The Spectator

What Barroso should have said

José Manuel Barroso gave his annual ‘State of the Union’ address in Strasbourg yesterday. If you are a glutton for punishment, you can read the full speech here, but in this week’s Spectator, Quentin Letts offers the president of the European Commission a transcript for the speech he should have given. Here is a snippet of what Barroso should have said:

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. Let us salute the blue stars on our federal flag. Let us hum Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Hum it, indeed, for unfortunately there is no money to pay for an orchestra.

At 23 per cent, youth unemployment is high, but it affects youngsters from Brno to Brest. Government debt in the European Union may have risen by €620 billion but the problem exists from Valladoil to Vilnius, from Timisoara to Tipperary. And still Croatia is happy to join our great enterprise. Suckers!

No more the hierarchy of nations. No more the bitterness of seeing neighbours prosper while we decline. It is a triumph. As those strange British Conservatives like to say, we are all in this together. Has social cohesion ever been more evident? Whole populations have come together to riot in the streets. Have the people of Italy ever felt such solidarity with citizens who live on the Iberian peninsula? Can we not admire the candour with which Greeks now feel able to speak to their brothers and sisters in Germany?

You can read the full piece here or in this week’s copy of the Spectator, which is out today. Click here to subscribe.

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