Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
There are plenty of people in the UK who are pro-EU. Maybe this appointment will make their lives easier: maybe it'll even be good PR for the EU in the UK. I can't tell.

Or maybe it just won't make much difference either way, in which case the Council will have wasted an opportunity to make an appointment which could have made a difference to the EU, if not the UK.

I think the concern here is not Brit bashing, but a reaction to the Narrative that Tony Bliar had to get the top job, and, failing that, Britain had to get at least the other job.

The fact that Baroness Ashton may turn out to be competent, or at least unobjectionable is almost irrelevant to that Narrative and the hostility it has evoked.  Why must the UK always be appeased?  What would have been so wrong about appointing a duo over Browns objections by weighted majority vote and send out the message that those who seek to weaken the EU will not be indulged?

The fact that Brown got his way in the end is a victory for UK Euroscepticism even if Brown or Ashton are not Euroscepticism.  It feeds into the narrative that "Europe can't do without us, and needs British leadership - exactly the sort of leadership we have been providing since Maggie Thatcher and Tony Bliar".

Really, it's so easy to push those consensus loving, cheese eating surrender monkeys around, isn't it?.  We can safely ignore them in the future.  We have succeeded, again, in making the EU largely irrelevant as anything other that a free trade area - Ashton's claim to competence.

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 20th, 2009 at 06:36:37 AM EST
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