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What Barroso should have said

13 September 2012

José Manuel Barroso gave his annual ‘State of the Union’ address in Strasbourg yesterday. If you are a glutton for punishment, you can read the full speech here, but in this week’s Spectator, Quentin Letts offers the president of the European Commission a transcript for the speech he should have given. Here is a snippet of what Barroso should have said:

For years we have dreamed of a Europe with level economies, a Europe with equality of outcomes. Our patience will soon have its reward, for all our economies will soon be equally knackered. Our Union thus becomes truly egalitarian. Let us salute the blue stars on our federal flag. Let us hum Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Hum it, indeed, for unfortunately there is no money to pay for an orchestra.

At 23 per cent, youth unemployment is high, but it affects youngsters from Brno to Brest. Government debt in the European Union may have risen by €620 billion but the problem exists from Valladoil to Vilnius, from Timisoara to Tipperary. And still Croatia is happy to join our great enterprise. Suckers!

No more the hierarchy of nations. No more the bitterness of seeing neighbours prosper while we decline. It is a triumph. As those strange British Conservatives like to say, we are all in this together. Has social cohesion ever been more evident? Whole populations have come together to riot in the streets. Have the people of Italy ever felt such solidarity with citizens who live on the Iberian peninsula? Can we not admire the candour with which Greeks now feel able to speak to their brothers and sisters in Germany?

You can read the full piece here or in this week’s copy of the Spectator, which is out today. Click here to subscribe.

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Show comments
  • Worden Report

    I don’t think Barroso was very consistent on whether the EU is or is not yet a federal system. Perhaps he does not know the meaning of the concept, which is characterized by the attribute of dual sovereignty. For analysis of his speech on this point, pls see my essayatp://

  • Daniel Maris

    If this is satire, then Voltaire is up in my attic composing his sequel to Candide.
    Pathetic. I am disappointed as I often find Quentin Letts perceptive and funny.
    The problem I think that this isn’t satire it is frustration. Satire works when you feel the tide of history is with you. But this feels bitter – “Why haven’t those uppity Europeans done what we expected and fallen into a disorganised heap?” History isn’t moving in the right direction.
    I say all the above as a Eurosceptic.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    He could have concluded;
    “Never in history has such a crippled ideological tail wagged such an enormous dog. Putin and Jintao – look on our works and despair”

  • Eric

    Has his friend Nigel Farage said anything yet?

  • In2minds

    But according to David Cameron it’s in our best interests to stay in an organisation run by this man!

  • Archimedes

    Even better, they have managed expansion beyond their wildest dreams, dragging the rest of the developed world, kicking and screaming, into their vainglorious destitution! Innovation is thriving, having developed a nuclear deterrent more suitable to these modern economic times: a single currency.

  • RKing

    All of the comments depress me because they are so true.

    Is there no way out for us true Brits are we all doomed?

    • dalai guevara

      Way out? Way forward!

      EADS and BAE are up for a merger, Continental and Britsh forces have completed their first training exercise in Libya, watch a European army take shape as a result.

      You still want out ? It won’t be Cameron stopping you, soon it will be the generals.

      • GScott

        listen you muppet .. all of europe owes it freedoms to Brits, Canadians and Yanks … and god help us the ruskies. You idots could not even spell democracy. The E.U. is an organisation so unaccountable to the people, so corrupt so inept it realy does begger belief. Van the Man and Borroso are the most useless knobs in the world. They fit in just fine

        • dalai guevara

          Listen you muppet? You don’t even owe your parents anything, just treat them with respect.

  • Alan Eastwood

    I meant to ask the question why no author of this article has placed their name on it? Fear from the EUSSR or Common Purpose?

  • Alan Eastwood

    Let us not debate what he DIDN’T say but what he did say. The fear of many is now facing us, a Confederation of Nation States under one banner, United as a super power.
    Now we can see why our military has been weakened so, No Navy, No RAF and an army kept well out of the way in a discredited and useless war. Why the police are being changed into a continental model and why the English have been trodden on and it being removed from maps. Why schools have not taught the history of these isles, even why we have been decimalised. Whilst we have been inside our little homes ignoring what was happening.
    Why all eu legislation has been agreed to, why Common Purpose has been allowed to get its tentacles into every aspect of public life, why no party in Parliament shows no objection to anything thrown up by this undemocratic organisation.
    We have been betrayed by politicians, broadcasters and newspapers. No politician has ever stood against this tyranny and the people have been kept in the dark and fed on bull,,,,.
    Sadly I fear the worst. All major parties will be standing for being part of this new world. We will be lost outside etc. etc. etc. all supported by the BBC. Channel 4, Sky and the rest…
    The people will support becoming Europeans.

    • Publius

      …And one day, a long time from now, some despicable politician will stand up in what is left of our parliament and say sorry and will admit that all the political and bureaucratic elite was complicit and no one did anything to stop it.

      Sorry, but too late.

  • Gina Dean

    Why oh why do the Greeks still feel the need to tread the path they are on. Just 1 country is all that it will take to start the ball rolling, to dismantle the monolith that the EU has become. Will we in this country be the first because listening to his speech fills me with dread for what is to come. They ignore what the people want but make them continue till they get answer that the EU wants from them. 1 of the MEPs said that what was required was 5% of GDP from all countries to run the EU. Where do they think the money will come from. Greece is borrowing money from the ECB to pay back the ECB in the interest they owe. How crazy is that.

  • UlyssesReturns

    What Barroso could have said but didn’t was:

    Democracy has failed the EU elites. It is now time to forge ahead with a new European Federation run by me, Merkel and whoever runs France. All the other countries will keep us in charge because we will be paying their bills.

    The only country that will not join is the United Kingdom. Despite the best efforts of our satraps Brown, Clegg and Cameron, we will not be able to stop an in-out referendum on the new treaty and the UK will leave the glorious newly-named Democratic Federation of Independent European Regions/States. In the meantime we will emasculate the City of London and send as many Romanians and Bulgarians to England as we can to further weaken the British economy to benefit Paris and Frankfurt.

    Long live the 4th Reich.

    • telemachus

      We need these folk to stimulate the economy when the next chancellor pump primes infrastructure projects

      • Nicholas

        Stimulate is one word for it I suppose.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        They certainly keep police and prison officers in work.

      • telemacharse


    • James

      I think you mean People’s Federated Democratic Republic of Independent European Regions.

    • dalai guevara

      It always makes me cringe when posters on here proclaim democracy has failed in the EU. How that? Do we not vote for MEPs? And do we send our best chaps and lasses like the French and others? You will respond: yes, but no but van Rompuy, Ashton et al…

      Yawn, I tell you. The EU is much more democratic than Britain. Have you voted for the Queen? Did you elect the hereditary peers? Did you vote for Osborne to drive the economy even deeper into the ground?


      • BullDancer

        So much wrong with your preposterous statement. Why do you people hate the English so much?

        • dalai guevara

          Hate myself? I detest hypocrisy and will invert spin.

      • chudsmania

        Ask the Irish abour EU democracy , vote again or face the consequences. The EU is the most vile organisation on the planet

        • dalai guevara

          Yes indeed, face the consequences – when I visited Ireland in the late Eighties, Temple Bar was a slum, office workers in the country would hitch a ride to work and the whiskey was good.

          Now, the country has undergone one of the most spectacular transformations in Europe, Dublin is unaffordable, new homes as far as you can see and the whiskey is good.

          To believe that Ireland’s rapid transformation would have been possible without EU affiliation would be a falsification of history. I guess most locals realise that.

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