Melanie Phillips

22 February 2012

Europe at the edge of the abyss?

Published in: Daily Mail

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In an impassioned piece in that fine and feisty on-line newspaper The Commentator, Robin Shepherd sets out the stark case that Europe may now be staring at the end of democracy. Elections cancelled under EU pressure, referendums blithely ignored by the EU nomenklatura, the imposition of the euro over the protests of German voters – and most fundamental of all, the steady erosion of the ability of sovereign governments to decide their own policy over just about every area of national life. As Shepherd says:

'And, in the absence of a European demos – a shared sense of destiny buttressed by common media, a common language to read and watch the media in, pan-European political parties, identical national interests etc – what that will spell is nothing less than the end of the democratic era in modern Europe.

'This, by the way, is not a matter of opinion. You either understand what democracy is and what it entails or you do not. But there is one very important issue that most certainly is a matter of opinion: Are you for democracy or against it? Depressingly, shockingly, almost unbelievably, that is the question that modern Europe now has to answer.'

Yup – and it always was the question, right from the beginning of the European supra-national project. It’s just that the bail-out – supposedly of Greece but actually of the EU itself – has brought this into a focus that can no longer be ignored.

Actually, I think it’s the EU that is now staring into the abyss. The question is – what follows?

About Melanie

Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author. She is best known for her controversial column about political and social issues which currently appears in the Daily Mail. Awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism in 1996, she is the author of All Must Have Prizes, an acclaimed study of Britain's educational and moral crisis, which provoked the fury of educationists and the delight and relief of parents.

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  • The World Turned Upside Down
  • Londonistan
  • The Ascent of Woman
  • America's Social Revolution

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Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
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Contact Melanie