I maintain that there is still insufficient recognition of the pernicious influence of the European Union, and especially its executive body the European Commission (EC), on the economics and politics of Europe and the UK, historically and hugely so today. Hence, men like Barroso (a) believe that they can get away with spewing out the sort of arrant, embarrassing nonsense that we've heard him speaking today (quoted below) and (b) believe themselves. Indeed, with what mandate is Barroso given the world stage on which to make his pronouncements? He's an unelected apparatchik.
I know, I know I've said it time and again, but it's hard not to view the EC as anything less than a soft dictatorship. Just read Craig and Elliot's book "The Great European Rip-Off" (or similar works by Christopher Booker) and I defy you not to be stunned and dismayed at the truly mind-boggling unchecked, unbalanced power (explicit and beneath-the-radar) and cost of the EU.
For what exactly? The steady ruination of a continent: economically, politically and socially.
I've just come in from walking my dog on a sunlit Moray Firth beach. I was mulling the answer to my own question at the top, so what?
So, unless and until a British politician and political party grasps the nettle and sets out systematically to make the case for the unwinding of the European Union and reversion to a continent with free-trading arrangements between sovereign democracies (and/or with whoever else they choose) using their own currencies then we're stuffed; absolutely stuffed. I simply don't believe that there can be any sort of half-baked middle ground; we're past that now; the EU must be destroyed if it's not to destroy Europe (without a shot being fired). It really has come down to this.
The alternative (and we're told by nonentities like Barroso that there is only this alternative, "ever closer union") is the imposition of the United States of Europe on 495 million citizens, without democratic mandate - citizens who will then, again as I've said before, be herded pell mell down a long, descending road to serfdom. With men like Barroso telling them, like he's been telling the North Americans, that the "European Union is a model that we can be very proud of."
For me, Barroso makes the perfect case for destroying the European Union. Here's some of what he said at today's G20 press conference:
"Not all the members of the G20 are democracies, but we are democracies, and we take decisions democratically. Sometimes this means taking more time. Frankly we are not coming here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy, because the European Union has a model that we may be very proud of .. "