YOU would think any organisation which names a peace prize after a man who invented dynamite had placed itself beyond satire.
But the bunch of Norwegians who adjudicate on the various Nobel categories really surpassed themselves this year (and invested irony with a whole new meaning) by awarding it to the European Union.
Even as the announcement was being made, French fishermen were ganging up on British scallop boats in the Channel, and Greek police were massing to protect German leader, Angela Merkel, during her fleeting visit to their beleaguered country.
Yes, it was all milk and honey at the new home of the Nobel Peace Prize all right, and no doubt the odds are already shortening on the award for literature being awarded to Katie Price next year. The simple fact is that the EU was never envisaged as a peace-keeping force, even by its most rabid advocates.
The formation of NATO, and the threat of mutually assured destruction, is what has kept the component parts of the European continent from each other’s throats for the best part of 70 years.
The EU is merely a flawed by-product of a philosophy which believes that just because we aren’t the worst of enemies, we must all be forced into becoming a happy family.
But this merely encourages people like Vince Cable to propound the myth that unless we continue to embrace concepts like a common agricultural policy, tanks will soon be massing on the borders of member states. He said as much at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, where the gullible were doubtless gathered at his feet, smiling and nodding.
Uncle Vince told them that if the eurozone were to unravel, ‘the consequences would be absolutely incalculable,’ (a bit like the Greek national debt, in fact). Then he sent everyone off to bed with his own little fairytale.
‘We tend to forget, until we were reminded last week by that Nobel prize,’ he said, ‘that the European project was constructed in order to rescue Europe from extreme nationalism and conflict.’
This was arrant and disingenuous piffle, even by the standards of the Liberal Democrats.
Presumably he was referring to the same ‘extreme nationalism and conflict’ which is parading itself through the streets of Athens, Madrid and Lisbon?
Easy win for May in leadership battle
AS THE the contenders for the Conservative leadership battle in three years’ time begin their subtle jockeying for position, Theresa May will have done herself no harm by refusing to extradite Gary McKinnon to the USA.
The party is certain to be looking for a hard-edged, right-leaning leader next time round, and this was an easy win for the Home Secretary.
It cheered her back-benchers, infuriated Labour and depicted her as someone who will not be brow-beaten by the White House.
The fact she had right on her side has almost been overlooked.
America insists on trying its own suspects for crimes committed within its borders – so why should Britain not be allowed the same privilege?