“There will be no Brexit,” announced Jean-Claude Juncker or Junk, as he’s known to his friends. He then helped himself to a snifter of the finest brandy southwest France can offer.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage begged to differ, and the two men’s views on the situation are as opposite as their tastes in liquid refreshments: cognac by the bottle for Junk, beer by the bucket for Nige.
“Insufferable ignorance,” said Farage, blowing some foam off his pint. “The British people will decide for themselves and I’m confident they’ll vote for prosperity and freedom.”
This goes to show that cognac out of a desk-drawer bottle is more conducive to clear thinking than bitter at the Coach & Horses can ever be. For Mr Farage based his retort on all the wrong assumptions.
First, he assumes that the British people will associate Brexit with ‘prosperity and freedom’ as unshakeably as does Mr Farage himself. That may well be wishful thinking.
Come the referendum, the British people will be on the receiving end of tonnes of propaganda chaff, burying the kernels of Brexit wheat. God, said Napoleon, is on the side of the big battalions, and the god of publicity is on the side of the big budgets.
While Brexit campaigners depend on a million here or there generously donated by chaps blessed with both pounds and sense, Junk’s British acolytes will have billions of freshly minted euros pouring into their coffers courtesy of Junk and his friends.
Pounds won’t be in short supply either, what with Dave eyeing Junk’s job as an alternative to flogging around the world like his idol Blair, to spout gibberish after black-tie dinners. For Dave to have Junk’s job, it has to be there when Dave retires, which simple thought lies at the heart of Dave’s principled commitment to Britain staying ‘at the heart of Europe’.
People capable of understanding what’s what well enough to withstand a massive propaganda offensive would indeed be able to make up their own minds. But does Mr Farage seriously think that, after 60 years of oxymoronic comprehensive education, the British people en masse fall into that category? If so, that’s another wrong assumption.
This misapprehension, however, pales by comparison with the folly of his apparent belief that, even should by some miracle the British people vote right in the referendum, Britain will leave the EU.
If history shows anything, it’s that referendum results are only ever binding if they go the EU way. If Angie et al. don’t like the outcome, they either ignore it or tell the offending nation to vote again until it gets it right.
Actually, my friend Junk has other aces up his sleeve, apart from pumping billions into a Goebbels-style propaganda campaign aimed at explaining to us that Brexit will mean we’ll be dying in the street like stray dogs.
He could pretend to offer some meaningless concessions, while Dave could pretend they are meaningful. In fact Junk hinted at this stratagem the other day, in between his seventh and eighth snifterfuls.
One day, he said, specifically when Turkey and the Balkan countries join the EU to expand its membership to “33, 34 or 35” nations, “we should rethink the European architecture with a group of countries that will do… all things together and others who will position in the orbit different from the core.”
To give material substance to Junk’s metaphor, bodies that move in orbits around the core are called satellites. That clearly is the role Junk plans, and Dave accepts, for Britain.
Sharing the orbit with Her Majesty’s former realm will be such European powerhouses as the Balkan countries and Turkey, which qualifies on the strength of five per cent of her territory actually being in Europe.
The possibility of revolving in such auspicious circles will probably sway our undereducated populace into supporting Junk’s vision and rejecting Nigel’s. That’ll only prove that Junk has a better grasp of the general geopolitical thrust of modernity.
Modern democracy is so intertwined with the notion of unlimited drifting of power towards the centre that for all intents and purposes they are one and the same. Logically, when most power is already concentrated at the centre, while the urge for more is still unquenched, powerlust has to leave national confines to seek a ganglion of intersecting urges at an outside site.
The EU thus represents a logical development of unlimited democracy, which effectively vectors political power away from individuals and their local institutions towards an inevitably denationalised elite that has more in common with similar groups abroad than with its own people.
Junk’s mind is probably too befuddled by all that cognac for him to grasp such philosophical niceties, but his instincts are of bloodhound acuity. That is more than I can say for Nigel’s instincts – though I do pray that I’m wrong and he’s right.
P.S. You can find many such subversive thoughts in my book How the West Was Lost, now available in its second (paperback and electronic) edition.