Wednesday 17 January 2018

Neutered EU is futile

Madam -- Thank you for inciting your readers (Editorial, Sunday Independent, May 20, 2012) to come up with a Big Idea which might lift us out of our confusion, fear and despondency.

That Big Idea has been around for some time. However, because those who claim to be our leaders have almost all of them grown up in the comfort and complacency created by those who had that Big Idea in the first place, they have lost sight of the realities of first the 20th and now the 21st century.

Put aside for a moment the divided wreckage of Europe in 1945. To be personal and anecdotal, for me the key year was 1956 and the months October/November. The comic adventure of the Anglo/French pseudo-imperialist 'recapture' of the Suez Canal ended in farce with the mock lions slinking home with their tails between their legs. The Hungarian assertion of 'national sovereignty' ended with extreme and bloody 'prejudice' under the onslaught of Soviet tanks -- and in gulags. These events began the very slow and laborious process of nudging me along the road towards the realisation that the classic Griffith/Lemass (Mark One) doctrine of literal (my italics) 'independence' simply did not 'compute'. If the concept of national identity, (still absolutely at the core of my being in 2012), was to be conserved and promoted in the real world, it had to be done in a different way.

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