December 2nd, 2013

Herman Van Rompuy is the 'shrewd master of the shabby compromise

старая статья, но ставшая еще более актуальной.

Herman Van Rompuy is the 'shrewd master of the shabby compromise'

Devoid of patriotism and contemptuous of democracy, Herman Van Rompuy perfectly embodies the culture of the EU.
His sole political ideal is the creation of a federal superstate, destroying national identities across Europe

As someone who has known him since the mid-1980s, I recognise Van Rompuy as a man of powerful intellect and deep cynicism.
Although diffident in manner, it would be a great mistake to underestimate this Belgian.
A shrewd manipulator, he will do all in his power to further EU integration.

Despite his modest appearance, he is not lacking in selfesteem. When he was 12, he was asked by his family what he wanted to be when he grew up. His answer was: 'President.'
Van Rompuy is a product of the debased, corrupt political life of Belgium. Like the EU, it is an artificial construct, the result of political compromise and experiment.
It was built in 1830 by the international powers joining two separate peoples - the Dutch of Flanders in the north and the French of Wallonia in the south.
Because of this lack of real nationhood, Belgians despise their own state.

But this unpatriotic attitude is precisely the reason why Belgian politicians have been so enthusiastic about the EU, in which they see the mirror image of their own fraudulent, unprincipled country.
The tragedy of Van Rompuy's political career is that he used to have a very different outlook. When I first met him in 1985, he was much more sceptical about European federalism.

A conservative Catholic, he had been heavily influenced by the Flemish philosopher Lode Claes, who passionately believed that without a genuine spirit of nationhood, there could be no democracy and no political morality.
Van Rompuy wrote elegantly about the importance of traditional values and the need to maintain the Christian roots of Europe.
He was so disgusted by the Belgian establishment's rejection of these principles he told me he was thinking of leaving politics.
But his bosses the Flemish Christian-Democrat Party were appalled at the thought of losing this bright young star. So he was offered rapid advancement up the political ladder.

Van Rompuy accepted, and embarked on a series of shabby compromises which brought him high office but proved he had sold his soul.

In one telling deal, for instance, he helped push through one of Europe's most liberal abortion bills, even though, as a Catholic, he had once written in defence of the rights of the unborn child.
He will feel very at home at the top of the EU

Paul Belien is the author of A Throne In Brussels: Britain, the Saxe-Coburgs and the Belgianisation Of Europe, published by Imprint Academic at £14.95.

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