By securing the No vote in the referendum, the Greek PM seems to have done Ukip a good turn. Nigel Farage thinks so: “The EU project is now dying. It’s fantastic to see the courage of the Greek people in the face of political and economic bullying from Brussels.”
This suggests that, should Mr Tsipras lose his job, he could be fast-tracked into Ukip leadership, perhaps as the party’s head of PR.
That tacit promise apart, the first sentence in Mr Farage’s statement combines elements of truth and wishful thinking, while the second implies a hope that the Brits will display similar courage in due course.
The EU ‘project’ isn’t dying as a result of the Greek vote. It has been moribund from its inception, like all projects based on lies.
These start from the very term ‘Europe’, which to the founders of the EU didn’t mean the whole continent and the islands just off it. It meant Germany and France.
Having been at daggers drawn throughout much of their history, the two countries found a common ground at Vichy, 1940-1944. They saw Vichy France as a promising and extendable model for the post-war settlement.
For once the Germans and the French could stop killing one another in their separate quests to dominate Europe. Instead they could join forces and divide the spoils, with Germany playing the senior partner, just as she did at Vichy.
Hence, when today’s EU functionaries lie that it’s thanks to the EU that Europe has been at peace since 1945, there’s a method to their lying. They know that Europe has had numerous conflicts and wars since 1945. And if it has avoided another major war, it’s only thanks to the Nato nuclear umbrella.
But to them Europe doesn’t include all those Serbias, Bosnias, Czechoslovakias, Hungarys or any other nations that in the post-war period have been torn apart by civil wars or foreign invasions.
Europe is strictly Germany and France, and indeed they haven’t fought lately. The relationship has worked well, with Germany pretending it’s not exactly like Vichy, and the French pretending they like it even if it is.
Because war and peace are functions of politics more than economics, this Vichy-washy relationship has been more political than economic from the start, while the active participants both lie it’s the other way around.
Germany and especially France could have healthier economies each on her own. What neither country could do on her own was to widen Vichy to most of Europe.
If the strategy came from Vichy, the tactics employed were based on the Zollverein, the customs union Prussia imposed on other German states in the 19th century to unite them all under her aegis. This typically involved extending free or cheap loans and downright handouts.
The lure of easy money is strong, especially to people who forget that free cheese can be found only in mousetraps. That was the case in the Zollverein, and it’s the case in the EU.
However, the ability of Germany and France to bribe other nations depends on robust economic growth. This hasn’t existed for a decade or so, hence the EU’s reluctance to continue to throw more billions down the Greek bottomless pit.
But reluctance doesn’t mean refusal, and they may eventually grit their teeth and toss another hundred billion or so the Greece way – in the full knowledge that more billions will soon be needed.
Even if Greece is forced out of the eurozone, the zone won’t disintegrate instantly. True, Greece would provide an example for others to follow, but this process may take a lifetime, making Ukip triumphalism premature.
It does, however, explain the party’s fiasco in the general election. Yes, Ukip was founded on the single issue of Brexit. But people en masse won’t vote for single-issue parties, and Ukip functionaries know this.
That’s why they’ve tried to repackage Ukip as the true conservative party Britain manifestly lacks. But the election showed that the voters saw through the ploy. And Mr Farage’s reaction to Greece confirms they were right.
He clearly shares the spirit encapsulated in the 1903 slogan of the French Radical Party: Pas d’ennemis à gauche! (No enemies to the left!). In Mr Farage’s case, this means loving anyone who opposes the EU – regardless of any other considerations.
Hence his affection for the ‘strong leader’ Putin, who has managed to fuse elements of the Third Reich, Third Rome and Third World into one kleptofascist state. But as long as Putin is against the EU, Mr Farage doesn’t mind how many aggressive wars Putin launches, how many of his opponents he murders, how many billions he stashes away in his offshore accounts.
Tsipras’s government is fine with Mr Farage too, even though it is, not to cut too fine a point, communist. And in its conflict with the EU, it’s at least as culpable as the EU itself.
A human mouse doesn’t have to reach for the cheese in the mousetrap. If it does, it’s just as responsible for its own death as whoever set the trap.
The Greeks borrowed cosmic sums they had no way, indeed no desire, to repay. This runs contrary not only to business ethics but also to fundamental morals, as expressed in the Eighth Commandment. Borrowing on false pretences is theft.
The EU corrupted the Greek government with free money, and the government then passed the baton of corruption on to the whole population. Receiving without earning seduced the Greeks into habitual indolence, and that’s a hard habit to abandon.
Thieving communist and fascist states are rotten bedfellows for a party trying to position itself as conservative. Politics is a cynical business, but it has to be fettered by at least some morality to have any value.
Ukip claims it’s morally different from other parties. Nigel Farage should be careful not to show it isn’t.