There is an air of jubilation around this morning – or an attack of the vapours – depending on whether you are standing in the King’s Arms in Doncaster, or Lentils-R-Us in Islington. ‘The People’s Army’, that seething morass of alleged racists, which apparently includes the majority of voting Europeans, have elected their champions to fight trial by combat for them.
UKIP in Britain, the Golden Dawn in Greece, the Front National in France, the Freedom Party in Austria, the AfD in Germany are this morning donning their armour and marching to Brussels to the cheers of their supporters. Terrific, congratulations to them. A remarkable result that does truly reflect the frustration of the european electorate, but what good will it do?
Tomorrow morning the crystal glasses will be polished to perfection, the wine cellar raided for its finest vintages, the silver salvers laden with the result of grazing on Europe’s most pesticide free and nutritious pastures in preparation for the first of many long and emotional dinner parties for those who will decide Europe’s future foreign policy (do we go on antagonising Putin or not?), immigration policy (do we, don’t we?) or health policy (can we or can’t we smoke?).
How will our successful home grown combatant, Nigel Farage, fare in such a regal atmosphere? He won’t be there. Not invited. Nor will Marine Le Pen or any of the other successful warriors of the People’s Army. Not invited.
Instead, round the table, will be the old guard, the ones we are told this morning were the ‘losers’ in this election; David Cameron, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande etc, etc, jockeying to take home the best goody bag from this private party. It is they who will be deciding on the future European Commissioners who will make the big decisions on immigration and austerity, the two issues we apparently care about more than any other.
Did you even know who the lady in my image was? She is Cecilia Malmström. Never heard of her? She was probably Nigel Farage’s greatest asset in these elections; for it is she who decided on European immigration policy. Another grand dinner party for the ‘national leaders’ long ago agreed to that – just so long as Gordon Brown could have Catherine of Arrogant deciding foreign policy instead of Peter Mandelson.
The sad truth is that all the leafleting, all the impassioned bellowing into megaphones, all the sodden shoes and raincoats, have only succeeded in filling the spectator seats in the European Parliament. Bread and circuses.
We were voting for the monkeys, not the organ grinders.