First, the Ukrainian crisis seems only to be deepening:
Commandos have moved on the separatist stronghold of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine days after a new “anti-terrorist” operation was announced.
A number of casualties were reported among the separatists as the commandos, backed by armour, cleared barricades near the town.
Separatists are occupying key buildings in at least a dozen eastern towns.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of “consequences” if Kiev used the army against its own people.
Speaking on Russian TV as news of the Sloviansk operation was coming in, Mr Putin said: “If the regime in Kiev has begun using the army against the population inside the country, then this is undoubtedly a very serious crime.”
Ukraine is torn between people who owe their allegiance to Russia, and those who have been lured by the EU’s expansion east. It’s a crisis that has been generated by the supranational EU’s expansionism. As Christopher Booker wrote earlier this week:
For 60 years, the “European Project” has been driven by its ideological belief that the evil of “nationalism” must give way to an undemocratic, unaccountable, “supra-nationalism”. But by pushing its “soft power” right up to Russia’s borders, the EU has finally gone a bridge too far.
That’s one face of the EU. Here’s another:
Cornwall’s claims to a separate culture, language and identity are to be recognised by Europe, the UK government will announce later on Thursday.
The Cornish are to be granted the same status as the Welsh, Scots and Irish under the Council of Europe’s rules protecting national minorities from discrimination.
Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury – and a Scot – will make the announcement on a visit to the county…
The announcement derives from the Council of Europe’s 1998 Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, originally drafted in the wake of the break up of Yugoslavia and other parts of eastern Europe.
Ever heard of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities? Because I certainly hadn’t.
I wonder if smokers are National Minorities which need Protection? We have our own culture and identity. And arguably our own language. e.g. “gottalite mate?”
But it struck me today that as the EU swallows entire nations as it expands eastwards , it simultaneously acts to fragment those nations, and break them down into smaller and more manageable localities or regions. It does this in order to centralise power in itself, by diminishing the power of its constituent states.
Because if the United Kingdom can be broken into Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland, the political clout of the United Kingdom will be accordingly reduced. And if England can then be further broken up into Cornwall and Devon and Somerset and all the other counties, then the political power of England will be reduced to near-zero. And if the same process is repeated in France (Bretons?), and Spain (Catalonians), and Italy (Venetians), the EU will come to consist of a patchwork quilt of tiny powerless statelets under the central super-government of Brussels or Strasbourg.
It’s the constant refrain of Euro-zealots like Manuel Barroso that Europe’s voice will only count on the world stage when it becomes a unitary state that can rival the USA, China, India, etc. He’s quite right of course. And in Ukraine we can now see where that leads: it has led to the collision of the EU and Russian superstates. Instead of wars between small nation states, we will get wars between superstates.
But the flip side of Barroso’s appeal is that the more power is concentrated in Brussels, the less power resides in the peripheral European member states. And the more these states become fragmented and divided, the less power they can individually exert.
So the larger and more centralised the EU becomes, the more able it becomes able to fight wars with the likes of Russia, and the less able its disempowered citizens are to prevent it from doing so.
And we may be finding exactly this happening very soon.