Or, indeed, in Strasbourg, dear to my heart for reasons known to at least one regular reader, but which I do not propose to discuss on here.
It takes quite something to make anyone pay attention to the European Parliament, but when it reconvenes with its oldest member in the Chair, then the fact that that member is Jean-Marie Le Pen might bring home to people to quite whose legislative will the EU subjects us. (There is no reason to assume that the BNP is anti-EU on principle; it would be all in favour of an entirely possible Fascist one.) And there is endless fun to be had with the Tories’ new group over the next year or so of its life, which is the longest that it can possibly hope to last.
From within the belly of the beast, I have already been invited more than once, in absolute seriousness, to place a bet on the first Tory to leave. I said that I could just about be persuaded to bet on Dan Hannan as the last Tory in it, but was told in every case that there was nothing on which to bet there, since no one could possibly dispute it.
Are there not other Groups that could propose measures and motions for generous welfare provisions, for public services in the public sector, for universal healthcare provided by the State, for workers’ rights, and for the public ownership of important companies? Much of this new Group would vote for such measures and motions. But then there would be the Tories.
Are there not other groups that could propose measures or motions to safeguard or restore family life in general and paternal authority in particular by safeguarding or restoring high-wage, high-skilled, high-status employment such as coal-mining? Much of this new Group would vote for such measures and motions. But then there would be the Tories.
Are there not other Groups that could propose measures and motions for the payment of mothers to stay at home with their children, for adoption and against abortion, for palliative care and against euthanasia, in favour of President Obama’s support for traditional marriage (or, at the very least, against compelling anyone to conduct deviations from it), against sex and violence in the media, against State toleration of drugs and prostitution, against unrestricted Sunday trading, and against supermarkets opening on what are supposed to be public holidays for everyone including shop workers? Much of this new Group would vote for such measures and motions. But then there would be the Tories.
And are there not other Groups that could propose motions, perhaps on appropriate anniversaries, condemning by name all those (including Margaret Thatcher) who signed the Single European Act, and condemning Winston Churchill for his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin? Much of this new Group would vote for such motions. But then there would be the Tories.
And so on.