Being a member of the European political class means never having to say you are wrong — much less, of course, having to say you are sorry. As a member of this self-perpetuating magic circle, you don’t have to learn from experience, consider the evidence, apply logic, or worry about the consequences. There are always expenses at the end of the tunnel.Like the white man who speaks with forked tongue, or the Muslim permitted to use taqqiya to mislead the infidel, the Eurocrat never quite means what he says or says what he means. Indeed, what he says is compatible with almost anything, and this quality of emptying definite meaning from grammatically formed sentences full of polysyllables has been a characteristic from the very inception of what is now the European Union.
Herman van Rompuy, the Belgian “president” of Europe whose electoral record makes Stalin’s positively shine (Stalin received too many votes, van Rompuy none at all), is Monnet’s spiritual heir, if one can apply such a term to such men. In a speech last November, van Rompuy — grey of face, grey of suit, grey of speech, and grey of thought — declared national sovereignty in Europe dead, not appearing to notice that his position was approximately that of a murderer who stands over his victim’s corpse muttering, “He’s gone, he’s gone!”