Never ones to take ‘No’ or ‘Non’ or ‘Nein’ or ‘Nee’ for an answer, since refusal so often offends them, the EuroNabobery has moved quickly to start the process of reinstating those little bits and pieces that had, for form’s sake, to be left out of the Constitutional Treaty Mark II.

So, if Gordon Brown has to go to the EU Parliament, he is going to have to struggle to his feet as soon as the strains of Beethoven’s setting of Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’ break out, for fellow Socialist, Jo Leinen, an MEP from the German Region of the European Union, has proposed its playing whenever an official delegation passes its portals.

As Macavity stands there, hand on heart, he will just have to ignore the strong sensation of having two virtual fingers stuffed very hard up his nostrils, for much was made by the delegation from the British Region of the EU about not ‘doing it in the streets and frightening the horses’ when it came to flying the EU National Flag or singing the EU National Anthem, just in case it made the British people realize just how far Le Grand Projet was along the road to Statehood.

That is the problem with the EU: every time you think you have found some way of stopping its latest excess dead in its tracks, bang, there it is again on the road behind you, having taken a small detour round the fields alongside.

The choice of Beethoven as the composer of choice for the EU’s Anthem has an irony within it that will have passed most Continentals by, since they do not do irony: when Beethoven was writing his Third ‘Eroica’ Symphony, Napoleon was at the height of his powers and Beethoven was minded to call his latest work after the Little Corsican. Then, at the last minute he heard news of Napoleon’s assumption of the title of and coronation as Emperor of France. He promptly crossed out the tribute to Europe’s Dictator and substituted ‘Eroica’.

Quite what old Ludwig would have made of the imminent raising of José Barroso to the same august rank is anybody’s business.

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