weights and measures, and defence”, where “the state as supreme symbol of technical achievement takes the nations in its toils, yet they live in freedom under its protection”. Like his fellow Nietzchean, Macron, who views Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the catalyst to reform Europe into a continent capable of defending itself and preserving its unique civilisation, JĂŒnger observes that: “it is thus that nature fashions shellfish, with a hard, gleaming embossed shell and a delicate interior in which the pearls are hidden. In this differentiation lies the welfare of states and the happiness of individuals.”

JĂŒnger’s vision of a new world order divided into great continental empires reflects the influence of his best friend, the jurist and legal philosopher Carl Schmitt. Unlike JĂŒnger — a fierce and public opponent of Hitler’s regime — Schmitt famously attempted to find a starring role for himself under the National Socialist order, quietly rejecting it only when Germany’s defeat looked certain. It is ironic, and perhaps based on a cursory reading of JĂŒnger’s earlier works, that while JĂŒnger’s reputation is clouded (or among some fans today, enhanced) by his early Right-wing radicalism, Schmitt’s dalliance with the regime whose atrocities created the post-1945 order has only granted his work a certain transgressive glamour, particularly among the Marxist and post-Marxist intellectuals who first revived his thought.

In The Nomos of the Earth (1952), Schmitt observed that the decisive event in world history came at the end of the 16th century, when “the British island detached itself in ideal terms from the destinies of the continent to undertake its own adventure on the seas”. The result was the creation of great seaborne empires, finally culminating in the United States, with the power and will to impose their order on the entire planet, relegating the Europe from the engine of world history to the scene of pitiless and total wars. In detaching itself from the continent, Britain set in train a sequence of events that would lead to Europe’s subordination to Britain’s monstrous child, America.

Yet for Schmitt, in his later writings, there were alternate historical paths on the horizon. As perhaps his most famous modern acolyte, the post-Marxist political theorist Chantal Mouffe, observes, Schmitt looked beyond the bipolar Cold War order he would not outlive to a world where the likely end of bipolarity, American hegemony, would in turn be superseded by “a new global order based on the existence of several autonomous regional blocs”. For Mouffe, a multipolar landscape of civilisational blocs would likely be more stable and pacific than American unilateralism, by dividing the world into distinct but broadly amicable spheres of influence (Ukrainians and Taiwanese, both unwilling members of other empires’ chosen spheres of influence, are unlikely to share her enthusiasm).

A critic of the War on Terror (whose own Schmittian basis has famously been argued by Agamben), Mouffe argued that the potential for world peace brought about by a “a pluralistic world order” is why, “against the illusions of the universalist-humanitarians, it is urgent to listen to Schmitt when he reminds us that ‘the political world is a pluriverse, not a universe’”. Rejecting cosmopolitan idealism, Mouffe argues that we should abandon “the illusory hope for a political unification of the world”. Trying to turn the world into Europe is futile and dangerous: “instead of the vanguard in the unification of the world, the EU should be visualised as a regional pole in this multipolar world”.

In this multipolar order, as JĂŒnger observed of a united Europe acting as the shield of nations, the EU would, “instead of being seen as announcing the end of nation-states, [provide] the conditions for their survival in a globalised world”. The continent’s survival in this post-cosmopolitan order, Mouffe declares, would entail a rejection of the ideology of free trade, which has meant that “an increasing number of vernacular industries have been destroyed, as local producers are unable to compete with cheap imports” from China and other rival powers. Instead, it is necessary to “to defend a Left-wing form of European protectionism”, in which it is essential “to envisage economic development according to a regional perspective”. This vision, of a protectionist, reindustrialised Europe is precisely that now championed by Macron, who recently announced that “we cannot be the last remaining market without an industrial policy”. In the stirring conclusion to his Financial Times essay, he declared that:

“We have to take back control of our supply chains, energy and innovation. We need more factories and fewer dependencies. ‘Made in Europe’ should be our motto. We have no choice, as sovereignty is intertwined with the strength of our democracies… We Europeans can prove that our continent, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, can once again be the home of flourishing industry and shared progress.”

The post-1945 order, in the simplistic folk wisdom that only fully took shape with the fall of the Soviet Union, adopted the comforting myth that the Allied victory in the Second World War, like the Western victory in the Cold War, was a product of superior liberal-democratic forms. Shedding their overseas possessions in the decades following the war, Europeans flattered themselves that the age of empires was over, but that even as their physical power waned, their moral example would still guide the world.

Instead, the consolidation of the world into continental empires was only beginning. Political morality does not come into the picture: Europe’s conquest and post-war division into two rival spheres was simply the product of America and the Soviet Union’s vast industrial output, and the abundant raw materials, derived from ruthless territorial expansion and genocide in the preceding centuries, which enabled them to feed their factories.

Power flows through a million factory chimneys, and both Covid and the war in Ukraine have revealed to Europe’s feckless and misguided rulers how weak our continent has allowed itself to become. But both crises have also finally brought that fragile, complacent boomer, the world born in 1945, to a close: the entire worldview of its political avatar, Angela Merkel, now stands repudiated, even if no fully-formed replacement has yet arrived. First there were two rival empires, then one unchallenged hegemon, and now a series of potential challengers stand on history’s stage. Belatedly, European leaders are realising that unless it can defend itself, and provide for itself, then as Macron warned, “Europe will disappear.”


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Interesting article. Maybe Europe is waking up to the reality of its situation – maybe. I’m pretty sure Germany just shut down its last three nuclear power plants. I’m not seeing the Netherlands back down from its plan to shut down 3,000 farms. And I just read something in UnHerd about the rise of degrowth. So I guess I remain a bit skeptical. IMO the future of Europe and the entire west is predicated on its response to net zero. Rebuilding the economy simply isn’t possible if political leaders don’t dump this ideological tire fire dressed up as economic policy.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Netherlands are not ‘shutting down’ 3,000 farms. Whilst net zero policies will certainly have an economic impact, the affects of climate change will completely redraw the boundaries of Europe and the west, making this article entirely temporary.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Correct me if I’m wrong about this, but I thought the EU just approved a $1.6 billion plan by the Netherlands to buy out Dutch farmers. I will not engage with you about the merits of net zero and the hyperbolic predictions of climate alarmists. You are clearly captured by the ideology and simply wave away logical and well informed arguments. For instance, your inability to show me one single electric grid anywhere in the world run by wind and solar.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Buying them out is not the same as shutting them down, and is being done to reduce intensive pollution. The climate crisis is far from being an ‘ideology’, painting it as such makes a useful sceptic narrative no doubt. But to try and keep this on topic, the point is that Europe as described above, will continue to change drastically in the decades to come and will have to deal with huge numbers of immigrants and conflicts from the impacts of climate change.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It is. They are only offering to buy them out in the hope that the Farmers don’t bring down the Dutch Government or provoke a Nexit. One of the conditions of any sale is that no farmer may then move anywhere else in Europe and start another farm.
Though Macron appears to have had a road to Damascus experience and is calling for the EU to stop piling Green rules upon Green rules and so let Europe survive.
Brexit gave us the chance to progress, but our rulers are basically remainers AND they have wasted the opportunity. How Theresa May was so stupid as to put into law Net Zero commitments is beyond me, though Benn’s bill to tie out negotiators hands behind their back was on a par with that.
We need to get rid of the GreenPlaidSNPLibLabCons because quite frankly they seem to be parties filled with m0r0ns IF they can’t see how QE/Low interest rates/Lockdown/Net Zero are Malthusian projects that will produce the Apocalypse they all so clearly want.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Simple
Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

The cost of net zero is nothing when compared to the cost of climate change impacts.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

The cost of net zero is nothing when compared to the cost of climate change impacts.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Covid, Covid, Covid and erm Covid

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Geez Robbie. They are buying out the farms to shut them down. I didn’t say they are confiscating them. But you know that of course.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The farmers do have the option of complying with the legislation to reduce pollution, which is the whole principle behind it. But I guess you also know that.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

That’s the whole point of the buyouts. It’s not possible to reach 50% reduction by 2030. The farmers know that. The govt knows that. That’s why they are buying them out and shutting them down. Compliance isn’t possible without liquidating herds.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I find it laughable that a solution to “climate change” is the shutting down of farms. What is the percentage of methane production in the Netherlands to world-wide production?
Another example of why Europe will never again be a great power.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I find it laughable that a solution to “climate change” is the shutting down of farms. What is the percentage of methane production in the Netherlands to world-wide production?
Another example of why Europe will never again be a great power.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

That’s the whole point of the buyouts. It’s not possible to reach 50% reduction by 2030. The farmers know that. The govt knows that. That’s why they are buying them out and shutting them down. Compliance isn’t possible without liquidating herds.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The farmers do have the option of complying with the legislation to reduce pollution, which is the whole principle behind it. But I guess you also know that.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It is. They are only offering to buy them out in the hope that the Farmers don’t bring down the Dutch Government or provoke a Nexit. One of the conditions of any sale is that no farmer may then move anywhere else in Europe and start another farm.
Though Macron appears to have had a road to Damascus experience and is calling for the EU to stop piling Green rules upon Green rules and so let Europe survive.
Brexit gave us the chance to progress, but our rulers are basically remainers AND they have wasted the opportunity. How Theresa May was so stupid as to put into law Net Zero commitments is beyond me, though Benn’s bill to tie out negotiators hands behind their back was on a par with that.
We need to get rid of the GreenPlaidSNPLibLabCons because quite frankly they seem to be parties filled with m0r0ns IF they can’t see how QE/Low interest rates/Lockdown/Net Zero are Malthusian projects that will produce the Apocalypse they all so clearly want.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Simple
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Covid, Covid, Covid and erm Covid

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Geez Robbie. They are buying out the farms to shut them down. I didn’t say they are confiscating them. But you know that of course.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Buying them out is not the same as shutting them down, and is being done to reduce intensive pollution. The climate crisis is far from being an ‘ideology’, painting it as such makes a useful sceptic narrative no doubt. But to try and keep this on topic, the point is that Europe as described above, will continue to change drastically in the decades to come and will have to deal with huge numbers of immigrants and conflicts from the impacts of climate change.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Try reading the FIRES report, Net Zero is the end of any civilisation in the countries that try and introduce it in the time scales required. We are ruled by M0r0ns – the graphic on P6 of the report which states that by 2050 for Absolute Net Zero there will be no maritime shipping, no air transport and no fossil fuels is a blue print for mass starvation here in the UK and a return to pre-industrial dark ages. 27 years away! Truly Net Zero is insanity.
I presume you realise the UK is not self-sufficient in food? With 70+ Million population with no maritime shipping, no air travel and no fossil fuels, and only the channel tunnel linking us to a non UK food source how do you think they are going to be fed?
That is apart from the sheer cheek of Climate Scientists who are an even bigger bunch of charlatans than the UK’s SAGE.
As Prof Lovelock basically said when asked why only he of all the Climate Scientists had ‘recanted’ his Climate Alarmism – “I’m an independent scientist, I don’t need grants to survive.”
Follow the money, and Al Gore and Obama’s money poured into beach front properties – sounds like they don’t believe their own ‘sea-level’ story.
https://www.icax.co.uk/pdf/Absolute_Zero_Report.pdf

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

So, you believe that this zero-net policy is excellent. I have yet to see the China, India, Russia, or the Aftrican nation’s next zero policy. This is ludicrous, the Western governments have all significantly cut down on pollution but no other manufacturing countries have, and apparently, aren’t and probably could care less. Yet, the Western countries place no restrictions on their pollution, only ours. Do you seriously believe that this will make the world more pollution free? This is just a money grab by greedy Boomers that rely on suckers to fall for this emotional, feel-good, and virtue-signaling BS while still doing business with these gross polluters. Please step back and do some critical thinking and let’s keep the conversation going.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark epperson

This underscores the true madness of net zero. These delusional diktats from the west will destroy our economies and do nothing to reduce global C02 emissions.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark epperson

So, you believe that this zero-net policy is excellent.

Where did I say that?
The UK’s net zero policy is well intentioned, but completely unrealistic. As you suggest, without global agreement and a distinct move away from economic protectionism there will be no progress. Which is why we’re stuffed basically.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark epperson

This underscores the true madness of net zero. These delusional diktats from the west will destroy our economies and do nothing to reduce global C02 emissions.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark epperson

So, you believe that this zero-net policy is excellent.

Where did I say that?
The UK’s net zero policy is well intentioned, but completely unrealistic. As you suggest, without global agreement and a distinct move away from economic protectionism there will be no progress. Which is why we’re stuffed basically.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

What a load of crap.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Correct me if I’m wrong about this, but I thought the EU just approved a $1.6 billion plan by the Netherlands to buy out Dutch farmers. I will not engage with you about the merits of net zero and the hyperbolic predictions of climate alarmists. You are clearly captured by the ideology and simply wave away logical and well informed arguments. For instance, your inability to show me one single electric grid anywhere in the world run by wind and solar.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Try reading the FIRES report, Net Zero is the end of any civilisation in the countries that try and introduce it in the time scales required. We are ruled by M0r0ns – the graphic on P6 of the report which states that by 2050 for Absolute Net Zero there will be no maritime shipping, no air transport and no fossil fuels is a blue print for mass starvation here in the UK and a return to pre-industrial dark ages. 27 years away! Truly Net Zero is insanity.
I presume you realise the UK is not self-sufficient in food? With 70+ Million population with no maritime shipping, no air travel and no fossil fuels, and only the channel tunnel linking us to a non UK food source how do you think they are going to be fed?
That is apart from the sheer cheek of Climate Scientists who are an even bigger bunch of charlatans than the UK’s SAGE.
As Prof Lovelock basically said when asked why only he of all the Climate Scientists had ‘recanted’ his Climate Alarmism – “I’m an independent scientist, I don’t need grants to survive.”
Follow the money, and Al Gore and Obama’s money poured into beach front properties – sounds like they don’t believe their own ‘sea-level’ story.
https://www.icax.co.uk/pdf/Absolute_Zero_Report.pdf

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

So, you believe that this zero-net policy is excellent. I have yet to see the China, India, Russia, or the Aftrican nation’s next zero policy. This is ludicrous, the Western governments have all significantly cut down on pollution but no other manufacturing countries have, and apparently, aren’t and probably could care less. Yet, the Western countries place no restrictions on their pollution, only ours. Do you seriously believe that this will make the world more pollution free? This is just a money grab by greedy Boomers that rely on suckers to fall for this emotional, feel-good, and virtue-signaling BS while still doing business with these gross polluters. Please step back and do some critical thinking and let’s keep the conversation going.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

What a load of crap.

Paula G
Paula G
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Omg, Europe relies so heavily on Dutch exports. They go down and we will be eating Bill Gates’ bugs.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Paula G

To paraphrse the remark mis-attributed to Marie-Antoinette “Qu’ils mangeant des insectes”.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Paula G

Ha, ha.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Paula G

To paraphrse the remark mis-attributed to Marie-Antoinette “Qu’ils mangeant des insectes”.

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Paula G

Ha, ha.

Paula G
Paula G
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Omg, Europe relies so heavily on Dutch exports. They go down and we will be eating z bugs.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paula G
Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Germany is shutting its nuclear power plants and at the same time it is dismantling a windfarm so that they can mine the brown coal on which the windarm was built. Very symbolic.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago

Germany this winter destroyed any chance of a global effort to decarbonise. They scoured the world for LNG and so priced Pakistan (who’s grid failed) India, Indonesia and the Phillipines to name but 4 states, out of the LNG market. All had been aiming for LNG powered Grids but last winter showed them that Europe/Germany talk a good game but when push comes to shove, won’t back up the rhetoric with de-industrialisation and an actual return to a pre-industrial society and literal dark ages. So all those countries turned to coal and are now planning for coal not LNG. Net Zero is now a EU economic suicide pact. Even Biden isn’t so stupid & signed off ConocoPhillips drilling for oil in Alaska.
If you want some taste of the madness to come (27 years away in the UK) read the FIRES report (see link in an earlier post) AND start reading Doomberg. The Green Chicken talks more sense than the vast majority of Western politicians.

Bernard Stewart
Bernard Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Thanks, excellent post

Bernard Stewart
Bernard Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Thanks, excellent post

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Germany has lost its mind, not for the first time.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago

Germany this winter destroyed any chance of a global effort to decarbonise. They scoured the world for LNG and so priced Pakistan (who’s grid failed) India, Indonesia and the Phillipines to name but 4 states, out of the LNG market. All had been aiming for LNG powered Grids but last winter showed them that Europe/Germany talk a good game but when push comes to shove, won’t back up the rhetoric with de-industrialisation and an actual return to a pre-industrial society and literal dark ages. So all those countries turned to coal and are now planning for coal not LNG. Net Zero is now a EU economic suicide pact. Even Biden isn’t so stupid & signed off ConocoPhillips drilling for oil in Alaska.
If you want some taste of the madness to come (27 years away in the UK) read the FIRES report (see link in an earlier post) AND start reading Doomberg. The Green Chicken talks more sense than the vast majority of Western politicians.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago

Germany has lost its mind, not for the first time.

Phineas Bury
Phineas Bury
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It was Merkel who put Germany in the arms of Russia for energy. Stupid decision to close the nuclear plants. Now we are in the arms of the global warming group thinkers and this Green driven politics is arguably damaging the planet.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Netherlands are not ‘shutting down’ 3,000 farms. Whilst net zero policies will certainly have an economic impact, the affects of climate change will completely redraw the boundaries of Europe and the west, making this article entirely temporary.

Paula G
Paula G
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Omg, Europe relies so heavily on Dutch exports. They go down and we will be eating Bill Gates’ bugs.

Paula G
Paula G
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Omg, Europe relies so heavily on Dutch exports. They go down and we will be eating z bugs.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paula G
Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Germany is shutting its nuclear power plants and at the same time it is dismantling a windfarm so that they can mine the brown coal on which the windarm was built. Very symbolic.

Phineas Bury
Phineas Bury
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

It was Merkel who put Germany in the arms of Russia for energy. Stupid decision to close the nuclear plants. Now we are in the arms of the global warming group thinkers and this Green driven politics is arguably damaging the planet.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Interesting article. Maybe Europe is waking up to the reality of its situation – maybe. I’m pretty sure Germany just shut down its last three nuclear power plants. I’m not seeing the Netherlands back down from its plan to shut down 3,000 farms. And I just read something in UnHerd about the rise of degrowth. So I guess I remain a bit skeptical. IMO the future of Europe and the entire west is predicated on its response to net zero. Rebuilding the economy simply isn’t possible if political leaders don’t dump this ideological tire fire dressed up as economic policy.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago

Good article. Thanks. I could only find one point with which to quibble: “from a cave in the depths of Asia something stirred, which would restart history: Covid”. That should be “laboratory”, not “cave”.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

I find it hard to believe that one of Unherd’s most prominent political columnists genuinely believes, in May 2023, that “Covid” emerged from a cave. Perhaps he has been living in a cave. Or is he is just trying wind people up?

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Maybe he meant Latin “cave“, but forgot to italicise.

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

The bats they got the initial body fluid samples from were in a cave,it’s all explained in “Viral” by Matt Ridley.

Phineas Bury
Phineas Bury
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Seems most likely it was from an animal forbidden to be sold in a market in China

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Maybe he meant Latin “cave“, but forgot to italicise.

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

The bats they got the initial body fluid samples from were in a cave,it’s all explained in “Viral” by Matt Ridley.

Phineas Bury
Phineas Bury
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Seems most likely it was from an animal forbidden to be sold in a market in China

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago

No – strictly speaking it did start in a cave. The human manipulation occurred later. The cave reference does not invalidate further developments.

Last edited 1 year ago by Derek Smith
Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

That’s a bit like saying that a knife murder originated in an iron ore mine. Bats have had corona viruses since time immemorial. Problems occur after low biosecurity labs extract the virus from the bat.

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago

From reading “Viral” I’ve learned that it took A LOT OF WORK to get those bat coronaviruses transmissible. In normal life you could stand in a bat cave for hours like David Attenborough and not pick it up. The poor Chinese miners who had to work in the bat caves only picked it up because they had to shovel the bat shit thus disturbing clouds of dust. The labs in USA and whereever are still working on this animal virus jumping into human idea. They claim that they are creating a range of cures so if a squirrel in the park you’ve been feeding peanuts too passes on to a squirrel virus they will have a test tube of anti-squirrel virus to kill,oops cure you with. They are trying to sell us the idea that contact with animals is dangerous but people love their pets and some people even love wild animals and for hundreds of years people lived in houses warmed by their cows on the ground floor so they might have a hard time convincing us.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

Poetic license sir. You belabor the obvious.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

Zigackly.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

Zigackly.

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago

From reading “Viral” I’ve learned that it took A LOT OF WORK to get those bat coronaviruses transmissible. In normal life you could stand in a bat cave for hours like David Attenborough and not pick it up. The poor Chinese miners who had to work in the bat caves only picked it up because they had to shovel the bat shit thus disturbing clouds of dust. The labs in USA and whereever are still working on this animal virus jumping into human idea. They claim that they are creating a range of cures so if a squirrel in the park you’ve been feeding peanuts too passes on to a squirrel virus they will have a test tube of anti-squirrel virus to kill,oops cure you with. They are trying to sell us the idea that contact with animals is dangerous but people love their pets and some people even love wild animals and for hundreds of years people lived in houses warmed by their cows on the ground floor so they might have a hard time convincing us.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

Poetic license sir. You belabor the obvious.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago
Reply to  Derek Smith

That’s a bit like saying that a knife murder originated in an iron ore mine. Bats have had corona viruses since time immemorial. Problems occur after low biosecurity labs extract the virus from the bat.

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

Stop! It may have occurred ‘naturally’ or it may not, but you cannot say either way for sure and probably never will because the Chinese won’t allow research or release data on the subject. As I understand it the most likely scenario is a natural occurrence but as I say, I, and you, simply don’t know.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

You stop. Yes we do, and many did from the beginning. The gain-of-function manipulation was supervised by Anthony Fauci and paid for by the U.S. It is continuing; currently, researchers are working on aerosolizing Ebola.
Given that we were lied to about everything regarding Covid, people like you clinging to the “we may never know” excuse are infuriating. There was and is no justification for gain-of-function that isn’t monstrous and deliberate. A world-wide crime was committed, and there will be more.

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago

It’s a bio-weapon. Straight out.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
1 year ago
Reply to  jane baker

If so, then from China’s point of view it worked.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
1 year ago
Reply to  jane baker

If so, then from China’s point of view it worked.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

>currently, researchers are working on aerosolizing Ebola
Sounds like a robust form of population control for Africa.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

How else an you describe it

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago

It’s a bio-weapon. Straight out.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago

>currently, researchers are working on aerosolizing Ebola
Sounds like a robust form of population control for Africa.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

How else an you describe it

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

We do know that the virus was engineered because of the spike proteins.
Faucci contracted the research out from the US to China.
We also know that there are research labs in Ukraine presumably funded by Faucci’s NIH.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stoater D
jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

And seems there are bio-labs in Sudan. Why are there bio-labs everywhere USA has an interest.

jane baker
jane baker
1 year ago
Reply to  Stoater D

And seems there are bio-labs in Sudan. Why are there bio-labs everywhere USA has an interest.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

You can. There is more than enough evidence that the Furin Cleavage site was not something even the greatest opponents of the lab leak could stomach as ‘natural’. At the very moment they were telling the world ‘Trump is lying about it escaping a Wuhan lab” – the scientists involved were privately emailing each other saying the Furin Cleavage site suggested otherwise.
Freedom of information requests exposed those emails.
https://nypost.com/2022/01/24/emails-reveal-suspected-covid-leaked-from-a-wuhan-lab-then-censored-themselves/
The leaked report from the Pentagon, dated May 2020 would also appear to prove it and Fauci, with a finger in the Gain of Function research pie, then did everything possible to hide it and cover his tracks.
https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-leaked-pentagon-report-forensically-dismantled-fauci-led-natural-origin-study_5269475.html
https://twitter.com/UsBurning/status/1659279473957814272
Not only that, but the BBC’s hilarious Radio 4 program explaining why when Trump said it escaped from a lab was false news, but when Biden said it, it was real news suggests that even the BBC had doubts. Below isn’t the Radio 4 link however.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-57260009
You might like this, given the failure of the MSM it is increasingly left to odd sources to oppose the ‘mainstream myths’
https://dailysceptic.org/todays-update/
One of the greatest ironies of all this is that the Conspiracy Theorists are being proven right time and time again. Given the massive force against revealing the truth, it is amazing how it is slowly coming out. Quite frankly the vast majority of Western Politicians should have no future in politics given what they did regarding Covid, and the same is true for vast numbers of Government funded scientists.
Very quickly it struck me that despite all the evidence from the Diamond Princess that Covid was NOT the new black death, the response of western Governments, particularly NATO ones suggested that they knew it had leaked from a lab AND that they feared it was a bio-weapon. There is to my mind no other rational explanation (other than an even more conspiratorial one that the Davos crowd saw a chance to push a plan to ‘rule the world’) for the madness that gripped Western Governments.
The next great scandal they are attempting to hide is the performance of the mRNA vaccines.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Simple
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Given the massive force against revealing the truth, it is amazing how it is slowly coming out.

It is testament to the great power the politically-approved mainstream media holds over people’s minds. At one point in the past, I believe Western news media tried its best to be impartial, but now, I grant most news sources the same plausibility as I would Russian or Chinese ones.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Surely the Russian media is more plausible

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Surely the Russian media is more plausible

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Given the massive force against revealing the truth, it is amazing how it is slowly coming out.

It is testament to the great power the politically-approved mainstream media holds over people’s minds. At one point in the past, I believe Western news media tried its best to be impartial, but now, I grant most news sources the same plausibility as I would Russian or Chinese ones.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Why is it you think that the Chinese won’t allow research or release data on the subject. 

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Preponderance of evidence and the “more likely than not” scenario suggests a lab leak as a result of Chinese incompetence. At some point one has to ask, “what is the most likely scenario?”

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

You stop. Yes we do, and many did from the beginning. The gain-of-function manipulation was supervised by Anthony Fauci and paid for by the U.S. It is continuing; currently, researchers are working on aerosolizing Ebola.
Given that we were lied to about everything regarding Covid, people like you clinging to the “we may never know” excuse are infuriating. There was and is no justification for gain-of-function that isn’t monstrous and deliberate. A world-wide crime was committed, and there will be more.

Stoater D
Stoater D
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

We do know that the virus was engineered because of the spike proteins.
Faucci contracted the research out from the US to China.
We also know that there are research labs in Ukraine presumably funded by Faucci’s NIH.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stoater D
Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

You can. There is more than enough evidence that the Furin Cleavage site was not something even the greatest opponents of the lab leak could stomach as ‘natural’. At the very moment they were telling the world ‘Trump is lying about it escaping a Wuhan lab” – the scientists involved were privately emailing each other saying the Furin Cleavage site suggested otherwise.
Freedom of information requests exposed those emails.
https://nypost.com/2022/01/24/emails-reveal-suspected-covid-leaked-from-a-wuhan-lab-then-censored-themselves/
The leaked report from the Pentagon, dated May 2020 would also appear to prove it and Fauci, with a finger in the Gain of Function research pie, then did everything possible to hide it and cover his tracks.
https://www.theepochtimes.com/exclusive-leaked-pentagon-report-forensically-dismantled-fauci-led-natural-origin-study_5269475.html
https://twitter.com/UsBurning/status/1659279473957814272
Not only that, but the BBC’s hilarious Radio 4 program explaining why when Trump said it escaped from a lab was false news, but when Biden said it, it was real news suggests that even the BBC had doubts. Below isn’t the Radio 4 link however.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-57260009
You might like this, given the failure of the MSM it is increasingly left to odd sources to oppose the ‘mainstream myths’
https://dailysceptic.org/todays-update/
One of the greatest ironies of all this is that the Conspiracy Theorists are being proven right time and time again. Given the massive force against revealing the truth, it is amazing how it is slowly coming out. Quite frankly the vast majority of Western Politicians should have no future in politics given what they did regarding Covid, and the same is true for vast numbers of Government funded scientists.
Very quickly it struck me that despite all the evidence from the Diamond Princess that Covid was NOT the new black death, the response of western Governments, particularly NATO ones suggested that they knew it had leaked from a lab AND that they feared it was a bio-weapon. There is to my mind no other rational explanation (other than an even more conspiratorial one that the Davos crowd saw a chance to push a plan to ‘rule the world’) for the madness that gripped Western Governments.
The next great scandal they are attempting to hide is the performance of the mRNA vaccines.

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Simple
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Why is it you think that the Chinese won’t allow research or release data on the subject. 

Michael Layman
Michael Layman
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Preponderance of evidence and the “more likely than not” scenario suggests a lab leak as a result of Chinese incompetence. At some point one has to ask, “what is the most likely scenario?”

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 year ago

I find it hard to believe that one of Unherd’s most prominent political columnists genuinely believes, in May 2023, that “Covid” emerged from a cave. Perhaps he has been living in a cave. Or is he is just trying wind people up?

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
1 year ago

No – strictly speaking it did start in a cave. The human manipulation occurred later. The cave reference does not invalidate further developments.

Last edited 1 year ago by Derek Smith
Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago

Stop! It may have occurred ‘naturally’ or it may not, but you cannot say either way for sure and probably never will because the Chinese won’t allow research or release data on the subject. As I understand it the most likely scenario is a natural occurrence but as I say, I, and you, simply don’t know.

Peter Kwasi-Modo
Peter Kwasi-Modo
1 year ago

Good article. Thanks. I could only find one point with which to quibble: “from a cave in the depths of Asia something stirred, which would restart history: Covid”. That should be “laboratory”, not “cave”.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Not another fantasy article about some supposed multi-polar world the author so desperately needs to believe in.
Europe is in long term secular decline because it has allowed itself to become ever more uncompetitive and is wallowing in its luxury beliefs. Meanwhile, South East Asian countries have taken the best of the European values and put them to work, without adopting the worst (excessive welfare, abandonment of personal responsibility, family breakdown, moral degeneration, …). They study useful subjects at university and train their own citizens to do jobs.
It’s all fixable. But it won’t be.
Anyone imagining that Macron’s vision of a protectionist EU is the answer is in for a disappointment.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

> to become ever more uncompetitive
Under the guise of preaching morality, a certain kind of right winger really intends to start a ‘race to the bottom’. ‘We must compete’ he says. If wages are $2 per day in Bangladesh, then they must be $1.90 per day in America and then all will be well.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

If wages are $2 per day in Bangladesh we do not buy from them or we impose punitive taxes

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Economically illiterate.
We do indeed buy from them where they have a competitive advantage over us. That’s how trade works.
I sense you think trade is a zero sum game. But it isn’t.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

How’s that going with China?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Exactly as I said.
Not sure at all what your point is here.
Obviously, any trading system has to have some common agreed groundrules. The disuputes with China are largely about the groundrules and not principle or value of international trade.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
B Timothy
B Timothy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You will always be underbid by the powers who view controlling supply as a political rather than economic concern.

B Timothy
B Timothy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

You will always be underbid by the powers who view controlling supply as a political rather than economic concern.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Exactly as I said.
Not sure at all what your point is here.
Obviously, any trading system has to have some common agreed groundrules. The disuputes with China are largely about the groundrules and not principle or value of international trade.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

How’s that going with China?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Economically illiterate.
We do indeed buy from them where they have a competitive advantage over us. That’s how trade works.
I sense you think trade is a zero sum game. But it isn’t.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

This is not what I said at all. Entirely your projection. Which would seem to be based on a hugely over-simplified understanding of economics and the world.
For your information, labour is not the only cost input for businesses and high labour costs are not necessarily an impediment to being internationally competitive.
There are many reasons Europe has made itself uncompetitive. Labour costs is sometimes one. But by no means the only one, nor always the largest. Input energy costs are another. As well as many other regulations and government/EU policies.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

If wages are $2 per day in Bangladesh we do not buy from them or we impose punitive taxes

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

This is not what I said at all. Entirely your projection. Which would seem to be based on a hugely over-simplified understanding of economics and the world.
For your information, labour is not the only cost input for businesses and high labour costs are not necessarily an impediment to being internationally competitive.
There are many reasons Europe has made itself uncompetitive. Labour costs is sometimes one. But by no means the only one, nor always the largest. Input energy costs are another. As well as many other regulations and government/EU policies.

B Timothy
B Timothy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Southeast Asian countries are competitive because the Empire protects their sea routes after defeating the previous Empires who ruled over them.
Without that they are largely nothing, aside from Japan and China, who would continue their long struggle for dominance were it not for the currently lording Empire.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

> to become ever more uncompetitive
Under the guise of preaching morality, a certain kind of right winger really intends to start a ‘race to the bottom’. ‘We must compete’ he says. If wages are $2 per day in Bangladesh, then they must be $1.90 per day in America and then all will be well.

B Timothy
B Timothy
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Southeast Asian countries are competitive because the Empire protects their sea routes after defeating the previous Empires who ruled over them.
Without that they are largely nothing, aside from Japan and China, who would continue their long struggle for dominance were it not for the currently lording Empire.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Not another fantasy article about some supposed multi-polar world the author so desperately needs to believe in.
Europe is in long term secular decline because it has allowed itself to become ever more uncompetitive and is wallowing in its luxury beliefs. Meanwhile, South East Asian countries have taken the best of the European values and put them to work, without adopting the worst (excessive welfare, abandonment of personal responsibility, family breakdown, moral degeneration, …). They study useful subjects at university and train their own citizens to do jobs.
It’s all fixable. But it won’t be.
Anyone imagining that Macron’s vision of a protectionist EU is the answer is in for a disappointment.

Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
1 year ago

Just as the imperial pink on old maps belied a level of complexity and local independence that is lost on contemporary minds, today’s map of nation states conversely conceals a complex web of imperial possessions, vassal states, spheres of influence, dependant and independent allies, that have been buried beneath the polite fiction of a world comprised of autonomous freely acting states.

Wherever there exist disparities in power, be that military, technological, economic or resource based, some states will always exercise influence over the others, that’s the inconvenient truth the West and Europe in particular pretended was no longer the case. That this form of history not only never ended but is still with us today, makes liberal progressives recoil in horror but you cannot operate in a world you are unwilling to faithfully represent.

To draw the map of the world, with it’s vulgar power relationship’s on display as they were in the past, would be both an interesting and worthwhile endeavour.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
Matthew Powell
1 year ago

Just as the imperial pink on old maps belied a level of complexity and local independence that is lost on contemporary minds, today’s map of nation states conversely conceals a complex web of imperial possessions, vassal states, spheres of influence, dependant and independent allies, that have been buried beneath the polite fiction of a world comprised of autonomous freely acting states.

Wherever there exist disparities in power, be that military, technological, economic or resource based, some states will always exercise influence over the others, that’s the inconvenient truth the West and Europe in particular pretended was no longer the case. That this form of history not only never ended but is still with us today, makes liberal progressives recoil in horror but you cannot operate in a world you are unwilling to faithfully represent.

To draw the map of the world, with it’s vulgar power relationship’s on display as they were in the past, would be both an interesting and worthwhile endeavour.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matthew Powell
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

Whatever his many failings, I do admire Macron for his efforts to both think through these strategic issues and proselytise his conclusions.

The triviality of the Punch and Judy exchanges in the Commons are a depressing contrast.

Paula G
Paula G
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

We are sending our blood to China via pregnancy tests. I do worry about viruses engineered to kill mostly one ethno type. So, yes, we should all try to keep all sorts of technologies in house. Especially medical.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

That is no no value at all (or rather negative value) if – as many of us believe – his conclusions are wrong and his proposals counte-productive !
Note also how – despite our sometimes chaotic parliament – we’re a couple of decades ahead of France in setting a realistic retirement age.

Paula G
Paula G
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

We are sending our blood to China via pregnancy tests. I do worry about viruses engineered to kill mostly one ethno type. So, yes, we should all try to keep all sorts of technologies in house. Especially medical.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

That is no no value at all (or rather negative value) if – as many of us believe – his conclusions are wrong and his proposals counte-productive !
Note also how – despite our sometimes chaotic parliament – we’re a couple of decades ahead of France in setting a realistic retirement age.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago

Whatever his many failings, I do admire Macron for his efforts to both think through these strategic issues and proselytise his conclusions.

The triviality of the Punch and Judy exchanges in the Commons are a depressing contrast.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago

There are certain views of the world (and of Europe) that pertain to the people who aspire to govern it. But these views are not the same as those of the people who are governed.
The European disease is elective welfare. Every stage in Europe’s (and to a lesser extent the US’) decline can be seen as borrowing from the future to provide welfare to the electorate of today.
Outsourcing manufacturing to China without regard to the long term consequences was just a way to reduce prices and therefore to give the illusion of prosperity. Same with low interest rates. Same with student debt. Same with public sector pensions.
Europe is not creating a multi-polar world. That is just a fiction to massage presidential egos. It is spending itself into oblivion.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Sorta like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, no? Except that … na, wrong metaphor. Like a farmer eating his seed grain. For a while he will never have had it better — unlimited food and no need to work — let the Chinese work, we don’t need to. The banksters and the moneyists have their Wall Street and their City (of London) and the wealth rolls in. The farmer not only eats his seed grain, he sells much of it, too — profits have never been better.
But then the grain is gone. The social capital built up over hundreds of years is spent. The bridges start falling down, the roads are impassable. Real standards of living fall — for the ordinary people! But the plutocrats just raise the rent — their incomes continue to increase. And for them, that’s all that matters.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

Exactly so. It is a modern Tragedy of the Commons.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Ray Andrews

Exactly so. It is a modern Tragedy of the Commons.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Indeed. The only thing obscuring our poverty is that nearly all other economies are printing money as fast or faster. It is only when you travel to Norway or Switzerland that the depth of our relative poverty becomes clear.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

There is no other way to look at it once you remove the rose tinted specs

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Superb comment.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Sorta like killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, no? Except that … na, wrong metaphor. Like a farmer eating his seed grain. For a while he will never have had it better — unlimited food and no need to work — let the Chinese work, we don’t need to. The banksters and the moneyists have their Wall Street and their City (of London) and the wealth rolls in. The farmer not only eats his seed grain, he sells much of it, too — profits have never been better.
But then the grain is gone. The social capital built up over hundreds of years is spent. The bridges start falling down, the roads are impassable. Real standards of living fall — for the ordinary people! But the plutocrats just raise the rent — their incomes continue to increase. And for them, that’s all that matters.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Indeed. The only thing obscuring our poverty is that nearly all other economies are printing money as fast or faster. It is only when you travel to Norway or Switzerland that the depth of our relative poverty becomes clear.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

There is no other way to look at it once you remove the rose tinted specs

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel Taylor

Superb comment.

Rachel Taylor
Rachel Taylor
1 year ago

There are certain views of the world (and of Europe) that pertain to the people who aspire to govern it. But these views are not the same as those of the people who are governed.
The European disease is elective welfare. Every stage in Europe’s (and to a lesser extent the US’) decline can be seen as borrowing from the future to provide welfare to the electorate of today.
Outsourcing manufacturing to China without regard to the long term consequences was just a way to reduce prices and therefore to give the illusion of prosperity. Same with low interest rates. Same with student debt. Same with public sector pensions.
Europe is not creating a multi-polar world. That is just a fiction to massage presidential egos. It is spending itself into oblivion.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

“Power politics was a barbarous relic of a rejected past; the world was destined to move towards harmonious free trade, in which Europe’s hard-won moral clarity would guide lesser civilisations, still trapped in history, towards the light.”
When all other arguments fail, EU apologists always fall back on describing the EU as a “Peace Project,” trying to elide this corporatist bureaucratic regime with nebulous concepts like unity and cooperation. As “proof” of their success as an agent for peace they point to 75 years without intra-European warfare – (though the peoples of the former Yugoslavia might have a word or two to say on that) EU leaders love nothing more than to pretend the EU has brought and maintained peace in Europe, as though NATO was merely a figment of our imagination.

Over the last half century most European nations achieved a level of prosperity and interconnectedness which reduced the likelihood of armed conflict. But, far from being the peacekeeper, I fear that the EU, in its current guise, is fostering the climate that could lead to worsening relations between member states. Beggaring thy neighbour is not how to keep peace between countries, yet that is precisely what the North/South split in the eurozone is doing – with potentially dangerous outcomes. Given that EU nations are in no way “equal” players in the project I would go so far as to suggest that what peace we have seen in Europe is increasingly DESPITE the EU not because of it. Looking ahead, I’d argue that when it comes to threats that might lead to Europe fragmenting into potentially hostile confrontation, it is precisely those economic policies that bankrupt certain member nations while enriching others that is the most dangerous catalyst.
 
“Timid, comfortable, fearful of change and obsessed with petty rules and regulations, once Europe reached middle age with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was happy to observe a changing world tutting from behind its net curtains, the parish council Nimby of continents. “
European leaders are determined to be seen to be power players on the world stage –  none more so than the delusional Emmanuel Macron.  His first –  much vaunted, yet humiliating – summit in Moscow, forced to sit a mile and a half away from Uncle Vlad at the other end of that ludicrous ‘despot-chic’ table, he tried to suggest he’d scored an important diplomatic victory, practically waving a piece of paper and declaring “Paix dans notre temps!” just as Russian tanks started rolling across the border in Ukraine.
“Nouvelle Chamberlain” seemingly learned nothing from his repeated attempts at appeasement of Putin, and more recently jetted off to try some Xi simping. Such behaviour does not go unnoticed.
Macron, thanks to his delusions of French grandeur, has scored a massive own-Gaulle – proving, once again, that France cannot be trusted as an ally.
Germany’s dependence of Russian energy stopped them playing their part, Merkel, having grown up in the Communist East, practically held the door open for Putin. None of this should come as any surprise – indeed I wrote the following on the Guardian comments page back in 2016:
” ….. It is also worth remembering, in the face of a resurgent Russia, that in all its dealings with Putin the EU is severely compromised by its dependence on Russian gas and oil and the consequent fact that the EU can be held to ransom far more effectively by him than the EU could ever affect the Kremlin through trade sanctions. Putin will use that dependence as a crowbar to prize former satellite states apart from their new European “allies” ….. “
The Baltic and Accession states have their own agenda and look to their own national interests – unsurprisingly, given their treatment by their “allies” in western Europe
And when it comes to facing up to China – The UK and most European states are completely in thrall to Chinese money. What price European solidarity? Well the Chinese know the price to undermine it and are more than willing to pay it.
Our political parties, our cultural institutions, our universities and our media, have all sought to benefit from a relationship with China – yet few seem to question what they expect in return.
The EU issued warnings against any member nation getting “gently ensnared” by BRI – China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the massive global infrastructure program that will trap signatories in unsustainable debt and thus give Beijing crushing leverage and influence over them.
For all the united face the EU (laughably) presents to the world: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia all signed up to the BRI. And most recently the Italians, with their desperate economy, have also signed, in the hope they may see some crumbs fall from Beijing’s table.
If you can influence our political institutions, our educational establishments and our business leaders – not to mention our media –  then you can tell whatever story you want. As ever, China plays the long game, and plays it well.
But then our liberal media bleats about China’s (or Russia’s) unhealthy influence and designs on the West right alongside editorials that repeatedly refuse to support any Western counterweight to it.
They recognise the danger but cravenly appease them – just to avoid appearing belligerent – imagining that if we don’t poke the bear, or pull the dragon’s tail, then maybe they won’t eat us!!
Well, we’re on the menu now.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Unfair to Chamberlain I thought

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“Timeo Sinos et dona ferentes” as Laocoön might have said, via Virgil.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago

What a solecism! ‘Sinus’ meaning Chinese is not attested in Classical Latin at all.
Vergil refers to ‘Seres’ at Georgics, II, 121:

Uelleraque ut foliis depectant tennuia Seres

Which Dryden translates:

And how the Seres spin
Their fleecy Forests in a slender Twine.

Apposite quote, though, if you’d got it right.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

Specially poignant if you glance at Dryden’s dedication to his translation of the Georgics.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

I stand corrected, thank you Sir!

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

Specially poignant if you glance at Dryden’s dedication to his translation of the Georgics.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

I stand corrected, thank you Sir!

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago

What a solecism! ‘Sinus’ meaning Chinese is not attested in Classical Latin at all.
Vergil refers to ‘Seres’ at Georgics, II, 121:

Uelleraque ut foliis depectant tennuia Seres

Which Dryden translates:

And how the Seres spin
Their fleecy Forests in a slender Twine.

Apposite quote, though, if you’d got it right.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Unfair to Chamberlain I thought

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“Timeo Sinos et dona ferentes” as Laocoön might have said, via Virgil.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

“Power politics was a barbarous relic of a rejected past; the world was destined to move towards harmonious free trade, in which Europe’s hard-won moral clarity would guide lesser civilisations, still trapped in history, towards the light.”
When all other arguments fail, EU apologists always fall back on describing the EU as a “Peace Project,” trying to elide this corporatist bureaucratic regime with nebulous concepts like unity and cooperation. As “proof” of their success as an agent for peace they point to 75 years without intra-European warfare – (though the peoples of the former Yugoslavia might have a word or two to say on that) EU leaders love nothing more than to pretend the EU has brought and maintained peace in Europe, as though NATO was merely a figment of our imagination.

Over the last half century most European nations achieved a level of prosperity and interconnectedness which reduced the likelihood of armed conflict. But, far from being the peacekeeper, I fear that the EU, in its current guise, is fostering the climate that could lead to worsening relations between member states. Beggaring thy neighbour is not how to keep peace between countries, yet that is precisely what the North/South split in the eurozone is doing – with potentially dangerous outcomes. Given that EU nations are in no way “equal” players in the project I would go so far as to suggest that what peace we have seen in Europe is increasingly DESPITE the EU not because of it. Looking ahead, I’d argue that when it comes to threats that might lead to Europe fragmenting into potentially hostile confrontation, it is precisely those economic policies that bankrupt certain member nations while enriching others that is the most dangerous catalyst.
 
“Timid, comfortable, fearful of change and obsessed with petty rules and regulations, once Europe reached middle age with the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was happy to observe a changing world tutting from behind its net curtains, the parish council Nimby of continents. “
European leaders are determined to be seen to be power players on the world stage –  none more so than the delusional Emmanuel Macron.  His first –  much vaunted, yet humiliating – summit in Moscow, forced to sit a mile and a half away from Uncle Vlad at the other end of that ludicrous ‘despot-chic’ table, he tried to suggest he’d scored an important diplomatic victory, practically waving a piece of paper and declaring “Paix dans notre temps!” just as Russian tanks started rolling across the border in Ukraine.
“Nouvelle Chamberlain” seemingly learned nothing from his repeated attempts at appeasement of Putin, and more recently jetted off to try some Xi simping. Such behaviour does not go unnoticed.
Macron, thanks to his delusions of French grandeur, has scored a massive own-Gaulle – proving, once again, that France cannot be trusted as an ally.
Germany’s dependence of Russian energy stopped them playing their part, Merkel, having grown up in the Communist East, practically held the door open for Putin. None of this should come as any surprise – indeed I wrote the following on the Guardian comments page back in 2016:
” ….. It is also worth remembering, in the face of a resurgent Russia, that in all its dealings with Putin the EU is severely compromised by its dependence on Russian gas and oil and the consequent fact that the EU can be held to ransom far more effectively by him than the EU could ever affect the Kremlin through trade sanctions. Putin will use that dependence as a crowbar to prize former satellite states apart from their new European “allies” ….. “
The Baltic and Accession states have their own agenda and look to their own national interests – unsurprisingly, given their treatment by their “allies” in western Europe
And when it comes to facing up to China – The UK and most European states are completely in thrall to Chinese money. What price European solidarity? Well the Chinese know the price to undermine it and are more than willing to pay it.
Our political parties, our cultural institutions, our universities and our media, have all sought to benefit from a relationship with China – yet few seem to question what they expect in return.
The EU issued warnings against any member nation getting “gently ensnared” by BRI – China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the massive global infrastructure program that will trap signatories in unsustainable debt and thus give Beijing crushing leverage and influence over them.
For all the united face the EU (laughably) presents to the world: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia all signed up to the BRI. And most recently the Italians, with their desperate economy, have also signed, in the hope they may see some crumbs fall from Beijing’s table.
If you can influence our political institutions, our educational establishments and our business leaders – not to mention our media –  then you can tell whatever story you want. As ever, China plays the long game, and plays it well.
But then our liberal media bleats about China’s (or Russia’s) unhealthy influence and designs on the West right alongside editorials that repeatedly refuse to support any Western counterweight to it.
They recognise the danger but cravenly appease them – just to avoid appearing belligerent – imagining that if we don’t poke the bear, or pull the dragon’s tail, then maybe they won’t eat us!!
Well, we’re on the menu now.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“…their moral example would still guide the world.”
And they still think so. God knows why.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

“…their moral example would still guide the world.”
And they still think so. God knows why.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago

A sadly wilted and bland word salad – if any got anything from it please sum it up in comments below.

These past their use-by date, wack-job political philosophers, the writer quotes haven’t a clue…. The fact is the globe is owned and run by the Lizard People who collude to destroy the world as it always has been. They replace it with Neo-Feudalism, Population Reduction, AI, and Trans-humanism.

A new Paradigm exists, a hybrid of Orwell’s ‘1984’, and CS Lewis’s ‘That Hideous Strength’. INGSOC is the language of the MSM, the Social Media, the State Broadcasters, the Education and Entertainment Industries – it is the native tung of the Deep State who serve our Masters.

Covid, mRNA, Biden, the Ukraine WWIII, these are entirely intentional mechanisms to destroy the wealth, pensions, savings, mental health, of the Upper Middle Class, Middle Class and Working Class so that all become Clients of The State, and so Owned, and likely genocided along with about half the world in the coming Great Reset…haha

So all the above is pointless – a entirely new Nightmare has begun – not Kinetic World Wars they knew – but 5th Generation World Wars, social credit scores, CBDCs, chat GPT takes the jobs – and what these guys say is of no ‘Pith and Moment’ now – (as Hamlet describes the great dilemma); that stuff is past. The fate of the world is decided on the internet now, wars are fought by controlling information. Your cell phone is your truth now – and it is all lies…haha

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
1 year ago

A sadly wilted and bland word salad – if any got anything from it please sum it up in comments below.

These past their use-by date, wack-job political philosophers, the writer quotes haven’t a clue…. The fact is the globe is owned and run by the Lizard People who collude to destroy the world as it always has been. They replace it with Neo-Feudalism, Population Reduction, AI, and Trans-humanism.

A new Paradigm exists, a hybrid of Orwell’s ‘1984’, and CS Lewis’s ‘That Hideous Strength’. INGSOC is the language of the MSM, the Social Media, the State Broadcasters, the Education and Entertainment Industries – it is the native tung of the Deep State who serve our Masters.

Covid, mRNA, Biden, the Ukraine WWIII, these are entirely intentional mechanisms to destroy the wealth, pensions, savings, mental health, of the Upper Middle Class, Middle Class and Working Class so that all become Clients of The State, and so Owned, and likely genocided along with about half the world in the coming Great Reset…haha

So all the above is pointless – a entirely new Nightmare has begun – not Kinetic World Wars they knew – but 5th Generation World Wars, social credit scores, CBDCs, chat GPT takes the jobs – and what these guys say is of no ‘Pith and Moment’ now – (as Hamlet describes the great dilemma); that stuff is past. The fate of the world is decided on the internet now, wars are fought by controlling information. Your cell phone is your truth now – and it is all lies…haha

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago

‘We Europeans can prove that our continent, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution…’
Stop trying to steal our fire, Macron

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

I liked that too. An hilarious rewriting of history!

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Josh Allan

I liked that too. An hilarious rewriting of history!

Josh Allan
Josh Allan
1 year ago

‘We Europeans can prove that our continent, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution…’
Stop trying to steal our fire, Macron

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

Okay, please take note Unherd authors. This is exactly the kind of thought piece that I came to Unherd to read. Good job Aris!

Steve White
Steve White
1 year ago

Okay, please take note Unherd authors. This is exactly the kind of thought piece that I came to Unherd to read. Good job Aris!

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Macron is no more capable of ruling Europe than Napoleon ultimately was. In fact far less so. Europe will not be a world power until France and Germany accept that the rest of the continent are not their satellite states.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Macron is no more capable of ruling Europe than Napoleon ultimately was. In fact far less so. Europe will not be a world power until France and Germany accept that the rest of the continent are not their satellite states.

Roxanne Deslongchamps
Roxanne Deslongchamps
1 year ago

“Europe is a boomer, prone as many boomers are to comforting and self-aggrandising myths as it slouches towards death.” That’s fairly hostile. Boomers had huge dreams of freedom and fraternity. The next generations destroyed those dreams because they wanted ‘stuff’. Cheap travel. Perpetual adolescence as digital nomads. An idyllic life on the backs of the Native populations. As we slouch towards death – how inhuman you are – you all will have to step up. I don’t see you succeeding at all. No discipline, no solidarity beyond your own well-being and your core unit’s – partner & children – no solid identity but a laughable ‘gender fluidity’… I’m glad I won’t be there to witness the chaos.

Roxanne Deslongchamps
Roxanne Deslongchamps
1 year ago

“Europe is a boomer, prone as many boomers are to comforting and self-aggrandising myths as it slouches towards death.” That’s fairly hostile. Boomers had huge dreams of freedom and fraternity. The next generations destroyed those dreams because they wanted ‘stuff’. Cheap travel. Perpetual adolescence as digital nomads. An idyllic life on the backs of the Native populations. As we slouch towards death – how inhuman you are – you all will have to step up. I don’t see you succeeding at all. No discipline, no solidarity beyond your own well-being and your core unit’s – partner & children – no solid identity but a laughable ‘gender fluidity’… I’m glad I won’t be there to witness the chaos.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

One of the reasons why Brexit got over the line was the recoil many within what might be regarded as the Establishment felt was a desire by the EU to move towards a policy of unified armed forces, under the command of Brussels.

This article, and Macron’s piece for the FT suggests firstly, that’s possibly more likely now the UK can no longer put a spoke in that particular wheel; and secondly, raises the question of the UK’s participation in a European defensive alliance – as opposed to one run entirely from within the EU.

Geography matters, obviously. The UK would be just as much a partner in a potential European power bloc, within or without the EU and i’d suggest the likelihood of it coming to some kind of fruition in a post-Ukraine reset more likely since the shudder our generals might’ve felt at being subsumed and controlled by the EU bureaucracy has subsided.

Independence may just lead to a greater sense of interdependence. Within a marriage, both partners benefit from having a sense of self rather than one becoming chattel. Brexit may prove to be a boon to the revitalisation of a European identity, with self-protection the driving force.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

No wonder thousands of young enthusiastic blue flag-waving British zealots took to the streets, angry that their right to be conscripted into an EU army had been ripped out of their hands by a bunch of English gammons, who were too old to serve the New Order!
Seriously though – as Martin Bollis has commented above – I also find Macron’s thoughts on the future of EU/Europe of interest. He does seem to be the one person with his eye on the ball.
But never mind British generals shuddering, the mainland front line nations of Poland, Hungary etc would simply have nothing to do with a Brussels lifer desk jockey in charge of defence, or VDL type failed in Franco-German mainstream politics, wetter than a frog in flippers. And what is crystal clear now is that nothing remotely useful is possible without the Visegrad partners.
I do agree with the rest of what you say in paragraphs 3 and 4. But the EU in it’s current form simply isn’t fit for that future purpose. And whilst I think it needs to move an almost unimaginable distance away from how it is currently constituted to provide such leadership, I sense the tectonic plates might soon shift fast enough to force that change, probably the first time in a generation. I hope UK is wise enough to play it’s role when the chance comes.
After all, heard anyone talking about EU federalisation recently? They’ve had nearly 7 years to do it whilst the awkward squad were on the way out of the door. Nope, me neither.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Steve,
It might be worth revisiting the one occasion when the EU decided they could militarily intervene without US assistance.
As tensions in the former Yugoslavia became apparent, in a rather typical bit of over-reach and self-aggrandisement, the EU decided it would step in – and grandly announced it didn’t require NATO. The then Chairman of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, in 1991, proclaimed that this was â€œthe hour of Europe, not the hour of the Americans – if one problem can be solved by the Europeans, it is the Yugoslav problem.”
If one had to point to an episode that showed the gross ineptitude of EU military/peacekeeping efforts then their handling of the Balkans crisis would be it. It is now taught in military and political academies worldwide as a case study in how not to manage such a conflict. (https://assets.publishing.s
The EU insisted they would solve the problem to show that they were now a player on the world stage, the Americans were delighted not to get embroiled in another European engagement due to public sentiment at home and happily stepped back to allow the EU to resolve the conflict. And this, through their lack of any integrated command structure or defined policy, then paved the way for the Balkans crisis and the genocide (who honestly thinks the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ in any way sanitised the act) of 150, 000 people and the displacement and misery of untold others.
Brussels similarly bungled in Kosovo in 1999, then again with Ukraine, blustering and making threatening noises which forced the aggressive but painfully thin-skinned Putin to act decisively to avoid losing face domestically.
I was no great Trump supporter but when it comes to NATO and the defence of Europe he rather had a point. The EU may wish to have its own army and its own nuclear shield, but it’s pure fantasy – and makes the US and UK’s nuclear capability, and the cover they offer the rest of Europe – through NATO – more important than ever, much as Macron wants to kid himself. (Who, in any European country, would look to France to act in solidarity if a “lesser” member state was threatened, rather than act in its own self-interest?) Given how the EU relies on the US to protect them, it seems rather self-defeating how often EU leaders denigrated the grudge-bearer-in-chief, Trump – and NATO (by refusing to pay anything like their fair share).
Did it never occur to the leaders of European NATO member states that if you keep insulting the man under whose umbrella you’re sheltering, you shouldn’t be too surprised if he walks off leaving you at the mercy of the weather?
Trump may not have abandoned Europe, but it would seem – given his refusal to inform NATO allies of his plans for Afghanistan, or to include them in his Ukraine discussions – that Sleepy Joe Bedtime does not view any EU nation (individually or as a bloc) as an ally worthy of note.
One of the great lies told of Brexit was that it would please Putin – but if Ursula von der Leyen and others get their way and manage to field an EU army then it would be all of Putin’s Christmases come at once. Anything that undermines or destabilises NATO would be playing right into his hands.
The solution to the West’s collective defence strategy is unchanged – as Trump, all his predecessors and anyone with their eyes open, has long recognised. Leaders of European nations need to divvy up and pay their fair share to support NATO. Instead they seem to prefer the self-aggrandising pomp of forming “their own” EU army. If a Euro Army ever came into being, we already know what Brussels’ common defence policy priorities are – we’ve seen the paperwork and budgets. Spending billions to build a shiny new headquarters, to house yet more wretched bureaucrats, and with all the strategic effectiveness of the Maginot line.
Perhaps I’m being cynical but I have the suspicion that an EU army is just another item on the checklist so that Brussels can bolster its imperial pretensions – but not a real, effective fighting force, so much as a vanity project, a decorative show of pomp – decked out in suitably gaudy, faux-Prussian dress uniforms to parade outside the institution’s buildings with as much grandeur and ceremony as possible – to allow the preening panjandrums of the Berlaymont to feel even more self-important (if such a thing were possible).
The apparatchiks of the EU were the first to bleat and moan about AUKUS, as a new anglophone strategic axis, but once again it was their arrogance and intransigence that brought us to it.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Great comment. Should be written up as an UnHerd article.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Great comment. Should be written up as an UnHerd article.

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

No wonder thousands of young enthusiastic blue flag-waving British zealots took to the streets, angry that their right to be conscripted into an EU army had been ripped out of their hands by a bunch of English gammons, who were too old to serve the New Order!
Seriously though – as Martin Bollis has commented above – I also find Macron’s thoughts on the future of EU/Europe of interest. He does seem to be the one person with his eye on the ball.
But never mind British generals shuddering, the mainland front line nations of Poland, Hungary etc would simply have nothing to do with a Brussels lifer desk jockey in charge of defence, or VDL type failed in Franco-German mainstream politics, wetter than a frog in flippers. And what is crystal clear now is that nothing remotely useful is possible without the Visegrad partners.
I do agree with the rest of what you say in paragraphs 3 and 4. But the EU in it’s current form simply isn’t fit for that future purpose. And whilst I think it needs to move an almost unimaginable distance away from how it is currently constituted to provide such leadership, I sense the tectonic plates might soon shift fast enough to force that change, probably the first time in a generation. I hope UK is wise enough to play it’s role when the chance comes.
After all, heard anyone talking about EU federalisation recently? They’ve had nearly 7 years to do it whilst the awkward squad were on the way out of the door. Nope, me neither.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Steve,
It might be worth revisiting the one occasion when the EU decided they could militarily intervene without US assistance.
As tensions in the former Yugoslavia became apparent, in a rather typical bit of over-reach and self-aggrandisement, the EU decided it would step in – and grandly announced it didn’t require NATO. The then Chairman of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, in 1991, proclaimed that this was â€œthe hour of Europe, not the hour of the Americans – if one problem can be solved by the Europeans, it is the Yugoslav problem.”
If one had to point to an episode that showed the gross ineptitude of EU military/peacekeeping efforts then their handling of the Balkans crisis would be it. It is now taught in military and political academies worldwide as a case study in how not to manage such a conflict. (https://assets.publishing.s
The EU insisted they would solve the problem to show that they were now a player on the world stage, the Americans were delighted not to get embroiled in another European engagement due to public sentiment at home and happily stepped back to allow the EU to resolve the conflict. And this, through their lack of any integrated command structure or defined policy, then paved the way for the Balkans crisis and the genocide (who honestly thinks the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ in any way sanitised the act) of 150, 000 people and the displacement and misery of untold others.
Brussels similarly bungled in Kosovo in 1999, then again with Ukraine, blustering and making threatening noises which forced the aggressive but painfully thin-skinned Putin to act decisively to avoid losing face domestically.
I was no great Trump supporter but when it comes to NATO and the defence of Europe he rather had a point. The EU may wish to have its own army and its own nuclear shield, but it’s pure fantasy – and makes the US and UK’s nuclear capability, and the cover they offer the rest of Europe – through NATO – more important than ever, much as Macron wants to kid himself. (Who, in any European country, would look to France to act in solidarity if a “lesser” member state was threatened, rather than act in its own self-interest?) Given how the EU relies on the US to protect them, it seems rather self-defeating how often EU leaders denigrated the grudge-bearer-in-chief, Trump – and NATO (by refusing to pay anything like their fair share).
Did it never occur to the leaders of European NATO member states that if you keep insulting the man under whose umbrella you’re sheltering, you shouldn’t be too surprised if he walks off leaving you at the mercy of the weather?
Trump may not have abandoned Europe, but it would seem – given his refusal to inform NATO allies of his plans for Afghanistan, or to include them in his Ukraine discussions – that Sleepy Joe Bedtime does not view any EU nation (individually or as a bloc) as an ally worthy of note.
One of the great lies told of Brexit was that it would please Putin – but if Ursula von der Leyen and others get their way and manage to field an EU army then it would be all of Putin’s Christmases come at once. Anything that undermines or destabilises NATO would be playing right into his hands.
The solution to the West’s collective defence strategy is unchanged – as Trump, all his predecessors and anyone with their eyes open, has long recognised. Leaders of European nations need to divvy up and pay their fair share to support NATO. Instead they seem to prefer the self-aggrandising pomp of forming “their own” EU army. If a Euro Army ever came into being, we already know what Brussels’ common defence policy priorities are – we’ve seen the paperwork and budgets. Spending billions to build a shiny new headquarters, to house yet more wretched bureaucrats, and with all the strategic effectiveness of the Maginot line.
Perhaps I’m being cynical but I have the suspicion that an EU army is just another item on the checklist so that Brussels can bolster its imperial pretensions – but not a real, effective fighting force, so much as a vanity project, a decorative show of pomp – decked out in suitably gaudy, faux-Prussian dress uniforms to parade outside the institution’s buildings with as much grandeur and ceremony as possible – to allow the preening panjandrums of the Berlaymont to feel even more self-important (if such a thing were possible).
The apparatchiks of the EU were the first to bleat and moan about AUKUS, as a new anglophone strategic axis, but once again it was their arrogance and intransigence that brought us to it.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

One of the reasons why Brexit got over the line was the recoil many within what might be regarded as the Establishment felt was a desire by the EU to move towards a policy of unified armed forces, under the command of Brussels.

This article, and Macron’s piece for the FT suggests firstly, that’s possibly more likely now the UK can no longer put a spoke in that particular wheel; and secondly, raises the question of the UK’s participation in a European defensive alliance – as opposed to one run entirely from within the EU.

Geography matters, obviously. The UK would be just as much a partner in a potential European power bloc, within or without the EU and i’d suggest the likelihood of it coming to some kind of fruition in a post-Ukraine reset more likely since the shudder our generals might’ve felt at being subsumed and controlled by the EU bureaucracy has subsided.

Independence may just lead to a greater sense of interdependence. Within a marriage, both partners benefit from having a sense of self rather than one becoming chattel. Brexit may prove to be a boon to the revitalisation of a European identity, with self-protection the driving force.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Not so sure the premise of the Article holds. And certainly given the desire of millions to come and make their lives in Europe we have a core others cherish familiarity may blind us to.
Machiavelli famously said if you don’t have an enemy create one. It’ll make you more alert, effective and you’ll be able to avoid a lot of dangerous situations if you accept that there will be some enemies and you need to be watchful of them. Maybe the last few years this lesson has been restimulated and Europe and N. America reawakening. That enemy now has us on our toes and we are better for that.
The recent growth of democracy and rule of law, with it’s DNA sourced in Europe and North America, remains one of the greatest drivers of human development ever. It is true that in the last decade the upward trend has hit some serious bumps with electoral autocracies outpacing liberal democracy growth. But the underlying desire remain strong. The arc of the moral universe bends to justice as someone perhaps as famous as Niccolo once said. In representing this, and demonstrating how it continues to offer it’s people a better life than in so many other places in the World Europe continues to radiate light that gives it a strength and attraction for the world’s best.
More parochially it has challenges – UnHerd perhaps over fixates on more extremes of Woke, but also the extremes of Anti-Woke who lack perspective and confidence in the ability of open societies to debate and adjust peacefully. It’ll have challenges in a quickening pace in misinformation fuelled by AI and malign actors. But it remains better placed, alongside North America, to handle these challenges than anywhere else in the World.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I like the optimism here but saying that the recent bumps only involve ‘electoral autocracies outpacing liberal democracy growth’ I’m not so sure about. Where can we say liberal democracy is actually growing? In the UK 54% of people (according to Jonathan Sumption) now want a strongman leader instead of a democracy and the pictire is similar everywhere else as far as I know..

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I simply don’t believe that 54% claim.
Britain doesn’t do “strongman leaders”. Arguably haven’t had one since Cromwell.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

A bit depends on how one counts like of India, Turkey and even Venezuela – if you group them in electoral autocracies then we’ve gone backwards, but the more liberal ‘pull’ remains strong. Erdogan may win in Turkey, but only just.
I’m not convinced by the strongman idea – in some regards Bojo was the personification of the UK populist and majority couldn’t give a fig if he prorogued Parliament or misled the Queen. But on results he turned out to be atrocious and a liar to boot. Fact there is already a majority who’d be fine with someone boring like Starmer (that majority may get split between Lab/Lib, but you get the point) shows the British people never really go for the strongman nonsense, although we can vent exasperation that might give impression otherwise. Moderation remains our default.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Thanks for this! I hope you’re right..

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

No way Boris Johnson was a strongman. Part of his appeal was that he didn’t take himself too seriously. We simply couldn’t take a strongman seriously in this country. For all his many faults, he did at least understand that politicians don’t need to be perfect – and certainly should not pretend to be.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Thanks for this! I hope you’re right..

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

No way Boris Johnson was a strongman. Part of his appeal was that he didn’t take himself too seriously. We simply couldn’t take a strongman seriously in this country. For all his many faults, he did at least understand that politicians don’t need to be perfect – and certainly should not pretend to be.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

I simply don’t believe that 54% claim.
Britain doesn’t do “strongman leaders”. Arguably haven’t had one since Cromwell.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

A bit depends on how one counts like of India, Turkey and even Venezuela – if you group them in electoral autocracies then we’ve gone backwards, but the more liberal ‘pull’ remains strong. Erdogan may win in Turkey, but only just.
I’m not convinced by the strongman idea – in some regards Bojo was the personification of the UK populist and majority couldn’t give a fig if he prorogued Parliament or misled the Queen. But on results he turned out to be atrocious and a liar to boot. Fact there is already a majority who’d be fine with someone boring like Starmer (that majority may get split between Lab/Lib, but you get the point) shows the British people never really go for the strongman nonsense, although we can vent exasperation that might give impression otherwise. Moderation remains our default.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Technocracy is not liberal democracy, the decline began 30 years ago with the fall of the Soviet Union when our elected bodies began governing for themselves and not its citizens.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The problem is that in the US in particular many who came to the West as children are now pointing out that the very conditions they sought to escape are being enacted and pushed there, and the destination is likely to be a state/society similar to those they left.
Though I personally suspect that once reality starts to hit the ordinary people, they will push back seriously hard.
Dutch Farmers, Danish Truckers, Gilet Jaunes, Canadian Truckers – are perhaps only the beginning. Germany and Italy have both caused the EU to row back on the banishing of ICE vehicles. Italy is demanding that the insect protein adulterated flours the EU permits are clearly labelled.
Then in the UK the London response to Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and the ULEZ are perhaps the start of a UK rebellion as the consequences of Net Zero become clear.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

And you think differences only recently started? The strength of the West is we have these differences, of which the ones you list are just the latest and arguably quite parochial, but a system where they generally get worked through peacefully. Debate can be pretty intense, even occasional direct action but beyond that…
When folks start leaving the US, or Europe, for China we can worry but million miles from that.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

And you think differences only recently started? The strength of the West is we have these differences, of which the ones you list are just the latest and arguably quite parochial, but a system where they generally get worked through peacefully. Debate can be pretty intense, even occasional direct action but beyond that…
When folks start leaving the US, or Europe, for China we can worry but million miles from that.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I fear the human development peaked between 1950 and 1970, and we have been coasting along since then.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Compare life expectancy then with now. Compare the number of malnourished children. Compare the status of women. Just 3 for a start. Much, much more to do, but it is v much transformed.
In fact if newspapers and social media only published every 50yrs these massive improvements would be the headlines.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Compare life expectancy then with now. Compare the number of malnourished children. Compare the status of women. Just 3 for a start. Much, much more to do, but it is v much transformed.
In fact if newspapers and social media only published every 50yrs these massive improvements would be the headlines.

Last edited 1 year ago by j watson
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I like the optimism here but saying that the recent bumps only involve ‘electoral autocracies outpacing liberal democracy growth’ I’m not so sure about. Where can we say liberal democracy is actually growing? In the UK 54% of people (according to Jonathan Sumption) now want a strongman leader instead of a democracy and the pictire is similar everywhere else as far as I know..

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

Technocracy is not liberal democracy, the decline began 30 years ago with the fall of the Soviet Union when our elected bodies began governing for themselves and not its citizens.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The problem is that in the US in particular many who came to the West as children are now pointing out that the very conditions they sought to escape are being enacted and pushed there, and the destination is likely to be a state/society similar to those they left.
Though I personally suspect that once reality starts to hit the ordinary people, they will push back seriously hard.
Dutch Farmers, Danish Truckers, Gilet Jaunes, Canadian Truckers – are perhaps only the beginning. Germany and Italy have both caused the EU to row back on the banishing of ICE vehicles. Italy is demanding that the insect protein adulterated flours the EU permits are clearly labelled.
Then in the UK the London response to Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil and the ULEZ are perhaps the start of a UK rebellion as the consequences of Net Zero become clear.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I fear the human development peaked between 1950 and 1970, and we have been coasting along since then.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

Not so sure the premise of the Article holds. And certainly given the desire of millions to come and make their lives in Europe we have a core others cherish familiarity may blind us to.
Machiavelli famously said if you don’t have an enemy create one. It’ll make you more alert, effective and you’ll be able to avoid a lot of dangerous situations if you accept that there will be some enemies and you need to be watchful of them. Maybe the last few years this lesson has been restimulated and Europe and N. America reawakening. That enemy now has us on our toes and we are better for that.
The recent growth of democracy and rule of law, with it’s DNA sourced in Europe and North America, remains one of the greatest drivers of human development ever. It is true that in the last decade the upward trend has hit some serious bumps with electoral autocracies outpacing liberal democracy growth. But the underlying desire remain strong. The arc of the moral universe bends to justice as someone perhaps as famous as Niccolo once said. In representing this, and demonstrating how it continues to offer it’s people a better life than in so many other places in the World Europe continues to radiate light that gives it a strength and attraction for the world’s best.
More parochially it has challenges – UnHerd perhaps over fixates on more extremes of Woke, but also the extremes of Anti-Woke who lack perspective and confidence in the ability of open societies to debate and adjust peacefully. It’ll have challenges in a quickening pace in misinformation fuelled by AI and malign actors. But it remains better placed, alongside North America, to handle these challenges than anywhere else in the World.

Kevin Dee
Kevin Dee
1 year ago

I didn’t like Macron’s Covid response but you have to give him credit for having vision and thinking long term which is very rare for politicians.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Dee

Most dictators have a vision. It is the contents of the vision that should determine credit ratings.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin Dee

Most dictators have a vision. It is the contents of the vision that should determine credit ratings.

Kevin Dee
Kevin Dee
1 year ago

I didn’t like Macron’s Covid response but you have to give him credit for having vision and thinking long term which is very rare for politicians.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

Another piece of evidence, if it were needed, that in the years since 2016 the EU has been accelerating towards a sovereignty independent of its member states, with a view to being a pole in the coming multi-polar World. In the unsettled debate about Brexit we should ask ourselves whether the UK would be prepared to accept this.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

We got rid of the EU oversight, BUT we didn’t get rid of Europhiles who rule us. That is the next step. The problem is who do we replace the single party PlaidSNPGreenLibLabCons with? We need to replace them because the insane commitment to Net Zero in 27 years time is going to have catastrophic consequences within the next 10 unless we stop it.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan Nash

We got rid of the EU oversight, BUT we didn’t get rid of Europhiles who rule us. That is the next step. The problem is who do we replace the single party PlaidSNPGreenLibLabCons with? We need to replace them because the insane commitment to Net Zero in 27 years time is going to have catastrophic consequences within the next 10 unless we stop it.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
1 year ago

Another piece of evidence, if it were needed, that in the years since 2016 the EU has been accelerating towards a sovereignty independent of its member states, with a view to being a pole in the coming multi-polar World. In the unsettled debate about Brexit we should ask ourselves whether the UK would be prepared to accept this.

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
1 year ago

“But from a cave in the depths of Asia something stirred, which would restart history: Covid ”
Erm….

Pete Marsh
Pete Marsh
1 year ago

“But from a cave in the depths of Asia something stirred, which would restart history: Covid ”
Erm….

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

…got to love Aris’s jibe of ‘…Boomers, prone to comforting and self-aggrandising myths, slouching towards death’.
Must have struck home, no reaction so far!

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

I like it, too.

Geoff Wilkes
Geoff Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

I didn’t react because the metaphor, though eye-catching, was stupid.
What is this “Europe” which was “born” in 1945? (Incidentally, the Baby Boom didn’t start until 1946.) It wasn’t “Europe,” it was the post-war European order. But it wasn’t even that: it was the post-war *Western* European order; countries such as Hungary and Poland weren’t really part of it.
Then Roussinos takes Angela Merkel as the prototypical naive European politician who doesn’t understand power politics. Well, actually, she grew up under East German Communism, prospered under that system, and then became Chancellor of the united Germany. No other East German politician has been anything like as successful. You might disapprove of Merkel, but she was a shrewd political operator.
Finally, both Juenger and Schmitt are well-known as nutcases. Roussinos citing them puts me in mind of Dominic Cummings, preening himself on how clever he is for quoting some semi-obscure writer or other.
Basically, the article is long-winded pretentious drivel. This seems to be an increasing trend at UnHerd: witness Mary Harrington taking the oiks who put charcoal in the Trevi Fountion as a harbinger of The End of Western Civilisation, and whoever that bloke was who wrote “What is there left to conserve?”, about how The End Is NIgh and we all have to Come To Jesus. (There’s some chance that he was right, of course – but he went on and *on* and ON in the same Pseuds’ Corner style as Harrington and Roussinos.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Geoff Wilkes
Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

I like it, too.

Geoff Wilkes
Geoff Wilkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

I didn’t react because the metaphor, though eye-catching, was stupid.
What is this “Europe” which was “born” in 1945? (Incidentally, the Baby Boom didn’t start until 1946.) It wasn’t “Europe,” it was the post-war European order. But it wasn’t even that: it was the post-war *Western* European order; countries such as Hungary and Poland weren’t really part of it.
Then Roussinos takes Angela Merkel as the prototypical naive European politician who doesn’t understand power politics. Well, actually, she grew up under East German Communism, prospered under that system, and then became Chancellor of the united Germany. No other East German politician has been anything like as successful. You might disapprove of Merkel, but she was a shrewd political operator.
Finally, both Juenger and Schmitt are well-known as nutcases. Roussinos citing them puts me in mind of Dominic Cummings, preening himself on how clever he is for quoting some semi-obscure writer or other.
Basically, the article is long-winded pretentious drivel. This seems to be an increasing trend at UnHerd: witness Mary Harrington taking the oiks who put charcoal in the Trevi Fountion as a harbinger of The End of Western Civilisation, and whoever that bloke was who wrote “What is there left to conserve?”, about how The End Is NIgh and we all have to Come To Jesus. (There’s some chance that he was right, of course – but he went on and *on* and ON in the same Pseuds’ Corner style as Harrington and Roussinos.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Geoff Wilkes
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

…got to love Aris’s jibe of ‘…Boomers, prone to comforting and self-aggrandising myths, slouching towards death’.
Must have struck home, no reaction so far!

Bill Smith
Bill Smith
1 year ago

His FT essay was no more than deflection. His subliminal accusations and our need to re-establish each nation of Europe as a ‘Going Concern’ is of course vital, and many others have said it before Macron and went unheard (not a pun). I believe his deflection is prompted by the behaviour of parts of his own city populations, his people skills and leadership. There is another side to the over used chestnut about fooling all the people all the time and the ‘other’ side is about blaming all the people all the time. Most of what is being laid at Europe’s door should be laid at the EU’s door i.e the sick behaviour! Non-grower Germany’s magnificent processed coffee export figures and their pre 2014 attempts to acquire Ukraine’s lignite coal in order to protect their own environment at the expense of Ukraine’s environment, France’s CAP gluttony and its income from UK taxpayers for facilitating a sea-bridge to the UK after nurturing illegal immigrants through the French countryside, this is hardly credit-worthy politics considering the EU’s own 30-year history of keeping foreign feet out of the EU by using non-EU neighbours to ‘manage’ the problem. Then there are the EU fishing vessels, many of which, post Brexit, moved to West African waters and more recently are now fishing the Indian Ocean. In closing, I believe that the EU, its protectionism and disregard for humane politics is weakening the EU27 and, worse, is also weakening Europe.

Bill Smith
Bill Smith
1 year ago

His FT essay was no more than deflection. His subliminal accusations and our need to re-establish each nation of Europe as a ‘Going Concern’ is of course vital, and many others have said it before Macron and went unheard (not a pun). I believe his deflection is prompted by the behaviour of parts of his own city populations, his people skills and leadership. There is another side to the over used chestnut about fooling all the people all the time and the ‘other’ side is about blaming all the people all the time. Most of what is being laid at Europe’s door should be laid at the EU’s door i.e the sick behaviour! Non-grower Germany’s magnificent processed coffee export figures and their pre 2014 attempts to acquire Ukraine’s lignite coal in order to protect their own environment at the expense of Ukraine’s environment, France’s CAP gluttony and its income from UK taxpayers for facilitating a sea-bridge to the UK after nurturing illegal immigrants through the French countryside, this is hardly credit-worthy politics considering the EU’s own 30-year history of keeping foreign feet out of the EU by using non-EU neighbours to ‘manage’ the problem. Then there are the EU fishing vessels, many of which, post Brexit, moved to West African waters and more recently are now fishing the Indian Ocean. In closing, I believe that the EU, its protectionism and disregard for humane politics is weakening the EU27 and, worse, is also weakening Europe.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

Boomers dying? On the contrary, we will live forever!
But I blame the current mess on the 500 year Age of the Educated, plus the nonsensical idea of liberal democracy that the people rule. And I gotta bridge to sell you.
No. The educated rule from above, and I’d say that they have made a pretty mess of it.
When was the Age of World Wars? The 50 years when the educated class and its pompous, conceited ideas ruled the world.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Are you educated, or not?

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

People like this is what happens when you have a media that spends so much time laying into the ‘liberal elite’ and claiming that universities and schools are mere brainwashing factories for brain dead wokies when so much of their work has nothing to do with this and is really honest research, often vital to holding the real elite to account (unlike the populist press – and their stridently cavalier relationship with the truth – attacking them)

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Dream on.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

I teach at a school. Go and visit one and see for yourself how much of it is mere wokery rather than people working hard to create kind, respectful communities despite all the challenges of cuts and rent costs.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

I teach at a school. Go and visit one and see for yourself how much of it is mere wokery rather than people working hard to create kind, respectful communities despite all the challenges of cuts and rent costs.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Dream on.