Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Comrades, Let’s Dance!

Soviet dancingThe EU Observer reports that gala festivities are planned for the European Union’s 50th birthday next year.

One can be forgiven for picturing a parade of missiles and soldiers marching past a reviewing stand in downtown Brussels, with beefy apparatchiks watching in stolid approval.

Of course, since the EU’s military capability is all but non-existent, the parade would be over blissfully soon, and we could all adjourn to the nearby cafés and drink state-regulated alcoholic products served by barmaids with statutorily restricted décolletage.

Actually, what the authorities are planning is more like a post-modern pop festival, a bread-and-circuses approach to the daunting task of winning back popular approval of the EU:

The celebrations are part of Brussels’ drive to win the public’s sympathy after French and Dutch citizens voted down the EU constitution last year, according to Reuters.

“We have big plans to make the EU more punter-friendly,” one EU official told the agency.

“Punter-friendly”, eh? That’s an interesting choice of word. Instead of the toiling workers of yesteryear, we’ve got punters.

“Punter”, as you may know, is British slang, and means “customer or client, especially of either a bookmaker or a prostitute.” Is that really what the EU means to evoke as the image of a citizen?

Or maybe the celebrants will be out on the canals, poling flat-bottomed boats…

Anyway, to continue:

The campaign begins this month with the launch of a competition to find a logo and slogan for the EU’s 50th birthday.

Back in the EUSSRWell, not to blow my own kazoo or anything, but I’ve already got a logo for you, as readers will remember from yesterday. Simple, but effective! So I’m ready to claim the prize.

As for a slogan, how about “Socialism Without a Face”?

Or maybe we should stick with something tried and true, like “The Will of the Workers is Expressed in Untiring Support of the Production Goals Set by the Party.”

The article continues:

But new member states in particular are reportedly unhappy with the song and dance contest idea.

“They feel people are being forced to dance and sing, like they were by the communists,” said one EU diplomat according to Reuters.

It’s not surprising that the Poles and the Czechs are sensitive to state-managed revelry.

The article concludes with this:

The European Commission has also recently put particular emphasis in its press briefings on issues directly affecting citizens, such as tariffs for mobile phoning abroad and a blacklist of unsafe airlines.

So these are the issues that directly affect Europe’s citizens?

  • Not the problem of how to fund their generous pension and welfare system when they only have 1.09 children per couple?
  • Not the fact that Islamic barrios in their major cities have become no-go zones for police and emergency workers?
  • Not the threat of bodily harm and death against those who speak out against the coming of Eurabia?

Nope. Cell phones and air travel. Cheese and bratwurst. These are the important things!

May I have the next dance, Tovarisch?


Hat tip: EURSOC.

12 comments:

Matt said...

You should enter the contest! If Lordi could win the eurovision....

Cindi said...

Bread and circuses...........

Demosthenes said...

This is what really inspired the EU flag, no kidding, perhaps you already knew it:

http://www.hpsd.k12.pa.us/archives/clausen/flags/revolution/R43.htm

But listen, it's the USA who's imperialistic, not France, got it? If you would but wait for me, I should be emigrating to the USA shortly. Heck, for a Spaniard even emigrating to France would be a gain.

Archonix said...

These things are "important" because the Project, as they like to tall it, is faltering. People are starting to wonder what use it really is, so they leap like lemmings on to populist subjects like phone tariffs in order to be seen as doing something "for the people". Never mind that, in a truly open market, those tariffs would disappear or level out ad a reasonable level, and never mind that their interventions will ultimately push up the cost of using a mobile phone; they're doing something, they're visible, and that's all that counts.

It's like Richard at EU Referendum keeps saying: the EU is like a bycicle. YOu have to keep moving forward or it falls over. THey have to keep expanding, making new directives, taking over new areas of legislation, or the entire project collapses. At thsi point it seems to be moving under its own inertia rather than from any truly motivating force, so it's only really a matter of time before the wheels come off.

Synchronicity said...

So I presume you're just as disappointed by the US Congress focusing its energy on constitutionallly prohibiting gay marriage and flag burning when we have an energy crisis, record national debt, 40+ million citizens without health insurance, and the small matter of a war in Iraq?

Cato said...

Oh, right - the Congress shoud be "solving" the war in Iraq. Good point.


Back on topic, though, I think the EUSSR model ultimately breaks down. This new Frankenstein's monster has no testicles. Where are the Interior Ministry inquisitors, the gulags - even regular troops? For now, regular police suffice to enforce the nanny regulations and PC strictures, but the way things are going, politics are going to be made in the street again in Europe, and very soon (this is probably not a good thing). When the "people power" mobs and just plain insurrectionists really get going, the EUs banana-measuring beaureaucrats won't have a single thing to fight with - I predict they will melt away. God knows what will replace them, but it will NOT be united.

Gordon Pasha said...

Thankyou. Hilariousness, facts, combined with a perfect aim is always good to find.

Archonix said...

They're working on part of it. Every time I read about the EU's latest bit of military reorganisation, I can't help but wonder just why their proposed Rapid Reaction Force is so geared toward urban warfare. No tracked vehicles and no large armoured heavy weapons platforms. It's designed, as far as I can see, to supress uprisings in the urban areas of Cote D'Ivoire and other french african colonies, which rather conveniently leaves it open to use in supressing other more familiar urban areas...

Tex said...

"their proposed Rapid Reaction Force"

Supposedly this thing exists now, yes?

"...national governments will retain the power to decide if their forces will take part in any particular operation. As a result the units may in practice be considered "virtual units"..."

Ah, it "virtually" exists. Which is why it's virtually useless.

Or, I suppose it could be used, in theory, to tackle street riots; but with each government pulling its troops out on a whim, they'll have a devil of a time keeping any real force on the streets. I mean, does anyone really see Germany sending troops to quell French riots, or vice-versa?

As Tiscali reference puts it:

"It is not a European standing army or designed to fight wars. Its headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium."

Brussels? The heck you say! Well yes, that would explain the not-fighting-wars bit.

Question: how many Muslims does it take to conquer Paris?

Just asking...

Archonix said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Baron Bodissey said...

Archonix --

I like your comment, but mind your language (this is a PG-13 blog).

Here's what Archonix said:

What exists now is a "defence agency", a sort of unofficial defence ministry. The EU doesn't have any treaty'd authority in defence yet, and was due to get it with the EU constitution. Still, it can take over defence by simply making a few directives in edefence legislation.

I agree that the EU is pathetic when it coems to actualy doing anything that works, but that isn't stopping it. EU members armned forces are already being re-organised for membership of the FRES program, which is one of the reasons the British army are having so much trouble in Iraq - they aren't getting the equipment. Defence procurement is being redirected for FRES-based equipment, so our boys have to roam the desert in "armoured" landrovers that are particularly susceptible to IED and RPG attacks. So really we're damned whether or not the EU becomes competent, becuase they're royally f***ing up our defence ability in the name of european solidarity.

Archonix said...

Sorry, I'll watch myself in future.