The familiar shores we left on March 17th are now out of sight, and no landing place is to be seen yet, no matter how unfamiliar it may be. In all likelihood, such a new world is a long way off, still. So, for the time being, we are nothing else than a mass of European people, adrift on an unknown sea, a sea so big it echoes like an endless ocean. The Imperial College has estimated that confinement has already saved at least 2,500 lives in France so far and that without it, hundreds of thousands deaths would have to be expected. The same was said to the British PM, with the effect of changing his mind, bringing him to eventually agree to confinement. The Suedes have chosen, much like the Dutch, another route: herd immunity. During all that time, our dear Italian friends are at the worst of this pandemic, feeling alone and not helped by Europe, a feeling that the Spaniards, brave and dignified to the last, are experiencing also. What is it with Europe that is so rotten, so untamed yet, that no unity, no solidarity, can be found? If brotherhood, true companionship between countries, isn’t to be experienced in such dark days, when will it ever be? Worse still: under such selfish circumstances, what’s the point of a European Union, of a single currency, or luxurious premises in Brussels and Strasbourg? What’s in a euro coin when mind and spirit are gone? It’s just stinking money, and any money will do the same.
Three years ago, the UK decided to leave Europe. Take it or like it, that was the vote. Has the European Union changed anything since? Has it only started an introspective process to understand what sprung this British revolution? Alas, no. Nothing. A juggernaut of the Union decides to crash out, but nothing changes. On the continent, nobody seems willing to admit that Europe must be, in some ways, dysfunctional to reach such a sad outcome. Blame it all on the Brits! All their fault, especially the elder Brits, and the poorer. Yes, that’s great, isn’t it? Blame it on the poor and the elderly, but whatever you do, don’t blame it on Europe’s shortcomings. It does takes a genius, or a true gentleman, to blame anything on the poor and the elderly, doesn’t it?
Now that all European countries are rattled to their bones by this little bug, the true face of the so called “union” shows once more. “No Coronabonds to expect” says northern Europe to southern Europe. No solidarity, nothing. Only a fool would not sense that the countries that have buried so many of their sons and daughters won’t forget this total lack of commiseration, this shivering absence of unity in the face of true adversity. It’s just another fight of the Rich against the Poor. Why would the Rich help the poor? Why would one rich country remember that some years ago its debts were halved just for the sake of peace and an open hand towards unity? Those days are gone. Today, the financial rule is the golden rule. It’s a Euro coin without a soul, a piece of metal without a heart. If that is modern Europe, well Jeeves, how right we were to leave… And should I dare mention the Greeks, left alone to deal with the reality of migrants, both sides now completely forgotten by the Union, thanks to this little bug? No, of course I shouldn’t.
Anyway, it’s Fool’s Day today, an appellation that suits me fine. I am foolishly sentimental about Europe, I suppose. I read somewhere that the Duchess of Cornwall is really concerned about domestic violence during this confinement. Here, here! How right she is. But then of course, what should we expect of private individuals, when State violence towards other States, all within the European Union, is to be seen so blatantly? It’s a tough world, mate. A tough world for States and spouses alike.
Fool’s Day indeed…
Jerome CASEY ©, 2020, All rights reserved