Clive of India Receives A Nabob’s Submission

In November a new President of the USA will be elected after a robustious campaign by perhaps 140 million Americans. Bar a load of hanging chads, he or she will enjoy the unquestioned political and moral legitimacy of the ballot box. Shortly thereafter 27 of Europe’s political élite will assemble and elect the President of the United States of Europe.
The citizens of the USA will enjoy one other singular advantage over their European counterparts: the man or woman they elect will have powers, duties and authority that are carefully defined and circumscribed by the Constitution of the United States and pronounced upon in the case law of the Supreme Court. In other words Americans know pretty well where they stand.

That matters are wholly otherwise in the EU cannot, even by the most ideologically hide-bound proto-serf of an Europhiliac, be denied. Without a hint of complaint or reproof at the undemocratic nature of what they report, the Guardian today informs us of how matters stand in relation to this post which is, even as I write, being touted about the backrooms of various European Chancelleries. Under the headline “I’ll be president of Europe if you give me the power – Blair”, we are told that our erstwhile Prime Minister is already negotiating for himself the powers that he would like were he graciously to consent to being President of Europe.

Thus we learn that Smuggo is prepared, for the moment at any rate, to forego all the moolah he has lined up for himself since slipping from the grasp on his greasy collar of Inspector Knacker of the Yard if the Euro Nabobery grant him plenipotentiary powers over ‘defence and trade’:

Tony Blair has been holding discussions with some of his oldest allies on how he could mount a campaign later this year to become full-time president of the EU council, the prestigious new job characterised as “president of Europe”. Blair, currently the Middle East envoy for the US, Russia, EU and the UN, has told friends he has made no final decision, but is increasingly willing to put himself forward for the job if it comes with real powers to intervene in defence and trade affairs.

Let us ponder for a moment the contrast between the near surfeit of democracy that is the American Primary season that leads up to the convention season in the summer and the carve up that Smuggo and his Euro Chums are contemplating for the plum job of President of the Council aka European President. This process tells you all about the sort of ‘democracy’ to which lip-service is paid in the EU Constitution (which for the moment is, unlike the admirably brief and concise US Constitution, set out in gobbledygook in the Treaty of Lisbon and thousands of other pages of the Esperanto of EU jargonism) that you need to know.

Your masters shall be chosen for ye and ye shall be glad, yea, and uplifted so that ye shall sing time and again the ‘Ode to Joy’!

But, I hear you say, surely defence is not within the ambit of the EU? Trade yes, but the Constitution does not give anyone any powers over defence does it?

Aye, well, there’s the rub. There are references to defence which, when taken with the power of the EU Nabobs to amend the Constitution further without recourse to further Treaties, let alone to the annoying business of seeking the consent of European voters, mean that that the EU nomenklatura can write their own ticket when it comes to the matter of defence.

After all their intentions are written as clearly as were Adolf Hitler’s in Mein Kampf (students of Daniel Hannan’s travails with the Reichstag EU Parliament will recognise here the picture of someone trying to poke a stick into a hornet’s nest) in the Preamble to the Treaty of Lisbon:

RESOLVED to implement a common foreign and security policy including the progressive framing of a common defence policy which might lead to a common defence in accordance with the provisions of Article 17, thereby reinforcing the European identity and its independence in order to promote peace, security and progress in Europe and in the world…

Notwithstanding the oft-repeated cacology to the effect that we shall not be handing over conduct of our foreign affairs to the EU, we shall discover soon enough that that is a lot of rot and that not only is the new EU Foreign Minister gadding about speaking for all of us at the UN and gaily signing Treaties on ‘our behalf’ but that person will also, as Article 9e of the Treaty of Lisbon tells us, be in charge of our defence:

The High Representative shall conduct the Union’s common foreign and security policy. He or she shall contribute by his or her proposals to the development of that policy, which he or she shall carry out as mandated by the Council. The same shall apply to the common security and defence policy.

Lest you cavil at that, it might be worth recalling good old Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty:

The Union’s competence in matters of common foreign and security policy shall cover all areas of foreign policy and all questions relating to the Union’s security, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy that might lead to a common defence.

Thus far so vague. So let us progress on to Article 13:

The European Council shall identify the Union’s strategic interests, determine the objectives of and define general guidelines for the common foreign and security policy, including for matters with defence implications. It shall adopt the necessary decisions.


The Council shall frame the common foreign and security policy and take the decisions necessary for defining and implementing it on the basis of the general guidelines and strategic lines defined by the European Council.

The Council shall ensure the unity, consistency and effectiveness of action by the Union.

The European Council is, of course, the organ of which Smuggo would, if he can square his chums, be el Caudillo.

As we know from the document which leaked out recently (see the Daily Mail here), the EU takes the view that the exact parameters of the powers it plans to arrogate to itself are as yet undefined but are there for the taking, once, of course, all the Gauleiters have rammed the Treaty through the inconvenient business of ratification in their respective assemblies. At that point the chumocracy can then get down to the serious business of divvying up whatever powers they want, without, as I have pointed out, the annoying business of having to negotiate further Treaties.

This is why Smuggo affects to talk of doing the job provided he gets the powers over our defence and trade that he wants (no matter what you or I might think) and reckons he can negotiate like some latter-day Mughal Emperor treating with the a latter-day John Company a nice little job description that will define powers worthy of his high and exalted status and abilities.

East India Company Flag

At which point the leaders of the 27 member states will get together and sign off on his elevation without your or my say-so (well, perhaps Gordon Brown might duck that one too on the perfectly good grounds that, having been driven over the edge at the thought of Blair lording it over him once more, signing anything with a strait-jacket on is rather hard).

But then whenever did you matter in the grander scheme of things?

There is, however, a little chink of light to be detected: as Richard North points out on EU Referendum, just now the EU could not fight its way out of a large brown paper bag (or should that be a paper bag of colour?): indeed any foreign strongman tempted to singe the Emperor of Europe’s beard might just be tempted to wonder, in emulation of Stalin:

Smuggo! How many divisions has he got?

Which probably tells you all you need to know about the decision of the AFP rebels in the Republic of Chad who decided to declare war on France and The European Union. The former is doubtless dusting off their stock of white flags as I write, the latter just wringing its hands.