Something worth reading in the Guardian:
“The damage is so deep that it does not matter whether you come from a creditor, debtor country, euro would-be member or the UK: everybody is worse off,” said José Ignacio Torreblanca, head of the ECFR’s Madrid office. “Citizens now think that their national democracy is being subverted by the way the euro crisis is conducted.”
I’m not surprised. Not that it’ll make any difference to the political class, which remains completely wedded to the EU, and smoking bans, and global warming – all of which are beginning to look more and more like the weird customs and practices of some ancien regime just before it was overthrown, and its leaders bloodily butchered.
Yet I suppose that I’m one of the 20% that changed their mind about the EU over the past 5 years. I used to be in favour of it. Happy family of nations, and all that. Now I think it’s a Frankenstein monster.
Roll on UKIP, affectionately considered by Peter Oborne:
Started by New Labour (who copied it from Clinton’s New Democrats) and duplicated in turn by Conservative modernisers, manipulative populism has hollowed out the three main political parties. Voters have recoiled in despair from what they perceive as their artifice and deceit, and alighted instead on Mr Farage, with his pint of beer, his Rothmans, his cheerful saloon-bar views and his patent authenticity. As a result, Ukip has ceased to be just a single-issue party. It has steadily widened into a broad-based national revolt against a remote and cynical ruling elite.
It’s the Rothmans that matters most.
Contrast Farage with (H/T roobeedoo) antismoking eurocrat Catherine Ashton:
“Recently Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, took the elevator to the ground floor of her agency’s Brussels headquarters and marched into the building’s inner courtyard. A pavilion there allows smokers to stay dry even on rainy days. On this particular one, though, it wasn’t raining in Brussels for once, and a few EU employees stood smoking outside the structure. They were more than a little surprised when Ashton appeared in front of them and asked that they please step inside the pavilion, because otherwise their cigarette smoke would waft into the offices on the building’s upper floors.”