"The British economy does very well out of our government's control of other nations -- it is, for example, the world's second biggest exporter of services -- so it is hard to persuade the people of this country to vote for global democratisation" -- George Monbiot, The Guardian, 15 Oct 2002.
Any time hear "the nations of European stock" telling fibs to cover their "basic insecurity complex", my mind jumps to this letter published by The Times (of London) on 12 May 2000, written by Ray Smith of Faversham, England:
"Imagine the scene -- it is the bishop's first day in heaven; dinner is over, he is relaxing in his room and there is a knock on the door and the Archangel Gabriel enters:
'Sorry to disturb you, but are you the bishop who told old Mrs Jones that there would be animals in heaven?' 'Yes', the bishop replies, 'that's my firm belief.' 'Good', his visitor replies, 'the turkey you had for dinner last Christmas is outside and wants a few words with you'."
Well, how I wish the African version of Archangel Gabriel would be so kind as to wheel out our turkey so it can ask some basic questions of those who, because of their "basic insecurity complex", have made African lives such a hell to live.
Please don't get me wrong. I don't, for example, want exactly what Mr Colin Beveridge of St Andrews, Scotland, wanted from Mrs Thatcher: "I suggest that we place Mrs Thatcher's statue in Trafalgar Square so the pigeons can do to her what she did to us," Mr Beveridge wrote to The Guardian on 5 February this year, remembering how the Iron Lady had used Scotland as a laboratory for her disastrous poll tax experiment.
Now, if we should go straight to the point: I have said -- and it is very important to remember it as we go along -- that the "basic insecurity complex" afflicting "the nations of European stock" stems from the indisputable fact that Europe is the most resourceless continent in the world. Almost everything Europe needs to survive must come from abroad.
In the past, Europe was one of the most difficult places to live -- with all the harsh winters, the grinding poverty, the oppression of the masses by the upper classes and the incessant wars.
Did I hear you sneer at my use of the words "grinding poverty"? Please read this for an answer: On 20 December 1871 (only 131 short years ago), a Mr Ruskin, in response to an appeal by The Daily Telegraph for public subscriptions towards the restoration of warwick castle, wrote:
"Sir, I am at this hour...