During Germany’s previous attempt to unite Europe, a million British homes were destroyed and 43,000 of their inhabitants killed.
Britain just manage to muddle through on the strength of her indomitable ‘Blitz’ spirit, which apparently needs to be taken off the mothballs again.
For, according to Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economic devastation of Brexit will be fully comparable to that inflicted by the Luftwaffe.
Mr Gurria was kind enough to opine that the British just may survive again, but not without straining every sinew to breaking point. Of course we could avoid all the hardship by holding a second referendum and this time voting right.
Since it’s Britain that finances the OECD, it’s good to know that our money is well spent. For good advice is often invaluable, and in this case Mr Gurria offers insights not only into the present and future, but also into the past.
With the unerring acuity of hindsight, he shows how the lessons of today’s Blitz could have kept Britain safe during the first one. One such lesson could be derived from the unseemly haggling between HMG and the EU on the amount of ransom Britain must pay if she ever wants to see her freedom again.
My friend Junk displays all the nous of a barrow boy by demanding £90 billion. “Listen,” he says, “The same deal I’d offer my mother I’m offering to you. Giz 90 billion quid like a goodun, and you can have your country back, djahmean? Or else…”
“Or else it’ll be the Blitz all over again,” cuts in my new friend Angel ‘Of Doom’ Gurria. “Why don’t you just come to your senses and surrender?”
If only Churchill had been as reasonable way back then. Britain could have offered the Nazis a few billion (retrospectively corrected for inflation) to keep the Luftwaffe on a leash. Alternatively, once the bombs started falling, Britain could have promptly surrendered and agreed to become a province in the Third Reich.
Those 43,000 peaceful Britons, not to mention the 600,000 soldiers who went on to die, could have been safe and sound, counting their blessings and pieces of silver. Splendid idea. Why didn’t Churchill think of that?
He could have delivered a typically eloquent speech, saying, for example: “I could offer you blood, sweat and tears – or I could offer you peace, prosperity and beer under Herr Hitler’s strong leadership. That’s a no brainer, isn’t it? And rather than fighting them on the beaches, you could instead play tug-of-war with beach towels, while turning yourselves the red colour so characteristic of Britons on holiday.”
Here apologies are due to cabinet minister Damien Green. Mr Green has condemned the “sad and completely ridiculous rise of routine comparisons to Hitler” whenever the EU is mentioned.
Sorry, Damien, but do tell that to the Angel of Doom. He said the ‘B’ word first – I would never have thought of it on my own. To show off my schoolboy Latin yet again, “quod licet jovi, non licet bovi”, is that what you think? What’s allowed to those federasts isn’t allowed to us?
Speaking of history, if we leave the Romans and Charlemagne out of it, in modern times there have been five serious attempt to unite Europe politically.
First, there was Napoleon, wishing to bestow on the whole continent the sterling benefits of the Enlightenment, rational thought and his own dictatorship. Enter Waterloo.
Second, there was Lenin, sending the Red cavalry on a glorious road to the Channel in 1920. Enter Warsaw, where the Poles reduced the Red hordes to coleslaw, thereby saving Europe from the advent of social justice expressed through mass shootings and concentration camps.
Third, there was Stalin, who created the world’s largest and best-equipped army in roughly 10 years. This economic miracle was achieved by the expedient of killing millions and turning the whole country into a fusion of military and concentration camps, but the prize was glittering: uniting Europe under the red flag.
To that end Stalin helped Hitler build up his own army and pointed him in a westerly direction. Hitler promptly obliged, with Stalin patiently waiting for the Nazi invasion of England to get his own juggernaut rolling.
But Hitler, realising what was going on, left Britain alone and launched a preemptive strike on Russia. That put Stalin’s pan-European ambitions on hold for another four years, and even then he had to content himself only with the low-rent half of Europe.
Fourth, there was Hitler himself, who at first successfully created a proto-EU, with Britain again playing hard to get. Enter the notorious bunker followed by Nuremberg.
Fifth, there’s the EU, seeking to unite Europe under the strong leadership of Junk, Angel, Angela and Brigitte Macron (acting through her foster son Manny). And this time we can buy our way out of trouble, provided we offer the right price.
“What djamean 90 billion? ‘Ow much?!?” screams Tessa May, throwing up her arms in despair. “You bonkers or what? I’ll give you 20 billion, and not a penny more.”
“You know where you can stick your twenty?” object Junk and those two cherubs, Angela and Angel. “You want another Blitz, or what? We’ll cut Britain up and send her back to you, piece by piece. You’ll be opening your post in rubber gloves for the next twenty years.”
Such is the level to which discussions about our ancient sovereignty have descended. Since I find this whole business distasteful, I hereby propose myself for the role of Brexit negotiator.
I’d tell my EU counterparts that my opening and closing bids are the same: zero. And if you want to try another Blitz, by whatever means, go ahead. See you at Nuremberg.