Monday, January 02, 2012

A knighthood for 'services to the enlargement of the European Union'?

While politicians, commentators and the media continue to squabble over the ex-convicts, drug dealers and Tory donors included in the 2012 New Year's Honours List, one knighthood has gone unnoticed. Slipped in under the Departmental List (Diplomatic Service and Overseas) for the Order of St Michael and St George is the name of one Dr Michael Leigh. We are told that he is 'lately Director General, Enlargement, European Commission, Brussels'. He is appointed Knight Commander 'for services to the enlargement of the European Union'.

It will, of course, come as no great surprise that an 'independent committee' of the Civil Service would scrutine the case of Dr Leigh and find him entirely meritorious. It is even less surprising that the Cabinet Office, led by the Rt Hon Francis Maude, made the recommendation, and that the FCO honours committee supported it.

But it is the Prime Minister who puts the ultimate political stamp of approval on the Honours List before it is passed to the Queen. And here we have a Conservative Prime Minister bestowing one of the nation's highest honours 'for services to the enlargement of the European Union'.

While it may be true to say that the wider the EU goes, the deeper it cannot be, it is difficult to see how rewarding those who work for enlargement of the Union with its present 'ever-closer' political objective may reflect a eurosceptic disposition. How does it accord with the stated objective of 'repatriating' powers? How is it consistent with the professed desire to reform EU structures, diminish bureacracy and cut costs?

The Order of St Michael and St George is awarded 'to men and women who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country. It can also be conferred for important or loyal service in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs'. Those appointed to the Order are being rewarded 'for services rendered to the Crown in relation to the foreign affairs of the Empire'.

So we may deduce that the enlargement of the EU remains an 'important' FCO objective (and so the Crown's).

The Order's motto is Auspicium melioris ævi ('Token of a better age'). Its patron saints are the Archangel St Michael and St George. One of its primary symbols is that of St Michael trampling over Satan. It would be the perfect religio-political Order to which prominent eurosceptics might be appointed. Christopher Booker KCMG?

The Prime Minister said the 2012 New Year's Honours List reflects his aims for the 'Big Society': it accords with his 'strategic agenda'. By enlisting these honours for his over-arching political programme, it would appear that the present Conservative Prime Minister is committing his 'Big Society' government to the same foreign policy as every government since 1973 - that of incrementally surrendering the sovereignty of the United Kingdom to an ever-bigger supranational Union. And those who work to that end are handsomely rewarded with knighthoods. Not so much cash for honours, as trash for treason.


Blogger Liam Pennington said...

I am pro-European and make no apology for that. However I agree with you that this award made me take a double-take at the newspapers.

How many applications was this man actually responsible for taking through the enlargement process? And if he was responsible...why award him with this particular award?

Very peculiar.

2 January 2012 at 11:24  
Blogger graham wood said...

"How does it accord with the stated objective of 'repatriating' powers? How is it consistent with the professed desire to reform EU structures, diminish bureacracy and cut costs? "

Well of course the answer to both questions is that it does not achieve either objective.
The award merely reflects the inner confusion that reigns in the Coalition on EU policy because it has divided objectives.
It reflects also the disgraceful continuation of subservience by all possible means to the ramshackle catastrophe which is the EU.
It is a worthless award, (who ever heard of the Order of St Michael and St George?) to a worthless crony of the EU, donated by an even worse pro EU Establishment in the UK to give an aura or legitimacy and "honour" to something which is in reality utterly corrupt.
Already it is a forgotten item of "news"

2 January 2012 at 11:38  
Blogger UMACF24 said...

Margaret Thatcher explicitly wanted the escaped Soviet Satellites to join the EU to frustrate Delors' plan for closer union. I remember her speech.

That logic is still good today: British enthusiasm for Turkish accession is mostly to annoy the French.

So Leigh's work, even within the Commission, may well have earned him a very eurosceptic K.

2 January 2012 at 11:59  
Blogger Ariadne said...

Vote UKIP!

2 January 2012 at 12:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. These Foreign Office types have had their special awards for generations. Goes with the job, don’t you know. Merely rubber stamped of course...

2 January 2012 at 12:14  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

UMSCF24; Turkey within the EU would be OK as long as we are not! But that would only be to spite the French and I don't see the point of that.
But what are these honours really meant to signify? That these Civil Servants have kept their noses clean and not upset the apple cart. Anyone who has any gumption and speaks out; forget it.

2 January 2012 at 12:15  
Blogger Di said...

"Trash for treason" - a brilliant line Your Grace.

The establishment of which this rewarded functionary is doubtless a part (along with all the other quislings of Lib-Lab-Con) clearly sees Britain's destiny as that of a bit-part player in the NWO - a vision which will surely come to pass unless we the people wake up.

2 January 2012 at 12:29  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

I take it that he never received a penny of remuneration for undertaking this most meritorious work.

Long live the Old Boys Network.

2 January 2012 at 13:56  
Blogger len said...

This Government (and previous ones) have sold this Country out, this is a fact.
However this Governments current occupation is to preserve the illusion that we actually Govern ourselves they do this by the Orwellian method of 'double talk' and double think.'

'The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.'( G Orwell)

2 January 2012 at 14:04  
Blogger WitteringsfromWitney said...

Nice article our Grace, Have linked to this as you appear to have missed one, one that is even more intriguing....

2 January 2012 at 14:16  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Not so much cash for honours, as trash for treason.

Treason comes in many guises and forms as history attests.

2 January 2012 at 15:11  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace: knowing nothing of euro-entitlements :), your communicant follows from the Father of English poetry. And his dreaming “Geffrey” never cared for Fame (1119; 1871-77), whose judgements parody or invert truth and justice. Yet, at her bidding, Eolus trumpets good reputation “As men a pot of bawme helde/Among a basketful of roses” (1686/7), while the stench of the bad is -“as the pit of helle” (1654)- to the end of time (1867).*

Chaucer knew Boethius- whose ‘incipit’ to the Consolatio he translated- and one Boethian concept he illustrates is that free will operates in the temporal world.** In Book I (HF), then, Dido clearly chooses to commit suicide, although the gods orchestrate other events.

Nevertheless, the poet supports “Philosophy’s” tenet that Providence is God’s divine reason, and Fate is the instrument through which all mutable and temporal things are governed. “Therefore, whether Fate is carried out by divine spirits in the service of Providence, or by a soul, or by the whole activity of nature, by the heavenly motions of the stars, by angelic virtue or diabolical cleverness, or by some or all of these agents, one thing is certain: Providence is the immovable and simple form of all things.” *** To wit: Man proposes; God disposes.

So the poet depicts Fame’s foundation as “feble” (1132)– it is wrought in air, above a mountain that’s perhaps synonymous with Dante’s Purgatory. There, in the image of its maker, every word ever uttered in the universe circulates around the arbitrating goddess. She thus masks a cosmic void that separates truth and justice from their substantial origins in earth, and their spiritual one in Logos. I say this is the grandeur of the poet’s vision: he sees beyond the pagan/materialist mediator to its Lord (553), and he goes on to define the relationship.


2 January 2012 at 16:03  
Blogger non mouse said...

For it is reasonable to suppose that Chaucer’s Fame - like his Fate (Jove/Jupiter), the Eagle, and Venus - is a Mercurial and “divinely authoritative voice” of the kind identified by J. P Gallacher.**** The figure mediates between words and Word, and it is to this end that she sees, hears, and speaks all good and evil, through multiple eyes (1381), ears, and tongues (1389/90). That would explain why, when the dreaming poet sees a worker of good deeds sentenced to shame and slander, he says: “But what, hyt moste needs be” (1615-30; 1635). He accepts the Divine Reason which infuses the scheme. The acceptance is a spiritual advance, and it enables moral strength by which Geffrey then consciously determines the path towards his own salvation (cf. 1871-1906).

I hope we all may learn something of the Divine Reason which similarly infuses present-day political schemes. May the smoking volcano of lies, deceit, and their effects, turn people towards Truth and the Word: the source of all words. ....In this year, 2012.

* Line numbers refer to:
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The House of Fame. The Riverside Chaucer. 3rd Ed. General Ed. Larry D. Benson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987; 347-373. Print. [HF]
Boethius, A. S. The Consolation of Philosophy. Trans. Richard Green. New York:Macmillan, 1962. Print. [** Book 5, Prose 6, 117-119; ***[Book 4, Prose 6, 92.]

Gallacher, Patrick J. Love, the Word, and Mercury: A Reading of John Gower’s Confessio Amantis. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984; 159/60. Print. ****[Gallacher here credits Kenneth Burke with recognition of the principle.]

wv: synespo

2 January 2012 at 16:11  
Blogger UKIP said...

Linking here:

2 January 2012 at 17:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Doody the battered and bruised bantam squawked

"Treason comes in many guises and forms as history attests."

Ooooh you poor dickie.

Seems like that flogging you keep giving yourself with those "knittles" should be having some effect so by now you should be nicely self basted.

Just the mere use of latin with the motto 'Auspicium melioris ævi' or the term "stated objective of 'repatriating' powers? " appears to make you feel the former relates to Rome and the latter to 'rightly' repatriating powers back to the holy see.

478 years of hurt? RC's appear to have bigger issues than the deluded people who sing Three Lions every 2 years from the terraces.

Soooo much hurt and bitterness been brew'n in that poor dickie bird's chest since 1534.

A song for the terraces, perhaps.

'Three Popes on me shirt'.
What say ya?
Need Lyrics?

Ernst :-)

2 January 2012 at 22:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


Should that be 'Three Liars on me shirt' or is that the same thing?

Ernst ;o)

2 January 2012 at 22:15  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Ernie the Milkman

Please, for your own sake, do take your medication regularly.

3 January 2012 at 00:30  
Blogger Oswin said...

Ernst: Avi might agree here; as I reckon it's Jewish 'angst' transcribed, transposed, transported and backdated.

In all honesty, I don't think you can truly blame Anglo-R.C's for Dodo's peculiar maunderings; too unfair by half, what?

Happy New Year to you all!

3 January 2012 at 02:53  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Oswin said most christianly @3 January 2012 02:53

Ernst agrees with you my lad but does'nt it grate ever soo slightly. RC Waterboarding?

He appears to be the whole legion of mary rolled into one (but many cyber persona?!) human being.

and I have the lyrics done just so he could chirp them from the terraces of the Theatre of Dreams..Blast! *Huge Giggle*

Ernsty..Happy 2012 lad.


"'transcribed, transposed, transported and backdated." You missed 'Transubstantiated' and other magical phrases from Bedknobs and Broomsticks. *Chuckling*

3 January 2012 at 11:01  
Blogger Dodo the Katholikos Dude said...

Ernie the Milkman

You left out Transfiguration, silly boy.

You know, the wonderful miracle where God and human nature met, the eternal and the temporal? It comes shortly after Peter's confession and Jesus' words to him:

" ... you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

So inconvenient isn't it? No wonder you avoided the Transfiguration.

And Transformation too?

You'll find this in Romans where Paul outlines how the Gospel transforms believers and the behaviour that results from such a transformation. He describes how believers should live under the grace of God. If believers live in obedience to God, study the scriptures, share them with others and love everybody, believers are not going to need to sin. Paul states the necessity of faith for salvation but points to the necessity of living a virtuous life as well.

Again, rather inconvenient as Martin Luther felt compelled to alter the very words of Scripture given his inordinate desire for a complete assurance of salvation.

3 January 2012 at 13:27  
Blogger Arden Internet Advertising said...

Enlarging it before it explodes! He might as well have got it for denying democracy to Europeans. Greece is on it's way out of the Eurozone rather like an oiled seagull on the beach.

Maybe Her Majesty could thump him with the sword rather than dub him?

3 January 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger Owl said...

A very pertinent article YG.

I've always wondered if Dave's big society covered just the whole of Europe or was he planning going world wide with his idea.

3 January 2012 at 22:08  
Blogger bluedog said...

You have, Your Grace, commented on the culture of the FCO in earlier posts.

Once again we see evidence that the FCO has been captured by the Quai d'Orsay. The suggestion by communicant UMACF24 that British support for Turkish accession to the EU is a tactic to annoy the French can be safely dismissed. The idea of the FCO doing anything to annoy Paris except under extreme duress is fanciful. If anything British support for Turkey is done hesitantly, mainly to appease the Americans who fret that an estranged Turkey may decide to revoke the treaties that guarantee right of passage through the Bosphorus.

Mr William Hague needs to purge the FCO root and branch. It is time this obsessively Francophile entity learned to enjoy relations with the English-speaking world, inter alia.

3 January 2012 at 22:31  
Blogger non mouse said...

Well said, Mr. Bluedog.

However, are not our options constrained by the present 'relationship' between the Royal Navy and the frogs? Why, they're even forcing our boys to learn that mucked up version of Latin!

I also wonder though, if there is a chance that the US believe they can exploit the franco-arab 'mutual admiration society.' I never met an Arab who didn't tell me how superior the frogules are to us, in every way and at everything. So perhaps there's some scheme afoot to combine Western influences in subduing the "Oriental" [grr] excitement?

I'm unclear as to how such shenanigans could work to Anglospheric advantage or even welfare. But doubtless the Frankfurt School Theorists will give a gallic shrug, and ....

4 January 2012 at 01:06  
Blogger non mouse said...

sorry ... 'a collective gallic schrug' :)

Oh, the instability of words.

4 January 2012 at 01:19  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Owl said

"I've always wondered if Dave's big society covered just the whole of Europe or was he planning going world wide with his idea."

A Franchise? McCameron. mmm. Big Society with fries. LARGE. cue annoying ditty!


4 January 2012 at 08:27  
Blogger bluedog said...

'are not our options constrained by the present 'relationship' between the Royal Navy and the frogs' Indeed, non-mouse @ 01.06. As the ultimate guarantor of British independence is the United States it would probably make more sense to reconfigure the RN as a European squadron of the USN, at least in terms of equipment. Since Suez it has not been possible for either Britain or France to operate globally without the implied consent of the USA. It is therefore a national conceit writ large to spend billions developing weapon systems that are inferior to those of the USA, the two new carriers included.

In any event, the latest Anglo-French defence agreement was aimed at Germany. Why? If there is a European hegemon, far better to deal with them directly rather than through the agency of the Quai D'Orsay. After all, British air defence is based on fighter aircraft jointly developed with Germany, not France.

4 January 2012 at 19:48  

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