Magazine article The Spectator

A Speech for Europe

Magazine article The Spectator

A Speech for Europe

Article excerpt

What the EU president should have said in his state of the Union address.

On Wednesday the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, gave a 'State of the Union' address at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Here is the text of the speech Senhor Barroso did not give:

A

migos! Citoyens! You there!

This is my State of the Union address. Our European Union is, after all, in a right old state so I thought I would make a speech about it. Anything Mr Obama can do, your unelected president Jose Manuel Barroso can do better.

It has been another magnificent year. Borders have crumbled. National sovereignty has shrivelled. As you can see, all is going according to plan. Here on the mothership, even we have been surprised at how fast things have developed. There have been days when my special advisers have been so overcome by the news from corners of the empire that they have had to retire to five-star restaurants for lunchtime consultation sessions. Their professionalism has been an example to us all.

Sim! Our historic mission to unite the continent of Europe marches ever onwards. We are closer to achieving our goals than since the days the great Bonaparte, guiding light of our movement, was crowned King of Italy.

Europe in 2012 is united - united in crisis, united in financial disarray. Every day, the vaults of Paris and Berlin resemble more closely the exhausted coffers of Athens and Madrid. As a European of Portuguese descent, it has been a source of special pride to me that Lisbon has been right up there at the front of the peloton of bankrupts. The traders of Frankfurt once smirked up their sleeves at the lads in Milan but now even the Germans are looking peaky. This proves the brilliance of our stratagems. To quote another forefather of the Brussels project, Musketeer D'Artagnan, 'one for all and all for one'.

When we examine euro coins, we can draw satisfaction from knowing that those minted in northern Europe are every bit as dodgy as those minted on the shores of the Mediterranean. For years we have spoken of harmonisation. It is coming, mes braves. Higher taxes for one and all. The spirit of D'Artagnan burns bright in the Berlaymont.

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. …

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