After a fluffy savaging from Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this week, the EU has spluttered into action (of sorts).
Yes, dear Leo is still clinging to power, courtesy of COVID-19 and a level of incompetence in Irish politics that makes the new UK Labour Shadow Cabinet seem like a brains trust.
Deliciously ironic when you recall all the Brexity sniggers from the Emerald Isle about the UK ‘not knowing what it wanted’. And that itself had followed the EU coldly screwing Ireland on budgets once the latter had served their purpose as a useful idiot.
While it must have felt like a fierce going-over by a dead sheep, those in the Politbeuro would have still despised any further dissonance from the ’27’ after the Eastern European shenanigans of recent weeks and Southern European dissent over corona aid.
When the typically Euro-subservient Ireland criticises them, they must know that they’re losing the dressing room.
So, the EUSSR responded by finally dragging a €500bn rescue package over the line even though it has been estimated by the European Central Bank that the bloc may need up to €1.5tn (£1.3tn) to tackle the crisis.
Still, it’s enough to take the heat off for a moment.
At least until the member states realise that the EU doesn’t have any money of its own, so they will all have signed up to a ‘bailout’ that is a dressed-up remodel of their own contributions (minus EU commission, payable to the EU Commission).
There’s no such thing as an EU revenue stream other than what it can chisel out of its members. The rich subscribers don’t believe in charity or God, only in a reasonable rate of return. The rest just want the hard cash. Brussels keep the cards moving quickly enough so that they themselves can keep skimming while nobody finds the lady.
But it’s all immaterial. The European economy has torpedoed itself anyway, and you can’t help feeling that mega contributions to luxury holidays, expensed lunches and all the low-countries-razzmatazz are going to be dropping fast down the list of priorities for the likes of Spain and Italy.
You’ll soon be hearing the sound of lead balloons going down when it’s the turn of the next Luxembourgish bank manager or Liechtensteiner town councillor to ascend to whatever European presidency they magic up, squawking the word ‘solidarity‘.
That one’s never going to fly again. The fat lady is already stage left. Or centre left, as is the Brussels criterion de préférence.
You might wonder whether this current corona context might now provide the UK with an extenuating cause to dip out of any Brexit obligations, with the EU having little choice but to offer unilateral single market Brucie bonuses just in order to claw their way back into the black.
What could be more hilarious?
The €500bn conjuring trick is however all too little, too late. Not for tackling the virus or the economic harm. That will stumble on for generations.
No, for the European ideal. The values part that made the EU – in the hearts and minds of the converted – so much more than the EEC single market.
For many years, we’ve seen both sides of the retro-facing post-fact Brexit debate, when it was comparatively more straightforward to craft emotionally charged arguments. Now, the EU has been exposed in real-time and found desperately wanting. In the spotlight and under pressure, there is little of substance beneath the surface that warrants the claim to be a political union.
I mean, the UK has been arguably hopeless with its response to coronavirus, but the EU has fallen hard from its self-appointed position at the pinnacle of the moral high ground.
The end was revealed to be the means. It’s the process of existing that is the goal for the Eurocrats. Journeymen velcroballing as much as they can en route to retirement.
At the very least, the case for fundamental and wholesale reform has been brought forth by the EU themselves. In a few short months, they’ve throttled their economies and exposed their own political union as a sham.
They’re hanging themselves.
Europe? More like ‘Enough Rope’.