In Brussels to join a protest about drone attacks in Ukraine my friend Ernest pointed to a travelling circus close to his house and told me: “I went to that but the clowns got everything wrong and wasn’t at all funny”. While he was at the circus I told him I was also watching one on television in the U.K. and these clowns also got everything wrong and there was also nothing whatsoever funny about it.
The one I was watching was the so-called inquiry into whether former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had deliberately misled the British Parliament over violations of the Covid rules. The reaction of everyone I know was identical: “Why don’t they just get on with running the country properly?”
The situation in France then overshadowed the Boris Johnson fiasco. Comparing pension status in France with Germany, other countries in Europe and the UK one cannot help but view the events and the cause of which Macron is being castigated as a seriously black comedy.
In the United States the man that some have labelled the “King of the Clowns” is to appear in court facing criminal charges. That even if convicted Donald Trump plans to stand for the Presidency again and that he is said to have strong support among Republicans is tantamount to a billboard announcing “get ready the circus is coming to town”.
In the UK anti-Brexit campaigners continue to blame everything that goes amiss on the decision to leave the EU. As a journalist I studiously avoid taking sides in any political debate, or perhaps arguement is a more apt term.
But the EU has entered the big top in ways that are quite alarming. Right wing parties are aligning with the centre right across the Continent. We shall see consequences when the next general election is held in Spain for example.
If this should sound alarmist and opinionated Stéphane Séjourné, the leader of the liberal Renew Europe group was last week quoted by journalist Geordie Gregg as saying: “We will go to the elections of 2024 with the promise not to govern with the far right and the far left. For us, Europe is governed in the centre or it is ungovernable.
“The alliance of the right [between centre-right and far-right parties] is a fantasy,” said Séjourné. “It doesn’t work. Either it leads to the disappearance of Christian Democracy, like in Italy, or it leads to a very unpopular government, like in Sweden.”
He went on to suggest that alliance between the centre right and the far right would make the EU ungovernable. If that is the case then anyone in the UK in favour of rejoining might do well to conduct some extensive research. They might also do well to study the extensive differences in support for Ukraine in the EU.
That the world is becoming a circus was decisively stated by Ukraine President Zelensky at the end of last week. He described the fact that Russia has been permitted to take the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council as “a joke”. He went on to say that it was an absurd and destructive move. He has called for the council to “reform or dissolve altogether”.
That the UN appears to have joined the rest of the clowns in turning the world into a giant big-top that the general public can only watch in disbelief is perhaps one of the final nails in the coffin of democracy. As Ernest commented the clowns are getting everything wrong and the circus is far from funny.
As the discussion group in the democratic forum that is Jane’s Cafe in Deal, Kent, unanimously commented after the Boris Johnson black comedy in the House of Commons and reflecting on the state of Europe and the World: “Why don’t politicians just get on with governing properly? If they don’t someone is going to press the red button and it will all be over!”
Image (Stéphane Séjourné) Photographer: Philippe BUISSIN Copyright: © European Union 2023 – Source : EP