Coffee House

The Nobel Prize’s EU joke prompts questions about the nation state

12 October 2012

4:38 PM

12 October 2012

4:38 PM

The award of the Nobel Prize to the European Union is a tremendous joke; and like all great jokes it has brought people together. Commentators of left and right are united, for the most part, in condemning the Nobel Committee’s revision of history that claims the EU, a body that has only existed since 1993, deserves credit for securing ‘60 years of peace’ in Europe. Iain Martin and the legal commentator David Allen Green give the fullest accounts, rightly commending America’s enormous contribution to Europe since 1945.

The timing of the award adds to the general mirth because there can be little doubt that events in the Eurozone are threatening the European project; or indeed that the European project is the author of its own misfortune. The award of the prize has not hidden this existential strain; if anything, it has exposed it further.

Over at the books blog, I have an interview with Professor Mark Mazower, whose (excellent) book Governing the World: The History of an Idea argues that international institutions like the UN and EU, which primarily serve a western worldview, are in decline as economic and political power shifts to the east. He concludes with the stark phrase: ‘The idea of governing the world is becoming yesterday’s dream.’ Peering dimly into the uncertain future from the vantage point of the bewildering present, it is hard to dissent from his view. I asked Mazower if the western nation state, undermined for so long by globalisation, economic upheaval, international politics and apathy, is sufficiently strong to weather future challenges.

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  • westies

    What percentage of the billions in India and China are living in peace surely their political systems deserve a prize too?

  • William Blakes Ghost

    First Obama, now the EU? What a bunch of pandering sycophants!

    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa

    We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in Strasbourg, we shall fight
    on the CAP and CFP, we shall fight with growing confidence and
    growing strength in the Eurozone and our environmental targets, we shall defend our project, whatever the
    cost may be. We shall fight on the beef mountains, we shall fight on the milk lakes, we shall fight in the butters hills and in the wine swamps, we
    shall fight the crooked carrots; we shall never surrender!

    ROFLMAO

    The only thing now more ridiculous than the EU is Nobel. What a nonsense these pathetic caricatures are! If the EU’s tinpot despots had any self respect at all they would decline the ‘award’. After this Nobel cannot be considered an ‘honour’ at all.

    The EU has thieved and robbed (power) and lied and cheated its way to where it is. If that deserves credit then it is a very sinister and twisted world the globalists live in!

  • TomTom

    If you read German press it states that The Committee represents the Norwegian Parliament and since one Member of that Committee has had a heart attack and his party opposes Norway joining the EU, the majority on the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is committed to joining the EU.

  • Daniel Maris

    The Nobel Peace Prize has lost all meaning. A shame really.

  • Dimoto

    Ha-ha, I bet the (legit) Swedish Nobel Committee are embarrassed.

  • In2minds

    It seems the voting was rigged, the easy option!

  • HooksLaw

    ‘a tremendous joke’ is surely the biggest understatement in the history of the universe.
    Well it would be but for a previous award going to Obama.

    In terms of preserving the peace – I think NATO has been more effective than the EU and behind NATO lies the will as well as the power of the USA.

    The harsh truth is that this is just simply such a huge insult to a who host of genuine and often brave opponents of oppression that it defies comprehension. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee are exposed as totally bogus – and we must presume totally open to manipulation and corruption.

    • Augustus

      Agree. This award is a political decision and has nothing to do with reality. It’s totally insane. The EU oozes discontent, unrest, frustration and disharmony. It drives nations often further apart and it’s a dictatorial institution. Clearly this is a propaganda exercise, and if it’s a morale booster for its own people then it’s ironic that Norway has prospered outside the EU. Today, the EU is a crisis-ridden monstrosity far removed from the Coal and Steel Union of the 1950s, or even the EEC of the early 1970s.

  • True Bred Pomponian

    And there was me hoping that this would be Queenie’s year. Sixty years in the saddle seems worthy of international recognition.

    • telemachus associates

      Queen Elizabeth allowed he Government to Kill Koreans in ’53, Kill Arabs at Suez,
      Kill the Spanish Italians in the Faulklands, Arabs again in Iraq and is continuing to Kill the hapless Afghans

      • john

        And good luck to her!

      • fubarroso

        Kill some north Korean terrorists in an attempt to prevent the slaughter of thousands in the south who professed an earnest desire to remain free of the yoke of communism.

        What’s with this “Spanish Italian” nonsense. Argentina is in immigrant country. Obviously they are predominately Spanish in origin as they were the original invaders. but there are probably as many of Welsh origin as Italian!

        Oh and I agree with you about Afghanistan. Not that I’m particularly concerned with our role there, but it certainly isn’t worth the loss of British or American lives!

  • In2minds

    Too much preaching, that’s the problem!

  • Heartless etc.,

    The EUSSR – Is a joke! It would be funny if not so serious. The fact that our ‘PM’ (sic) plays along makes it a very sick joke.

    End of.

    • telemachus associates

      The longest continuous peace since the collapse of Rome
      Beats giving it Kissinger for pouring Napalm on the Viet Cong

      • prince hairy

        Kissinger has been one of Europe’s greatest peacekeepers, the Nobel fools notwithstanding.

        • telemachus

          A warmonger under a number of iterations in the 60’s and 70’s
          Who dreamed up the bombing of Cambodia?

          • prince hairy

            Who dreamed up the bombing of Cambodia? Probably the same people who didn’t want Pol Pot to murder a million Cambodians.

      • David B

        There has not been 60 years of peace in the EU. Remember the war in the Balkins in the 90’s and a war in Georga not that long ago. Wars the EU did nothing to stop

        • telemachus

          Sorry chum
          Nothing to do with the EU
          When solved we have begun to bind them in to prevent more

          • David B

            Geographically,
            the continent of Europe is much larger than just the countries in the EU and
            its predecessors. Less face it for the
            first 20 years of its existence there were only 6 countries in it, for the next
            12 years there were only 9. Therefore
            the basic premise that the EU has keep peace in “Europe” is wrong. What has happened is that the members of the
            EU have not gone to war with one another.
            There have been wars in Europe but the EU has ignored them!

            For the
            first 40 years the EU only included countries that were in Western Europe (and
            Greece who was a western facing country). These countries were together in a military alliance
            against a common foe, the USSR and its allies.
            Therefore the countries of the EU had common purpose and no reason to go
            to war with each other, in fact it was in their strategic interest not to go to
            war with each other.

            The EU did
            not prevent war, it has just had the good fortune to have members who have no
            reason to go to war with each other.

            • prince hairy

              Let the Turks into the EU. You’ll have an intramural skirmish soon enough. Not that the lazy Greeks have enough gumption to fight another war with them, but they might.

              • David B

                Or enough money!

  • dalai guevara

    Cards on the table, it is quite clear to see. The view has been expressed that it is nonsensical to award a prize on the merit of ‘…claims the EU, a body that has only existed since 1993, deserves credit for securing ‘60 years of peace’ in Europe.’ Could the Norwegians have awarded a prize to the EEC, or even better the ECSC? Well, there is your answer…

    Europe has seen a development at massive pace, from ECSC to EEC to EU to Eurozone. For some, this welcome development has all occured within one lifetime. What was our plan in the meantime? Keeping the Scots and Jamaicans where they are?

    I want to see a vision from our leadership – something I can preach to the next generation of where we want to go. Not where we do not want to go. Can you do that for me?

    • dalai guevara

      Thought not…

      • dalai guevara

        Just hiting the printing and voting button from an armchair, the easy option.

        • Ridcully

          You do like the sound of your own voice don’t you? I suspect the reason that no-one has replied is because they’re struggling to make sense of a post that maked most of David Lindsay’s missives look quite lucid by comparison.

          • dalai guevara

            Is this a Saville @ Broadmoor line of argumentation? You very well know what I am on about, it’s written in plain English, avoiding any Latin or Greek terminology for even the ridicully to understand.

            • Ridcully

              You remind me of Eric Morecambe in the famous piano concerto sketch where he announces to Andre Previn: “I am playing all the right notes- but not necessarily in the right order.”
              Back on topic: I suspect that one of the biggest causes for relative peace in Europe for much of the post-war period was the need for Eurpoean countries to pull together in the face of a Soviet military threat. On that basis, perhaps the award should have gone to the Red Army.

              • dalai guevara

                Hahaha – yes I am familiar with Cecil Taylor, he is an inspiration.
                As to the Red Army comment: the policy of deterrence – not necessarily nuclear as in the Russian instance – is worthy of another prize: the GWB waterboarding is not torture award.

  • Vulture

    The Prize is certainly a joke, David – but the joke is on us, and the laughter dies in the throat.
    The EU is currently wrecking lives – millions of young lives – in southern Europe.
    The Eurozone crisis is already causing tears and serious bloodshed is all but inevitable.
    European peace and the EU are incompatible.
    And our political class is complicit in this unfolding tragedy.

    • telemachus associates

      You of course talk crap
      *
      Nick Clegg made the spontaneous point on 5-Live that the European contries instead of making war on each other now trade with each other

      • Boudicca_Icenii

        Nigel made the point on BBC World News that the divide in Europe is no longer between East and West – it is now between North and South thanks to the EU’s democracy-destroying objectives and its single currency folly.
        Civil unrest is regularly occurring in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
        The idea that the EU is necessary for trade between European nations is laughable. European nations have been trading with each other for centuries without an anti-democratic, unelected cabal of Eurocrats and Kommissars governing without a mandate from the peoples of Europe.
        Here’s Farage’s interview
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfvK2wqaf7E

        • telemachus associates

          We are bound together to the point that we have a mechanism of sorting major differnces without resort to violence
          Do you really think Tony Blair would have solved Northern Ireland if we had not been bound together in the EU

          • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

            Tit!

            • telemachus

              Truth is truth

          • Boudicca_Icenii

            Major started the peace protest in NI.
            And yes, I certainly believe that a UK Prime Minister (it happened to be Blair) was perfectly capable of carrying forward the peace process if we weren’t in the EU.
            The main driver for the peace process was the American Govt deciding that it would no longer permit support for the terrorist IRA following the 9/11 atrocity.
            The EU did nothing.

            • alexsandr

              not sure NI is sorted. Think they found a way to paper over the cracks. But no-one has convinced the N Irish that the coloniser is the EU, not the British!

              • alexsandr

                and lets not forget mo mowlem….

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Well, I do my best.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Well, I do my best.

              • Boudicca_Icenii

                I tend to agree that NI is not permanently sorted – sectarianism is still rife and there are some very nasty gangsters operating. But we have to hope that it will hold ….. and it may well do. Party because as I said in my first comment, the US Government no longer takes a ‘relaxed’ view of Irish terrorism and anyone living in NI (Catholic or Prot) must look at the state of Eire – bankrupt; under the control of the Kommissars; its puppet-government unable to run its own economy – and be grateful that they are in the north.
                Hopefully the peace process will hold.

          • David B

            You know very little about Northern Ireland or chose to miss represent it

            • telemachus

              NI is clearly complex but part of the solution depended on equalisation of the understanding of roles of the 2 sovereign governments in the structures of the EU.

              • David B

                The Northern
                Ireland situation is very complex; I know I have lived in NI all my life.

                The EU’s involvement
                in the process that lead to the current peace is to be frank limited and is
                probably non-existent. The North/South ministerial
                bodies exist outside the EU structure. The
                key figure in the process was Senator George Mitchell. A man who took the real risks and banged the
                heads together.

                Ever since
                the signing of the Belfast Agreement (also referred to as the Good Friday
                Agreement) the Labour party has applied a revisions approach to this
                process. Ignoring the roles played by Margaret
                Thatcher when she signed the original Anglo Irish agreement and John Major who’s
                role is well documented.

    • dalai guevara

      Can we have some hard facts please?
      Can we have some post-8am breakfast-table-heart-attack data from the South East, similar the wife beating data published from Glasgow when Scotland play England?

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