Posts Tagged ‘EU’

Europe – The War Grave of Politics

April 22, 2016

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Christopher Lee

22 April 2016, London

Ted Heath, shortly after he retired as Prime Minister told me that EU membership made war less likely in Europe. We were sitting in the drawing room of his house in the peaceful embrace of Salisbury Cathedral Close with the garden running down to the sweet Avon.

It was a warm summer and the future was safe in the hands of Europe – as long that is, the hands were firmly clasped together.

President Obama’s message this morning is that too many American soldiers died on the beaches and ditches of this continent for the United States not to have a view on the UK referendum on EU membership. Ted Heath M.C. and Obama would have understood each other.

What Heath said and the point Obama made is a reminder that the EU was born out of the tragedy of World War II. The founding fathers, men like Jean Monet, Joseph Bech, Robert Schuman, Paul Henri Spaak et al were of one mind; the Benelux Customs Union, the Coal and Steel and later the Economic Community brought together minds in political and commercial unity.  But the purpose was greater: Europe should never again be split in war.

This was all during the opening moves of the Cold War. The USSR prepared for war – the Channel Ports in four days was the brag of the 16th Shock Army in Magdeburg. A wise European elder, sat with me this morning, sipped from his bowl of coffee, dragged on his now socially unacceptable Gauloises (a successor to Monet perhaps) and observed, Putin has his new Shock Army.

This past week, Putin’s suits sat once more in the NATO-Moscow Council in Brussels (No No Smoking signs needed – you simply don’t) and with splendid diplomatic curtness ran through an agenda to see if the Alliance and Russia could get back to an practical informality that predated the taking of the Crimea and the interference in the Ukraine. It was good that the cocktail of ambassadors met after two years apart. Yet the political and military differences are as great if not greater.

As my vieux sage rasped, Putin works on the break-up of the EU. The Americans are throwing in brigades. Not what we had in mind when we all signed in 1975.

Equally let no one doubt that the US would never pay to join an organisation that dictated 60% of its laws.  Nevertheless the imagery of committed soldiery is stark. Today, with remaining suspicions about Putin’s ambitions and the demonstration of Daesh tactics in Brussels and Paris quite clear, the Obama message should be understood. In effect, Europe remains America’s front line.

That is not a political point as is the June referendum.  It is Intelligence Analysis at its simplest.

Ted Heath too understood this as did many of his Cabinet – five Military Crosses, including his Defence Secretary.  They had got their knees brown. Heath’s view was simple: membership of NATO was not enough even though it brought Canada and the US into some future ORBAT.

The real Order of Battle is the diplomacy and long term thinking of the EU. Could be why Obama has gone out on a diplomatic limb.

 

 

 

 

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Cameron’s plan to call out the 16 year-olds to vote for him on 23 June?

February 21, 2016

christopher_lee180-11

Christopher Lee

21st February 20016

Westminster

The theatre of David Cameron’s assault on the EU is done. A UK referendum will be held on 23 June when the British people will vote to stay in the EU or leave.

Mr Cameron’s people are looking for ways of guaranteeing a Yes Vote. So watch for a change of the electoral roll to include 16+ year-olds.  Teenage voters, say the focus groups will vote to stay in Europe.

If the government does not get its way then another referendum will be held to check that the people knew what they were saying. Corrupt? Not quite.  It is the way of these things.

Meanwhile the moral quality of our leaders is displayed today.  Cameron is telling anyone who votes No to Europe will be jeopardising national security.  Terrorists will be aiming at strike on the UK after 23 June if we all vote to go.  Iain Duncan-Smith (who wants to quit) says that if we stay terrorists will be aiming a strike on the UK after 23 June.

I can imagine Mohammad al-Baghdadi sitting in Daesh council deciding terrorism strike policy based on a referendum in a country that has trumpeted a major airstrike operation on Daesh but has yet to have had much more than a car-load’s success in spite of using missiles that cost £300,000 a time.

From our leaders we would hope for less insulting rubbish. But when a nation hopes it means that its leaders are pretty low grade ore.  That is what we now see.

 

 

 

Christopher Lee

May 20, 2013

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A Letter From The Queen To Her Most Loyal Subject

20 May 2013

Apparently Mr Cameron’s people think that one is a swivel-eyed loon – or that this one is. The Chamberlain, such a trustworthy courtier, says that someone in Downing Street told The Press that members of The Party are forcing MPs to vote against Gay Marriage and the European Union.

One hopes that our very agreeable, although not very bright, Lord Feldman did not call voters swivel-eyed loons. Especially as the Commoners in their little homes may have a sensible instinct about Europe and odd weddings.

At Windsor we are not very taken with the EU and would rather we were not members and that we could then simply be with nice people in one’s Commonwealth.

As for Gay Marriage!  What a silly thing to get excited about. One knows lots of rather smart people who are homosexuals and very happily married.  Dear Lord Punstable is quite the other way (very very soft hands don’t you know?)  and has been since he was a chorister. But everyone knows that he has men friends (so many of them in Whites) and he is perfectly happy with his wife, dearest Veronica (Walkington-Scott-Sharpe that was).  She of course has many friends who are not homosexuals. But for My Government to spend so much time on same sex marriages is rather feeble – or so one thinks.

One is sad to say that Mr Cameron has been a disappointment. He was so full of promise: a good family and went to a very good local school.  Oxford seems to have made him rather fleshy although he married well. What a pity he had to form My Government with that rather wishy-washy Clegg.  Philip says he would not buy a time share from him.  We are not certain what a time share is, but it sounds rather dubious.

And now they are all worried about Mr  Farage and his YouKippers as Philip calls them.  (He is so very very funny at breakfast – Philip, not Mr Farage).  

Mr Farage appears to drink quite a lot of beer.  The Chamberlain thinks it is English beer and not the filthy black Belgian beer. One supposes that is all right then.  But I do wish he did not smoke so. Really no need and quite unnecessary.  

The Chamberlain had to sit next to him and Mr Farage smelled of tobacco. The Chamberlain is very sensitive.  Philip says the Chamberlain’s nanny was quite strict about the prospects of bad habits such as smoking and so made his mother (Cordellia Caste-Roman that was) breastfeed  the poor mite through a straw. Prince Harry thought that exceptionally funny and threw himself about in such laughter and was rather obscure when he said that his set use straws for quite different purposes.  Such fun being in one’s army.

The Chamberlain has it that we are going to make an official visit to Rome. The new Archbishop, Welby who used to be on the pumps at the local service station in his youth (Philip’s story again) is not over-keen on this we are told. Philip thinks the archbishop is concerned that at our age we might be swayed by the new Pope.  

Nonsense of course after all, one is Supreme Governor of one’s own Church of England. We assured the archbishop at an audience only last week that we have never been over-fond of Brazilians since their footballer Maradona cheated us out of the World Cup.  The archbishop said he played for Argentina not Brazil.  Philip says he had no idea that Mr Welby ever played soccer for any one, never mind Argentina.

One suspects one will have to watch the archbishop. Not quite reliable. One noticed that he had to read from a book to give the Blessing at Baroness Thatcher’s funeral.  One would have imagined that by the time he became archbishop, he would have know the words off by heart.

There is something else quite worrying about him. One reads in One’s Paper that he is already writing a new Coronation Service. One is not quite ready to meet One’s Maker.  A little presuming.  But One’s Paper has it that he intends to bring other religious leaders into the service.  How very odd.  One suspects that the Prince of Wales is behind this. Now there is a swivel-eyed loon if ever one saw one.  Jolly good.  Must tell Philip that one.