(Revised and edited 24/11/2009)
A person named Vaira Vike-Freiberga, apparently a former president of Latvia, has written that, "The European Union’s founding fathers knew that it had to be built brick by brick if it was to be accepted".
Tim Worstall has, quite rightly, stuck both boots into her arrogance and insolence. Pace Tim, several thoughts of my own have sprung to mind.
The term 'Founding Fathers' provides a wonderful example of how a phrase used to describe revolutionary groups can become universally recognised, indeed beloved, if bleached by favourable repetition often enough.
The Declaration of Independence did not enjoy universal support among American colonists. I recall reading somewhere, I can't remember where, that up to a third of colonists stayed loyal. While they may have spoken for the majority of the colonists, the revolutionaries would not have proceeded to victory in the ensuing war without French support. I guess all founding fathers need sugardaddies.
That up to two thirds of colonists may have been in favour of such a move was the result of what is now of course recognised to have been the folly of British colonial policy. During those dark nights of the soul in Riga, when one retreated to darkened rooms to listen to Polish jazz and read Vaclav Havel, ever fearful of the knock at the door, Freiberga could perhaps have reflected on just why people combine together under slogans like 'No Taxation Without Representation'. It is for the same reason that they get irritable at insolent elitists who try to justify the reduction of others' birthright democracy through the now tedious vehicle of recollections of just how bad life was under the Soviet jackboot. We know it was bad, but it ended 20 years ago. Our opposition to the jackboot is one of the principal reasons it's no longer on your throat, and your kitten heel on our throat is just as irksome for us as the presence of a Great Russian jackboot on yours was to you.
There has been no difference between the creation, expansion and endurance of the European Union and the folly of Hanoverian policy in America; not a shred of difference whatsoever. Both are the products of aristocratic disdain for the little man; the only difference has been that the European 'Foundig Fathers', whoever they were and wherever they met, made sure the people were disarmed, of their cultural heritage, their religious tradition and their weapons, before they started.
It is interesting to see the depth of idiocy into which Freiberga's authoritarianism leads her. The irony of this insolent woman speaking of the EU being built brick by brick almost 20 years to the day after another celebrated European brick landmark was finally deemed to be too great an eyesore to survive any longer seems to have escaped here.
As far as the not very special case of Latvia is concerned, well, you wanted your independence; fine. You wanted to be capitalists; fine. You cocked it up; fine. Your personal self-image demands that you still be considered important, and the way you do this is by hectoring free people about injustices that vanished from your life nearly 20 years ago, grievance politics for white people; not fine. The experience of previous repression does not justify future repression.