by Frank Schnittger
Wed Jul 16th, 2014 at 05:49:41 AM EST
Jean-Claude Juncker has now been formally elected at President of the European Commission by a 422 to 250 vote in the European Parliament. Most Prime Ministers in Europe can only dream of such a wide margin of victory. That vote follows on from his 26 to 2 vote victory in the European Council (made up of national heads of government). And Yet Nigel Farage, leader of England's UKIP, can only rage at the undemocratic nature of his election.
It is ironic that the most vehement objections to Juncker's election have come from the UK - a country which has a whole House of Parliament made up of unelected Lords and which has just nominated one of that number - Lord Hill - to be Britain's next member of the Commission. It seems democracy only becomes an issue when you don't get your own man appointed through some kind of back room deal. The UK's ignorance of and contempt for EU institutions has now come to bite it severely in the back-side.
Cameron's influence in the EU is now at an all time low and will not be helped by his replacement of Foreign Secretary William Hague by the Eurosceptic Philip Hammond in a Government reshuffle which also sees a number of other prominent Eurosceptics promoted. When this is combined with the UK's likely loss of Baroness Ashton's (another ex-member of the House of Lords) post of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, it looks as if the stage is being set for an ever more distant relationship between the EU and UK.
Why anyone in the EU (apart from Ireland) should now be bothered about anything Cameron has to do or say is beyond me. Should Scotland vote for Independence another barrier to England going it's own way and departing the EU will have been removed. Northern Ireland's constitutional status will again be destabilized, and who knows how that will play out - possibly for the better - but it could be a long and painful process. Cameron could yet be known as the Prime Minister who led England to the break-up of the UK. Certainly the EU will not be weakened by his antics.