Today, May 1st, is a big day for the European Union because today is ‘Accession Day’ whereupon 10 new countries will be officially enjoined into the Union:
Leaders from the EU’s 25 member states are taking part in celebrations, after a night of festivities heralded its historic expansion.
The 15 old members welcomed in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia at midnight.
Yes, it is celebration time. The ‘family’ of 15 countries becomes the even bigger ‘family’ of 25 countries as hands are clasped in firm handshakes across once-inpenetrable borders in a new spirit of continent-wide brotherhood, sisterhood and transgenderhood. Ring out the bells, sound the trumpets and let the cliches flow like a swollen river.
Chief among the consequences that is causing excitement, even outside the usual Europhile circles, is the prospect of droves of fresh-faced and energetic young Slavs who will pour into the cities of Western Europe eager to programme computers, brew coffee and deliver hot pizza to Western Euopeans, most of whom will be quietly relieved that they are being served and waited upon by people who are unlikely to be donating any portion of their wage packets to Al-Qaeda.
I can sympathise with this enthusiasm for I, too, hope that this scenario will come about and, if it does, I expect that it will largely prove to be a very good thing for all concerned. However, trade is (usually) a two-way street. East may have a lot to offer the West but what does the West have to offer the East. Jobs? Well, in theory, yes, but if the Western Europeans are unwilling to reform their stifling labour laws then a lot of those eager young Slavs are going to cross the continent only to end up burgling in Bremen or pimping in Paris.
But even that does not mean that Western Europe is without something to offer the East, though certainly not workers (unless they are prepared to export their own immigrants). No, what Western Europe has to export Eastwards is a plague of social-worker types (of which the West has vast reserves).
That is the thing about this globalisation phenomenon. It does not just mean the widespread distribution of DVD players and avocados, it also means the widespread distribution of people who make and consume both. So far, so orthodox, so what? This is the accepted view. What is often overlooked is that global trade also means the spread of ideas and (for reasons I simply cannot fathom) it is widely and blithely assumed in free market circles that this inevitably means the the speard of ‘good’ ideas only. Why?
For a start, there are no good ideas in Western Europe but there is a mountain of ‘Very Bad Ideas’ and no shortage of people who know how to disseminate them very effectively. Indeed, as I type, there is probably a warehouse full of Very Bad Ideas boxed up, shrink-wrapped and waiting on the dockside ready to be shipped off to Lublijana and Vilnius.
Those poor Slavs and Baltics may well imagine that today marks the end of their decades of totalitarian repression and a gigantic leap towards liberation, modernity and prosperity. HAH! Those poor saps have no idea what is waiting in store for them or what membership of the big, unhappy ‘EU’ family actually means in practice.
They will soon learn the folly of their ideals when they are invaded by an army of self-righteous busybodies, armed with bogus statistics, sham science and filofaxes full of pre-arranged media and government contacts. Right now, these health-fascists and control-freaks must be goggle-eyed with anticipation at the thought of a whole, new, virgin audience for their peculiar brand of histrionics.
Over the coming years, these once-complacent Eastern Europeans are going to be nagged, hectored, lectured, nannied, finger-wagged, sermonised and relentlessly bullied by a seemingly never-ending parade of dull, obnoxious, earnest, condescending do-gooders whose mission is to convince them all that they are too fat, too thin, too unfit, too rich, too poor, too happy, too sad, too tall, too thin, too bald, too hairy, too thoughtful, too reckless, too drunk, too sober and just too bloody ignorant and criminal for their own good.
By this time next year, the people of the Accession countries will have been told that they smoke too much, eat too much, drink too much, laugh too much, work too much, love too much, hate too much, walk too much, drive too much, breathe too much, talk too much and that they are destroying the planet, abusing their children and not paying anywhere near enough in tax. As well as that they will also learn that they are racist, sexist, fascist, cubist, buddhist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, agoraphobic, arachnaphobic, technophobic and institutionally obese and….SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!!!!
I feel sorry for them I really do. We in the West have had time to get used to the psychosis of the ruling classes but for these unsuspecting Baltic greenhorns, the misery is all to come. In some respects it is actually worse for them because they are hoping for a bright, shiny new dawn of freedom without perhaps the slightest notion of what lies in store for them now that they are about to be firmly welded into the regulatory machine. From New Soviet Man to Neu-Rotic Man in one generation. How is that for bad luck?
If I was them I would alleviate the problem by simply shooting all these invading busibodies on sight but I verily believe that there is some utterly unreasonable law against doing that kind of thing. Instead, I predict that, within five years, there will be a serious political movement in Eastern Europe dedicated to bringing back the Iron Curtain. Not to keep their own people in, mind, but to keep the undesirable Westerners out.