Wednesday, June 11, 2008

EU drinking in the last chance salon

Recently I wrote about the curious Irish phenomenon of the found-ons, and noted that they captured a peculiar struggle between the desire for conformity and the desire to rebel in the Irish soul. You will find this same battle played out on a more trivial scale tomorrow in the referendum on the Lisbon I Can't Believe It's Not A Constitution Treaty.

Do they do the responsible, dutiful thing and allow the EU project to continue smoothly, or do they give two fingers to their rulers in Dublin and in Brussels?

Europe is not an issue on which too much heat should be generated, I think. Its enthusiasts tend to be the most over-eager bores, geeks and bureaucrats imaginable, while its opponents tend to be frothing lunatics (the Irish no-voter who has taken out advertisements denouncing it as ‘God-excluding foolish Freemason determined’ is a good example and provides a reminder of the dark days of John Charles McQuaid besides).

However, I think we can all agree that if the European Union was run by people who displayed greater empathy towards that corner of the human soul which understands the appeal of drinking illicitly in a bar in rural Ireland it would be much more popular.

PS: Here's a real irony for you. The Democratic Unionist Party betrays a fundamental element of the British constitution, by seeking to extend the state's power to detain people without charge.

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