Not Simon Heffer’s “finest hour”
In his grandly launched Daily Mail blog today, Simon Heffer looks at the Franco-German (or Germano-French, as he would say) plan to converge the Euro economies so they can safeguard their massive investments in teetering Portugal, Ireland and Greece.
So far as I am aware, all or most of what he says is factually correct, but he is guilty of overstatement and surprisingly hackneyed language. He even says “Fourth Reich” and “jackboot” – to refer, let it be remembered, to the Germany of Angela Merkel. What a pity that even highly intelligent commentators like SH cannot talk about Europe without lapsing immediately into sub-Churchillian rhetoric. The war ended nearly seventy years ago. One can reject the Euro without seeing it as a crypto-Reichsmark – or watch German politicians trying to sell unpalatable policies to their voters without relapsing immediately into Hotspur mode.
Is all this war nostalgia because ’39-’45 was the last time that Britain was truly “Great”? Is it an outlet for otherwise unfulfillable patriotic instincts? Discuss.
Derek Turner, 17 August 2011