At the End of the Day

Nationalism is not the antidote to globalism

If ever you were looking for one of those days that might embody living proof of the fact that supranationalism is never going to work, this was one of them.

Throughout this Friday, various UKippers (including Mirage himself) have been banging on about desperate refugees trying to get into Britain (where, as you know, the streets are paved with gold) while some 8000 times as many boat people have been pouring into ClubMed….a region, let’s be clear about this, that isn’t exactly equipped for 400,000 extra mouths to feed at the moment.

It goes without saying of course: neither are we. But British and French police confirmed earlier today that some, er, 230 people had been involved in the latest Calais fracas. It took the French a painfully long time to stop playing the NIMBY card and work jointly with the UK….however, one shouldn’t carp: it is not, after all, terribly dignified to have a spat about who might or might not be responsible for people with no money, no shelter, no protection and no hope.

But that is exactly what happened when I tweeted this afternoon to the effect that Macedonian police were tear-gassing desperate migrants. I got a hugely predictable response from Anna Kalionis, whose sole concern was to point out that this particular Macedonia was the former Yugoslav version, not the Greek one.

Ms Kalionis and I have crossed swords before. She has, to my mind, a very odd set of values: but as a former Greek civil servant and diplomat, she can always be relied upon to support the Greek Establishment and ensure that it should remain blameless….and of course, a member of the eurozone.

It is, I suppose, all about putting country before…, something or other. Unless, of course, that might be the overweening pride of Greek buffoons in being a member of the élite ezone club: for at that point, nothing comes before that membership card: not a starving populace, not an elected Government….and most certainly, not the sovereignty that these muddled jerks would happily surrender.

And so onto the third example. Most of you will recognise this 19th Century Times headline: ‘Huge earthquake in China, one Briton injured’. In later editions, it was corrected to ‘Huge earthquake in China, not many dead’ which always seemed to me to be digging a bigger hole for itself. Either way, a Moroccan Islamist went on a shooting spree while travelling on a train in France today, and the Daily Mail’s first subhead in early online postings announced ‘One Briton slightly injured’. Wiser subs prevailed in later versions.

Is there any point to this choice of news selection? Oddly enough yes, I think there are two:

  1. People cannot identify with (let alone love) a massive superstate that makes them feel like an unrepresented ant about to be unconsciously squashed beneath a well-heeled foot
  2. Even when reverting to national interests, their interpretation is likely to be self-absorbed and altogether base.

Genuinely enlightened mutual-interest reactions are rarely if ever apparent beyond the community level. For Homo sapiens remains what it has always been: a pack animal.

I do very sincerely apologise to Sloggers who have heard this at least a hundred times before.

Recently at The Slog: Remaining in the EU will destroy every decent aspiration you have