Obviously the outgoing gauleiter of the European Commission didn’t make that argument in so many words.
However, he does make it in his person. For an organisation that brings the likes of him to the fore has to be fatally flawed, not to say downright evil.
José Manuel Barroso began his political career in the ranks of an underground Maoist party committed to terrorism as a valid form of political self-expression.
His aim then was to destroy the sovereign government of Portugal, and he pursued it with youthful vigour.
Age has diminished the vigour, as it usually does, but the aim has remained essentially the same. The scale, however, is different: these days Barroso works tirelessly to destroy the very concept of national sovereignty within Europe’s borders.
In his student days he advocated a mix of violence and agitprop, which is to say strident drivel lacking any intellectual content. In his new role he seems to eschew violence, but the drivel remains.
Yesterday he attacked Cameron’s government for failing to highlight the benefits of the EU, thereby allowing anti-EU sentiment to go “largely unchallenged”.
Specifically, Dave has earned the gauleiter’s rebuke for making vague, Ukip-inspired noises on the subject of unlimited immigration from the EU.
The only sound thing Barroso said was that any restrictions on migration would be illegal under EU law. This is true, and thank you, José, for pointing this out to Dave, who pretends we’ll be able to circumvent the EU while remaining in it.
Limiting migration is indeed illegal under EU law. That’s why we must leave the jurisdiction of this ridiculous contrivance and restore the English Common Law to its erstwhile status of unchallenged sovereignty within our borders.
In his testosterone-fuelled youth Barroso would spout any nonsense, provided it advanced his ideological goals. Thus, for example, he clamoured that the capitalist government of Portugal was fanning a conflict between students and workers.
Today is no different: the message has changed, but the intellectual level hasn’t. Thus Barroso claims that unrestricted migration is a two-way street:
“British citizens have freedom of movement all over Europe. There are 700,000 living in Spain,” he said.
In the good tradition of Marxist propaganda this is a lie, both factually and conceptually. The official number of British subjects (a more accurate term than ‘citizens’) living in Spain is 297,229, less than half of Barroso’s claim.
But let’s not be pedantic about a few hundred thousand here or there. Instead let’s ask a few questions begging to be asked.
How many of those peregrinating Brits are taking jobs away from the local population? How many sleep rough in some of Madrid’s best neighbourhoods? How many are driving the crime rate sky high? How many are collecting social benefits in Spain, which they share with their families back home?
The fact is that most Brits living in Spain are retirees who import capital into Spain without taking anything out. A majority of them live in self-contained, poorly integrated communities where the only Spanish they ever attempt is “dos cervezas por favor.”
The locals welcome their presence because the Brits freely spend their pension funds and make the natives richer by driving property prices up. Similarly, I doubt many denizens of, say, Hull would object to elderly Spaniards moving in, bringing their money with them and improving the food quality at tapas bars.
However, many Englishmen cringe when realising that their communities are being disfigured, in all likelihood irretrievably, by swarms of European riffraff bulging the welfare rolls, placing an unsupportable burden on the NHS and other social services, and in general reducing England to a faceless gau of the EU.
This isn’t to say that all, or perhaps even most, EU migrants fit that description. Far from it. Many indeed enrich our neighbourhoods and the country in general.
For example, thousands of the French have moved into my part of London, and one doesn’t hear too many locals complaining. On the contrary, I dare say our neighbourhood appears more civilised as a result, and the food, bread especially, has certainly improved.
But many of us are aghast to realise that we collectively have lost the sovereignty we all possess individually: the right to decide whom we wish to welcome as guests in our house and whom we’d rather turn away.
This bears much eerie resemblance to the Moscow of my youth, where the authorities could ‘densify’ families deemed to have too much living space. If a family had more than the mandated nine square metres per person, the council could move into the same flat any number of strangers who’d bring the residency down to the target level.
No doubt such an arrangement would be close to Barroso’s Maoist heart, but one wishes he argued his case with more than just Maoist logic.
“It may be a revelation to some, but the vast majority of people living in Europe are also rather attached to their national identity” is another example of his rhetoric. The irony is a bit feeble, but the factual accuracy can’t be faulted.
Similarly, there were many Soviet children who were sufficiently attached to their parents not to wish to have them taken away for ever in the middle of the night.
Many Jews were doubtless also rather attached to their lives, which they then went on to lose in Nazi gas chambers.
Closer to Barroso’s spiritual home, many Chinese peasants were rather attached to their plots which were then taken away, often along with their lives, during the Great Leap Forward.
However none of them were given any choice in the matter, and neither are the European citizens of today. To be sure, on occasion the EU gauleiters propose they vote on yet another surrender – a privilege denied to the groups I’ve mentioned above.
But the privilege is illusory: any anti-EU vote is immediately invalidated, and the people are asked to vote again until they get it right. A pro-EU vote, on the other hand, is irreversible.
My favourite paragraph in Barroso’s diatribe is this: “If people read only negative… portrayals in their newspapers from Monday to Saturday, you cannot expect them to nail the European flag on their front door on Sunday just because the political establishment tells them it is the right thing to do.”
Barroso apparently realises that our political establishment is on his side, and he ought to be complimented on this perspicacity. Also praiseworthy is his honesty: he doesn’t deign to conceal his wish that the EU stellar ring should adorn every British front door.
But accusing British newspapers of anti-EU bias betokens either ignorance or mendacity. A study of our mainstream papers’ editorial content will show that The Guardian, The Observer and The Independent are pro-EU unwaveringly, The Times mostly and The Telegraph intermittently.
It’s true that The Mail seldom runs pro-EU articles, which Barroso doubtless finds vexing. But Britain isn’t quite Mao’s China yet. Our papers can’t be forced to toe the line, although we’re moving in that direction.
Anyway, which benefits of the EU would Barroso like us to highlight? Social unrest? Economic stagnation? Stifling labour laws? Being ruled by Maoists and other assorted socialists craving world government? Impotent foreign policy? Protectionism?
One just wishes we were governed by the kind of people who’d have the courage to say “No way, José” and leave the EU without as much as saying good-bye.
But one fears that this walking argument against the EU will get what he wants: a giant superstate run by the likes of him.