Much of the newspaper commentary in Europe after the attack on Brussels has referred to the “shared values” under attack by the terrorists. But what are they?
As far as I can see, the value that most prevails in Brussels, thanks to the European parliament, the European Commission, and other so-called institutions, is that of the free lunch. I have met European politicians there who clearly haven’t paid for so much as a single course of a meal for forty years or more, and who develop as a consequence that gray, slablike or tombstone countenance that members of the Soviet Politburo used to have. I have nothing against free lunches myself—indeed I have enjoyed many—but I have never made them the acme of my ambition, nor did it ever occur to me that, in seeking and eating them, I was defending, furthering, or expressing “our values.”