I have watched the service from the Cenotaph and I have also seen the various ceremonies taking place around Europe.
I have watched while old enemies have engaged in services of reconciliation and have held out the hands of peace to each other.
I have listened to the words of solace and heard the songs of peace, and if there is one thing I take from all these images and sounds it is the huge importance of the concept of European harmony and integration.
The concept of Europe has kept us safe and secure since 1945 and it will continue to operate as a bastion of hope and understanding for many years to come.
I take no note of the idiot cynics who argue that it is not Europe but NATO which has held back the tide of new wars. NATO is mostly a creature of the USA, and we all know, particularly under the regime of the orange-stained golfing buffoon who presently sits in the White House, what that means. I ignore the mad Little Englanders who in their insecurity as British people, feel they must insult and confront every other race ,religion and creed which seeks to make a home in the British Isles.
After over 40 years of EU membership, I thought we might have come to terms with our European status. We have played an important role in Europe, and we have only been besmirched and let down by the crazies in UKIP who cannot see the EU as being anything other than a corrupting influence, draining our British identity, and who feel the need to insult every other European politician, because it makes them feel big and important, which they surely are not.
I have news for the Faragistas and the loony-tunes racist Ukippers. Being proud members of the EU hasn't made any Frenchmen less French. The Germans have not felt any less German in their status, it is just that they have worn their European identity like a second coat, identifying its ambitions whie revelling in their own identities.
Watching Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron holding each other's arms today, resting their heads in symbolic peace on each other's shoulders has made me realise even more how important the European continuum is and why we British must, even more than before, continue to make common cause with our European friends and relations.
Those who know my work and writing know that I am an unreformed European. I believe in a Federal Europe, a common tax-base, a European armed service (if that is what is wanted), a European Intelligence service, and a common cause in information sharing and intelligence gathering and dissemination. I want to enhance Europe, I want to enlarge its remit, I want to make more common cause with its police agencies, its political thinkers and its philosophical leaders/
In the Press yesterday, an important piece in the Guardian lambasted the British approach to Europe, particularly in the way in which we are behaving like poltroons in our negotiating position. In a scathing critique, the author state;
"...It is often unclear if the UK is trying harder to hoodwink the EU or itself. Ministers have repeatedly called for things they must know to be impossible. Davis promised that a trade deal would be ready to sign next March; May insisted free movement in its current form would end during the transition period; and now Raab declares that he can unilaterally terminate a backstop that both sides agreed will last “unless and until another solution is found”. In sacrificing trust, we have also sacrificed credibility. After two long years, the government not only appears duplicitous, but demonstrably out of its depth.
Brexit’s slow unravelling was both predictable and avoidable. Officials frequently remark that if they had trusted the UK’s motives and competence, they would have afforded the government more leeway. But instead of building bridges, the UK quickly burned them. The EU now suspects the government will do everything it can to wriggle out of the backstop, and is determined to thwart Britain’s faithlessness with a watertight withdrawal treaty. If, in the final weeks, the EU is holding our feet to the fire, it’s because we have shown it that it must..."
Our politicians have sought to hoodwink us, and behaved with such duplicitous mendacity that they are no longer to be given any consideration. They cannot be trusted, they are consummate liars and they have relinquished any right to support or belief. They have wasted every important opportunity to negotiate a decent outcome of the Brexit nausea.
We must hold out for a permanent solution to this madness, so that we can finally put this insanity to rest and finally and for ever manifest our commitment to a lasting European status and membership, the centenary acknowledgements of the end of the Great War and the lasting peace and prosperity that our European membership has delivered, demand no less.