Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sarkozy: Franco-German relationship is ‘sacred’

The decreed deadline for reaching agreement on the ‘Constitution for Europe’ is 21st June, and as the date looms, the Prime Minister is faced with the opportunity for a legacy beyond the Iraq war. He could say ‘yes’, and go down in history with Sir Edward Heath as a leader who tried to place Britain at the heart of Europe; or he could say ‘no’, and be remembered, like Margaret Thatcher in Bruges, for resisting the vision for a United States of Europe.

The usual threats are emerging. Mr Blair has been warned that to cause dissent is to risk being ‘isolated’, notwithstanding that such ‘isolation’ appears to enjoy the company of Poland and the Czech republic at least, not to mention a majority of the citizens of Holland and France. And to affirm the Constitution will leave Prime Minister Brown picking up the political pieces, trying to justify to the nation by what right an impotent Mr Blair signed away further swathes of our sovereignty, establishing an omnipotent President of Europe, and placing British foreign policy at the feet of the EU’s ‘foreign minister.

But whatever the stance of the United Kingdom, the Constitution has been fore-ordained. The teleology and infallibility are unmistakable, and not even concealed. And the EU’s answer to the ‘democratic deficit’ - the distance between the government and the governed, the disillusionment felt by the people towards their political leaders - is that EU citizens should be given more say in ‘shaping policies’. Not, you understand, that they will have a vote - no, God forbid that the humiliations of the French and Dutch referenda should be repeated – but that a way might be found ‘to empower citizens to voice their opinions’ in order that they might engage in ‘strengthened dialogue’, to somehow ‘feel’ involved. Of course, these opinions have to be consistent with what is already fore-ordained. Any expressions to the contrary will simply be ignored. The path to a United Europe is pursued with religious zeal. It has become an article of faith, and none may challenge the orthodoxy.

The heart of Europe has been reiterated by President Sarkozy, who said: ‘I want to say to the German people that the friendship between France and Germany is sacred and that nothing can call it into doubt.’ Germany and France decide, because they always have. The spirit of Charlemagne lives on.

Indeed. Let Germany and France be friends, and let them perceive the holiness of divinity in their visions and dreams. But let it not be forgotten that the United Kingdom has its own faith, its own creed, which gave birth to its own culture, traditions, and worldview, and permitted it to pursue its own vision to place an unmistakable footprint on the world. And there is still yet more for this little island nation to do in the world, and they can’t destroy this country’s dreams, however hard they try.

21 Comments:

Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

A tad dramatic, even for you, Your Grace. What are this country's dreams then? And are France and Germany trying to destroy them?

???

3 June 2007 at 10:56  
Blogger Alan Douglas said...

"by what right an impotent Mr Blair signed away further swathes of our sovereignty, establishing an omnipotent President of Europe"

I'm surprised you ask - surely we already KNOW the name of the first "President of Europe" ? Blair's payoff for his final act of treachery.

Long live President Blair (perhaps in Ford open prison as a white-collar convict) !

Alan Douglas

3 June 2007 at 11:21  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace makes a common mistake with respect to France and Germany. Palmerston once noted “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual.”


The problem is that twice in a generation Britain forgot that rule and was seduced by France into disastrous alliances which destroyed British power.

Until c.1908 Germany had never been our enemy and France had never been our friend. The prospect of war with France was much more likely than war with Germany in 1900.

France inveigled Britain into shoring up its weakness against Germany and created the imbalance on the European Continent which led to both the Second War and The Cold War.

France dominated huge swathes of the Rhineland under Louis XIV and Napoleon press-ganged Rhinelanders into fighting his wars in Russia..........it was the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo which paved the way for Prussia to expand and incorporate The Rhineland to form modern Germany and crown the Prussian King at Versailles after defeat of France in 1871

The French have dreamed of controlling Germany and defeat in 1918 gave them the capability - Giscard d'Estaing was born in Wiesbaden to a French Occupation Administrator - the French invaded The Ruhr in 1923 with the Belgians - yet just 10 years later took fright at Germany's new leader.

Pilsudski of Poland offered the French an alliance to fight Hitler in 1935 - the Polish Army was bigger than Germany's - which did not introduce the draft until 1936.

France blinked and the following year Pilsudski was dead and Germany re-occupied the Rhineland.

Thereafter French foreign policy was to bring Britain into alliance against Germany by using Chamberlain as honest-broker to help France get out of its treaty obligations to Poland and Czechoslovakia.

With Germany defeated in 1945 Churchill gave France a leading role in the Konnadatura controlling Germany and its own Zone - because Churchill wanted to use France to keep Germany under control......France liked that.

The EU was a way for France to rebuild her empire and make Germany pay for French ambitions which is why Britain had to be isolated within Europe, by exclusion from the EU or high costs of membership

Germans feel no great love of France, having a sense of being cheated by French politicians pusuing nationalist agendas.....but they have a political class split between Anti-US SPD and diminished CDU....and a population which wants a quiet life.

Sarkozy and Merkel are like Mafia bosses warmlt embracing but never sure whether the hand behind the back conceals a knife

3 June 2007 at 12:59  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Thank you, Mr Voyager, but since His Grace agrees with every word you said, he is puzzled as to what 'common mistake' he has made. None of the above negates the historical significance of the empire of Charlemagne, and its continuing importance to the revived Roman Empire. He never said that Sarkozy and Merkel were enamoured soulmates; simply that their nations embrace a common destiny at the 'heart of Europe'.

3 June 2007 at 13:17  
Anonymous Voyager said...

His Grace agrees with every word you said, he is puzzled as to what 'common mistake' he has made.

Your concordance Your Grace merely confirms your infallibility

3 June 2007 at 13:37  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Voyager, Cranmer, and Alan Douglas,

You must explain to me why you speak of treachery, problems, destruction of British power, and threatened eternal interests.

What are these interests? Please tell me what these dreams are that France and Germany are jeopardising. And do so please without rolling your eyes.

3 June 2007 at 14:39  
Anonymous Colin said...

Your Grace,

"And the EU’s answer to the ‘democratic deficit’ - the distance between the government and the governed, the disillusionment felt by the people towards their political leaders - is that EU citizens should be given more say in ‘shaping policies’. Not, you understand, that they will have a vote - no, God forbid that the humiliations of the French and Dutch referenda should be repeated – but that a way might be found ‘to empower citizens to voice their opinions’ in order that they might engage in ‘strengthened dialogue’, to somehow ‘feel’ involved. Of course, these opinions have to be consistent with what is already fore-ordained."

Well said, indeed!

Voyager,

That's your second article showing an extraordinary insight. The other one, which I equally admired, was about the lack of understanding of the general population with regard to con jobs of politicians.

Snuffleupagus,

You asked His Grace "What are this country's dreams then?" I hope that Britons are still dreaming of their culture of liberty and independence.

Furthermore, you asked "And are France and Germany trying to destroy them?"

Yes. French and German politicians are dreaming of rebuilding the ancient Roman Empire, this time including the oil-rich countries, in order to replace the USA as the hegemonial power of the world. Britain and other European countries ruled by unelected bureaucrats from Brussels will destroy the freedom of its citizens and make everybody a serf. As history has shown, the consolidation of an empire is followed by attempts of expansion, i.e. Africa and the Middle East are likely to become the victims of the next round of European imperialism. French and German troops are already in Africa allegedly to ensure democratic elections. Despite all the talk about helping Africa, Africans are are severely hampered to sell their products in Europe. Instead, they are kept dependent on foreign aid. The elites of empires always resent the power of competing empires. For example, after the foundation of the German empire by Bismark, hate developed against Britain and France, the major hegemonial powers of that time. Now, we are witnessing the same development in the EU. Constantly, the competing world powers, i.e. the USA, Russia and China, are attacked in the media either for uncontrolled capitalism, lack of democracy or lack of environmentalism or any combination thereof. Only the EU and the dominant religion of the future, oil-rich EU members are presented in the MSM as the forces of good in the world. As Voyager once wrote in other thread, people don't understand that they are duped.

3 June 2007 at 14:45  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Ms Snuffleupagus,

His Grace knows that you are a teacher, but of what he does not know. But since it can neither be history nor English literature, he is pleased to recommend to you A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, by Winston Churchill. It is by no means a perfect work, and it has significant historical shortcomings, but it is a work which understands and cogently articulates Britain's heritage, it identifies what binds the British Commonwealth, and also indicates a possible future. A future, His Grace might add, quite at variance with being subsumed into a continental superstate.

3 June 2007 at 15:35  
Anonymous athanasius said...

Has anybody actually asked Mr Brown what his views are? He could stop Blair in his tracks (or encourage him).

3 June 2007 at 16:11  
Blogger EUBanana said...

I think Voyager's skit on the French is a tad unfair when applied to the period between 1930 and 1939. I would imagine that the events of the Spanish Civil War would bear that much out.

The French were prepared to get involved on the side of the Spanish Republic, and only decided not to do so (they wavered many times throughout the war) due to the British making it very clear to them that if they got involved in Spain, they were on their own if Hitler got annoyed.

Meanwhile the British government of the day would stoop to almost any depths to appease the fascists, letting Franco use Royal Navy communications gear at Gibraltar, and turning a blind eye to when Mussolini began torpedoing merchants sailing under the British flag in the Mediterranean. The French more than once questioned the folly of this, but we gave them the brushoff. Indeed, it seems that more than a few figures in the Establishment were pretty much pro-fascist, more concerned with fighting communism than fascism.

The French were in a position of weakness after WW1, and while the Triple Entente may not have been in the British interest (though it should be pointed out that the British policy for centuries has been divide and rule in the continent, it was the policy which made us chisel away at Napoleon, and it was also behind us chiselling away at the new Great Power, the German Empire), so it is understandable that they weren't willing to act unilaterally (they sure were in WW1, Britain was almost disregarded as an ally in 1914 with its tiny army). But any grovelling acquiescence to fascism in the 30s has only one source, and it wasn't France.

3 June 2007 at 17:39  
Anonymous Colin said...

Eubanana,

I don't know where you get your information from such as "The French were in a position of weakness after WW1"

As a matter of fact, France was the leading proponent of harsh peace terms against Germany in the Treaty of Versailles. Operating under the Treaty of Versailles, France responded to German failure to pay reparations under the treaty by occupying the Ruhr area of Germany, the centre of German coal and steel production, from 1923 to 1925. From wikipedia, not always the ultimate source of wisdom but correct in this regard.

3 June 2007 at 18:08  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace - Thank you for the suggestion of the book. You are right: I teach neither English nor history. But I rather hoped for a more immediate, shorter, and more personal explanation of what you want for Britain. I do not share your (and your other communicants) sense of nationalism - mainly no doubt, because I am not British.

Colin, thank you for your explanation, but I am not sure it helps me. Surely you don't mean to suggest that Voyager and Cranmer feel as they do about the EU because they are worried about Africa?

3 June 2007 at 21:32  
Anonymous Voyager said...

But any grovelling acquiescence to fascism in the 30s has only one source, and it wasn't France.

It most certainly was France - even Mitterand was a member of Croix de Feu. The Popular Front Government of Leon Blum did not get involved in Spain simply because Mussolini would not approve and the Right in France would have toppled the Blum Government.

You may find this book useful

France Interwar

Great Britain had very good relations with Germany post-1919. Chamberlain's half-brother, Sir Austen Chamberlain was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize together with Gustav Stresemann for the Treaty of Locarno.

Neville Chamberlain had been Chancellor of the exchequer for 6 years before becoming PM and wanted to focus on domestic reform and social policy.

He did however fund rearmament after 1935 - both Dowding and Trenchard were able to build up the RAF

It was France that failed to honour its treaties with Poland and Czechoslovakia and thereby vitiated the treaty the Czechs had with the USSR....

Britain had NO treaty obligations in Central Europe and only in Western Europe under Locarno

Throughout the 1920s the Bank of England was working closely with the Reichsbank.

France in 1940 wanted Churchill to order more Spitfires to France but Dowding refused to commit his strategic reserve.

Funnily enough France had hangars full of Hotchkiss aircraft from the USA but simply wanted Britain to go down with France and Churchill almost obliged.

Lord Gort and Dowding saved Britain from being sucked into the vortex - France was able to manipulate the British to the very last....and still does as Blair gave up the British EU rebate and Chirac kept French farm subsidies.

The British are simply suckers for French persuasion

3 June 2007 at 23:00  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

Having lived and worked in France and Germany, we should have nothing to do with them. They are only interested in the advancment of their own countries using the EU to do so. The way this current labour government is taking away our freedom giving more power to councils and the police to oversee us is just what France and Germany want. We are sleepwalking into a Euro Superstate where our hard fought freedoms will dissapear.It should be resisted at every oppertunity.

4 June 2007 at 00:14  
Anonymous Colin said...

"Surely you don't mean to suggest that Voyager and Cranmer feel as they do about the EU because they are worried about Africa?"

Snuffleupagus,

I don't know their view on Africa. They are able to speak for themselves. I just wanted to let you know why I consider the EU to be dangerous.

4 June 2007 at 00:24  
Blogger Laban said...

I think that's a typo.

He meant 'scared'.

4 June 2007 at 01:03  
Blogger Laban said...

Eubana - "turning a blind eye to when Mussolini began torpedoing merchants sailing under the British flag in the Mediterranean."

Didn't we put a stop to that in conjunction with France via the Nyon conference ?

4 June 2007 at 01:08  
Blogger EUBanana said...

re. Colin

I was talking about the Thirties when France was weak, not immediately after World War 1. Obviously, Germany was beaten then and the costs to the victors had yet to really bite.

Though the Ruhr invasion did not have a happy ending for the French, they were forced to back down, and they didn't get the war reparations from Germany that they wanted.

5 June 2007 at 01:56  
Blogger EUBanana said...

re. us putting a stop to it, Beevor's book on the subject claims that while there was talk about stopping British ships from being torpedoed, all it was was talk. I assume he knows what he's on about!

There was talk about helping the Spanish Republic as well - in the 'leading them on' sense...

5 June 2007 at 01:59  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I assume he knows what he's on about!

Like any historian he has a view and presents facts to support it...they may not be the complete facts...best to read more than one history

5 June 2007 at 07:06  
Blogger EUBanana said...

Oh, I agree there. Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot of in depth stuff about the Spanish Civil War, which is a shame as its pretty fascinating.

5 June 2007 at 15:53  

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